The specter of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, denier of Muslim anti-Semitism looms in the distance.
Muslim Hard Core anti-Semitism Comparable to that of the Nazis
By: Manfred Gerstenfeld
No. 8687 Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) May 14, 2012
Robert S. Wistrich, Muslimischer Antisemitismus: Eine aktuelle Gefahr, [Muslim anti-Semitism: A Present Danger] (Berlin: Edition Critic, 2011), 161 pages. (in German)
Reviewed by Manfred Gerstenfeld
Historian Robert Wistrich holds the Neuberger Chair for Modern European and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since 2002, he has served as Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of anti-Semitism at this university.
After the mass murders in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 which was perpetrated mainly by Saudi Muslims, Wistrich wrote a lengthy essay on Muslim anti-Semitism for the American Jewish Committee which it published a year later. The present book in German is an update of this text. It concludes with an epilogue in which the author looks back over the last decade.
Wistrich claims that hard-core anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world is comparable only with that of Nazi Germany (p. 109). Expressing such an opinion is far more than an academic judgment. It is an act of courage, because much more gentle criticism about ugly phenomena in Muslim societies is already often labeled as Islamophobia. Not only do Muslims try to stifle such criticism, but also many “politically correct” Westerners. Long ago, these individuals gave up on the truth. Their ideological credo is “solidarity with the weak,” which frequently turns them into indirect or even direct apologists for and enablers of ideological criminality.
Wistrich explains that Muslim hatred for Israel and Jews is “an eliminatory anti-Semitism with a genocidal dimension.” While the anti-Semitism of the Germans and their allies ultimately led to the Holocaust, Wistrich says that “the wildness of the Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism” can be considered a “warrant for genocide” today. He mentions that this term was coined by well known historian Norman Cohn.
Wistrich further supports his assertion by making a comparison. There had been major demonization of the Jews during the Christian Middle Ages, the Spanish Inquisition, at the time of the Dreyfus Affair in France, and in Czarist Russia. However, none of these cases compared with the intensity and pervasiveness of Nazi and Islamic anti-Semitism.