By Vexen Crabtree 2017
Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia have the most oppressive and violent attitude towards Jews of all countries1. Likewise in Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey the Muslim public have horribly negative opinions of Jews2. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"3. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males4. The report summarized country-by-country events, including large rallies against Jews by hundreds of Muslims chanting "kill the Jews", and no end of other incidents. Throughout the West, violent anti-Semitism is correlated with Muslim immigration. After a series of saddening attacks against Jews by Muslim terrorists throughout Europe in recent years, the chief Rabbi of Brussels stated "there is no future for Jews in Europe" (Huffington Post, 2016)5. Given the precarious position of the Jews that remain in Muslim countries and the violence they endure there, many observers see this problem only getting worse.6
“Many present-day adherents of Islam are deeply antisemitic. As I have argued elsewhere, the anti-Jewish imagery that prevails in many parts of the Muslim, especially Arab Muslim, world, compares in rancor and extremity to the rantings of Der Sturmer and other Nazi periodicals. [...]
Two things can be said with confidence about the centuries in which Jews lived under Muslim domination in many lands. First, Jews generally fared better under Islam than under Christianity. Second, this is not saying much, as Muslim anti-Jewish prejudice and discrimination was often very unpleasant. It is a myth to say that Jews were treated well under Islam.”
The reference by Kressel to the Nazis is not the case of a critic of Islam taking his rhetoric too far; Muslims themselves explicitly cite Hitler as a good example of how to deal with Jews. Sam Harris picks up on an example:
“A recent contribution to Al-Akhbar, one of Cairo's mainstream newspapers suggests that the problem of Muslim anti-Semitism is [deep]..."Thanks to Hitler, of blessed memory, who on behalf of the Palestinians took revenge in advance, against the most vile criminals on the face of the Earth.... Although we do have a complaint against him, for his revenge was not enough."
This is from moderate Cairo, where Muslims drink alcohol, go to the movies, and watch belly dancing - and where the government actively represses fundamentalism. Clearly, hatred of the Jews is white-hot in the Muslim world.”
"The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason" by Sam Harris (2006)6
In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia published a report on violent anti-Jewish crimes in the EU. They found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males4. Because of this, the EUMC withheld publication of the report, but, it was later leaked. The report summarized country-by-country events, including large rallies against Jews by hundreds of Muslims chanting "kill the Jews", and a long list of other incidents. Throughout the West, violent anti-semitism is correlated with Muslim immigration. A series of saddening attacks against Jews in France by Muslim terrorists (as well as attacks throughout Europe) have seen hundreds murdered; the chief Rabbi of Brussels reacted by saying "there is no future for Jews in Europe"5.
“Since 2000, anti-Semitism in France has been epidemic. Synagogues have been burned down, schools vandalized, shops attacked, rabbis beaten, children assaulted, school buses shot at, [...]. At Muslim demonstrations shouts of "Death to the Jews" have become common. [For example in 2004] an assailant shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Great") stabbed another seventeen-year-old Jewish boy in the chest in another suburb of Paris [as he left a Jewish school].”
"While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within" by Bruce Bawer (2006)8
“Flushed with victory Muhammad [... hardened his] attitudes towards the Jewish tribes of the region, who kept their faith and reject Muhammad as a prophet of God. With this rejection, Muhammad's prophetic calls to Jews began to get violent, emphasizing earthly punishment. Striding into the center of the marketplace of the Banu Qaynuqa, a Jewish tribe with whom he had a truce, he announced to the crowds, 'O Jews, beware lest God bring upon you the vengeance that He brought upon Quraysh and become Muslims.' [... they didn't convert so] he laid siege on them until they offered him unconditional surrender.
Even then Muhammad's anger was not assuaged. He found a new focus for it in a Jewish poet, K'ab bin Al-Ashraf [... A volunteer, Muhammad bin Maslama, was to kill him. He asked] for permission to lie in order to deceive K'ab bin Al-Ashraf into walking into an ambush. The Prophet granted him this permission. [...] After the murder of K'ab, Muhammad issued a blanket command: 'Kill any Jew that falls into your power.' This was not a military order: The first victim was a Jewish merchant, Ibn Sunayna, who had 'social and business relations' with the Muslims.”
The Qur'an isn't completely unambiguous in its suppression of Jews; as 'people of the book' they are given some limited manouvering space to live their lives, which is better than is given to non-monotheists such as atheists or polytheists. It says in Qur'an 5:12-13 that Jews have abandoned parts of God's message so they are cursed and that their hearts are made hard. All but a few Jews are deceitful. But Muslims are to forgive them and overlook their misdeeds. So the Qur'an is teaching that Jews are nearly all liars, but, that us humans aren't to do anything about it. It is a shame that this particular verse isn't given much credence by extremists and that Muslim moderates seem unable to curb the violence of extremists.
One particular piece of Christian literature propagates the idea that there is a global conspiracy of Jews, working against Muslims, that is the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, known to historians as a forgery but taken deadly seriously by educational and Islamic institutions in the Middle East and elsewhere6.
In the modern world it is Israel that forms the bulk of the debate and it is the connection to Israel that forms much of the hatred of Muslims towards Jews. There are a few voices in the Muslim point that try to focus anti-Jewish sentiment purely on Israel, to make Muslims anti-Zionist (a political stance) rather than racist10. Bearing this out is the statistics: outside of the Middle East, Muslim anti-Jewish racism is not as bad11. Nonetheless, there are still a great many Muslims (including highly educated and the powerful) who base anti-semitism squarely on Islamic scriptural foundation.
Current edition: 2017 Jan 02
Parent page: Islam: A Critical Look at Contemporary Issues
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Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.
(2006) While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within. Paperback book. Published by Broadway Books.
(2006) The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. Paperback book. 2006 edition. Published in UK by The Great Free Press, 2005.
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