The “holy” Koranic imagery of Jews shared by Arab and non-Arab Muslims, children and adults, alike.
Friday night 3/11/11 in Itamar, Samaria, parents, Udi, 36, and Ruth Fogel, 35, as well as three of their six children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and the 3-month old infant Hadas, were all brutally stabbed to death. The infant Hadas was in fact decapitated. Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, terrorist wing of the Fatah faction headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, claimed responsibility for the savage attack, characterizing it as a “heroic operation.”
… that the Palestinian Authority stop the incitement that is conducted on a daily basis in their schools, mosques and the media under their control. The time has come to stop this double-talk in which the Palestinian Authority outwardly talks peace, and allows – and sometimes leads – incitement at home.
But Netanyahu failed to break a universally imposed, self-destructive taboo. He refused to identify the ubiquitous, if unnamed raw material for Palestinian Muslim “incitement”— the jihad and Jew-hating motifs from Islam’s mainstream, orthodox canon.
For the past 90 years, Palestinian Arab Muslim religious and political leaders, beginning with the founders of this jihadist movement, Hajj Amin el-Husseini and Izzad-Din al-Qassam, have imbued their rhetoric, unabashedly with the extensive jihadism and Jew-hatred—including apocalyptic, annihilationist themes—featured in Islam’s foundational texts: the Koran, hadith (words and deeds of Islam’s prophet Muhammad), and sira (the earliest pious Muslim biographers of Muhammad).
Sheikh Tayseer al-Tamimi, who currently heads the Palestinian Authority’s Sharia (Islamic Law) Courts, in 1994, then chairman of the PA’s Islamic Law Council, stated,
The Jews are destined to be persecuted, humiliated, and tortured forever, and it is a Muslim duty to see to it that they reap their due. No petty arguments must be allowed to divide us. Where Hitler failed, we must succeed.
Hamas cleric Wael Al-Zarad during a television program which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on February 28, 2008 intoned the following about the Jews of Israel: “By Allah, if each and every Arab spat on them, they would drown in Arab spit.” Wael Al-Zarad’s seemingly hallucinatory statement also included this allegation,
From the dome of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, they proclaim that Ezra the Scribe is the son of God.
The reference to Ezra is actually a false, intentionally defamatory Koranic accusation (Koran 9:30) against Jews, citing a claim which Jews, in fact, have never made.
But the crux of Al-Zarad’s remarks explained that the Muslims’ blood vengeance against the Jews, “will only subside with their [the Jews] annihilation, Allah willing, because they tried to kill our Prophet several times.”
These allegations are part of a central antisemitic motif in the Koran which decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61/ reiterated at 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah. And Koran 3:112 is featured before the pre-amble to Hamas’ foundational Covenant—it is literally part of the very first statement of the document. [Here is the Arberry translation of 3:112: “Abasement shall be pitched on them, wherever they are come upon, except they be in a bond of God, and a bond of the people; they will be laden with the burden of God’s anger, and poverty shall be pitched on them; that, because they disbelieved in God’s signs, and slew the Prophets without right; that, for that they acted rebelliously and were transgressors.”]
This central motif is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or simply apes, (i.e. verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been “…cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). The Muslim prophet Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith (Sunan Abu Dawoud, Book 37, Number 4322). And the related verse, 5:64, accuses the Jews—as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did in a January 2007 speech, citing Koran 5:64—of being “spreaders of war and corruption,” a sort of ancient Koranic antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The centrality of the Jews’ permanent “abasement and humiliation,” and being “laden with God’s anger” in the corpus of Muslim exegetic literature on Koran 2:61/3:112, is clear. By nature deceitful and treacherous, the Jews rejected Allah’s signs and prophets, including Isa, the Muslim Jesus. Classical Koranic commentators when discussing Koran 5:82, which includes the statement (“Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews..”), concur on the unique animus of the Jews towards the Muslims, which is repeatedly linked to the curse of Koran 2:61/3:112. The canonical hadith update this curse with perfect archetypal logic: following the Muslims’ initial conquest of the Jewish farming oasis of Khaybar, one of the vanquished Jewesses—acting in a prototype “Jewish conspiracy”—reportedly served Muhammad poisoned mutton (or goat), which resulted, ultimately, in his protracted, agonizing death.
Indeed the Koran’s overall discussion of the Jews is marked by a litany of their sins and punishments, as if part of a divine indictment, conviction, and punishment process. The Jews’ ultimate sin and punishment are made clear: they are the devil’s minions (4:60) cursed by Allah, their faces will be obliterated (4:47), and if they do not accept the true faith of Islam-the Jews who understand their faith become Muslims (3:113)-they will be made into apes (2:65/ 7:166), or apes and swine (5:60), and burn in the Hellfires (4:55, 5:29, 98:6, and 58:14-19).
Thus within two centuries of Islam’s advent, prominent Muslim scholars and theologians in Baghdad (then seat of the Abbasid Caliphate) reported the abiding animus of the Muslim masses toward the Jews engendered by these Antisemitic motifs—a hostility which exceeded the Muslims’ enmity toward the infidel Christians.
