Why now?


Why is this business about Hamas and the Islamic Society of North America re-surfacing just as Ingrid Mattson, the ISNA president, is about to speak at the inaugural?

It was bruited about enough during the campaign – and the one event in the interim, a conviction, doesn’t change much. Unindicted co-conspirator means just that – the feds couldn’t get/didn’t seek a conviction. And the events under examination preceded Ingrid Mattson’s involvement literally by a decade or so.

This is beginning to smack of the same obstinacy epitomized by those British dopes who, whenever the term "terrorist" comes up, say, "Yes, but wasn’t your own Yitzhak Shamir a terrorist? Raw-thuh." Lehi, then, Likud, now. Ummmm….no. Cognitive dissonance.

Mattson has made outreach to Jews a signifier of her leadership of the group. She’s got the whole Reform movement and the ADL on board. Enough already.

UPDATE: Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding weighs in in an email:

I was honored to have the opportunity to share the platform with Dr. Mattson at an interfaith gathering at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver and to host her at my own New York Synagogue.  Dr. Mattson has been a valued partner in an ongoing effort to build ties of communication and cooperation between Muslims and Jews in North America. Even during difficult times, such as the present conflict in the Middle East, Dr. Mattson has made clear that while Muslims and Jews may not agree on all aspects of the conflict, we must continue to strengthen our relationship for the benefit of both our communities and American and Canadian societies as a whole.

I am proud to call Dr. Mattson a valued friend who represents American values at their best. As we begin a new era of unity and hope in America, there is no one who is more appropriate to speak at the inaugural prayer service than Dr. Ingrid Mattson.

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