Mahathir Mohamad, the long serving Prime Minister of Malaysia who stepped down on 31 October 2003 after 22 years in power, used his speech at the opening session of the 57-state Organisation of the Islamic Conference OIC) in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on 16 October 2003 to argue that the Jews control the world: "They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong; so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power".[1] He also said that "The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them". The speech got a standing ovation from the assembled kings, presidents, sheikhs and emirs. While Malaysia's Foreign Minister apologised for the misunderstanding or offence caused by these allegations, Mahathir Mohamed himself remained unrepentant, alleging that "the press belongs to the Jews and their power is so great that people are afraid to criticise them". ANALYSIS While some western governments responded with condemnation of these remarks, western media and public opinion in general do not realise that this is but the tip of an iceberg of a new Muslim type of anti-Semitism that has been growing rapidly since the 1970s. Some diplomats and journalists argue that this type of comment is not symptomatic of the Muslim world and that there is no tradition of anti-Jewishness in the Muslim world.[4] This stand however is not substantiated by the facts of history. TRADITIONAL MUSLIM ANTI-JEWISH PERCEPTIONS Due to the controversies and conflicts between Muhammad and the Jews in Medina, Qur'an and hadith have a plethora of anti-Jewish passages. The Jewish tribes of Medina were harshly treated by Muhammad who suspected them of undermining his position: some were expelled and their properties confiscated, while others were massacred and their wives and children enslaved. This has remained a paradigmatic episode for Muslim attitudes to Jews. Traditional Islam saw Jews (and Christians) as "people of the Book" allowed to exist within the Islamic polity as a subservient inferior community (dhimmis), tolerated as long as they accepted Islamic dominance. While Muslim writers tend to present a sanitised view of the history of Islam in which Muslims, Christians and Jews have always peacefully co-existed, there were initial massacres and enslavement at the time of the Muslim conquests - peace occurred when dhimmis accepted their second class status. The initial conquest was followed by intermittent persecution of Jews (and of Christians) at various times and places in the Muslim world. Jews were a powerless small community and did not constitute a threat to the Islamic state as did Christians who were always suspected of alliances with the powerful Christian states bordering Muslim lands. ROOTS OF MODERN ISLAMIC ANTI-SEMITISM Modern Islamic anti-Semitism arose out of conspiracy theories rooted in the frustrations caused by several centuries of colonialism and dependency. Starting in the 1930s, anti-Semitism became a marker of Arab nationalists and of Islamist movements who in their opposition to British and French imperialism and to the growing Jewish presence in Palestine, adopted much of contemporary Western (including Nazi) racist anti-Semitism in addition to the traditional anti-Jewish strands in Qur'an and hadith.[6] Searching for an external cause of Muslim weakness, they conveniently targeted all Jews as scapegoats. Modern Islamists have combined the historic opposition of Jews to Muhammad, anti-Jewish source texts in Qura and hadith, and contemporary Western racist anti-Semitism to develop a modern concept of uninterrupted Jewish hatred for Islam since its inception, expressed in continual efforts throughout history to divide, weaken, and if possible destroy Islam and Muslim states and people. The Jews of the 7th century are seen as identical with the Jews of today, so the Jews (allied to the 'Crusading Christian West') are deemed to be perennial enemies always plotting the destructionof Islam. Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), the Egyptian ideologue of modern Islamism and a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was one of the first to combine the two strands. His writings have been read by millions of Muslims around the world and have been a major influence in the development of contemporary Muslim anti-Semitism. Qutb used racist stereotypes and forgeries of Western anti-Semitism such as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (translated into Arabic and widely distributed in the Muslim world). As a result, Islamism today sees itself involved in a cosmic struggle against "the Jews" which has to fought to the bitter end: "Therefore the struggle between Islam and the Jews continues in force and will continue, because the Jews will be satisfied only with the destruction of this religion (Islam)." For Qutb, modern-day Jews are identical to their forefathers at the time of Muhammad, who "confronted Islam with Enmity from the moment that the Islamic state was established in Medina. They plotted against the Muslim Community from the first day it became a Community." [9] Since then, says Qutb, all Jews have always been wicked enemies of Islam, and contemporary Islam is attacked by the very same Jews using the same "machinations and double dealings which discomfited the Early Muslims . . . The Jews continue - through their wickedness and double-dealing - to lead this (Muslim) community away from its religion and to alienate it from its Qur'an" [10] Qutb argues that Jews are inherently evil because all through the ages they have rebelled against God "in the most disgustingly aggressive manner . . "As a result: "From such creatures who kill, massacre and defame prophets one can only expect the spilling of human blood and dirty means which would further their machinations and evilness." According to Qutb, Jews are characterized by ingratitude, selfishness, fanaticism and hatred for all others. They foment dissension in their host societies and exploit all disasters to profit from the misery of others. They also utilize usury to accumulate wealth, infiltrate societies, and dominate the whole world. Following Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements came to identify all Jews as inherently and genetically evil, disregarding any distinctions between different types of Jews: Jews are evil in whatever guise they appear.