Newsletter #84 – How Far Should Tolerance Stretch?


On August 3, Nashville Rabbi Mark Schiftan’s opinion piece “Tolerance is a Tradition of Many Faiths” appeared in The Tennessean.   He reminds us to love our neighbor as we would love ourselves, and to welcome the stranger, as they were native born and asks,  “what would Jesus do?” “what would Moses do?”

Well first off, they probably wouldn’t call the citizens who want their local zoning laws followed, names like xenophobes and haters.  Also, Jesus and Moses would have been willing to at least look at all the objective evidence giving rise to concerns before dismissing the questioners out of hand.  

Jesus and Moses tended to go to the source for their information rather than do as the Rabbi did, taking his “facts” from The Tennessean’s headlines.  Jesus and Moses, devoted to truth as they were, might also have noted that the defense in the Holy Land Foundation trial conceded that the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood Plan for North America, the goal of which was to replace the Constitution with Sharia law.  And being the fact nitpickers they were, they would have also noted the 2009 federal court holding that there was “ample evidence” connecting the unindicted co-conspirator CAIR, to Hamas.

While the Rabbi at least shows some awareness of a group called the Muslim Brotherhood, he doesn’t seem to notice that freedom seeking Muslims in Egypt don’t want the Muslim Brotherhood running their countries because that means sharia law would be the rule of law.  Is it because pro-democracy Egyptians are as intolerant of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law as the opponents of the Murfreesboro mosque?

Read about what happened with the Bridgeview Mosque and then judge them.  But remember, Jesus said, “judge not lest you be judged.”

While loving their neighbor, Jesus and Moses would have at least acknowledged the victims of 9-11, Little Rock jihadist Carlos Bledsoe, Ft. Hood “Soldier of Allah” Nidal Hassan, and the Boston Marathon bombing.  Who knows, they might even disagree with the rabbi and consider that there actually is a “credible threat” in post 9-11 United States. 

They might have even questioned whether the Islamists killing people posed a “clear and present danger.” 

The admonishing Rabbi Schiftan only asked what Jesus and Moses would do.  Doesn’t he think that Mohammed might have something to contribute?  Is he suggesting that Islam is not a faith tradition of tolerance?  Is he afraid to criticize Islam?  Is that why he sticks to the easy targets of Jews and Christians?

Here’s what the tolerant religious Muslim leaders living in the United States have to say:

Sheikh Yasir Qadhi from Memphis Islamic Center (with whom the Rabbi co-signed the Clergy for Tolerance letter) who calls Christians “filthy” among other things.

Islamic Center of Tennessee Imam Abdullah Al Ansari  said:   “He [Allah] told us to fight the Jews and Christians. Fight them until they give jizya.  They give this protective tax from their hands and they are humiliated and subdued.”

Siraj Wahhaj who recently spoke at the radical Islamic Center of Tennessee.  His preaching includes “Islam is better than democracy. Allah will cause his deen [Islam as a complete way of life], Islam to prevail over every kind of system, and you know what? It will happen.”  “If only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.”  And the Muslim kids LOVE him!  Especially the ones who have no interest in assimilating:


Imam Zaid Shakira periodic visitor brought to Nashville by the radical Islamic Center of Nashville.   Shakir’s message is that if Islam rules, “[t]he Christian or the Jew will be a dhimmi [second-class citizen].  They won’t be equal with the Muslim.”


So are we to understand that Rabbi Schiftan means tolerance of the intolerant is the only alternative for Jews and Christians?  That being ‘nice’ to those who hate you and want to rule over you is better than the rule of morals and ethics from laws of Moses and the gospel of Christ?  Is it fear that keeps him from even mentioning the word, Islam?  Either Rabbi Schiftan is overwhelmingly ignorant of the doctrine of Islam, in denial, or a deceiver.  But no matter what his state of mind, he should read the Quran and study the Sunnah of Mohammed. 

Then he can talk about tolerance.