Interview segment from Janet Mefferd Today, 2/20/19, here: (37:23-47:40)
[Janet Mefferd]: We are back on Janet Mefferd Today. Well, as we know, Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was rightly criticized for her recent antisemitic remarks. But after she made them, Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro interviewed a woman named Qanta Ahmed, a British-American Muslim physician, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, who wrote an oped calling Omar an anti-Semite, in not so many words. This is part of what she [Ahmed] had to say though [via Fox News, 2/16/19]:
[Ahmed]: “We must address this encroachment of being in bed with Islamism and empowering antisemitism, which is against every American value.”
[Judge Jeanine]: “And it’s against our Judeo-Christian ethics.”
[Ahmed]: “And it is profoundly against Islam.”
[Judge Jeanine]: “Yes!”
[Ahmed, continuing]: “Which reveres the Torah, and Judaism.”
[Judge Jeanine]: “And you and I understand when you say, ‘Islamist’ there is a political ideology, versus the Muslim religion.”
[Mefferd]: All right. Well what’s interesting about that claim is that it does not line up with what mainstream Islam actually teaches. We’re gonna get some words on this now from Dr. Andrew Bostom, an Islamic scholar, and the author of The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism. He’s just written a piece about this over at PJ Media, and so good to have you here Dr. Bostom. How are you?
[Bostom]: Thanks you very much for having me. I’m actually quite disturbed by this because what you just showed [played audio from 35:14-35-37] is the official narrative—forget about the mainstream media, Left-leaning media etc.—The parameters were just set by Qanta Ahmed and unfortunately Judge Pirro and Fox News. And you expand [conservative] network out to Mark Levin’s conservative network, all the other [conservative] outlets. Where Qanta Ahmed was plucked up by Jeanine Pirro was from her oped, where she [Ahmed] elaborated on what you just played in more detail, and that was published in The Daily Caller. The point is that we now have to accept that there is this new construct—this is sort of a revised version of “Islamism.” “Islamism” is no longer something that we can relate directly to Islam in any way whatsoever. We’ve now morphed into something where “Islamism” is really a creature of totalitarian ideologies that are completely divorced from Islam, like Communism, perhaps Nazism. And if we want to see the embodiment of who [this] “Islamism” is, you will repeatedly now see Jeremy Corbyn, the very Antisemitic, very Left wing, Communist-leaning Labor Party guy [leader, sadly] from Great Britain. In other words, he is effectively—I have now come to call him the de facto “Grand Imam” of this new construct of See-No-Islam “Islamism.” And of course this is just a travesty because we are never gonna get at what is driving what is really a pandemic [of Muslim Jew-hatred]. Actually, if I could just digress, because we often miss out on this, on the scope of the problem of Muslim Antisemitism, much of which is violent, but is rooted in attitudes. The ADL [Anti-Defamation League], to its credit—[although] it doesn’t act on its own data—but it certainly collects it—they did these incredible surveys in 2014, updated in 2015, across the world, and into the Muslim diaspora populations. Fifty percent of the world’s Muslims harbor the most intense [Jew-hating] animus. So they [the ADL] had eleven criteria for Antisemitic stereotypes and if you had six or more of these eleven, you were considered to be an extreme Antisemite. And the rates [of this extreme Jew-hatred] among Muslims are two to threefold higher than among any other faith group—Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, or those that are atheistic, that profess no religion. Fifty percent of the world’s Muslims have this [i.e., abiding ≥ 6/11 of the Jew-hating stereotypes] scaled value which puts them in the extreme range. Of course the rates are astronomical in the Middle East, and North Africa, 75%; over 90%, obviously in Gaza and Judea-Samaria, and 74 to 75% in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. But the same scale was applied to Western European Muslims Janet. Fifty-five percent shared this level of Jew-hatred. And sort of complementary data, independent of the ADL, were gathered by European investigators. They were given access to this [ADL] data, they [European investigators] knew these studies were brewing, and they went more specifically [in their own studies] into the [Muslim] attitudes. And they were very clear in Western Europe that “the level of Antisemitism rises with the level of Islamic religiosity,” and so-called “fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.” And, “Muslim respondents high level of religiosity was therefore a key factor in explaining the high level of Antisemitism among Muslims.”
[Janet Mefferd, interjecting]: “Goodness!”
