[A] Jew [is] of that most contemptible of religions, the most vile of faiths…They, both the ancient and modern [Jews], are altogether the worst liars…They are the filthiest and vilest of peoples, their unbelief horrid, their ignorance abominable.
I recalled those words (above) from my The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism in the aftermath of French Muslim jihadist Mehdi Nemmouche’s arrest for the brutal jihad carnage Saturday, May 24, 2014, at the Brussels Jewish Museum. Today, June 6, 2014, a fourth victim, critically injured during the attack, died from their wounds.
Nemmouche—who had joined the anti-Assad regime jihad in Syria— recorded a celebratory video which displayed the weapons he used for the attack (unwrapped from within a white sheet scrawled with the name of the jihadist group, “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”), identified him as the killer of the Jews, and proclaimed his desire to lay waste to Brussels.
We also learned that Nemmouche, a recidivist criminal, during the last 2 years of a 5-year prison term before sojourning in Syria, was kept isolated because of his aggressive Islamic proselytism. He grew a beard, donned a djellaba (characteristic North African Muslim robe), and performed the five Muslim prayers a day. Nemmouche had no apparent interest in television while imprisoned until jihadist Muhammad Merah went on his killing spree—including, notably, March 19, 2012 in Toulouse, at the Ozar Hatorah day school, where Merah shot dead Rabbi Yonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Aryeh, 6, and Gabriel, 3, as well as Miriam Monsonego, 7, while critically wounding Brian Aaron Bijaoui, 15, who was protecting other pupils. Jubilant at Merah’s murderous exploits, Nemmouche asked for a television set in his cell. When the Merah affair ended, Nemmouche told prison officials to remove the TV.
Consistent with the debased, cultural relativist Pavlovian conditioning about Islam which prevails throughout Europe, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve opined that pious Muslim Nemmouche’s lethal rampage, targeting Jews, had “nothing to do with Islam.” World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, addressing the media after commemorative prayers for the slain Jews in Brussels, suggested ruefully—if perversely—that somehow Nemmouche’s jihadist executions revealed a lack of understanding about The Holocaust, and pleaded for more education on the subject:
I understand more and more that the lessons of the Holocaust are not being taught because too often people say, “Well, how about the Palestinians?” They’re all difficult problems, but the Holocaust was something very, very special, special here in Belgium and special throughout Europe. And I think it’s important that this whole thing starts with education.
Even Ivan Riafoul, an exceedingly rare, but far more honest French commentator, willing to acknowledge some inculpatory role for Islam, asserted only “radical Islam” was responsible for “this new anti-semitism,” which had allegedly just materialized “since the year 2000.”
Past as prologue, the opening quotes I cited—within their appropriate doctrinal and historical context—underscore this pervasive modern ignorance (and/or denial) about the millennial legacy of canonical Islamic Jew-hatred, and jihadism, in Europe. Ibn Hazm (d. 1064), an important Muslim jurist, and Abu Ishaq el-Biri, a prominent mid-11th century Muslim poet, made the opening observations about Jews, while residing in mythically “ecumenical,” Muslim-controlled Spain. Their inflammatory rhetoric, particularly the Koranic epithet “ape” for Jews, was common parlance, which ultimately precipitated the mass slaughter and destruction of the Jewish community in Granada, during a 1066 pogrom by rampaging Muslims. It is estimated that up to four thousand Jews perished. This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. A contemporary chronicle written by sultan Abd Allah (who became Sultan of Granada in 1073) confirms that a breach in the humiliating and discriminatory Sharia-based system of dhimmitude for non-Muslims, including Jews, also contributed to this outburst of anti-Jewish jihad violence by the Muslims of Granada:
Both the common people and the nobles were disgusted by the cunning of the Jews, the notorious changes they had brought in the order of things, and the positions they occupied in violation of their pact [i.e., the dhimma, per Koran 9:29, imposed by jihad]. Allah decreed their destruction on Saturday 10 Safar 459 (December 31, 1066). . . . The Jew [Joseph Ibn Naghrela; communal leader] fled into the interior of the palace, but the mob pursued him there, seized him, and killed him. They then put every Jew in the city to the sword and took vast quantities of their property.