[12] Khomeini, leader of the Iranian Revolution and Supreme Guardian of the Islamic Republic of Iran until his death in1989, also had anti-Semitic attitudes and did his best to spread them around the Shi'a world: "Since its inception, Islam was afflicted with the Jews when they started their counter-activity by distorting the reputation of Islam, by assaulting it and by slandering it. This has continued to our present day." SPREAD OF MODERN MUSLIM ANTI-SEMITISM Since the 1970s oil boom, Muslim states like Saudi Arabia and later Iran (but also Iraq, Libya and the Gulf States) have funded the expansion of Islamism including its anti-Semitic message, sponsoring anti-Jewish ideas across the Muslim world. As a result anti-Semitism is now part of mainstream Islamic thought, and the anti-Semitic propaganda emanating from multiple media channels across the Muslim world is accepted as self-evident truth by most ordinary Muslims from Mauritania to Indonesia, even though most have never met a Jew. The Muslim world has now become the main repository of a deep hatred for Jews, reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism is taught in schools, preached in mosques, propagated by the media, and expressed by leaders of state and society. A wave of anti-Semitic discourse has swept over the whole Muslim world. This new type of Muslim anti-Semitism sees Jews everywhere and at all times involved in a sinister plot to destroy Islam. All Jews everywhere and at all times are enemies of God, of humanity, and of Islam. It dehumanizes Jews as monkeys and pigs and caricatures them as devils. It has revived the ancient blood libel allegations against Jews[14] as well as the modern conspiracies about a secret Jewish plan to control the world. A majority of Muslims around the world now view everything taking place through this ideological anti-Jewish prism. The Internet displays several Islamic web pages that combine radical Islamist views on politics with blatant anti-Semitism of the modern Nazi sort. One example is the "al-Bayan" site whose chief editor is Jamaaluddin al-Haidar. It combines anti-Jewish Quranic and hadith sources with modern western anti-Semitic discourse such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and articles gleaned from the neo-Nazi fringe such as: "The Truth About the Talmud: An Expose on the Roots of Zionism" and "EXPOSED!: The AIPAC Tapes Revisited: Evidence of Zionist stranglehold over Clinton White House and US Congress." [16] In one of his articles, Haidar calls on Muslims to drop their petty internal quarrels in order to unite in fighting their real enemy, the Jews: They [the Jews] are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live only among themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other people not of their race. If you do not exclude them, in less than 200 years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish them sustenance while they will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands. (i.e. Jewish dominated Wall Street in New York City)." [17] Ahmed Rami, a former lieutenant in the Moroccan army who fled to Sweden following his involvement with military coups in Morocco in the early 1970s, has set up a radio station called Radio Islam which broadcasts and publishes virulent ant-Semitic material, targeting Zionism and the Jews as the "only one enemy" of Islam and of mankind, and including excerpts from the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and American extreme right wing racist and anti-Semitic supremacist material. He has forged links with both American and Russian anti-Semitic groups. He sees Jewish conspiracies behind all western (and some Arab) regimes which he terms "Judaeocracies". He claims that a "Zionist Mafia" and Jewish intellectual terrorism have overpowered western systems and that "the power over banks, mass media and commercial and industrial life is in the hands of a small group of 'the chosen people'. All education in schools and universities is carried on in a way which is favorable to the 'master race'. " RECENT EXAMPLES OF MODERN MUSLIM ANTI-SEMITISM Syrian Defence Minister, Mustafa Tlass, in a book The Matzah of Zion published in 1986, accused the Jews of using hhuman blood for their Passove ceremonies.[19] The same Minister also alleged that the ramming of the Twin Towers by hijacked airplanes on 11 September 2001 was part of a Jewish conspiracy. Syrian president, Bashar al-Asad, on the occasion of the Pope's visit to Damascus in May 2001 declared that "[Israelis and Jews] try to kill all the principles of divine faiths with the same mentality of betraying Jesus Christ and torturing Him, and in the same way they tried to commit treachery against the Prophet Muhammad".[21] At the Durban (South Africa) UN-sponsored Anti-Racism Conference in September 2001, UN Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson, was so disturbed by the anti-Semitic rhetoric propagated by Muslim representatives who dominated the agenda that she refused to present the promulgated NGO resolution to the governmental conference. Robinson was so shocked by the blatant anti-Semitic propaganda on display at the conference that she declared: "When I see something like this, I am a Jew". In November 2002, Egyptian Television channels began airing the first segment of a 41-part serial "A Knight Without a Horse" based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Sheikh Mansour al-Rifa'i 'Ubeid, formerly Egypt's Under Secretary for Religious Affairs, published an article in the religious weekly 'Aqidati (14 October 2003), published by the official Egyptian daily al-Gumhuriyya in which he accuses Jews of having "treason and deception in their blood." CONCLUSION The world would do well to remember the lessons of the holocaust. Ignoring and minimising the deadly seriousness of modern Muslim anti-Semitism will not make it go away, but will only serve to increase the confidence of its instigators and assure them that there will be no serious opposition to the drastic solutions they will come up with. The pattern is repeating itself and the effect is cumulative as state sponsored insults, caricatures, conspiracy theories and sporadic violence prepare the way. All Jews have been set up as the greatest enemy of the total Muslim world community. It must be seriously asked whether this means that Muslims are being systematically prepared to agree with, encourage and participate in a final solution to the Jewish problem by the most horrid means.

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