Muslim leader calls on community to confront anti-Semitism

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Muslim leader calls on community to confront anti-Semitism

A Duke University professor has demanded his fellow Muslims confront their own “increasing anti-Semitism” in the wake of the Texas synagogue hostage situation — pointing to a trope once used by Rep. Ilhan Omar as an example of an “alarming internal problem.”

Professor Abdullah Antepli, a founder of the Muslim Leadership Initiative, said the 10-hour hostage nightmare at a Texas synagogue Saturday forces the need for his community to have “morally required tough conversations.”

“HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!” Antepli tweeted Sunday.

“Without ands and buts, without any further denial, dismissal and or trivializing of the issues… we need to honestly discuss the increasing anti-Semitism within various Muslim communities,” he wrote.

“Yes, we Muslims living [in] North America undeniably have an increasing anti-Semitism problem and seemingly we have yet to even begin to address the issue honestly, morally and accurately,” he wrote.

Abdullah Antepli.
Abdullah Antepli is a founder of the Muslim Leadership Initiative.
Twitter/aantepli

“But again we have to,” he said, saying he was “really sick and tired of the over all defensiveness and tribal.”

“We can no longer pretend the problems of anti-Semitism within us does not exist,” he said, calling it an “alarming internal problem.”

“We are better than this!”

Antepli singled out Muslims using terms including “the Benjamins” — an anti-Semitic trope that Minnesota “Squad” member Omar used in 2019

The progressive lawmaker later apologized for using “anti-Semitic tropes,” insisting her “intention is never to offend” — but she has since been accused of other offensive messages.

Antepli — who did not single out Omar in his message — said that confronting such hatred was a “more urgent moral” call than worrying about the shame it would bring to his community.

SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue.
Abdullah Antepli called out Muslims using anti-Semitic terms including “the Benjamins,” which was once used by Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Andy Jacobsohn/AFP via Getty Images

He linked to a podcast interview he gave in December in which he said “the American Muslim community is being held hostage” by a small faction spreading hate and “further marginalizing American Islam.”

There is a deafening silence, no conversation,” he said.

His message came as President Biden confirmed that Saturday’s hostage crisis in Texas was terrorism.

Malik Faisal Akram.
Malik Faisal Akram held synagogue victims captive for 10 hours before being shot by FBI.

British gunman Malik Faisal Akram, 44, held the victims captive for 10 hours while demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist with suspected ties to al Qaeda who’s serving time at a federal prison in Texas, authorities said.

Akram was fatally shot by an FBI team after all four hostages were safely released from the synagogue.

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