Textbook Islamic Antisemitism

Yesterday, 6/3/08, The American Thinker published an essay of mine which highlights how the main Antisemitic motifs in the Koran, hadith, and sira are expounded in contemporary Islamic school textbooks, including those used in the US

 

Here are the key findings:

 

Arnon Groiss’ thorough examination of modern Egyptian school textbooks, published in April, 2004, reveals that this sacralized hatred continues to be inculcated among future generations of Egyptian Muslims. Groiss observed, regarding the critical depiction of Muhammad’s interactions with the Jews of Arabia,

 

The Jews are stereotyped and presented in a prejudiced manner, and the themes of treachery and hostility on the part of the Jews toward the Muslims are present here…

 

Once again, in this context Koran 5:82 (“Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews..”)  is invoked to remind these students, what “God Almighty says about the Jews’ hatred toward the Muslims.”

 

And a 3-month long NY Daily News investigation of textbooks widely used in New York city area Islamic schools published March 30, 2003, demonstrated that the same Antisemitic archetypes-based on central motifs in the Koran, hadith, and sira-are being taught to American Muslim students. The report provided these examples:

 

In Long Island City, Queens, for example, fifth- and sixth-graders at the Ideal Islamic School on 12th St. learn that Allah has revealed [pace Koran 2:61/3:112] that “the Jews killed their own prophets and disobeyed Allah.”…Yet a third book, in use at the Ideal school, describes the hostile relations between Jews and the [Muslim prophet]

 

Muhammad in Medina in the 7th century. “The reasons for Jewish hostility lies in their general characteristics,” the book says. Numerous Koranic citations follow with negative references to Jews – for example, “You will ever find them deceitful, except for a few of them.” [3:71; 4:46]

 

On Jewish hostility to Islam: “The reasons for Jewish hostility toward the Muslims of 7th century Medina lies in their general characteristics described in the Koran.” Example: “You will find the most implacable of men in their enmity to the faithful are the Jews and the pagans.” [Koran 5:82; from a textbook “The Messenger of Allah,” p. 34; targeting Grades 6-9]

 

Finally a review of textbooks from the Islamic Saudi Academy of Fairfax, VA published in October 2007 by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, concluded, according to commissioner Nina Shea, that they contain “…blatant Antisemitism, blaming the Jews even for divisions within Islam..” The latter charge is an allegation made continuously for over a millennium since the earliest Sunni historiographies (for example by al-Tabari, d. 923) that a renegade Yemenite Jew, Abdallah b. Saba, is responsible-identified as a Jew-for promoting the Shi’ite heresy and fomenting the rebellion and internal strife associated with this primary breach in Islam’s “political innocence,” culminating in the assassination of the third Rightly Guided Caliph Uthman, and the bitter, lasting legacy of Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian strife.

 

When questioned for the March, 30 2003 NY Daily News story on New York area Islamic school textbooks, Yahiya Emerick, head of a Queens-based nonprofit curriculum development project for the Islamic Foundation of North America, defended the language in these books, denying they were inflammatory. Emerick opined,

 

Islam, like any belief system, believes its program is better than others. I don’t feel embarrassed to say that…[The books] are directed to kids in a Muslim educational environment. They must learn and appreciate there are differences between what they have and what other religions teach. It’s telling kids that we have our own tradition.

 

Emerick’s triumphant denial at once affirms standard Islamic theological supremacism, while deliberately ignoring Islam’s intrinsic, virulent Antisemitism-the latter denial being pathognomonic of the mindset of its Jewish victims, past and present.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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