Salah al-Khalidi (fl. late 20th century) makes plain how the Koranic motifs of Jew-hatred are interpreted by Hamas in a manner that is entirely consistent with classical exegeses. Extracts (translated from the original Arabic by Dr. Michael Schub in my The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism) are provided below from Khalidi’s major work Haqa’iq Koraniyya al Qadiyya al-Filastinniya [“Koranic Facts Regarding the Palestinian Issue”] which was first published in 1991 by the Hamas Publishing House Manshūrāt Filastin al-Muslima, and translated into Urdu, Hindi, Turkish, Russian, and English (formerly available online at www.assabeel.com) due to its international popularity.
Humiliation is attached to the Jews for their entire lifetime: they were humiliated in Egypt, and when they arrived in [sic] Palestine, and when they were exiled from Palestine, and when they dispersed into the valleys of the earth. What concerns us here-in our discussion of the Jewish character-is to indicate that this humiliation is to be considered as an inveterate Jewish character trait, and a destructive Jewish perversion. Humiliation is one of their historical attributes, a fixed fact of their existence, and a qaa`ida, basis of their life… (Koran 2:61) The Jews are humiliated because they disbelieved in God, killed His prophets, disobeyed His emissaries, transgressed His prohibitions-all of this is humiliation. They are humiliated-and this is why they search out lustful indulgences, and have become their slaves. All of this is humiliation.
It is impossible that the Jews could not be cursed. How could they not be accursed when they are attributed with such degenerate inveterate character traits, twenty of which we have demonstrated above. (Note: Khalidi earlier states, ‘We have extracted from Koran twenty Jewish traits. The Jews are: liars, perverters (of the Text), envious, tricky, fickle, mercurial, sardonic, treacherous, in error, causing others to be in error, merchants, fools, humiliated, dastards, misers, avid for (this) life, disloyal to their firm contracts, rush into sinful aggression, concealers of true evidence, corrupters in the earth, and obstructors in God’s path.’ For specific Koranic citations confirming his litany see here). They are worthy of eternal curse because of the villainous traits they display and the corrupt evils they have perpetrated.
The Jews are in a condition of mal`ana, i.e. everyone pours out curses on them; God has cursed them, the angels have cursed them, their prophets have cursed them, the good people among them have cursed them, and everyone has cursed them. They are deserving of this eternal and continual damnation until the day of resurrection when they will encounter God’s wrath, fury, and punishment. They were accordingly exiled from God’s mercy, and kept afar from His goodness.
Many Koranic verses were revealed emphasizing…the judgment upon them of cursed damnation, and exile from His mercy, e.g. Koran 5:13: “For breaking their covenant, We curse them, and have made their hearts hard.” And Koran 5:60…And Koran 5:64…And Koran 5:78…
The recent annihilationist sentiments regarding Jews, as expressed by Hamas cleric al-Zarad, are also rooted in Islamic eschatology [end of times theology], and incorporated permanently into the foundational 1988 Hamas Covenant. As characterized in the hadith (the words, deeds, and even unspoken gestures of Muhammad as ostensibly recorded by his earliest pious Muslim companions), Muslim eschatology highlights the Jews’ supreme hostility to Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl — the Muslim equivalent of the Anti-Christ — or according to another tradition, the Dajjâl is himself Jewish. At his appearance, other traditions maintain that the Dajjâl will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan wrapped in their robes, and armed with polished sabers, their heads covered with a sort of veil. When the Dajjâl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered- everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree, as per the canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985) included in the 1988 Hamas Covenant (in article 7). This hadith is cited in the Covenant as a sacralized, obligatory call for a Muslim genocide of the Jews:
…the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985)
Jihad is the other pillar of Hamas’ foundational Jew-annihilationist ideology featured in the 1988 Covenant. Once again, this is already suggested in the opening statement before the preamble which includes the following quote by Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood: “Israel will exist, and will continue to exist, until Islam abolishes it, as it abolished that which was before it.” Hamas, it should be noted, claims to be a wing of the International Muslim Brotherhood. Article 2 of the Hamas Charter, for example, states: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organisation which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times.”
But the body of the Hamas Covenant includes unequivocal statements of Hamas’ irredentist commitment to the annihilation of Israel via jihad. Jihad martyrdom is lauded in article 8 “the Hamas slogan,” (in fact borrowed from the 1928 Charter of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood), which states, “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its Constitution; Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” Article 13 makes plain that Hamas’ jihadism is completely incompatible with any meaningful Middle East peace settlement:
Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that…There is no solution to the Palestinian question except by Jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and International Conferences are a waste of time and vain endeavors.
