ADL: Beck Comparing Reform Judaism To ‘Radicalized Islam’ Is ‘Bigoted Ignorance’

February 23, 2011 10:37 a.m.

Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League has responded to Glenn Beck’s comment on Tuesday which likened Reform Judaism to “radicalized Islam.” Foxman said in a statement Wednesday that Beck’s comments demonstrate his “bigoted ignorance.”On his radio show on Tuesday, Glenn Beck was talking about George Soros, as he often does, and about a group of progressive rabbis who have spoken out against Beck.

“When you talk about rabbis,” Beck said, “understand that most — most people who are not Jewish don’t understand that there are the Orthodox rabbis, and then there are the Reformed rabbis.”

Reformed rabbis are generally political in nature. It’s almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way, to where it is just — radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics. When you look at the Reform Judaism, it is more about politics.

Beck was quick to add “I’m not saying that they’re the same” and that “it’s not about terror or anything else, it’s about politics, and so it becomes more about politics than it does about faith. Orthodox rabbis — that is about faith.”

Foxman, the ADL’s National Director, was not convinced:

Glenn Beck’s comparison of Reform Judaism to radical Islam demonstrates his bigoted ignorance. Despite his feeble attempt to suggest that he was not equating Reform Judaism with Islamic extremist terrorism, the simple fact that he would mention them in the same breath is highly offensive and outrageous.

“To compare Reform Judaism,” Foxman continued, “which supports democratic institutions, to Islamic extremism, which supports anti-democratic movements and the repression of basic rights – including, for example, the denial of women’s rights – is beyond the pale.”

“Glenn Beck has no business discounting the faith of any people,” said Foxman.

Here’s the audio of Glenn Beck’s comments, via MediaMatters:

h/t Alex Pareene of Salon.

Late Update:

On his radio show on Thursday, Beck apologized for his earlier comments, calling his comparison of Reform Judaism and Islamic extremism “one of the worst analogies of all time.”

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