Cardinal McCarrick Defends ISNA at Durbin Hearing
One of the star witnesses of yesterday’s hearings on Muslim civil rights was Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C. Cardinal McCarrick drew a strong parallel between the history of Catholic assimilation into American society and the challenges facing Muslim Americans today:
I thought one of the most important parts of Cardinal McCarrick’s remarks was a small point that probably went largely unnoticed. At about the 6:00 mark of the video above, McCarrick describes the Catholic church’s commitment to interfaith dialogue and praises the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) as “trusted allies” who have spoken out with the U.S. Bishops “against violence and in defense of religious freedom.”
ISNA is a frequent target of attacks from anti-Islam conspiracy theorists who falsely believe that mainstream Muslim-American organizations are actively aiding and abetting terrorists and extremists. One of the sources of these baseless smears is Zuhdi Jasser, whose views were endorsed by Rep. Peter King when the Congressman invited Jasser to testify at his hearings last month.
Though Durbin’s hearings and invitation to Cardinal McCarrick weren’t a direct rebuttal to Jasser’s attacks, it’s always heartening to see a public endorsement of an organization like ISNA from one of the most respected figures in the American Catholic Church.