Willful negation of this living legacy of “sacralized” Muslim bigotry and bellicosity—an acute physical threat to Europe’s beleaguered (and preparing for flight) Jewish minority—is symptomatic of what has been wrought by the ugly “Eurabian” transformation of the continent.
The use of the term “Eurabia,” as noted by historian Bat Ye’or, was first introduced, triumphantly, in the mid-1970s, as the title of a journal (i.e., Eurabia) produced by the Association for Franco-Arab Solidarity, and published in Geneva, Paris, and London. The articles and editorials in this publication called for common Euro-Arab positions, at every level—social, economic, and commercial—and were contingent upon the fundamental political condition of European support for the Arab (and non-Arab) Muslim umma’s jihad against Israel. These concrete proposals were not the musings of isolated theorists—they in fact represented policy decisions conceived in conjunction with, and actualized by, European state leaders, their ministers of foreign affairs, and European Parliamentarians.
Ten years ago (in 2004), Bat Ye’or summarized the bitter harvest western Europe was reaping from the sociopolitical and cultural changes it had sown over the intervening three decades, the result,
of a global movement that is transforming Europe into a new continent of dhimmitude within a worldwide strategy of jihad and da’wa, the latter being the pacific method of Islamization . . . this policy of dhimmitude* for the Euro-Arabian continent . . . entitled “Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Region” was accepted by the European Union in December 2003. Unfortunately, the policy of “Dialogue” with the Arab League nations, willfully pursued by Europe for the past three decades, has promoted European dhimmitude* and rabid Judeophobia.
*(Note: dhimmitude illustrated—Cover art for the Report by the High-Level Advisory Group established at the initiative of the President of the European Commission, “Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Region,” Brussels, October 2003, As the report observed, “The orientation of this map corresponds to the world view of the Arab cartographers [i.e., Idrisi, from 1154 C.E.] of the Middle Ages”—that is, reinforcing Islamic jihad supremacism, and reversing the true geographical orientation of the Mediterranean Sea, with the North African Mediterranean littoral on top of the Southern European Mediterranean littoral.)
And rabid Judeophobia, i.e., Jew-hatred, per Bat Ye’or’s 2004 assessment, is an apposite characterization.
Two reports published in 2011 highlighted the antisemitic attitudes being broadly inculcated among European Muslim youth. Belgian Professor of Sociology Mark Elchardus co-authored a 426 pp. analysis of views within the young Belgian Muslim community, primarily, 12-18 year olds. Professor Elchardus summarized his findings in two lay press interviews (here; here), as follows:
[H]alf of the Muslim pupils can be describe as antisemitic, which is very high. Worse is that that anti-Jewish feelings have nothing to do with a low level of education or social deprivation, as is the case with native-born racists. The antisemitism among the Muslim youths is theologically inspired, and there is a direct link between Islam and antisemitic feelings… The sole relevant factor is Muslim traditionalism…There are few progressive [non-traditionalist]Muslims. For every 8 progressive Muslims, one finds 100 conservatives [traditionalists].
Elchardus added, with regard to Belgian Muslim community educational and advocacy organizations,
Muslim organizations are meant to play a major role in the integration of Muslims in society. It is regrettable that none of these organizations condemn anti-Semitism…Nor did any of them [Muslim organizations] announce that they would provide informal education for the Muslim youngsters who have these prejudices. In short: Muslim organizations either denied our studies’ findings, or remained silent about them.
The majority voiced some or strong antisemitic feelings. They openly express their negative viewpoints toward Jews. This is often done with aggression and sometimes includes intentions to carry out antisemitic acts. They usually do not differentiate at all between Jews and Israelis. Their view of the Middle East conflict can be used by them as a justification of a general, hostile attitude toward Jews including German, French and English Jews. They often claim that Jews have stolen Palestinian-Arab or alternatively, Muslim land. This is a major contention for them to delegitimize the State of Israel. The expression “Jews kill children” is also heard frequently. It is a supportive argument for their opinion that Israel is fundamentally evil. As they do not make any distinction between Israelis and Jews in general, this becomes further proof for the “vicious character” of Jews. It also makes them very emotive. The assumption of a general or even eternal enmity between Muslims and Jews is widespread.
