Thursday, 21 March 2013

The sorry truth is that the virus of anti-Semitism has infected the British Muslim community

'It pains me to have to admit this but anti-Semitism isn't just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it's routine and commonplace. Any Muslims reading this article – if they are honest with themselves – will know instantly what I am referring to. It's our dirty little secret. You could call it the banality of Muslim anti-Semitism.
I can't keep count of the number of Muslims I have come across – from close friends and relatives to perfect strangers – for whom weird and wacky anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are the default explanation for a range of national and international events. Who killed Diana and Dodi? The Mossad, say many Muslims. They didn't want the British heir to the throne having an Arab stepfather. What about 9/11? Definitely those damn Yehudis. I mean, why else were 4,000 Jews in New York told to stay home from work on the morning of 11 September 2001? How about the financial crisis? Er, Jewish bankers. Obviously. Oh, and the Holocaust? Don't be silly. Never happened.
The truth is that the virus of anti-Semitism has infected members of the British Muslim community, both young and old. No, the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict hasn't helped matters. But this goes beyond the Middle East. How else to explain why British Pakistanis are so often the most ardent advocates of anti-Semitic conspiracies, even though there are so few Jews living in Pakistan?
It is sheer hypocrisy for Muslims to complain of Islamophobia in every nook and cranny of British public life, to denounce the newspapers for running Muslim-baiting headlines, and yet ignore the rampant anti-Semitism in our own backyard. We cannot credibly fight Islamophobia while making excuses for Judaeophobia.'
I am no fan of Mehdi Hasan, but his piece in The New Statesman is on the money?

So far most of the comments have been favourabpe twards this article but I wonder how long that will last. Here's a few interesting ones:
'Antisemitism isn't restricted to the Muslim community in Britain, or even the Muslim community generally. It is found worldwide, although not always as explicitly stated. It is alive and well among the British Left, sometimes masquerading as criticism of Israel. The same people who fight for the rights of women and minorities seem to adopt a different stance towards Jews.

This piece very much sums up my experiences as a young Muslim from a "progressive" Islamic community, Antisemitism is rife. Muslims are in desperately need to confront this issue but antisemitism is embedded in mainstream interpretations of Islam, unless Muslims are willing to become selective with the Qur'an there really isn't much hope.
My long term boyfriend is Israeli and I fear the day I have to confront my family and the community!

Thank you for writing this, it is really important that people such as yourself speak out on this and I hope you get support from other British Muslims and some recognition from Jewish commentators.

An excellent article
I would add that in my experience, those fighting absolutely the hardest in this country against antisemitism, including Islamist antisemitism, include a large number of British Muslims.
They do this in the face of significant odium, and some receive hate mail and are shunned for this reason.
I'd also add the experience of a friend of mine, organising a demonstration against the National Front in the 1980s. He tried to get some local British Muslim lads involved, and was told:
"Why? We agree with what they say about the Jews".

Unfortunately, things got much worse when islam got into Europe. The first pogroms of jews in europe began in muslim-controlled Spain. There were pogroms against jews in Morocco next. The pogroms by european christians began later, once the Crusades began as a reaction to hundreds of years of islamic war and invasion of christian territory.
It seems highly plausible that the increase in hostility towards jews in europe came from the post-Crusades christians regarding jews as the enemy along with muslims.
The european intelligentsia seem to be unable to exercise critical thought on this matter. The christians must be responsible, and muslim anti-semitism must be whitewashed. So, the wikipedia entry starts off by blaming christians for starting the pogroms in 1096, but as soon as they turn to the actual chronology, it transpires that the pogroms began in Spain and Morocco, almost 100 years earlier.
"In the 11th century, however, there were several Muslim pogroms against Jews; notably those that occurred in Cordoba in 1011 and in Granada in 1066. In the 1066 Granada massacre, the first large pogrom on European soil, a Muslim mob crucified the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred about 4,000 Jews. In 1033 about 6,000 Jews were killed in Fez, Morocco, by Muslim mobs..."
Thus are these myths passed on.

No comments: