Here is a topical one: the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt inter alia has said that he’ll register as a Muslim if the Trump administration goes the route of such a requirement. [Most unlikely, IMO.] But Rabbi Gil Student questions whether this is permissible: http://www.torahmusings.com/2016/11/may-jew-register-national-muslim-registry/.
As you know, I’m a fan of Rabbi Student, but I’m not sure whether he really gets to grip with the question in this instance: would adding one’s name to a registry of Muslims really be pretending to be a Muslim? After all, one home visit from the authorities would quickly reveal the truth. What would you say?
All the best,
Fascinating question, Stefan
It seems to me that Rabbi Student’s objection is to showing solidarity with Muslims, at the price of devaluing one’s own Jewish identity. I think you are right that one is not actually masquerading as a Muslim in doing so, but nevertheless allowing one’s self to be counted as a Muslim for demographic or other purposes. I also find this distasteful.
This is especially so for a Jewish leader, who is symbolically announcing that social and political liberalism is more important to him and more essential to his identity and value system than is Judaism itself. Of course he may claim (and even believe) that political liberalism is itself integral to and inseparable from Judaism. I don’t think Rabbi Student would agree with this, and neither do I.
There are surely ways of supporting religious liberty in the USA which do not involve the derogation of one’s own faith.
Rabbi Rashi Simon