Islam & Antisemitism

ISLAM & ANTISEMITISM

The Root of Hatred

(From the Quran: Surat al Bakara: The Cow)
[2.88] And they say: Our hearts are covered. Nay, Allah has cursed them because their unbelief; so, little it is that they believe.
[2.98] Whoever is the enemy of Allah and His angels and His apostles and Jibreel and Meekaeel, so surely Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers.
[2.121] Those to whom We have given the Book read it as it ought to be read. These believe in it; and whoever disbelieves in it, these it is that are the losers.

Why do Saudis, Pakistanis, Algerians, Iranians, Yemenis and most other Islamic countries who were neither involved in nor touched by the Israeli -Palestinian wars keep alive a hatred of Israel and the Jews far beyond any rational explanation. Why is this hatred publicly fanned and promoted among the people as an important instrument of public policy?

Why do Muslims hate not only Israel but Jews in general?

Origins

The root of this hatred goes back to the early days of the prophet Muhammad’s raids (ghazo) outside his hometown of Mecca to spread his new ideology, Islam. Muhammad’s aim was to forcibly convert all the tribes of Arabia into his new risala (message) To do so he recruited an army of 7.000 men including approximately 300 horses from his Meccans and other smaller tribes who had agreed to convert to the new ideology. (W M Watt).

The Jewish tribes of Arabia, however, wanting to remain loyal to their religion and heritage chose not to join Muhammad in his new army. Muhammad reacted angrily to this rejection and to set an example to the other tribes, he expelled two minor tribes of Jews from their habitat in the Arabian Peninsula, the Qaynuqa tribe in AD 624 and the Nadir tribe in AD 625. Muhammad called on his followers to wage war on them, besieging them in their strongholds and set about destroying their palm trees and confiscating their tools of trade thus forcing them to abandon their land and migrate as far away from Arabia as they could.

The more influential Jewish tribe of Qurayzah also chose not to join Muhammad’s army and to remain neutral, at which point the angel Gabriel conveniently appeared to Muhammad telling him that he is ordered by Allah to fight the Qurayza Jews. The fate of the Qurayzah was now sealed and Muhammad was about to impose the ultimate penalty on the last remaining tribe of Jews in Medina (James M. Alanson)

In what became known as the battle of the Trench AD 627, Mohammad’s army dug trenches around Medina to encircle the tribe. The Qurayza Jews, sensing that their fate was sealed and hoping for a peaceful outcome, decided to surrender to Muhammad resulting in the mass extermination and enslavement of all the remaining Jews in the city even though they did not mount any resistance.

Ibn Ishaq, the authoritative early Islamic historian and Muhammad’s biographer describes the killing of the Qurayza men as follows:

MUHAMMAD sent for them and personally struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. This went on until the Apostle (Muhammad) made an end of them. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. The spoils of battle, including the enslaved women and children of the tribe, were divided up among the Muslims that had participated in the siege”

Muhammad’s successor the Caliph Omar decreed that Jews (and Christians) should be removed from all of Arabia. This became known as the Pact of Omar which also considered the Jews to be inferior to Muslims.

Throughout the middle Ages there have been numerous pogroms against Jews in Islamic- occupied lands. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion thousands of Jews were forced to migrate to more tolerant lands.

Throughout history while most invaders mainly wanted to occupy, Islamic invaders demanded conversion. The policy of cleansing the Islamic lands of Jews was based on Muhammad’s words “let there be no two religions in Arabia”. This saying of the prophet is rooted in the psyche of all Muslims. This is probably the main reason why Saudi Arabia-the guardian of Islam’s sacred sites- does not allow the entry of non-Muslims to these places nor the building of churches and synagogues anywhere in the kingdom.

All prophets and founders of other religions have preached tolerance of others, advocated peaceful co-existence, and strongly shunned violence. Muhammad practiced violence throughout his career and considered war as an instrument of imposing his message. Throughout his career he did not shy from using bloodshed against Jews and Christians.

