We need civically engaged Muslims to tackle these issues from all fronts. We need organizers and activists, daring demonstrations and diplomatic dinners. We need Malcolm Xs and Martin Luther Kings, Pauli Murrays and Ella Bakers.
Attending a government iftar is not tantamount to endorsing the government itself. One can support America without supporting the American government, and indeed a hallmark of being an American is having the freedom to agree or disagree with policies as one likes.
As an eighth-generation rabbi whose father came to this country in 1938 to escape religious persecution, I applaud and am inspired by President Obama's remarks in support of the Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan.