by Hillel Zaremba*
While it is all well and good to encourage the commonalities that unite Americans of all faiths, it is equally important to inquire into the bona fides of organizations that only claim to promote tolerance. Philadelphia presents a sorry but enlightening example of how groups whose agendas directly challenge American values get a free pass from the interfaith establishment due largely to the firmly held belief that “diverse” (and disquieting) viewpoints must be respected — as long as they are Muslim.
A prime example of this is the Mayor’s Office of Faith Based Initiatives (MOFI), “the primary liaison between the Office of the Mayor and Philadelphia’s diverse communities of faith and their leaders.” Despite being provided with evidence of the U.S. government’s case against one of its partners, the terror-linkedCouncil on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the office’s interim director, Reverend Malcolm Byrd, declared: “We will engage with CAIR. … We don’t have to endorse you to work with you.” After reviewing the evidence, MOFI decided to maintain the relationship.