The armies of Islam went on to conquer the whole of Arabia, Greater Syria, North Africa, Spain and a considerable chunk of Southern Europe. Under the rule of Islam, Jews were assigned the distinctive label of “ahl al-thimma” (the people of conscience/ the book) by which they were identified throughout Islamic history. Their survival depended on their strict compliance with the laws and restrictions imposed upon them by the Muslim victors who in return bestowed upon them “himaya” a label which meant protection- albeit conditional- but which essentially implied subjugation as inferior second class citizens.

The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 brought to the surface the full weight of the Islamic pent-up hatred against the Jews. Most the 800.000 Jews remaining in Arab lands were expelled en masse moving to Israel, Europe and the USA.

Anti-Semitism (anti-Jewishness to be more precise) is not, as it is often explained by Islamic apologists, a territorial /political sentiment. It is a deeply rooted religious antipathy that goes back to the days of the prophet and early Islam. This blind hatred can only be extinguished when the Islamic scriptures have been reformed and a new more benevolent and all-embracing New Quran has come into existence.

References to Jews in the Koran

The Koran is divided into 114 chapters called suras. The following are translations of passages found in these suras that are related to Jews.
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The Cow
[2.40] O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and be faithful to (your) covenant with Me, I will fulfill (My) covenant with you; and of Me, Me alone, should you be afraid.
[2.47] O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.
[2.62] Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
[2.83] And when We made a covenant with the children of Israel: You shall not serve any but Allah and (you shall do) good to (your) parents, and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy, and you shall speak to men good words and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate. Then you turned back except a few of you and (now too) you turn aside.
[2.88] And they say: Our hearts are covered. Nay, Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief; so little it is that they believe.
[2.98] Whoever is the enemy of Allah and His angels and His apostles and Jibreel and Meekaeel, so surely Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers.
[2.111] And they say: None sh all enter the garden (or paradise) except he who is a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.
[2.113] And the Jews say: The Christians do not follow anything (good) and the Christians say: The Jews do not follow anything (good) while they recite the (same) Book. Even thus say those who have no knowledge, like to what they say; so Allah shall judge between them on the day of resurrection in what they differ.
[2.120] And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah’s guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.
[2.121] Those to whom We have given the Book read it as it ought to be read. These believe in it; and whoever disbelieves in it, these it is that are the losers.
[2.122] O children of Israel, call to mind My favour which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.
[2.135] And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.
[2.140] Nay! do you say that Ibrahim and Ismail and Yaqoub and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Are you better knowing or Allah? And who is more unjust than he who conceals a testimony that he has from Allah? And Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
[2.211] Ask the Israelites how many a clear sign have We given them; and whoever changes the favor of Allah after it has come to him, then surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil).
[2.246] Have you not considered the chiefs of the children of Israel after Musa, when they said to a prophet of theirs: Raise up for us a king, (that) we may fight in the way of Allah. He said: May it not be that you would not fight if fighting is ordained for you? They said: And what reason have we that we should not fight in the way of Allah, and we have indeed been compelled to abandon our homes and our children. But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except a few of them, and Allah knows the unjust.
The Family of Imran
[3.23] Have you not considered those (Jews) who are given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of Allah that it might decide between them, then a part of them turn back and they withdraw.
[3.24] This is because they say: The fire shall not touch us but for a few days; and what they have forged deceives them in the matter of their religion.
[3.49] And (make him) an apostle to the children of Israel: That I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I determine for you out of dust like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah’s permission and I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah’s permission and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses; most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers.
[3.67] Ibrahim was not a Jew nor a Christian but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists.
