Thursday, June 23, 2011

San Francisco, cut it out

To mangle a few common sayings "Necessity makes strange bedfellows." Jews and Muslims in San Francisco are joining together in common cause re the proposed ban on all circumcisions.
This is not the first time that anti-circumcision measures have been proposed here in the US. Yes, even in New York there have been those in favor of the measure who have tried to get it adopted here.

Please go to for an interesting update on the situation in San Francisco.


JS said...

Why strange bedfellows? Judaism has a lot more in common with Islam than it does with Christianity. There are many opinions that one is allowed, if forced, to convert to Islam, but must choose death over conversion to Christianity. I think this line of thinking is a symptom of the constant talk of Judeo-Christian values (whatever that means), the fact that Christians don't persecute us in this country, and conflating differing political beliefs regarding Israel with religious beliefs.

I mean think about it. Who does a Jewish woman have more in common with? The Muslim woman who covers her hair, has religious dietary restrictions, and prays 5 times a day or the Christian woman who can wear whatever she wants and eat whatever she wants and goes to church on Sundays?

ProfK said...

JS, the example you give of the Jewish woman aside, Judeo/Islamic cooperation is not precisely business as usual, hence strange bedfellows. One could take your point that we have more in common with Muslims than with Christians and ask, that being "true," why is it the open and stated goal of many Islamic countries of the Middle East to wipe off of the face of the earth all Jews and Eretz Yisroel? Where is that cooperation seen on the world stage? You might have individual Muslims who think the greater political stance is wrong, but they aren't the public voice attributed to Muslims. Show me a Muslim cleric who has publically stated that Islamic countries should be protecting the rights of Israel and Jews because we have so much in common. Show me a public Muslim organization that is working hand in hand with a Jewish organization for the protection or betterment of both groups.

So yes, I'll stick with the strange bedfellows description, given the common current public relationship between Jews and Muslims. Then again, this is San Francisco we are talking about, and strange, weird, different, unexpected--take your pick--seem to link naturally with the city.

Miami Al said...

Outside of International politics towards the state of Israel, Muslims and Jews DO have a lot in common.

Religious Muslims and Religious Jews have a lot of similar practices and concerns: discrimination re: hair covering, head covering, touching opposite gender, etc.

Secular Muslims and Secular Jews have a LOT in common, including views towards Israel and Palestine (most secular Muslims do not want Israel eliminated, they want a Palestinian State in Gaza + West Bank, which is the same with secular Jews). They don't want religion in the public square, etc.

Other that views in foreign policy towards the state of Israel, I'm not seeing big gaps between Jews and Muslims, so it would make perfect sense to work together on domestic issues where we DO have a lot in common.

Miami Al said...

Oh, "Show me a Muslim cleric who has publically stated that Islamic countries should be protecting the rights of Israel and Jews because we have so much in common."

Show me a Jewish Rabbi who has publicly states that the United States should pressure Israel into abandoning Judea and Samaria and I'll show you a Rabbi who you'll deny is a Rabbi.

They don't have the equivalent of a Reform movement, all their Imams are the equivalent of Orthodox Rabbis, mostly trained overseas.

We have HUGE differences over foreign policy, but not that much else.

JS said...

Al pretty much said what I was going to say. The differences are POLITICAL, not religious. It should not be surprising at all that religious Jews and religious Muslims work together on a whole sort of religious issues. Would it be at all surprising if Jews and Muslims chose to work together on issues relating to ritual slaughter?

Shouldn't Jews support their Muslim countrymen in France, for example, where they outlawed wearing the hijab? Isn't that just a small step away from outlawing the kippa, the sheitel, or other religious head/hair coverings?

I'd add that from a religious perspective, Jews and Muslims living as minorities in Christian countries have more to fear from the majority than from each other. The majority is far more likely to pass laws having Christian overtones or forbidding practices near and dear to both Jews and Muslims.

So again, it's a political issue that separates us. That, and the fact that Jews for some reason think they have more in common with their religious Christian neighbors than their religious Muslim neighbors because of this false notion of a shared Judeo-Christian belief system.

Also, I'd add that the political issue has to do with ISRAEL, not Jews. You're thinking of crazy extremists who want to go to war with Jews and I don't think that's a fair representation of Muslims as a whole.

I also know of several campuses with the Hillels work closely with Muslim student groups to foster greater understanding and work towards issues common to both faiths.

Mr. Cohen said...

Tanach/Bible, Book of Yechezekel/Ezekiel, chapter 44, verse 9:

No stranger, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, will enter My Temple.


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