Antisemitism may be strengthened further by referring to a general negative attitude by the Muslim community toward Jews. References to the Koran or the Hadith may also be used with the implication that Allah agrees with this viewpoint.
Indeed, Islam’s canonical texts—the Koran itself (see here), and the “traditions” of Islam’s prophet Muhammad (the hadith, and sira; see here)—are redolent with Islamic Jew-hatred. This hateful material was catalogued—and extolled—by the late Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who served as the Grand Imam of Sunni Islam’s Vatican, Cairo’s Al Azhar University, for 14 years, from 1996, till his death in March 2010. Tantawi’s “academic” magnum opus, a 700 page treatise entitled, “Jews in the Koran and the Traditions”, includes this summary Koranic rationalization for Muslim Jew-hatred:
[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [see Koran 2:61/ 3:112 ], [and see al-Azhar Sheikh Saqr’s contemporary Koranic citations, “Jews’ 20 Bad Traits As Described in the Qur’an”] 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…only a minority of the Jews keep their word…[A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113 ], the bad ones do not.
More ominously, Tantawi’s exhaustive modern analysis of Islam’s defining, canonical sources concluded by sanctioning these bigoted—even violent—Muslim behaviors towards Jews:
[T]he Jews always remain maleficent deniers….they should desist from their negative denial…some Jews went way overboard in their denying hostility, so gentle persuasion can do no good with them, so use force with them and treat them in the way you see as effective in ridding them of their evil. One may go so far as to ban their religion, their persons, their wealth, and their villages.
Tantawi’s successor, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, has publicly reiterated this sacralized, Jew-hating bigotry. During an interview with Al-Tayeb, which aired on Channel 1, Egyptian TV, October 25, 2013, he gave a brief explanation of the ongoing relevance of the Koranic verse 5:82 which has been invoked—“successfully”—to inspire Muslim hatred of Jews since the advent of Islam:
A verse in the Koran explains the Muslims’ relations with the Jews…This is an historical perspective, which has not changed to this day. See how we suffer today from global Zionism and Judaism…Since the inception of Islam 1,400 years ago, we have been suffering from Jewish and Zionist interference in Muslim affairs. This is a cause of great distress for the Muslims. The Koran said it and history has proven it: “You shall find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews…”
The impact of such sacralized, mainstream Islamic Jew-hatred on Western Europe’s burgeoning Muslim community has been readily apparent. During February of 2008, then European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security, Franco Frattini, the European Union (EU) official responsible “for combating racism and Antisemitism in Europe,” revealed that Muslims were responsible for fully half (50%) of the documented Antisemitic incidents on the European continent. Demographic data from 2007 indicated that the total number of Europeans then was 494.8 million; estimates of the number of Muslims in Europe ranged from 15-20 million, or some ~3.0-4.0% of the total European population. Thus, on a population percentage basis, Muslims in Europe at that time already accounted for roughly 24.0 to 32.3 times the number of Antisemitic incidents as their non-Muslim European counterparts! An even greater statistical disparity, i.e., Muslim far greater than non-Muslim, would have been evident then—and now—if comparisons were limited to severely injurious or murderous acts of antisemitic violence.
These 2007/2008 data were in turn consistent with previous findings from 2006 on the excess prevalence of frank Antisemitism reported amongst European Muslims, published in The Journal of Conflict Resolution by Yale University biostatistician Dr. Edward H. Kaplan, and Dr. Charles A. Small of the Yale Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism. (“Anti-Israel Sentiment Predicts Antisemitism in Europe,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2006, Vol. 50, pp. 548-561.)
Drs. Kaplan and Small examined the views of 5004 Europeans, roughly 500 individuals sampled from each of 10 Western European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). The authors’ main publicized results confirmed their (rather commonsensical) a priori hypothesis: anti-Israel sentiments strongly and independently predicted the likelihood that an individual was Antisemitic in a graded manner, i.e., the more anti-Israel (on a scale of zero to 4), the more a person was likely to be Antisemitic.
But a much more striking and relevant finding by Kaplan and Small, given the burgeoning Jew hatred evident in Europe’s Muslim communities, received far less attention: in a controlled comparison to European Christians (as the “referent” group), European Muslims were nearly eightfold (i.e., 800%) more likely to be overtly Antisemitic. (“Anti-Israel Sentiment Predicts Antisemitism in Europe,” p. 557 and Table 3, p. 558.) Furthermore, in light of the Pew Global Attitudes Project data on Muslim attitudes toward Jews in Islamic countries, the Yale study likely underestimated the extent of Antisemitism amongst Europe’s Muslim communities, had more poorly educated, less acclimated European Muslims been sampled. Pew’s earlier international survey indicated (“The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other,” Pew Global Attitudes Project, June 22, 2006.),
In the Muslim world, attitudes toward Jews remain starkly negative, including virtually unanimous unfavorable ratings of 98% in Jordan and 97% in Egypt.
A month prior to the murderous jihadist attack on Brussels Jewry, May 24th, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France [UOIF], the French branch of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (led by Yusuf al Qaradawi) held its 31st annual conference in Le Bourget, north of Paris, between April 18-21. Professor Guy Milliere provided an overview of the proceedings:
As usual, jihadist and antisemitic books, which are banned in French bookstores but tolerated there, were offered in several booths. As usual also, speakers were invited to deliver fiery speeches.
Keynote speaker Hani Ramadan, intimately tied, like his better known brother, Tariq, to the Muslim Brotherhood, gave an address,
devoted to “global threats” facing Islam; he described them as having a single source: “the Jews and Zionist barbarism,” an octopus “hiding in the shadows,” a “power that holds the global finance and the media.” He called on young French Muslims to “fight for Islam” and to go to Syria, where several hundred French youths have already joined jihadist groups.
Milliere concluded, aptly:
If UOIF had only a marginal influence, such statements would be already worrying. But UOIF is the leading French Muslim organization, and Hani Ramadan’s speech, like Tariq Ramadan’s speeches in 2012 and 2013, was listened to by an audience of 150,000 enthusiastic people, and viewed by hundred of thousands of others on UOIF-TV, the digital television channel established by the UOIF.
Shortly before Mehdi Nemmouche’s apprehension, Tariq Ramadan speculated on his Facebook page that the Brussels Jewish Museum attack was perhaps a justifiable killing of “Israeli agents.” Ramadan’s invocation of thinly-veiled, anti-Jewish conspiracism was accompanied by a torrent of approving, if explicitly Jew-hating comments from his Muslim admirers, who (oblivious to their own hatred) denounced the alleged “stigmatization of Muslims.” None of this raw bigotry was challenged by Tariq Ramadan.
Speaking at a reception to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day, May 26, 2014, Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman, emerged as the lone European leader willing to identify and condemn, without equivocation, the jihadist, Jew-hating Islamic ideology responsible for the Brussels Jewish Museum carnage. Clearly not lost on President Zeman is the related hypocrisy of the European Union’s Eurabian mindset which recognizes the newly spatchcocked Hamas-Fatah “unity government.” Citing the Hamas Covenant—a document rife with canonical Islamic Jew-hatred and jihadism, from beginning to end—Zeman observed:
There was a hideous assassination in the flower of Europe in the heart of the European Union in a Jewish museum in Brussels. I will not let myself being calmed down by the declaration that there are only tiny fringe groups behind it… [L]et me quote one of their sacred texts to support this statement: “A tree says, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. A stone says, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” [from, Sahih Muslim, Book 041, #6985] Do we really want to pretend that this is an extreme viewpoint? Do we really want to be politically correct and say that everyone is nice and only a small group of extremists and fundamentalists is committing such crimes?
Zeman courageously shattered a rigidly enforced European taboo which proscribes elucidating the direct nexus between canonical Islam, and the jihadist depredations against European Jewry. But Zeman’s singular clarity also stands as a bitter reminder of how this requisite discourse is so glaringly absent across Europe cum Eurabia, and why conditions for Jews will continue to deteriorate as the Islamic onslaught continues virtually unopposed.
[Correction: Yonathan Sandler—shot dead by Merah—was a teacher, not a rabbi.]