[3.93] All food was lawful to the children of Israel except that which Israel had forbidden to himself, before the Taurat was revealed. Say: Bring then the Taurat and read it, if you are truthful.
The Women
[4.46] Of those who are Jews (there are those who) alter words from their places and say: We have heard and we disobey and: Hear, may you not be made to hear! and: Raina, distorting (the word) with their tongues and taunting about religion; and if they had said (instead): We have heard and we obey, and hearken, and unzurna it would have been better for them and more upright; but Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief, so they do not believe but a little.
[4.47] O you who have been given the Book! believe that which We have revealed, verifying what you have, before We alter faces then turn them on their backs, or curse them as We cursed the violaters of the Sabbath, and the command of Allah shall be executed.
[4.50] See how they forge the lie against Allah, and this is sufficient as a manifest sin.
[4.160] Wherefore for the iniquity of those who are Jews did We disallow to them the good things which had been made lawful for them and for their hindering many (people) from Allah’s way.
[4.161] And their taking usury though indeed they were forbidden it and their devouring the property of people falsely, and We have prepared for the unbelievers from among them a painful chastisement.
The Dinner Table
[5.12] And certainly Allah made a covenant with the children of Israel, and We raised up among them twelve chieftains; and Allah said: Surely I am with you; if you keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and believe in My apostles and assist them and offer to Allah a goodly gift, I will most certainly cover your evil deeds, and I will most certainly cause you to enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow, but whoever disbelieves from among you after that, he indeed shall lose the right way.
[5.13] But on account of their breaking their covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard; they altered the words from their places and they neglected a portion of what they were reminded of; and you shall always discover treachery in them excepting a few of them; so pardon them and turn away; surely Allah loves those who do good (to others).
[5.18] And the Jews and the Christians say: We are the sons of Allah and His beloved ones. Say: Why does He then chastise you for your faults? Nay, you are mortals from among those whom He has created, He forgives whom He pleases and chastises whom He pleases; and Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what is between them, and to Him is the eventual coming.
[5.32] For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our apostles came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land.
[5.33] The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,
[5.41] O Apostle! let not those grieve you who strive together in hastening to unbelief from among those who say with their mouths: We believe, and their hearts do not believe, and from among those who are Jews; they are listeners for the sake of a lie, listeners for another people who have not come to you; they alter the words from their places, saying: If you are given this, take it, and if you are not given this, be cautious; and as for him whose temptation Allah desires, you cannot control anything for him with Allah. Those are they for whom Allah does not desire that He should purify their hearts; they shall have disgrace in this world, and they shall have a grievous chastisement in the hereafter.
[5.42] (They are) listeners of a lie, devourers of what is forbidden; therefore if they come to you, judge between them or turn aside from them, and if you turn aside from them, they shall not harm you in any way; and if you judge, judge between them with equity; surely Allah loves those who judge equitably.
[5.43] And how do they make you a judge and they have the Taurat wherein is Allah’s judgment? Yet they turn back after that, and these are not the believers.
[5.44] Surely We revealed the Taurat in which was guidance and light; with it the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judged (matters) for those who were Jews, and the masters of Divine knowledge and the doctors, because they were required to guard (part) of the Book of Allah, and they were witnesses thereof; therefore fear not the people and fear Me, and do not take a small price for My communications; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unbelievers.
[5.51] O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.
[5:57] O you who believe! do not take for guardians those who take your religion for a mockery and a joke, from among those who were given the Book before you and the unbelievers; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah if you are believers.
[5.59] Say: O followers of the Book! do you find fault with us (for aught) except that we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed before, and that most of you are transgressors?
[5.60] Say: Shall I inform you of (him who is) worse than this in retribution from Allah? (Worse is he) whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and of whom He made apes and swine, and he who served the Shaitan; these are worse in place and more erring from the straight path.
[5.63] Why do not the learned men [rabbis] and the doctors of law prohibit them from their speaking of what is sinful and their eating of what is unlawfully acquired? Certainly evil is that which they work.
