Monday, July 31, 2017

By Petra Marquardt-Bigman

It’s not going to be easy, but let’s imagine for a moment that Christians would firmly believe Jesus prophesized the rise of Islam and told his followers: “The last day will not come unless you fight the Muslims. A Muslim will hide himself behind stones and trees and stones and trees will say, ‘O servant of God, o Christian, there is a Muslim behind me, come and kill him.’” Let’s also imagine that recently, a Christian preacher repeatedly referred to this belief during a long sermon about a topic that would inflame the passions of his audience – like Islamist terrorism and the dire situation of Christians in the Muslim world – and that he would call for Christian unity and ask God to “liberate” Christian sites “from the filth of the Muslims;” he would also pray: “Oh God, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them.” Finally, let’s imagine that when this sermon was highlighted in the news and widely condemned, the Washington Post would rush to publish an article defending the preacher and trying desperately to downplay his vile incitement.

It’s unimaginable, you say? Well, yes, it is.

But it happened – though the preacher was a Muslim, and the people he railed against and wished to see killed were the Jews… Obviously, this makes a big difference, right?

What the Washington Post’s “religion reporter” Michelle Boorstein was doing with her utterly disgraceful article was already described by Martin Kramer when he wrote years ago about a similar incident and concluded:

“the hadith [that calls for the killing of Jews] predates the State of Israel by well over a millennium, so it certainly can’t be attributed to Israeli provocation. Those who invoke it—the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Bin Laden—root their hatred of Israel in a much deeper stratum of Islamic animosity toward the Jews. Those who downplay that sort of Judeophobia just help to perpetuate it.”

While the Washington Post was publishing its craven apologia for the antisemitic incitement, and while the Islamic Center of Davis was demanding the vile sermon should be seen in the proper context, pious Palestinian Muslims were providing a very relevant context by rioting in Jerusalem and shouting “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya yahud.”

Of course, we can’t know what this really truly means in context until the Washington Post gets around to asking expert apologists for Muslim Jew-hatred about it… So until the Washington Post enlightens us about the real meaning and the proper context, we will have to try hard to ignore that Muhammad’s jihadists won a spectacular victory in their bloody battle against the Jews of Khaybar, and that this victory was the first step in the subjugation and eventual ethnic cleansing of the Jews from the Arabian peninsula. We will also have to try hard to ignore that Muslim efforts to justify the war waged against the Jews by the founder of their religion have spawned a demonization of Jews that is more than a millennium old and remains popular to this day.

And there’s so much more to ignore!!! Among the very important issues that must be ignored are all the hate-filled writings and speeches of Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi, who has been regarded for decades as a great scholar by many millions of Muslims, and who has even been described as the “Global Mufti” due to his enormous influence. And of course, it’s also very important to ignore the fact that the kind of hateful sermon and vile prayer that the Washington Post defended so valiantly are a regular occurrence at the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is usually described as “Islam’s third-holiest” site.

If you find it hard to keep up with all the issues you have to ignore, the Washington Post offers a not-so-subtle clue that makes it real easy. And it’s obvious enough: without the translations provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), any incitement spread by Arab preachers, politicians and journalists could be savored by the intended audiences, without foreigners who need translations getting all worked up. You see, MEMRI “monitors media coverage, particularly about Israel” – AHA!!! – and a trustworthy academic expert from Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in Arab and Islamic Studies has expressed “concern that MEMRI was hoping to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment at a time when Muslim Americans feel under siege.”
Yeah, that’s obviously a reasonable concern: first, it shifts the blame away from the Muslim preacher who called for killing Jews; and second, this kind of “concern” has some tradition – after all, already Muhammad felt there was reason to be concerned about the anti-Muslim sentiment stirred up by the Jews of Khaybar…

So it’s really wonderful that Georgetown University has a Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in Arab and Islamic Studies with experts who can be consulted when a Muslim preacher cites an ancient and well-known call for killing Jews… And the “understanding” that the center works so hard to foster doesn’t include Jews, right? Incidentally, since 2005, when the center “received a $20 million dollar gift from HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal”, it is known as the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. If you’re impressed by the sum, read Martin Kramer’s fascinating post on the “Georgetown Yankees in Prince Alwaleed’s court” and take into account that since the late 1970s, Saudi Arabia “has invested at least 76 billion euros ($86 billion)” to promote “Wahhabi extremism, the ideological basis of extremist and jihadist movements throughout the world.”

So it’s a great investment to spend a measly 20 million dollars on a center at a prestigious western university in America’s capital – which is really a good location for academics who have always worked hard to downplay Muslim extremism and who stand ready to provide the Washington Post with some soothing mumblings about “oral traditions about Muslims fighting Jews” when a Muslim preacher in the US bases his sermon on a well-known hadith that calls on Muslims to slaughter Jews. And you are a real expert when you not only manage to downplay this incident and pretend it’s an isolated one, but also turn it around by insinuating that those who drew attention to it by providing a translation should be suspected of trying “to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment.”

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