[Note: Text of my 10-minute talk in Nashville TN, Thursday Feb 27, 2020, during a Proclaiming Justice to The Nations, Panel on Antisemitism, at The National Religious Broadcasters Convention.]
Islamic Law, Sharia, per Koran 9:29—the 9th sura or chapter, the 29th verse—mandates waging jihad war to submit Jews and Christians to a humiliating status of religious discrimination, and legal inequality, if they do not accept the true faith, i.e., Islam.
Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
But Islam also singles the Jews out, uniquely, for opprobrium, as is evident in the 7th verse of the Koran’s first chapter, called the “fatiha,” or “opening,” which pious Muslims repeat 17- times daily. This verse refers to those who have “incurred Allah’s anger”, and both a tradition of Islam’s prophet Muhammad himself, and over 13 centuries of authoritative Koranic commentaries, till now, maintain this reference is to the Jews. Why have they engendered Allah’s anger? Here is a 1940 summary “rationale” by the great scholar of Islam’s anti-Jewish polemic Moshe Perlmann, from a chapter entitled, “Jews in the Koran and Traditions” (which mirrors a 1966 work by Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, modern Sunni Islam’s greatest Koranic commentator, and Papal equivalent Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s Vatican, from 1996 to 2010, also entitled, “Jews in the Koran and Traditions”):
[Koran] …[T]he Jews transgressed Allah’s commandments and flouted the prophets, and even slew them (3:181).Therefore many punishments fell upon them (2:61); e.g., some of them were turned into apes for desecrating the sabbath (2:65; 7:166; 5:60 claims “apes & pigs”)… The believers [Muslims] will find that they [the Jews] are their fiercest enemies (5:82)…Therefore, after they had rejected many friendly overtures (2:59; 5:81), it was decided that they must be fought against, made tributaries, and compelled to pay the poll-tax, as a mark of their humiliation (9:29)…
[Traditions] …[T]hey did not shrink from plotting, practicing sorcery and poisoning (including Muhammad himself), until they were finally crushed and driven out of Arabia. The Jews extended their hatred of the Prophet to all Muslims …They became, in a way, the incarnation of evil. No wonder that, when the world comes to an end, and when Dajjal (Muslim Antichrist figure) threatens to destroy those of the true faith, the Jews will be betrayed in their hiding-places even by the crying of the rock: “Here is a Jew behind me. Kill him.””
The discrimination shared by Jews and Christians under deliberately abasing Sharia mandates is what historian Bat Ye’or called “dhimmitude”—which derives from Koran 9:29’s “dhimma” pact of submission which spared the lives of Jews and Christians who did not convert to Islam. She stated,
“For me, as a Jew, this insight into Christian dhimmitude represented an intellectual experience that was not easy to undertake. This was not the domineering face of European Christendom, persecuting and triumphant, but the discovery of its persecuted, humiliated, and suffering other side. In short, Eastern Christianity’s history of dhimmitude under Islam is a sort of ‘Jewish experience’—endured this time by Christians.”
What was that “Jewish experience,” past as prologue, shaped by both the broader Islamic institution of dhimmitude, and Islam’s own unique canonical Islamic Jew-hatred, derived from the Koran itself, the traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad (the “hadith”), and the earliest pious Muslim biographies of Muhammad (or “sira”)?
Mythically “tolerant” Muslim Spain, “Andalusia”, before the Reconquista—in fact a land of continuous jihad, with strict application of the Sharia for both Christians and Jews— illustrates clearly the simultaneous Jewish experience of dhimmitude, and theological Islamic Jew-hatred.
Moshe Perlmann described how inflammatory rhetoric rooted in canonical Islam—including “profuse” usage of the Koranic epithet “ape” for Jews—declared, according to the sira, by Muhammad himself before he slaughtered the surrendered males of the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza—and the notion Jews had breached the Koranic dhimma pact of submission, through their “cunning”—precipitated the mass slaughter and destruction of the Jewish community in Granada, during a 1066 pogrom by rampaging Muslims. It is estimated that four thousand Jews perished, annihilating the entire community, and making it the largest anti-Jewish pogrom, till then, in European history. Eight decades later, the Jewish sage Maimonides barely survived the Berber Muslim Almohad jihad ravages of Spain and North Africa which slaughtered tens of thousands, forcibly converted the Jewish survivors to Islam, and subjected these forced Jewish converts to a Muslim Inquisition which lasted through the close of the 12th century. Maimonides in his 1172 “Epistle to the Jews of Yemen”—who wrote to the sage as they were suffering from a wave of anti-Jewish pogroms and forced conversions to Islam—urged them to remain steadfast, while lamenting,
“The nation of Ishmael…persecute us severely and devise ways to harm us and to debase us…None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us.”
Today, the grotesque myth of Islamic tolerance of Jews, in particular, persists, even as we are in the midst of a global pandemic of Muslim Antisemitism and Anti-Jewish violence. This violent hatred is driven by the same unreformed and unrepentant canonical Islamic themes Perlmann described in the 1940s—which date to the advent of Islam—as promulgated, now, by Islam’s most authoritative religious teaching institutions, Sunni and Shiite alike.
Analyses from the ADL published between 2014 to Nov. 21, 2019, which determined the prevalence (occurrence) of “extreme antisemitism”—i.e., agreement with at least 6/11 antisemitic stereotypes, have demonstrated:
–The 16 most Antisemitic countries in the world are all in the Muslim Middle East, where extreme Antisemitism has a 74 to 93% prevalence.
–Extreme Antisemitism is 50-55% prevalent among Western European Muslims, i.e., ~3-fold the rate of Western European Christians, or non-Muslims overall.
–Extreme Antisemitism in the U.S., a much more philosemitic country, has a 34% prevalence among Muslims, 2.4-fold the 14% rate in non-Muslims
This excess of Muslim Jew-hatred is accompanied not only by endless jihad violence against Israeli Jews (450-500 thwarted attacks per year in 2018, and 2019; additionally, thousands of rocket barrages), but 3- to 10-fold increased rates of anti-Jewish violence, or violent threats, against Western European Jews, by Muslims, relative to violence from the Left, or Right, and 23 Muslim jihadist attacks against American Jews since 9/11, 16 of which were thwarted, thankfully, but 7 that were completed, resulting in 8 deaths and 8 serious injuries—the most recent being Muslim convert Grafton Thomas’s attack on a Monsey, New York synagogue, December 28, 2019, during a Chanukah candle lighting ceremony.
Current Al-Azhar University Grand Imam, and Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent, Ahmad al-Tayeb, during an October, 2013 interview, re-affirmed, authoritatively, the canonical Islamic animus which fuels this global orgy of Muslim Jew-hatred, and violence. Riveting on Koran 5:82, al-Tayeb stated brazenly:
“A verse in the Koran explains the Muslims’ relations with the Jews…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. The Koran (5:82) said it and history has proven it: ‘You shall find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews…’”
850 years ago Maimonides stated with the understandable resignation of a subjugated Jewish dhimmi in Islamdom:
“We have done as our sages of blessed memory instructed us, bearing the lies and absurdities of Ishmael. We listen, but remain silent…In spite of all this, we are not spared from the ferocity of their wickedness, and their outbursts at any time. On the contrary, the more we suffer and choose to conciliate them, the more they choose to act belligerently toward us.”
It is unconscionable that today, due to sheer cowardice, Jewish and Christian leadership refuses to condemn the canonical Islamic Jew-hatred proclaimed by Grand Imam al-Tayeb, and thousands of lesser Muslim clerics, worldwide.