ADL downplays anti-Semitism among European Muslims 

The abject failure of Jewish and other religious and civic leaders to denounce institutionalized Islamic Jew-hatred is a lingering disgrace.

Thousands of Palestinians and scout groups participate in the celebration of the Prophet's Muhammad birthday at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City on Nov. 9 2019. Photo by Sliman Khader/Flash90.
Thousands of Palestinians and scout groups participate in the celebration of the Prophet's Muhammad birthday at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City on Nov. 9 2019. Photo by Sliman Khader/Flash90.
Andrew Bostom
Andrew Bostom
Dr. Andrew Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.

Cardiologist Vera Kosova, a German Jewish immigrant from Uzbekistan, provided these balanced, lucid insights on Western European anti-Semitism during an interview at the Frankfurt Book Fair (Oct. 16 to Oct. 20):

“It is important that the anti-Semitism debate be led openly, honestly and broadly. There’s a right-wing anti-Semitism; there’s a left-wing anti-Semitism, and there is Muslim anti-Semitism. Muslim anti-Semitism clearly dominates in the statistics, and also does especially among the surveys done among the Jews.”

A lone study of its kind, conducted in 2012 by FRA–European Union for Fundamental Rights to assess violence and violent threats targeting Jews, bolsters Dr. Kosova’s contention. Uniquely, the FRA study queried Jewish victims of anti-Semitic attacks and threats about the identity of their attackers.

The study found that such attacks were anywhere from three to 13 times more likely to come from Muslims than from those with “extremist right-wing views.” Furthermore, with the lone exception of Germany, where the numbers of left-wing vs. right-wing attacks were essentially equal, the study found that left-wing Anti-Semitic violence or threatened violence also exceeded right-wing anti-Semitic violence or threatened violence.

Violent acts or threats from by those with “Christian extremist” views were negligible in absolute terms and even more so relative to “Muslim extremists.”

A month after Dr. Kosova’s interview, on Nov. 21, the Anti-Defamation League released its 2019 survey data on the occurrence of extreme anti-Semitism in 18 countries, assessed between April 15 and June 3, 2019. Six of these countries—Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France and Italy—included a Muslim over-sample, allowing for a direct comparison of Muslims vs. Christians, those professing no religion, and the overall populations.

ADL’s own press release stated:

“Muslim acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes was substantially higher than among the national populations—on average almost three times as high—in the six countries tested: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and The United Kingdom.”

However, the ADL downplayed these striking findings in its press release, listing them as the last of six bullet points.

The ADL also failed to note how compared to Western European Christians, specifically, Muslims were also some three times more likely to harbor extreme anti-Semitic attitudes as gauged by agreeing with at least six of 11 anti-Semitic stereotypes queried.

Given the worldwide pandemic of Muslim anti-Semitism ADL’s 2014 global survey revealed, it is imperative to acknowledge and hold accountable the most authoritative, mainstream Islamic religious teaching institutions—Sunni and Shi’ite alike—that continue to promote canonical Islam’s most virulently anti-Semitic tropes from the Koran and the traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad.

Sunni Islam’s Vatican, Al-Azhar University, and its previous and current Grand Imam papal equivalents, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (d. 2010), and Ahmad al-Tayeb, respectively, epitomize these trends.

Tantawi, arguably the greatest modern commentator on the Koran, in addition to serving as Al-Azhar Grand Imam from 1996 until his death in 2010, provided this summary gloss on the Koranic depiction of Jews, emphasizing its timeless relevance:

“[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [see Koran 2:613:112 ], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places [4:46], consuming the people’s wealth frivolously [4:161], refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do [3:1205:79], and other ugly characteristics  caused by their deep-rooted (lascivious) envy [2:109] … only a minority of the Jews keep their word … [A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [3:113], the bad ones do not.”

More ominously, Tantawi’s exhaustive modern analysis of Islam’s defining, canonical sources concludes by sanctioning bigoted, even violent, Muslim behaviors towards Jews, to “rid them of their evil.”

Tantawi’s successor, current Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb, shares Tantawi’s Jew-hating virulence. Al-Tayeb has labeled the Jews eternal Koranic enemies (per Koran 5:82), blamed Jews for the rise of Islamic State and other jihadist groups, and claims “the issue of anti-Semitism is a lie.” Not surprisingly, both Tantawi and Tayeb (then Al-Azhar mufti) sanctioned homicide bombing against Israel’s Jews even in the immediate aftermath of the horrific Netanya Passover massacre in March, 2002.

Such “sacralized” hatred, preached authoritatively by the avatars of institutional Islam, continues to fuel the global pandemic of Muslim anti-Semitism, and is being promulgated unchallenged. The abject failure of Jewish and other religious and civic leaders to denounce this institutionalized Islamic Jew-hatred is a lingering disgrace.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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