[Bostom] The data couldn’t be clearer. So what are these themes which Qanta Ahmed is negating or really in a shameless way, re-inventing? She elaborated on that statement you read in her oped. She said the “reality” is that, “Islam reveres Judaism, the Torah, Moses and the Jewish people as legitimate believers, and Jerusalem as belonging only to the Jews—all documented within the Quran. The Quran’s truths will go unknown in the shadow of Muslim congresswomen spewing Antisemitism and all Muslims will be thus branded Antisemites.”
Well, excuse me. This is a complete negation of reality. The Koran is rife with Antisemitism. The traditional interpretations by the greatest Koranic scholars both from the classical period of Islam, and through modern history, are very, very explicit about that [see here; and here]. Because there are too many examples [of this Koranic Jew-hatred and re-affirming exegesis], I’ll give you one. The opening of the Koran [i.e., the “Fatiha”] is this short sura (chapter; i.e., 1) that was spatchcocked on to the main body of the Koran, and Muslims repeat this 17 times a day in their required 5 prayer sessions, and the subdivisions of those prayer sessions. It [this sura, 1] is called “The Opening,” or the “Fatiha”. It is very short [ 7 verses]. The 7th verse of this talks about those who have engendered Allah’s anger, and [those who have] gone astray. Muhammad himself took care of the allusions in this. He said [Tirmidhi: Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3954] that those who have incurred God’s [Allah’s] wrath are the Jews, and the misguided are the Christians. I have analyzed all the classical [Koranic] exegesis on this one verse, again, repeated 17 times a day. And, lo and behold, in 2006, I discovered that there’s something called, The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia. This is a mainstream academic text. It’s [written] by Muslims and non-Muslims that are in the academy, and it’s published by Routledge. Here is their summary of this [the text and its exegesis, with annotation]: “…[T]he phrase in the daily prescribed prayers ‘Guide us to the straight path, to the path of those you have blessed, not of those who incurred [Your] wrath, nor of the misguided (al-Fatiha, 1:5-7.)’…mention two groups of people but do not say who they are. The Prophet [Muhammad] interpreted those who incurred God’s wrath as the Jews and the misguided as the Christians [Tirmidhi: Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3954]. The Jews, we are told killed many of their prophets [see Koran 2:91 and 4:155; and in the traditions, Sunni and Shiite, the Jews are accused of a conspiratorial poisoning of Muhammad that caused his death, while the Shiite traditions claim Jews are further responsible for the deaths of Ali and his son Husayn], and through their character and materialistic tendencies [usurious 2:275, 4:161; greedy/hedonistic 2:96; envious 2:109; hard-hearted 2:74; liars 2:78] have contributed much to moral corruption social upheaval and sedition in the world [Koran 5:32–33; 5:64] …[T]hey were readily misled [3:24] and incurred both Allah’s wrath and ignominy [2:61; 2:90; 3:112].”
So to clarify again, what I’m reading from Janet, is the The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia—a standard academic text written by people that are surely/probably not of my political persuasion, or your political persuasion. They are mainstream academics, both Muslims, and non-Muslims. That is the summary exegesis or interpretation of a verse that opens up prayer sessions, and is repeated by pious Muslims 17 times a day.
[Bostom]: I don’t know. I think that has to be considered a possibility. I think it could also be—which is equally offensive—that she’s being brought on as an expert, and she’s actually quite clueless. That would be the more benign interpretation of this. I don’t really understand how you could be someone who is actually a respected physician, apart from this subject matter. It would have to be a sort of willful blindness, at this point. The interpretations that I just reviewed for you, unfortunately, are not only known to academics. The leading teaching institution in the Muslim world, certainly the Sunni Muslim world, is Al-Azhar University. And we’ve gone through this in the past, that the last two Grand Imams [of Al-Azhar, i.e., Sunni Islam’s Papl equivalents] the second to last [being] Tantawi, who died in 2010, he wrote a 700 pp. treatise [“Jews in the Koran and the Traditions”], glorifying the Antisemitic themes, some of which I just touched upon, in the Koran and traditions of Muhammad. That [700 pp. treatise] was actually his ticket to stardom.
[Janet Mefferd]: That’s incredible. Well we’re unfortunately out of time but you can read Dr. Andrew Bostom’s piece over at PJ Media, “Debunking Qanta Ahmed’s Corrosive Claim, ‘Antisemitism is Profoundly Against Islam’”. Thank you so much Dr. Bostom.
[Bostom]: Thank you, Janet!