When widespread criticism arose from President Barack Obama’s gratuitous lecturing of Muslims at a White House iftar, about Israel’s right to defend itself as unarmed civilians in Gaza died by the hundreds, it signalled a generational shift in Muslim American leadership.
This year’s White House iftar could have proceeded uneventfully like the many others preceding it. A group of Muslim individuals are hand-picked by government bureaucrats who reward them for good behaviour.
Such good behaviour can range from withholding public criticism of flawed government policy, diffusing community anger over abusive practices, or persuading the community that the adverse impacts of national security law enforcement are not based on bad intentions and thus should be tolerated. The reward for good behaviour is getting re-invited the following year and having access to government meetings that leave much to be desired in terms of changing policies.