Rocky Mountain Low—Teaching Koranic Jew-Hatred to Muslim Children in Colorado

One would have hoped the brutal October 7th jihad carnage of Jews in southern Israel—animated by Hamas’ genocidal Jew-hatred—would beget at least transient denunciations of Hamas, and its Islamic ideology, from the largest swath of the American Muslim community. Collective reactions from U.S Muslims on the street, at universities, and now even more chillingly, a Colorado mosque teaching impressionable Muslim children, have extinguished that pipe dream.

Just over 2-weeks after the grisly massacre of some 1400 primarily non-combatant Israeli Jews—3-months to 90 years old, including the beheading, stabbing, and burning of children and infants—Imam Umar Mitchell of Masjid Umar Ibn Al-Khattab in Aurora, Colorado taught a Koranic lesson to children at the Colorado Muslims Community Center, October 22, 2023.  The good Imam outlined for his young audience central indelible, pejorative characteristics of the Jews as depicted in the Koran. He intoned that the Jews are inveterate liars (Koran 2:10; 3:75)  who never abide their contracts and covenants (2:61; 3:112; 4:155; 5:13), murdered their prophets (2:61; 3:112; 3:181; 4:155), and even attempted to murder Jesus (actually “Isa,” a decidedly non-Christian “Muslim Jesus,” 4:157). Imam Mitchell also recounted the Koranic story of Jewish fishermen who were allegedly transformed by Allah into “literal physical monkeys” for fishing on Saturday (2;65; but elaborated in 7:163, 7:164; 7;165; 7:166; verse 5:60 refers to the Jews as “apes and pigs”). He further insisted that Israel consistently defeats the Palestinians because the Jews deceive Palestinians into trusting them. The imam added: “It is not hate speech for you to be aware of these things.” This accurate, if depressing litany of negative, eternal Koranic depictions of Jews was interspersed by Imam Mitchell garnering the following predictable responses from his “successfully” indoctrinated young audience:

[Mitchell] “So I’m going to ask you: If this is the group of people who broke their rules with Allah, should you trust these people today?”

[Children]: “No!”

[Mitchell]: “Does this sound like good worshippers?”

[Children]: “No!”

[Mitchell]: “He (Allah) made them into monkeys. Literal physical monkeys. Monkeys. Does this sound like a people you want to do business with?”

[Children]: “No!”

Absent any mention, let alone denunciation of Hamas’ very recent abhorrent actions, Imam Mitchell concluded that not all Jews are as despicable as their portrayal in the Koran, but consistent with Koran 3:113, he asserted only “a couple of them” aren’t.

The overarching tragedy is that imam Mitchell’s Koranic interpretations, as taught to Colorado children, comport with both authoritative classical and modern glosses on the same Koranic verses, as well as formal modern pedagogy about them.

Since the end of the 12th century C.E., Al Azhar University (and its mosque) have represented the apogee of Sunni Islamic religious education, which evolved into the de facto Vatican of Sunni IslamImam Mitchell’s brief presentation to children was validated, for example, by the former head of Al-Azhar’s religious edict, or “fatwa” committee, Sheikh Atiyyah Saqr. In 2004, Sheikh Saqr published “Jews’ 20 Bad Traits As Described in the Koran,”  which provided Koranic verse citations accusing the Jews of: fabricating; listening to lies; disputing and quarreling; hiding the truth and supporting deception; rebelling against the prophets and rejecting their guidance; hypocrisy; wishing evil on people; feeling pain at others’ happiness and feeling happiness at others’ afflictions; rudeness and vulgarity; murder of innocents; mercilessness and heartlessness; breaking promises; cowardice; and miserliness.

More authoritative confirmation of Imam Mitchell’s message is evident in the scholarship of Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (d. 2010), the renowned late Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University—Papal equivalent of Sunni Islam’s Vatican. Tantawi was one of the most revered modern authorities on Koranic exegesis (interpretation) having edited a magnum opus 15-volume contemporary Koranic commentary. He also helped create the largest online website of classical and contemporary Koranic commentaries. Earlier, Tantawi’s 700pp. Al-Azhar University Ph.D. thesis, (in English translation, Jews in the Koran and Traditions; completed 1966, published 1968), provided a summary gloss on the Koranic depiction of Jews, emphasizing its timeless relevance, and denouncing Jews who rejected Islam as “maleficent deniers,” even granting Muslims license to commit violence against them, to extirpate Jewish “evil”:

“(The) Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah (see Koran 2:613:112 ], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places (4:46) , consuming the people’s wealth frivolously (4:161), refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do (3:1205:79), and other ugly characteristics  caused by their deep-rooted (lascivious) envy (2:109)…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…[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 gloss from his contemporary Koranic commentary on Koran 5:60, (which dubs the Jews “apes and pigs”) condemned in broad terms, “the corrupt thinking and false assumptions and claims of the Jews.” He further maintained “what you [the Jews] claim is even more evil as shown in the penalty that has befallen you as you have been cursed and become estranged from Allah’s mercy and compassion, and what has befallen your ancestors, of whom some were transformed into apes, others into pigs.” As Grand Imam, Tantawi, in April 2002, referred to Israeli Jews, as “enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.” That same month, he sanctioned homicide bombing “martyrdom” operations against “any Israeli, including children, women, and teenagers,” notwithstanding the gruesome Netanya Passover homicide bomber massacre just beforehand, on March 27, 2002.

Imam Omar Suleiman, a Houston, Texas American Muslim “thought leader” and public educator of much greater stature than Imam Umar Mitchell, promulgates the same virulent, if canonical Muslim Jew-hatred.

Suleiman gave a U.S. Congressional invocation May 9, 2019, and was a participant  in a high profile “inter-faith dialogue” event Thursday March 5, 2020, at North Carolina State University, with J.D. Greear of  the Southern Baptist Convention. Both the Democrats who invited him to “prayerfully” address Congress, and Mr. Greear, were willfully blind to Imam Suleiman’s open espousal of Sharia supremacism, and traditionalist Islamic Jew-hatred. Suleiman has defended Sharia’s hadd punishments for adultery [stoning] and theft [amputation], advocated for both “societal Sharia” and a Caliphate, so that Sharia could “be applied in totality,” and even defended Muslim concubinage and sex-slavery (and see this compilation of video clips).  Not unexpectedly, he is also a virulent Muslim Jew-hater, who proudly lauds Islam’s Antisemitic canon, in particular, the “apes and pigs” Koranic epithet (5:60) for Jews.

Suleiman’s intense canonical Islamic Jew-hatred was elaborated at length during a 5-part, nearly 6-hour 2012 lecture series, “Lost Chronicles of Bani Israel.” In prelude to his discussion of Allah’s “very dramatic action” against a particular group of Jews—transforming them into apes and pigs [Koran 7:166, and 5:60]—Suleiman elucidates what characterizes most Jews—past as prologue—with Koranic indelibility:

“The majority of the people we are talking about obviously, to take lessons from them, we’re not gonna focus on those few good people, few bright spots, but rather focus on mistakes that they [i.e., most of the Koranic Jews] make.”

Suleiman concludes his Jews as apes and pigs discourse with reference to a hadith [cited by the great legist/philosopher Ibn Rushd, “Averroes”, and here] which illustrates yet another example of Jewish deceit, and the appropriate response of Muhammad’s youngest wife Aisha, who condemned her Jewish interlocutors as brethren of apes and pigs.

She [Aisha] called them brothers of apes and pigs—she didn’t call them the sons.

This usage, “brothers of apes and pigs,” Suleiman maintains, is appropriate for most Jews, given their inveterate Koranic predilection for deceit, endeavoring “to take Allah for a fool.”  Indeed, according to the earliest sacralized, pious Muslim biography of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq  just before subduing the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza, Islam’s prophet invoked  this striking Koranic motif for the Jews debasement, addressing these Jews, with hateful disparagement, as “You brothers of apes” Ibn Ishaq’s account further maintains that, upon their surrender, Muhammad himself beheaded between 600 to 900 of the adult Jewish males of the Banu Qurayza, and enslaved their wives and children.

Baleful objective data collected from within a representative sample of 100 U.S. mosques indicate Imams Mitchell and Suleiman are hardly “outliers.”  The investigators assessed the prevalence of jihadist teaching and found 81% of this statistical sample representative of US mosques were deemed as moderately (30%), to highly (51%) supportive of promulgating jihad violence to impose Sharia. Just under 5% of Muslim worshippers attended mosques where jihadist materials were not provided because Sharia-compliant mosques promoting jihad were the most heavily attended. Furthermore, the Sharia inculcated, as sadly expected, “emphasized the inferiority of non-Muslim life,” and “promoted hatred and intolerance toward non-Muslims.” Finally as an updated if depressing proof that this phenomenon is ongoing, Friday October 27, 2023, Imam Mitchell decried the “democratic process” during his Friday sermon, reminding his flock, “Allah has set down his law (Sharia), and it is not democracy.”

For at least the past 10 years running, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s, simple validated survey instrument has meticulously documented the disproportionate, global pandemic of extreme Muslim Jew-hatred, i.e., agreeing with at least 6 out of 11 Antisemitic stereotypes. The 16 most Antisemitic countries in the world are all found within the Muslim Middle East, and North Africa, where the prevalence of extreme Antisemitism ranges between 74% to 93%—the latter among the Muslims of Gaza, and Judea-Samara. Ominously, as of 2022, in the ADL’s most recent survey, 62% of the Muslim diaspora population in France manifested extreme antisemitism. Already by 2017, 34% of U.S. Muslims expressed extreme Antisemitism, ~2.5-fold the 14% rate amongst U.S. non-Muslims. What such a survey of U.S. Muslims might show now is not reassuring.

Religious leaders, beginning with U.S. Jewish religious leaders, as well as elites in government policy, academia, and the media must openly address the institutional, canonical Islam animating the global pandemic of Muslim Jew-hatred. Moreover, authoritative, institutional Islam has to be admonished by intellectually honest, gimlet eyed Jews to initiate purging the minbar of Jew-hatred, a “Mecca-Cairo-Karbala I” process, akin to Vatican II/ Nostre Aetate.

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