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Rabbis Arrested: What if They Were Imams?

In a new case of corruption and political intrigue a group of Mayors from Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus New Jersey, and five Rabbis were among 44 people charged by the US with public corruption and money laundering.

The corruption probe, based in Hudson County, netted many public officials accused of pledging assistance for bribes. A cooperating witness in that probe also infiltrated a “pre- existing money laundering network” that moved “at least tens of millions of dollars through charitable, nonprofit entities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey,” according to a release by acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra…The rabbis were charged with laundering money that often was sent to Israel.

The attorney was on the record stating that though they arrested a “number of Rabbis” it did not make this a “religiously motivated case.” These should be comforting words to practitioners of the Jewish Faith and of course reaffirms what is well known in American justice, “You are innocent until proven guilty.” It does, however, highlight the contradictions within our society. Contradictions that are all too apparent to American Muslims.

Let us consider what would have happened if those arrested were not Rabbis, instead, let us say that they were Imams. What would have happened? At the very least, the rabid anti-Muslim blogosphere would be in a fit, Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer would be linking it to selective pages of 8th century Muslim law books and proclaiming it as all part of Islam’s attempt to take over the world through “Stealth Jihad.” Debbie Schlussel, would be decrying the “inherent criminality” of Islam, while Steven Emerson would proclaim that he has been warning of the “Islamic financial threat” to the West for years. Even in the mainstream media there would be some form of discussion revolving around Islam’s role in influencing the criminal enterprise.

The evident double standards here are hardly noticed in any news outlet. The Rabbis’ faith was not disparaged, nor was any insinuation made that their religion had any bearing on their involvement with the alleged criminal actions — rightly so. But is it too much to ask that when the Islamophobes and other loons come across a similar case in which there are allegations of criminality against Muslims that they should give the same “benefit of the doubt” that they would give to other Faiths such as Judaism and Christianity?

It is a tall order, I know, because the anti-Muslims are motivated by nothing other than a hate for Muslims, and applying a consistent methodology that would distinguish between Faith and Faithful hurts their argument that Islam is the boogey-man monster underneath your bed.

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  • Sameera

    AZ Zaquum, here are more examples of Jewish extremism, from the Israeli Ynet and Haaretz and ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS, violence against “immodest” women, and threats of murder in the name of God. Do a search on the internet for “jewish taliban” and you will find more examples

    ‘Chastity squad’ man charged with attacking computer store clerks
    Shmuel Weisfish accused of threatening to murder employees of Jerusalem computer store for selling ‘non-kosher’ MP4 players

    Rabbi Aviner: Women must not wear pants even when alone,7340,L-3538781,00.html


    Judge Slaps 4 Years on “Modesty Patrol” Thug

    by Hillel Fendel

    ( Jerusalem District Court Judge Noam Solberg sentenced a hired thug of the “Modesty Patrol” group to four years in prison for beating a woman who had begun to lead an immodest lifestyle. The judge cited religious sources to determine that the “Modesty Patrol” is far from modest itself.


    VIDEO / Ultra-Orthodox ‘Modesty Guard’ suspected of beating Jerusalem woman

    By Haaretz Staff and Channel 10

    Tags: Ultra-Orthodox, Jerusalem 10 daily feature for August 7, 2008.

    A group of men who police suspect were hired by an ultra-Orthodox gang
    recently broke into a Jerusalem woman’s home and beat her because they
    deemed her immodest.

    The so-called “Modesty Guard” is suspected of being behind the incident. The gang has been known to unleash extortion, mercenaries, violence and
    surveillance on less religious Jews they deem sacrilegious. They claim to do it all in the name of God.

  • Sameera

    Dhia, why didn’t you give examples to AZ Zakkam instead of asking him if he is naive?

