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Reform Rabbi Rejects Members' of Congress Dangerous Witch Hunt


Saperstein: "The Reform Movement, and I personally, have worked with Ms. Abedin, Imam Magid and ISNA for many years. All have worked on behalf of U.S. interests at home and abroad, built relationships across religious lines and affirmed U.S. constitutional values."

Contact: Sean Thibault or Katharine Nasielski
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington D.C. July 17, 2012 - In response to allegations made by Rep. Michele Bachmann and four other House members of foreign terrorist influence over U.S. government officials, religious leaders and religiously-affiliated organizations, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

I am deeply troubled by the allegations made by Rep. Michele Bachmann and other Members of Congress in letters to the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense and State, asserting that respected government officials and religious organizations are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. The letters assert that Huma Abedin, Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary Clinton, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and ISNA President Imam Mohammed Magid, are all connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, posing a potential security risk to the United States.

The Reform Movement, and I personally, have worked with Ms. Abedin, Imam Magid and ISNA for many years. All have worked on behalf of U.S. interests at home and abroad, built relationships across religious lines and affirmed U.S. constitutional values.

These letters reflect a general pattern of Islamophobia that touches too many areas of our society. Allegations such as these by Members of Congress add legitimacy to this distressing trend. I hope that Rep. Bachmann and the other signatories will either produce credible evidence that substantiates their claims or withdraw them and do no further damage to the level of public discourse through the dissemination of unsubstantiated and harmful claims.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.



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