'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 am no fan of Mehdi Hasan, but his piece in The New Statesman is on the money?
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.'
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.