By Alyssa A. Lappen
World Net Daily | May 27, 2008
Particularly since the late, lifelong Muslim Brother, Yasser Arafat, shifted anti-Israel jihad into fifth gear in September 2000, several Middle East and Islamic scholars have repeatedly asserted that 20th and 21st century Islamic anti-Semitism sprang solely from Nazi and European Christian influence.
Even now, Islamophiles like Bernard Lewis preach (as it were) that virulent Jew-hatred is not inherent to Islam â€“ but rather, anti-Semitism migrated to the Middle East with European colonialism. The Qur’an uses “hard words … about the Jews,” even Lewis admits. Yet under Islamic rule, he claims they were “only rarely subject to persecution” and “their situation was never as bad as in Christendom at its worst. …”
Dr. Andrew G. Bostom’s extensive, scientific and largely unprecedented new book, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History,” definitively disproves such claims. (Full disclosure: I copy-edited several of these first-time English translations, and proofread many chapters.)
Publication of this landmark book informs self-respecting scholars, they can no longer shamelessly blame Christianity as the sole source of anti-Semitism â€“ or more importantly, that Islam does not and never had its own innate brand of loathing for the Jewish people.
Islam detests non-Muslims generally â€“ whom sharia laws institutionally oppress and tax as underclass “dhimmis” â€“ but inveighs especially intense odium against Jews.
Indeed, Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, a sort of continuum from Bostom’s ground-breaking “Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims,” conclusively proves that profound Islamic hatred for the Jewish people originated with the religion’s founder, Muhammad. Moreover, his companions, successor “rightly guided” Caliphs and Islamic jurists over the next 1,400 years maintained that hateful overarching passion.
Bostom’s evidence is impossible to ignore, waive off or attribute to anti-Islamic bias. Most of the book’s double-columned 766 pages contain primary source material: excerpts from Islamic sacred texts, jurisprudence and historical accounts (by Muslims and non-Muslims alike) across the span of Islamic history.
The opening 171-page review (and 962 citations) breathtakingly maps the roots of Islamic anti-Semitism â€“ within the religion’s unique theological and judicial traditions, and its historical record.
This alone should convince even skeptics that Islamic anti-Semitism began in the 7th century.
The Qur’an refers to Jews as apes and swine (2:65, 7:166, 5:60), themes that were repeatedly exploited in incitements to murder, including a 1066 “anti-Jewish ode containing the line, ‘Many a pious Muslim is in awe of the vilest infidel ape.'” Letters from the Cairo Geniza, from up to one millennium ago, further explode “the common assumption” that a unique Islamic strain of anti-Semitism was “absent” at that time (950-1250 C.E.). S.D. Goitein’s “A Mediterranean Society” reports two special words coined and much-used in the geniza era to describe Islamic hatred of Jews: “sin’Ãºth, ‘hatred,’ [and] a Jew-baiter being called sÃ³nÃ©, ‘a hater.'”
All other texts cited also refer to “stubborn malevolence” as the defining Jewish “worldly characteristic,” leading them to reject Muhammad and refuse “to convert to Islam out of jealousy, envy, and even selfish personal interest.” These traits allegedly induce typical Jewish treachery: “sorcery, poisoning, assassination,” archetypes sanctioning “Muslim hatred toward the Jews, and the admonition to, at best, ‘subject [them] to Muslim domination,’ as [contemptible, humiliated] dhimmis.”
Having whetted reader interest, Bostom (a scientist and physician recognized nationally for his medical research) leaves nothing open to doubt. In the next five sections â€“ 252 more two-column pages â€“ he unveils the anti-Semitic contents of the Qur’an and its interpretations (Part 2); Hadith (sayings and deeds of Muhammad, Part 3); Sira (early Muslim biographies of Muhammed, Part 4); and fatwas (religious rulings) and laws prescribed by Islam’s most “luminary” judges, both classical and pre-modern (Part 5) and modern (Part 6).
In Part 2, one 12-page chapter contains 55 anti-Semitic Qur’anic verses, each translated three times to avoid confusion or denial of their toxicity. For the “Children of Israel” the Qur’an mandates God’s anger, as expressed in their “abasement and poverty;” curses “by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary;” and their hastening “about the earth to do corruption there.” The Jewish people, moreover, are accursed as liars, confounding the truth, murderers of their prophets, perverse creatures and thieves.
Haggai Ben-Shammai’s 1988 essay on Qur’anic literature and interpretations notes that they likewise cursed Jews through history, frequently citing the very passages Bostom quotes in the previous chapter. For example, that describing Jews as cursed disbelievers, “laden with God’s anger” and having “abasement and poverty pitched upon them.”
Bostom, in Part 3, continues exposing traditional Islamic enmity for Jews, with a brief collection of 45 accounts from the voluminous Hadith. These include some of its most odious passages, accepted “narrations,” as reported by three revered Islamic sources â€“ Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Sunan Abu Dawud â€“ characterizing Jews as the ultimate of thieves, murderers, liars, idolaters, accursed and fully worthy of God’s primordial anger.
Indeed, every Jew who does not convert to Islam, Muslim reports Muhammad as saying “shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.” (Book 1, no. 284)
A Jewish woman, Bukhari reports, murdered Muhammad when she “brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it.” (Vol. 3, book 47,. no. 786) He also records Muhammad saying, Muslims “will fight the Jews ’til some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O ‘Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him’.” (Vol. 4, Book 52, no 176) The Hamas Charter prominently features the latter Bukhari tradition in Article 7 â€“ and contains many more unadulterated Qur’anic passages and Hadiths too.
Next, Bostom features one of his collection’s crown jewels â€“ a 1937 Georges Vajda essay on Jewish and Muslim relationships in the Hadith (translated from French for the first time). Vajda worked from hadiths reported by 12 accepted Islamic sources â€“ including seven primary source volumes published from 1279 to 1333, in Cairo or Bulak, and two published from 1904 to 1915 in Leyden, Germany.
Vajda attributes discovery of the hadiths’ animating principle to Islamic scholar Ignaz Goldziher (the first non-Muslim permitted to study at Cairo’s al-Azhar). Cementing “prescriptions and recommendations regarding the customs of non-Muslims” is what “boils down to a single word: khÃ¡lifÃºhum, meaning ‘do not like them.'” Vajda brilliantly excavates the remarkable effects of that dislike on daily Jewish life in Muslim lands through the centuries.
Based on hadiths, Jews were forced to wear ankle boots rather than sandals, mustaches rather than beards, and various other identifiers (including unmatched-colored shoes in Yemen, and yellow patches in 13th century Iran). Hadith encourages Muslims to curse rather than greet Jews, moreover, since Jews reportedly address others with “al-sÃ¡m ‘alaykum [may poison be upon you], a word that is glossed by ‘death’ or ‘disgust, annoyance.'” Several hadiths accuse Jews of falsifying their holy Torah to erase Muhammad’s name. Significantly, the Hadith describes the DajjÃ¢l â€“ the Antichrist â€“ as Jewish; its Islamic apocalyptic traditions also envision 70,000 saber-waving Jews vanquished beside the DajjÃ¢l during Islam’s last bloody triumph over all non-Muslims and the establishment of a universal Islamic empire.
In Part 8, Bostom assembles 24 essays detailing the dire conditions and atrocities that Jews suffered under Muslim rule during many eras, in many regions. Part 9 concludes the book with nine documents and eyewitness accounts attesting to effects of the overwhelming hatred evidenced earlier.
U.S. legislators and policy makers â€“ and journalists, Middle East and Islamic scholars â€“ take note: As Stanford University’s Victor Davis Hanson observes, conclusions adduced from Bostom’s tome may surprise critics as much as this “vast literature of Middle Eastern Islamic antisemitism” confounds all attempts “to refute his carefully compiled corpus of evidence.”
Alyssa A. Lappen, a senior fellow at the American Center for Democracy, is a former senior editor of Institutional Investor, Working Woman and Corporate Finance and former associate editor of Forbes.
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