Misleading Headline On Immigration


The weekday shofar blowing during the month of Elul arouses Jews to teshuvah (repentance) and, of course, tzedakah (charity), two of the three pillars of avoiding a bad judgment on Yom Kippur, the third being tefillah (prayer).

“We Have Experienced Only Kindness” (Sept. 13) is a heartwarming headline and should stand alone without the negative of  “as Trump’s immigration policy continues to roil country.” There’s much to say about how President Trump is handling the immigration problem that has continued without solution over his and many past administrations.

The focus should be on the acts of kindness of all communities, particularly the Jewish community’s acts of kindness, to Muslim refugees from the scourge of war and atrocities, most of which has been perpetrated by their fellow Muslims and the internecine animosities from a centuries-old schism.

The headline, though, is most disturbing, as the article initially focuses on Fatima, a refugee from Afghanistan, who uttered those words in contradistinction to what her friends told her about Jews. Her friends, not indicated in this column but most likely fellow Afghanis, told her to “watch out for the Jews … they will try to convert you to their religion.”

Considering that the Jewish population of Afghanistan is currently one old man, Zablon Simintov, guarding the synagogue in Kabul, it would be impossible for them to learn their distrust for Jews from any interaction with Afghani Jews.

What is disturbing are the imams right here in the U.S. who openly preach hatred of Jews, and others, and most of these imams indeed are citizens.

The hatred by Fatima’s friends will never be addressed simply by her bearing witness contrary to their upbringing and what they learn in their school system, and this is not just in Afghanistan but throughout the whole Muslim world.

Sadly, HIAS and other Jewish organizations, while doing these wonderful  acts of “kindness,” will not change the attitudes of Fatima’s friends, but the mention of that issue is just as important as the reminder of our current immigration policy, yet the author totally neglected it.

Englewood, N.J.