[5.64] And the Jews say: The hand of Allah is tied up! Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out, He expends as He pleases; and what has been revealed to you from your Lord will certainly make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief; and We have put enmity and hatred among them till the day of resurrection; whenever they kindle a fire for war Allah puts it out, and they strive to make mischief in the land; and Allah does not love the mischief-makers.
[5.69] Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good– they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.
[5.70] Certainly We made a covenant with the children of Israel and We sent to them apostles; whenever there came to them an apostle with what that their souls did not desire, some (of them) did they call liars and some they slew.
[5.72] Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah, He is the Messiah, son of Marium; and the Messiah said: O Children of Israel! serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the garden, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the unjust.
[5.73] Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve.
[5.78] Those who disbelieved from among the children of Israel were cursed by the tongue of Dawood and Isa, son of Marium; this was because they disobeyed and used to exceed the limit.
[5.79] They used not to forbid each other the hateful things (which) they did; certainly evil was that which they did.
[5.80] You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide.
[5.81] And had they believed in Allah and the prophet and what was revealed to him, they would not have taken them for friends but! most of them are transgressors.
[5.82] Certainly you will find the most violent of people in enmity for those who believe (to be) the Jews and those who are polytheists, and you will certainly find the nearest in friendship to those who believe (to be) those who say: We are Christians; this is because there are priests and monks among them and because they do not behave proudly.
[5.86] And (as for) those who disbelieve and reject Our communications, these are the companions of the flame.
[5.110] When Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! Remember My favor on you and on your mother, when I strengthened you I with the holy Spirit, you spoke to the people in the cradle and I when of old age, and when I taught you the Book and the wisdom and the Taurat and the Injeel; and when you determined out of clay a thing like the form of a bird by My permission, then you breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission, and you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I withheld the children of Israel from you when you came to them with clear arguments, but those who disbelieved among them said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.
The Cattle
[6.146] And to those who were Jews We made unlawful every animal having claws, and of oxen and sheep We made unlawful to them the fat of both, except such as was on their backs or the entrails or what was mixed with bones: this was a punishment We gave them on account of their rebellion, and We are surely Truthful.
The Elevated Places
[7.105] (I am) worthy of not saying anything about Allah except the truth: I have come to you indeed with clear proof from your Lord, therefore send with me the children of Israel.
[7.134] And when the plague fell upon them, they said: O Musa! pray for us to your Lord as He has promised with you, if you remove the plague from us, we will certainly believe in you and we will certainly send away with you the children of Israel.
[7.137] And We made the people who were deemed weak to inherit the eastern lands and the western ones which We had blessed; and the good word of your Lord was fulfilled in the children of Israel because they bore up (sufferings) patiently; and We utterly destroyed what Firon and his people had wrought and what they built.
[7.138] And We made the children of Israel to pass the sea; then they came upon a people who kept to the worship of their idols. They said: O Musa! make for us a god as they have (their) gods. He said: Surely you are a people acting ignorantly:
The Immunity
[9.30] And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!
[9:34] O you who believe! most surely many of the doctors of law [rabbis] and the monks eat away the property of men falsely, and turn (them) from Allah’s way; and (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement….
Jonah
[10.90] And We made the children of Israel to pass through the sea, then Firon and his hosts followed them for oppression and tyranny; until when drowning overtook him, he said: I believe that there is no god but He in Whom the children of Israel believe and I am of those who submit.
[10.93] And certainly We lodged the children of Israel in a goodly abode and We provided them with good things; but they did not disagree until the knowledge had come to them; surely your Lord will judge between them on the resurrection day concerning that in which they disagreed.
The Bee
[16.118] And for those who were Jews We prohibited what We have related to you already, and We did them no injustice, but they were unjust to themselves.
The Children of Israel
[17.2] And We gave Musa the Book and made it a guidance to the children of Israel, saying: Do not take a protector besides Me;
