Source:Â The GuardianÂ via Islam vs Europe
The Guardian’s recent interview with “Baroness” Warsi was very revealing of the Muslim mindset. In a speech she gave in January she objected to the term “moderate Muslim”.
And we should be careful about language around religious “moderates”.
..we need to stop talking about moderate Muslims, and instead talk about British Muslims.
And when it comes to extremism, we should be absolutely clear:
These people are extremists, plain and simple, because their behaviour has detached them from the thought process within their religion.
What she’s saying essentially is that “extremists” aren’t Muslims. She reiterates this view in the extract from the interview above. As soon as a Muslim does a bad thing, he ceases to be a Muslim and becomes, in Warsi’s view, merely a generic “extremist”.
Cheradenine Zakalwe has a lot more:Â Muslims Are Incapable.…
Marina Mahathir lies just as much:
Marina Mahathir is a Malaysian social activist and writer. And you may recognize her last name: she is also the oldest daughter of a certain Malaysian former prime minister, the man who is in many ways responsible for the ongoing Islamization of Malaysia, Doctor Mahathir bin Mohamad. In case you forgot, he is infamous for hisÂ virulent brand of antisemitismÂ and his remark as Malaysia’s prime minister during a 2003 Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting: that Jews “…run the world by proxy.” Marina has largely inherited his particular political outlook; she is always ready to utter any amount of cognitive dissonance in the service of Islam.Â From “Irrational Fears Abound”, by Marina Mahathir,Â The Star, 9 November 2011:
- Read the whole thing about the liarÂ Marina Mahathir
Bigotry, revisionism and Baroness Warsi
The co-chairman of Britain’s Conservative Party, Sayeeda Warsi, has delivered aspeechÂ about antisemitism to the European Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. I am sure that Baroness Warsi means well. I am sure that she is personally genuinely opposed to bigotry and prejudice in any form. I would therefore like to be able to say it was a fine speech. I cannot do so. Despite much in it that was worthy and unexceptionable, in one vital respect it was a travesty â€“ made no more palatable by the fact that many Jews subscribe to precisely the same lethally misguided misapprehension.
This revolves around the comforting but mistaken notion that Jews and Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder against the same threat by racists and bigots. It’s the argument that says ‘antisemitism = Islamophobia’. And it’s the claim that there is nothing intrinsically threatening to Jews within Islam.
All three notions are false. All three notions are promoted by many Jews. All three were to be found in Baroness Warsi’s speech.
‘The ugly strain of anti-Semitism found in some parts of the Muslim community arose in the late 20th century. The point is that there’s nothing in our history which suggests that hatred between Muslim and Jews is inevitable.’
This is total rubbish. Muslim persecution of the Jews started in the 7th century with the birth of Islam and has continued ever since. It is true that down through the decades persecution of the Jews by Christians was more savage and barbaric than by Muslims. It is also true that there were periods when Jews prospered under Muslim rule. But the so-called ‘golden age’ for Jews in Muslim lands was very short indeed. The true history is a general story of humiliation, persecution and pogroms.
The great medieval Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides, no less, was forced to flee his native Cordoba in Spain after it was conquered in 1148 by the Muslim Almohads, who gave the Jews a choice of conversion, death or exile. In hisÂ Epistle to the Jews of YemenÂ written in about 1172, Maimonides wrote of the news of compulsory conversion for the Jews in Yemen having ‘broken our backs’ and ‘astounded and dumbfounded the whole of our community’. The Arabs, he said, had ‘persecuted us severely and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us’. ‘Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase and hate us as much as they…’
Is there really ‘nothing which suggests that hatred between Muslim and Jews is inevitable’? This is what I wrote in my book,Â The World Turned Upside Down:
‘The Qur’an says Islam came before Judaism and Christianity, and was the faith practised by Abraham who was a Muslim. (3:67-68). It refers to Islam as the religion of Abraham many times (2:130, 135; 3:95; 4:125; 6:161.) It teaches that Jews and Christians corrupted their Scriptures so Allah sent a fresh revelation through Mohammed. This cancelled out Judaism and Christianity and brought people back to the one true religion of Islam that Abraham had practised.
‘After the Jews rejected Mohammed, the Qur’an says the Jews were cursed by Allah (5:78) who transformed them into monkeys and pigs as punishment (2:65, 5:60, 7:166). It accuses the Jews of corrupting their holy books and removing the parts that spoke of Mohammed (2:75, cf verses 76-79, 5:13). It says the Jews were the greatest enemies of Islam (5:82), that both they and the Christians want Muslims to convert (2:120), that the Jews start wars and cause trouble throughout the earth (5:64, cf verse 67) and even that they claim to have killed the Messiah (4:157).
