Holding Antisemites Accountable.

Close this search box.

Muslim Professor Says American Muslims “Have an Antisemitism Problem”

A Muslim professor at Duke University tweeted out a viral thread on January 16 arguing that American Muslims need to have a “tough conversation” about the “increasing antisemitism problem” with their community.

Imam Abdullah Antepli, Associate Professor of the Practice of Interfaith Relations and Associate Professor of the Practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy, wrote that in light of the January 15 hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX, “we North American Muslims need to have the morally required tough conversations” about notable antisemitic comments from members of the community. As examples, he pointed to Representative Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) “It’s all about the Benjamins” remarks in 2019 and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) San Francisco head Zahra Billoo’s December comments that “Zionist synagogues” are the enemy. 

“We Muslims living 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 … but again we have to,” Antepli wrote. “I am really sick and tired of the over all [the] defensiveness and tribal nature of our reaction to this alarming internal problem. We are better than this! We can no longer pretend the problems of anti-Semitism within us does not exist. There are more urgent moral calls than ‘Let’s not bring shame to our already vulnerable communities.’” He added that not only is the problem “not going anywhere”; it is “getting worse.”


Antepli’s thread received plaudits on Twitter.

“Thank you Abdullah for having the courage to say what many will not,” Stop Antisemitism tweeted.


Sinai Temple Rabbi David Wolpe tweeted to Antepli, “Thank you. It is very tough to confront hatred in one’s own community – it takes courage and on this [Martin Luther King Jr.] day, we salute you.”

George Mason University Law Professor David Bernstein asked in a tweet, “Why doesn’t the media pay more attention to voices like [Antepli] instead of CAIR and the like?”

On January 15, a gunman, identified as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, held four people hostage in Congregation Beth Israel, including the synagogue’s rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker. All of the hostages escaped unharmed and Akram was killed. 

According to the hostages, Akram had held them hostage because he thought Jews would have the power to free Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently serving an 86-year life sentence for attempting to kill American soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan. Among those who have called for her release include CAIR and former Women’s March Inc. leader Linda Sarsour. CAIR has denounced the hostage crisis.