Post-October 7th DEI Monomania Ignores the Pandemic of “Sacralized” Muslim Jew-Hatred

“DEI monomania delimits virtually all current discussion of post-October 7th Antisemitism across a broad ideological spectrum, from Left to Right. Sadly, DEI monomania has become just the latest device to avoid any serious discussion of Islam, and the global pandemic of Muslim Jew-hatred.”

Hamas’ October 7, 2023 mass murderous, atrocity-ridden jihad carnage in southern Israel was followed, perversely, by an explosion of Antisemitic demonstrations, and vitriol, on U.S. college campuses, and well beyond them. This hideous “reaction” is being decried, exclusively, as a byproduct of decades of Marxist “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)” pedagogy, by both conservative (here; here), and non-progressive, liberal (here; here; here) “thought leaders.”

There are two fundamental problems with these critiques, which have a common denominator: willful blindness to Islam, and the global pandemic of mainstream, normative Islam-inspired, Muslim Jew-hatred.

First, none of these analyses explore (or even acknowledge) the specific anti-intellectual, cultural relativist attitude toward Islam now ubiquitous in U.S. higher education. This phenomenon was already rampant and well-recognized by the late, renowned 20th century scholar of Islam, Maxime Rodinson (d. 2004), a half-century ago. Writing in 1974 edition of the esteemed “The Legacy of Islam,” Rodinson noted (p. 59),

…The anti-colonial left…often goes so far as to sanctify Islam and the contemporary ideologies of the Muslim world… Understanding has given away to apologetics pure and simple.

Such indoctrination is also predominant before college attendance, shaping student attitudes in our intermediate and secondary schools. Educator Gilbert Sewall’s nonprofit  American Textbook Council, reviewed history and social studies textbooks utilized in U.S. intermediate, and high schools. His organization issued a comprehensive, evidenced-based 2008 report entitled,  “Islam in the Classroom—What the Textbooks Tell Us”. The 2008 report observed, prominently, that the deficiencies in Islam-related lessons were uniquely disturbing, with history textbooks presenting, “an incomplete and confected view of Islam that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security.” Moreover, while Islam’s doctrinal and historical Jew-hatred was completely expurgated, using the ahistorical example of mythically tolerant Muslim Spain, Christianity’s record was alleged to be one of ferocious, unmitigated persecution of Jews.

“[T]extbooks describe Islam in glowing language, they portray Christianity in harsh light. Students encounter a startling contrast. Islam is featured as a model of interfaith tolerance; Christians wage wars of aggression and kill Jews. Islam provides models of harmony and civilization. Antisemitism, the Inquisition, and wars of religion bespot the Christian record… The Jews are ‘victimized, persecuted and murdered by the Christians. All the while, Islam builds great and grand new empires…and ultimately rules benevolently over the Jewish (and Christian) people.’”

Sewall concluded the 2008 report with this appropriate, still unaddressed warning:

Islamic activists use multiculturalism and ready-made American political movements, especially those on campus, to advance and justify the makeover of Islam-related textbook content.”

 Prompted by Sewall’s 2008 report, and the teachers “rating guide” he provided me, in 2010, I warned how “DEI” was degrading the noble New York State merit-based High School Regents Scholarship exam in History, by bowdlerizing and sanctifying Islam, demonizing Christianity, and forcing students to regurgitate these distorted “conceptions” to achieve higher scores, and receive potential college scholarship money. Adding insult to irony, this was occurring while, simultaneously, traditional, run-of-the mill Islamic schools in New York City taught Muslim children “sacralized” hatred of Jews and Christians, derived from the Qur’an, and canonical traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad.

Second, these monomaniacally DEI-focused critiques not only exclude DEI’s mind-warping, dogmatic Islamophilia in secondary and higher education, they distract attention altogether from the reams of data, consistent over 20-years, documenting the much more pressing, even existential problem, of disproportionate, pandemic Muslim Jew-hatred, including violent Muslim Jew-hatred.

For two decades, ongoing, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) survey data have indicated that the prevalence of “extreme Antisemitism”—agreement with at least 6/11 Antisemitic stereotypes—is overwhelmingly more common in Muslim nations, and diaspora populations in Europe and the U.S., vs. non-Muslim nations, or non-Muslim religio-ethnic groups within these Western societies. Specifically, the world’s 16 most Antisemitic nations are all in the Arab Muslim Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where the prevalence of extreme Antisemitism ranges between 74% to 93%. Worldwide, extreme Antisemitism is consistently 2- to 3-fold more common in Muslims vs. Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, or those professing no religion. In Western Europe, and the U.S., an excess 2- to 4-fold prevalence of extreme Muslim Antisemitism persists. The latest ADL survey data from France, for example, where extreme Antisemitism approaches MENA levels, indicates that 62% of Muslims, vs. 15% of Christians express such extreme Jew-hatred. These ADL data demonstrating disproportionate Muslim Jew-hatred in Western Europe, relative to non-Muslims, have been independently validated by non-ADL survey findings among both Muslim adults, and youth. Worse still, unique Western European data have shown that Muslims are on average at least 2.2-fold more likely to commit Antisemitic violence, or make violent threats to Jews, compared to non-Muslims.