‘As the historian of religion Professor Paul Merkley observes, the Qur’an declares that the whole of Jewish scripture from Genesis 15 onwards is full of lies…When the Jews refused to accept Islam, Mohammed denounced them as not people of faith. The outcome was the eradication of the Jewish-Arab tribe called the Banu Qurayza. Unable at first to break them, Mohammed entered into a truce with them which he broke, following which he slaughtered the entire Jewish population. Unlike the wars between tribes in the Hebrew Bible which remain merely a historical account with no practical application today, the eradication of the Banu Qurayza is constantly alluded to by the Islamists, for whom it remains an exemplary and timeless call to arms against precisely the same enemy and with similar tactics.’
Baroness Warsi said that Jews were currently targeted by the far left and the far right. So they are. But she omitted to say that they are also targeted by Muslims well beyond the groups she singled out — Muslims Against Crusades, Islam 4 UK and Al Muhajiroun. Obliquely, she refers to Muslim Judeophobes as
‘…religious fanatics. The people who claim faith drives them to acts of hatred…but who in reality are nothing more than bigots, who hijack their faith to justify their acts.’
But Muslim hatred of Jews, as Andrew Bostom notes most recentlyÂ here,Â is rooted in mainstream Koranic exegesis (someone should give Baroness Warsi for her birthday a copy of Bostom’s monumentalÂ The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, more than 600 pages of meticulously documented Islamic Jew-hatred in both the religion and its history).
‘Nothing which suggests that hatred between Muslim and Jews is inevitable’? The late Sheikh Tantawi, the Grand Mufti of Al Ahzar University in Cairo and the most prominent and influential cleric in the Sunni Muslim world, used passages from the Koran to depict Jews as enemies of God, his prophets and of Islam itself. As the US media monitoring group CAMERA hasÂ noted, Tantawi wrote:
‘Qur’an describes people of the Book in general terms, with negative attributes like their fanaticism in religion, following a false path. It describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e., killing the prophets of God, corrupting his words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their […] deep rooted lasciviousness.
‘Later, after quoting some from the Koran, Tantawi writes “This means that not all Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims; the bad ones do not.” (Legacy, page 394).
‘Matthias KÃ¼ntzel, author ofÂ Jihad and Jew Hatred: Islamism and the Roots of 9/11, provides some other detail aboutÂ Tantawi He writes that “Tantawi, the highest Sunni Muslim theologian, quotes Hitler’s remark in Mein Kampf that “in resisting the Jew, I am doing the work of the Lord.” KÃ¼ntzel continues: “He praisesThe Protocols of the Elders of Zion,Â noting without the slightest trace of sympathy that “after the publication of the Protocols in Russia, some 10,000 Jews were killed.”
‘Tantawi made a number of other troubling statements. For example, in 2002, TantawiÂ declaredÂ that Jews are “the enemies of Allah, descendents of apes and pigs.” The following year, Tantawi issued an edict declaring that Jews should no longer be described in such a manner, apparently under pressure from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
‘While Tantawi did condemn the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 he later affirmed terrorism against Israelis. In 2002, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI),Â reportedÂ that TantawiÂ “declared that martyrdom (suicide) operations and the killing of civilians are permitted acts and that more such attacks should be carried out. Tantawi’s positions were posted onÂ http://www.lailatalqadr.com/, a website associated with AlÂ Azhar.”’
To repeat â€“ Sheikh Tantawi was the most prominent religious authority in Sunni Islam. Does Baroness Warsi class him also as a bigot who hijacked Islam to justify his hatred?
Jews cannot stand shoulder to shoulder with Muslims against attacks by bigots because a disproportionate number of Muslims reportedly harbour or even act upon prejudice against Jews. Reports by the Community Security Trust over the years persistently suggest that, while most attacks on Jews are carried out by white people, between a quarter and a third of such attacks where the perpetrators’ appearance has been noted are carried out by people described as Asians or Arabs. Â Opinion polls have also shown that nearly two-fifths of Britain’s Muslims believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target ‘as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East’; that more than half believe that British Jews have ‘too much influence over the direction of UK foreign policy’; and that some 46 percent think that the Jewish community is ‘in league with Freemasons to control the media and politics.’
ThereÂ areÂ Muslims who truly abhor this hatred of Jews amongst their community — groups like Muslims for Israel, for example, who are true fighters against bigotry, and truly brave. But in order genuinely to condemn something, you have to call it out for what it is â€“ as do Muslims for Israel — openly and honestly. Those who condemn anti-Jewish hatred while refusing properly to identify its perpetrators are not in the business of fighting bigotry. They are doing something quite different â€“ to put it at its most charitable, trying to build bridges between communities in order to defeat hatred.