And article 15 (subtitled, “Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine is a Personal Duty”) elucidates classical jihadist theory, as well as its practical modern application to the destruction of Israel by jihad:
The day the enemies conquer some part of the Muslim land, jihad becomes a personal duty of every Muslim. In the face of the Jewish occupation of Palestine, it is necessary to raise the banner of jihad. This requires the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses, locally [in Palestine], in the Arab world and in the Islamic world. It is necessary to instill the spirit of jihad in the nation, engage the enemies and join the ranks of the jihad fighters. The indoctrination campaign must involve ulama, educators, teachers and information and media experts, as well as all intellectuals, especially the young people and the sheikhs of Islamic movements…
It is necessary to establish in the minds of all the Muslim generations that the Palestinian issue is a religious issue, and that it must be dealt with as such, for [Palestine] contains Islamic holy places, [namely] the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is inseparably connected, for as long as heaven and earth shall endure, to the holy mosque of Mecca through the Prophet’s nocturnal journey [from the mosque of Mecca to the Al-Aqsa mosque] and through his ascension to heaven thence. “Being stationed on the frontier for the sake of Allah for one day is better than this [entire] world and everything in it; and the place taken up in paradise by the [horseman’s] whip of any one of you [jihad fighters] is better than this [entire] world and everything in it. Every evening [operation] and morning [operation] performed by Muslims for the sake of Allah is better than this [entire] world and everything in it.” (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja). “By the name of Him who holds Muhammad’s soul in His hand, I wish to launch an attack for the sake of Allah and be killed and attack again and be killed and attack again and be killed.” (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim)
The rise of Jewish nationalism—Zionism—posed a predictable, if completely unacceptable challenge to the Islamic order—jihad-imposed chronic dhimmitude for Jews—of apocalyptic magnitude. As historian Bat Ye’or has explained,
…because divine will dooms Jews to wandering and misery [pace Koran 17:4–5/ 7:168; and 2:61/3:112], the Jewish state appears to Muslims as an unbearable affront and a sin against Allah. Therefore it must be destroyed by Jihad.
This is exactly the Islamic context in which the widespread, “resurgent” use of Jew annihilationist apocalyptic motifs, would be an anticipated, even commonplace occurrence. And for more than six decades, promoters of modern jihad genocide have consistently invoked Islam’s Jew-exterminating eschatology. Hajj Amin el-Husseini, ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, and Muslim jihadist, who became, additionally, a full-fledged Nazi collaborator and ideologue in his endeavors to abort a Jewish homeland, and destroy world Jewry, composed a 1943 recruitment pamphlet (see Jennie Lebel’s 2007 biography of the Mufti , pp. 311-319) for Balkan Muslims entitled, “Islam and the Jews.” This incendiary document hinged upon antisemitic motifs from the Koran (for example, 5:82), and the hadith (including Muhammad’s alleged poisoning by a Khaybar Jewess), and concluded with the apocalyptic canonical hadith describing the Jews’ annihilation.
Forty-five years later the same hadith was incorporated into the 1988 Hamas Covenant, making clear the jihad terrorist organization had its own aspirations for Jew annihilation.
Unfortunately, the orthodox Islamic archetypes of Jew hatred promulgated by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, are also being disseminated by the most respected, mainstream Islamic institutions. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who served as Grand Imam of Al Azhar University from 1996 till his death in March 2010, wrote these words in his 700 page treatise rationalizing Muslim Jew hatred, [Jews in the Koran and the Traditions], originally published in 1968/69, and then re-issued in 1986:
[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [Koran 2:61/ 3:112], 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.
These were the expressed, “carefully researched” views on Jews held by the nearest Muslim equivalent to a Pope-the head of the most prestigious center of Muslim learning in Sunni Islam, which represents some 90% of the world’s Muslims. And Sheikh Tantawi never mollified such hatemongering beliefs after becoming the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar as his statements on “dialogue” (January 1998) with Jews, the Jews as “enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs” (April 2002), and the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews (April 2002) make clear. Tantawi’s statements on dialogue, which were issued shortly after he met with the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Israel Meir Lau, in Cairo, on December 15, 1997, provided him another opportunity to re-affirm his ongoing commitment to the views expressed about Jews in his Ph.D. thesis.
…anyone who avoids meeting with the enemies in order to counter their dubious claims and stick fingers into their eyes, is a coward. My stance stems from Allah’s book [the Koran], more than one-third of which deals with the Jews…[I] wrote a dissertation dealing with them [the Jews], all their false claims and their punishment by Allah. I still believe in everything written in that dissertation. [i.e., Jews in the Koran and the Traditions, cited above]
Nearly 15-years later, the same Rabbi Lau, with some 20,000 other mourners in attendance, provided a moving eulogy at the Jerusalem funeral for the victims of the jihadist carnage at Itamar.
Let us hope that Rabbi Lau, and perhaps more importantly politicians of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stature, will both acknowledge and denounce the living legacy of mainstream Islam’s theological anti-Jewish animus. The annihilationist Jew-hatred such odious doctrine engenders was graphically illustrated at Itamar. Fomented by contemporary Islam’s clerical and political leadership, this “sacralized” hatred must not be ignored any longer.
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