Additional polling data also reveal ominous trends since Hamas’ October 7, 2023 jihad carnage. A poll conducted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies sampled 8000 MENA Muslims, between 12/12/23 and 1/5/24, and represented 95% of the Muslims in 16 regional nations. The results, just released 1/10/24, revealed that ~90% both approved of the October 7th Hamas attacks, and rejected Israel’s right to exist. An earlier U.S. Cygnal poll, which oversampled American Muslims 10/16 to 10/18/23, found 58% agreed Hamas’ 10/7/23 attacks were “justified.”

There is a corollary problem with DEI monomania in the post-October 7th milieu: it ignores the fulminant, mainstream institutional Islamic incitement of Muslim Antisemitism, and Antisemitic violence, through the widespread employment of motifs of canonical Islam’s Jew-hatred, and jihadism.

Al-Azhar University (including its mosque), beginning in the late 12th century, has been recognized as the foremost center of Sunni Muslim religious teaching, and dubbed by Egyptian observers as a de facto “Vatican of Islam on theological issues.” On Oct 7, 2023, Al-Azhar celebrated the brutal jihad carnage of Hamas as “the resistance efforts of the proud Palestinian people.” By Oct 19, 2023, Al-Azhar issued a formal “fatwa,” or religious edict, declaring that all Israelis were legitimate targets of jihad. This fatwa marked a continuum of such edicts issued by Al-Azhar: during 1947 (just after the U.N. Partition Plan for Palestine was accepted by the Jews, but unanimously rejected by its Arab Muslim neighbors); twice in 1948 (at the beginning and end of the 1948 war); in 1956 (9-months before the Sinai war); in 1967 (at the outset of the 6-day war);  and 1973 (at the outset of the Yom Kippur War). In 1968, Al-Azhar held a conference for religious leaders from the entire Muslim world, dedicated (largely) to promulgating the most virulent Antisemitic tropes from Islam’s canon (especially the Qur’an), and an annihilationist jihad to destroy Israel. As historian David Littman stated plaintively in his 1971 commentary on the 1968 conference, Al Azhar was then, and continues at present, promoting ideas  which,

“…lead to the urge to liquidate Israel, politicide, and the Jews, genocide. If the evil of the Jews is immutable and permanent, transcending time and circumstances, and impervious to all hopes of reform, there is only one way to cleanse the world of them—by their complete annihilation.”

Al-Azhar’s two most recent Sunni Papal equivalent Grand Imam spiritual leaders, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (who held that position from 1996-2010), and his successor, current Grand Imam, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, have each reinforced this ignoble tradition of promoting jihadism and Islamic Jew-hatred directed at Israel, and Jews, generally. Both Tantawi and Tayyeb sanctioned homicide bombing of any Israeli Jews including non-combatant children and women. Grand Imam Tantawi, a leading modern Qur’anic commentator, has championed the most virulent Qur’anic themes of Jew-hatred in his authoritative interpretations, including Jews as “apes and pigs” (Qur’an 5:60) whose immutable perfidy merits eternal debasement (Qur’an 3:112), even exhorting Muslims to,

“…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.”

Tayyeb, during 2013 and 2017 Egyptian national television interviews, rationalized permanent Muslim hatred of Jews by riveting on Qur’an 5:82, which epitomized an alleged 1400 years of Muslim “suffering from Jewish and Zionist interference.”

Toward the end of each year, The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center (RISSC) in Amman, Jordan—a pre-eminent avatar of mainstream, “moderate Islam”—issues its annual rankings of “The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims.” This past year’s top ranking was bestowed upon Yemeni theologian Habib Umar bin Hafiz, “one of the foremost scholars, spiritual guides, and preachers within the Islamic tradition today,” whose direct influence extends to “hundreds of millions of Muslims around the globe.” Upon release of the rankings in early October, 2023, a fawning report gushed that Habib Umar bin Hafiz “played an instrumental role in shaping the ethical and moral compass” of Muslims worldwide, concluding he represented, “the true essence of the religion [Islam]—one that promotes peace, tolerance, and understanding.” On 10/10/23, ignoring the precipitating murderous brutality wrought by Hamas just 3-days earlier, and anticipating Israel’s understandable defensive response, bin Hafiz launched into a diatribe against Jews employing standard Qur’anic motifs of sacralized Jew-hatred, “spreading corruption” (5:335:64), and “propagating falsehood” (3:755:41). He concluded with a genocidal declaration, repeating the canonical tradition of Jew-annihilation attributed to Muhammad himself, & also featured in Hamas’ Covenant, article 7: “When one of them seeks refuge under a tree and stone, the trees and the stones will cry out, ’Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah! Behind me is a Jew, come and kill him.’ This was repeated by the most truthful of people. No doubt that day will surely come.”

Assiduous monitoring of public U.S. Islamic center/mosque websites and social media accounts by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has demonstrated that these normative Muslim institutions regularly condone religiously-based Muslim Jew-hatred, and jihad violence against Jews. MEMRI has further observed,

“It is notable that in our extensive monitoring (of U.S. mosques), our researchers have not found a single sermon denouncing Hamas or the October 7, attacks.”

Three examples of this preaching are presented in chronological order.

Gambian born Imam Alhagie Jallow, completed his memorization of the Qur’an while studying in Senegal, and later studied at the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He became the Imam of the Masjid Us-Sunnah shortly after his visit to Madison, Wisconsin, in 2009. Less than a week after October 7th (on 10/13/23), he delivered this annihilationist diatribe during a sermon:

“The only thing that can bring glory to this Islamic nation is the Jihad, which is mentioned in the Quran and the hadiths (traditions) of the Prophet Muhammad. The only thing that can bring honor and glory to this nation is Jihad… Oh Jews, you unjust, criminal, corrupt oppressors – stop! You will all most definitely be killed. The Jews, the aggressors, the evil… You describe them, what they do. By Allah, all of them [Jews] will be killed by Muslims. They all will be executed by Muslims. They will all be killed, this is a divine promise [likely referencing the same hadith in the Hamas Covenant article 7] that will inevitably be fulfilled. This is a promise from Allah and it is going to happen. They will all be killed. They will all be killed, and on that day, the believers will rejoice in Allah’s victory.”

Imam Umar Mitchell of Masjid Umar Ibn Al-Khattab in Aurora, Colorado taught a Qur’anic lesson to primary school age children at the Colorado Muslims Community Center, October 22, 2023, outlining for his young audience central indelible, pejorative characteristics of the Jews as depicted in the Qur’an.  He intoned that the Jews are inveterate liars (Qur’an 2:103:75) who never abide their contracts and covenants (2:613:1124:1555:13), 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 Qur’anic story of Jewish fishermen who were allegedly transformed by Allah into “literal physical monkeys” for fishing on Saturday (2;65; but elaborated in 7:1637:1647;1657:166; again, verse 5:60 refers to the Jews as “apes and pigs”). The good imam concluded that not all Jews are as despicable as their portrayal in the Qur’an but consistent with Qur’an 3:113, he asserted only “a couple of them” aren’t.

Lastly, during a Friday sermon in suburban Dallas, Texas, on 12/29/23, Ghaith Arodaki, an entrepreneur and  recent graduate of San Jose State University, declared,

 “Every single day, we recite the Al-Fatiha (opening) chapter of the Qur’an 5X a day, and at the end (Qur’an 1:7), we recite: ‘Guide us along the Straight Path, the Path of those You have blessed—not those who have incurred Your wrath, or those who were misguided.’ The interpreters explained this verse to mean three categories of people: ‘Those who You have blessed,’ and they said it means the Muslims. ‘Those who have incurred Your wrath.’ ‘Those that You have cursed,’ they said it [is] meant to be the Jews. ‘Those who were misguided,’ and it was said to be the Christians.”

Arodaki’s interpretation of Qur’an 1:7 is in accord with the gloss of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, from a canonical tradition (at-Tirmidhi, Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 2954), and the formal exegeses of 90% of classical and modern authoritative Qur’anic commentaries, Sunni & Shiite alike. The fatiha, including Qur’an 1:7, is actually pronounced up to 17-times daily by pious Muslims given its requisite multiple repetitions during each of the 5 daily prayer sessions, a profoundly negative form of lifelong indoctrination. The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia, a modern compendium of analyses written by 43 Muslim and non-Muslim mainstream academic experts  provides this modern summary gloss:

“The Prophet [Muhammad] interpreted those who incurred God’s wrath as the Jews and the misguided as the Christians. The Jews, we are told killed many of their prophets  and through their character and materialistic tendencies [usurious 2:2754:161; 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 5:32335:64] …[T]hey were readily misled and incurred both God’s wrath and ignominy [2:612:903:112]. As for the Christians…over time they succumbed to the influence of those who had already deviated from the chosen path (5:77).”

DEI monomania delimits virtually all current discussion of post-October 7th Antisemitism across a broad ideological spectrum, from Left to Right. Sadly, DEI monomania has become just the latest device to avoid any serious discussion of Islam, and the global pandemic of Muslim Jew-hatred.

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