Of course, such bridge-building is in itself a noble aim. But if in the cause of building bridges between one community and another such people deny or sanitise the hatred of one of those communities for the other, they will inevitably, if inadvertently, end up strengthening that hatred â€“ especially if at the same time they damn those whoÂ doÂ tell the truth about this as bigots whose voices must therefore be silenced. Which is what, believe it or not, elements within the Jewish community are shamefully doing. And which is why it is perhaps not so surprising that Baroness Warsi is, shall we say, a trifle confused.
The worst Islamo-prop, ever:
The Exploring Islam Foundation (EIF), which organised the “Inspired by Muhammad” poster campaign last year (“I believe in women’s rights. So did Muhammad” etc), is launching a new initiative. “Missing Pages” â€“http://www.missingpages.co.uk/Â â€“ aims to “challenge the misconceptions surrounding the relationship between Muslims and Jews by highlighting historical good practice and examples of peaceful co-existence,” says the EIF.
“Islamic Asylum for Jews”
The campaign hopes to “shed light on largely unknown accounts of solidarity and compassion between Muslims and Jews. Through this we hope to build a greater bridge of understanding and harmony, and hope these stories will become a beacon of hope for our future.” Part of this will involve stories of Muslims aiding Jews during the Second World War, such as that of Dr Scarlett Epstein, who was saved from the Nazis by Albanian Muslims. Another element will be to highlight “Quranic and Prophetic principles of coexistence, shared heritage between Islam and Judaism”, and “messages of support from the leading members of the Muslim and Jewish communities, including the Chief Rabbi”.
No doubt there will be some who wish to dismiss the enterprise from the start. Is anti-Semitism not rife in the Muslim world? Yes, it is. Is it not true that if you hold an Israeli passport you cannot even enter some Muslim countries? Yes, sadly that is so. But what this new campaign might be able to help stress is just how recent this attitude is.
“The distinguished religious scholar Karen Armstrong”
Here is what the distinguished religious scholar Karen Armstrong had to say about it in Muhammad: a biography of the Prophet: “In the Islamic empire Jews like Christians had full religious liberty; the Jews lived there in peace until the creation of the State of Israel in our own century.” Indeed, this guarantee goes all the way back to 622, with Muhammad’s proclamation of the Constitution of Medina, which laid down the rights of the Arab and Jewish tribes of the city (then known as Yathrib).
Dhimmitude is a blessing:
In the last decade or so, however, many have claimed this supposed tolerance is merely a myth. Particularly pernicious has been the use of the word “dhimmi”, which refers to the status of Jews and Christians under the caliphate, but understood entirely through the negative prism associated with the writer Bat Ye’or, who popularised the term “dhimmitude” and who is also responsible for that other helpful word, “Eurabia”. (See here for a very sensible debunking of Bat Ye’or and her cheerleaders by Johann Hari in the Independent.)
You don’t want to be “protected” by the soldiers of Allah:
But the word “dhimmi” actually means “protected”. As Armstrong continues: “The Jews of Islam never suffered like the Jews of Christendom.” And it is not only her â€“ a figure, I am aware, considered to be an apologist for religion in general by some â€“ who argues that “anti-Semitism is a vice of Western Christianity not of Islam” and was “introduced into the Middle East at the end of the last century [the 19th, that is] by Christian missionaries and… usually scorned by the populace.”
The historian and renowned scholar of Islam, Bernard Lewis, agrees with her. When I interviewed him last summer Lewis told me he thought that “Jews in Islamic lands did have problems”, describing the attitude of the late Ottomans, for instance, towards them as being one of “amused contempt”. But, he said to me, “you would not call that anti-Semitic”. That, he concurred with Armstrong, is a view that came from Europe. And Lewis, by the way, is not only Jewish but is suspected in some quarters of being an ultra-Zionist responsible for inspiring American bellicosity in the Middle East. If that is so, why would he state that modern anti-Semitism in the Muslim word is not only a new phenomenon but one that came from the West?
“The same Abrahamic faith” Â crapola:
None of the above, of course, excuses the deplorable and widespread anti-Semitism in Muslim countries that does exist today. The Exploring Islam Foundation’s last campaign laudably tried to challenge non-Muslim perceptions of Islam in the UK. It is to be hoped that this one will open the eyes of Muslims who have forgotten that Christians and, in this case, most particularly Jews, are also “people of the Book”. If they, as members of the same Abrahamic faith family, do all believe in the one God, then enmity should be a very last resort, not the default position. There are better examples to follow than the warmongers and hate-spreaders on both sides of the Palestine-Israel conflict. A reminder of the centuries when greater harmony prevailed between Muslims and Jews is timely and useful, and for many may be the first they hear about a history of which they are not aware â€“ even though it is their own.
Back to reality: