Linksies: Muslim Leadership Initiative

Linksies: Muslim Leadership Initiative January 23, 2015

For American Muslim twitterati, 2014 was, in many ways, defined by major social media conflicts. Muslims quarreled online about the Abu Easa controversy, Alice in Arabia, the movement to boycott the White House Iftar, the “Happy” music videos, and the conversations about race in privilege around community inattention to anti-black police brutality. But arguably the deepest cleavages emerged around the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI), a project by the Shalom Hartman Institute.

MLI invites hand-picked American Muslim chaplains, journalists, interfaith activists and other civic leaders to participate in a fellowship to learn about how “Jews understand Judaism, Israel and Jewish peoplehood.” As the existence of the MLI fellowship became public, many American Muslim activists expressed their dismay and anger over what they viewed as a direct breach of the call by Palestinian civil society for the international community to boycott, divest and sanction Israeli goods and institutions until the country meets it’s obligations under international law vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

And when the new year started, further controversy erupted over a confrontation between the second cohort of MLI participants and a Palestinian activist on the campus of al-Aqsa Mosque, which Muslims believe is the third holiest site in Islam. The level of discourse between the two camps has sometimes veered into the vitriolic, including alleged threats of violence against MLI participants and their families.

Earlier this week, the conversation went international, as MLI participants and those opposed to the program appeared on Al Jazeera’s The Stream to debate the pros and cons of this initiative. I have collected a round-up of links of articles and op-eds from both camps shared below. Please post any further pieces in the comments section.

Support for Muslim Leadership Initiative

After Abraham, Before Peace: Navigating the Divides

The Context (regarding the Jerusalem assault posted below)

Forging New Muslim-Jewish Engagement


Jerusalem: Full Disclosure

The Price of Identity Politics

What a Muslim American Learned from Zionists

Why I Went to Israel

Critiques of Muslim Leadership Initiative

An Interfaith Trojan Horse: Faithwashing Apartheid and Occupation

Faithwashing Continues: 2nd Cohort of MLI Participants

Haroon Moghul, MLI, and Apologists: Enough is Enough

Jerusalem Resident Assaulted by Israeli-backed US Muslim Leaders

Muslim ARC Statement on Muslim Leadership Initiative

The Perils of American Muslim Politics

Zionism, BDS, and American Muslim Leadership

Zionist Tour for Muslim Americans Sparks Anger in Palestine

Additional Resources

American Muslim Leaders Say No to MLI

BDS Sparked by TIM: Debates and Dialogue

Controversy Over American Muslim Group’s Trip to Israel

Fear, Inc: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America

From Ibrahim to Khalil: American Islam and Palestine/Israel

Introducing the BDS Movement

Jewish Voice for Peace statement on MLI

Palestinian BDS National Committee calls for MLI boycott

Solidarity Demonstration in Nazareth: Ferguson to Palestine

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