    To Az Zakkam,

    as you asked, Here are 3 Rabbi’s “doing it for God”, they are extremists, and Israel does have a Jewish Taliban too, I guess you never heard of Rabbi Kahane or the Kach movement? Look them up, they are the Jewish Al Qaeda

    Anyway to answer your questions, below are Rabbi’s calling for genocide in God’s name. All the links below are from Israeli or Jewish sources
    Foreign Policy Magazine, listed the world’s most intolerant religious leaders. Along with Hassan Nasrallah was listed Rabbi Dov Lior
    The List: The World’s Worst Religious Leaders April 2008 When the Pope visits the United States next week, he will likely make the case that religion is a force for peace in the world. But a few of his fellow religious leaders are better known for preaching messages of hatred and violence.
    Religion: Hasidic Judaism
    Who is he?: Head rabbi of Kiryat Arba settlement
    Country: Israel
    Quote: “A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail.”

    Why he matters: Lior is the chief rabbi for Kiryat-Arba, a Jewish settlement near the turbulent West Bank town of Hebron, and leads the council of rabbis for the West Bank settlements. He has stated repeatedly that the killing of Palestinian civilians is compatible with Jewish law and that the commandment “thou shalt not kill”applies only to Jews. Rabbi Lior gave a eulogy at the funeral of Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish doctor who gunned down 29 Muslim worshippers at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994. Lior has also issued a religious ruling forbidding Jews from employing Arabs or renting them property.

    Chief Rabbi, Eliyahu advocates carpet bombing Gaza

    All civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam attacks on Sderot, former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has written in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Eliyahu ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.
    Rabbi manis friedman supports genocide
    Moment Magazine has done us a service by exposing the true face of Jewish terror. And it is a the face of a Chabad rabbi. To the question: “How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors,” Rabbi Manis Friedman of the Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies, St. Paul, MN. responds:
    I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral.

    The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).
    The first Israeli prime minister who declares that he will follow the Old Testament will finally bring peace to the Middle East. Living by Torah values will make us a light unto the nations who suffer defeat because of a disastrous morality of human invention.

  • Well said John and I personally agree with you on all counts. And to you Az Zaqqum, can you really be that naïve?

  • John in Bucharest

    This is one of the fundamental pillars of the global “anti-jihadi” movement, or professional Islamophobes. Even a cursory review of most of their websites clearly show a penchant for identifying some vile actions committed by some individual Muslims or small Muslim groups and then suggesting – if not outright declaring – that this is an integral aspect of Islamic culture and that all Muslims endorse or condone this action or behavior. Suicide bombings, honor killings, and acts of extreme gender oppression are real things that are found in at some parts of the Muslim world, but this is no more representative of Islam or Islamic culture than these rabbis and Bernard Madoff are representative of Jewish culture.

    It is bigotry and prejudice pure and simple. Taking the worst actions carried out by members of a group and then ascribing these actions to the group in general is the very definition of racial, ethnic, or religious bigotry. Just because some Catholic priests are pedophiles does not mean all Catholics are pedophiles; just because some Jewish business people turn out to be criminals doesn’t mean they all are, and just because some Muslim groups engage in terrorism doesn’t mean they all do. This tactic of the Islamophobes is absolutely no different than the Ku Klux Klan member who points out some vicious crime committed by a black man and then concludes that this is representative of all black people.

  • Courtney

    Az Zaqqum,

    It is not an outrageous claim to make that there is a very strong and dangerous anti-Islamic tone in western media. And, the writer is correct in saying that there would have been a clamorous uproar by the right in this country if indeed this scandal was headed by Immams. I have heard no discussion tying the Rabbis to their religion and their crimes, which is good. But, just as importantly IF they were Muslim leaders they would have been.

  • Um, I don’t think you read carefully. Where in this post is it stated that “they are worse than we are?” That seems to be a lame attempt to obfuscate.

  • Az Zaqqum

    I’d like to ask the writer why he thinks some people hate muslims? Is it something that muslims are doing that promotes this hate?

    Also, I don’t see the rabis claiming they ‘did it for g-d’.

    All in all, this is a lame attempt for some muslims to say…see, they are worse than we are.
    Really, is that the best you can do?

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