In Solidarity with Muslim Americans

Yesterday, I was honored to hear Secretary Hillary Clinton speak about terrorism, security, and our responsibilities to our neighbors, especially Muslims.

The even bigger and more significant honor was listening to her speak while sitting next to my friend and colleague, Imam Hamdy El-Sawaf. When Secretary Clinton spoke of Muslim children being targeted for violence, being afraid to go to school for fear of what might happen to them for being Muslim, Hamdy put his face in his hands and wept.

“Those are my children,” he cried. “Those are my children.”

At that moment, my heart shattered.

There have been moments in our lives as Jews when our children were targets of anti-Semitic hatred and violence, when we were politically powerless to stop it. That era is over.

As Jews, we must use our political and social power to rise in defiance of fear and speak out for Muslim children here in Minneapolis, in Minnesota, throughout the world. Every child is our child. Every act of cowardice and hatred toward them is our collective responsibility.

As Rabbi Heschel (z”l) preached, “Some are guilty. All are responsible.”

We may not be able to stop every ignorant comment, every act of malice towards our Muslim sisters and brothers. But I’ll be damned if I don’t try.

To do any less compromises our integrity and our humanity.