[17.4] And We had made known to the children of Israel in the Book: Most certainly you will make mischief in the land twice, and most certainly you will behave insolently with great insolence.
[17.101] And certainly We gave Musa nine clear signs; so ask the children of Israel. When he came to them, Firon said to him: Most surely I deem you, O Musa, to be a man deprived of reason.
[17.104] And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment.
Marium
[19.58] These are they on whom Allah bestowed favours, from among the prophets of the seed of Adam, and of those whom We carried with Nuh, and of the seed of Ibrahim and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose; when the communications of the Beneficent God were recited to them, they fell down making obeisance and weeping.
Ta Ha
[20.47] So go you both to him and say: Surely we are two apostles of your Lord; therefore send the children of Israel with us and do not torment them! Indeed we have brought to you a communication from your Lord, and peace is on him who follows the guidance;
[20.48] Surely it has been revealed to us that the chastisement will surely come upon him who rejects and turns back.
[20.80] O children of Israel! indeed We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a covenant with you on the blessed side of the mountain, and We sent to you the manna and the quails.
[20.94] He said: O son of my mother! seize me not by my beard nor by my head; surely I was afraid lest you should say: You have caused a division among the children of Israel and not waited for my word.
The Pilgrimage
[22.17] Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabeans and the Christians and the Magians and those who associate (others with Allah)– surely Allah will decide between them on the day of resurrection; surely Allah is a witness over all things.
[22.40] Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And had there not been Allah’s repelling some people by others, certainly there would have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah’s name is much remembered; and surely Allah will help him who helps His cause; most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty.
The Poets
[26.17] Then send with us the children of Israel.
[26.22] And is it a favor of which you remind me that you have enslaved the children of Israel?
[26.59] Even so. And We gave them as a heritage to the children of Israel.
[26.197] Is it not a sign to them that the learned men of the Israelites know it?
The Ant
[27.76] Surely this Quran declares to the children of Israel most of what they differ in.
The Adoration
[32.23] And certainly We gave the Book to Musa, so be not in doubt concerning the receiving of it, and We made it a guide for the children of Israel.
The Believer
[40.53] And certainly We gave Musa the guidance, and We made the children of Israel inherit the Book,
Ornaments of Gold
[43.59] He was naught but a servant on whom We bestowed favor, and We made him an example for the children of Israel.
The Smoke
[44.30] And certainly We delivered the children of Israel from the abasing chastisement,
The Kneeling
[45.16] And certainly We gave the Book and the wisdom and the prophecy to the children of Israel, and We gave them of the goodly things, and We made them excel the nations.
The Sandhills
[46.10] Say: Have you considered if it is from Allah, and you disbelieve in it, and a witness from among the children of Israel has borne witness of one like it, so he believed, while you are big with pride; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.
The Banishment
[59.2] He it is Who caused those who disbelieved of the followers of the Book to go forth from their homes at the first banishment you did not think that they would go forth, while they were certain that their fortresses would defend them against Allah; but Allah came to them whence they did not expect, and cast terror into their hearts; they demolished their houses with their own hands and the hands of the believers; therefore take a lesson, O you who have eyes!
[59.3] And had it not been that Allah had decreed for them the exile, He would certainly have punished them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have chastisement of the fire.
The Ranks
[61.6] And when Isa son of Marium said: O children of Israel! surely I am the apostle of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Taurat and giving the good news of an Apostle who will come after me, his name being Ahmad, but when he came to them with clear arguments they said: This is clear magic.
[61.7] And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah and he is invited to Islam, and Allah does not guide the unjust people.
[61.14] O you who believe! be helpers (in the cause) of Allah, as~ Isa son of Marium said to (his) disciples: Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the cause) of Allah. So a party of the children of Israel believed and another party disbelieved; then We aided those who believed against their enemy, and they became uppermost.
The Congregation
[62.6] Say: O you who are Jews, if you think that you are the favourites of Allah to the exclusion of other people, then invoke death If you are truthful.
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Sources: Humanities Text Initiative

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