Andrew Bostom Bernard Lewis Islamic anti-Semitism Muslim persecution of Jews



Andy asks: “Why do the media’s Middle East pundits ignore the Jew-hatred intrinsic to Islamic doctrine?” Because it’s the proverbial fly in the pudding. 

There is no explaining it away. As Andy has shown in his countless essays, articles, speeches and books, classical anti-Semitism, is rife throughout Islamic textual references to Jews contained in the Koran, the hadiths and the sunna of Mohammed.

Hitler once said, to be a socialist is to be anti-Semitic. Well according to Mohammed’s texts, ”to be a Muslim is to be an anti-Semite”.

UPDATE: Exclusive: Andy sends me the following, adding:

If the “Greatest Living Scholar of Islam” states categorically there is no theological Jew-hatred in Islam, and ‘dhimmi–tude’ is a myth, while also sitting on the editorial board of a Saudi-Wahhabi/Muslim Brotherhood front “academic” journal as a witless dupe for 14-years, than his entire accepted wisdom and policy advice must be called into question. I think you would agree that Lewis’s iconic status has thoroughly obfuscated the entire living history of Islamic Jew-hatred for generations of so-called Jewish and sympathetic non-Jewish intellectuals, to our great detriment
My revelation places Lewis on the same plane as those Communist era dupes who witlessly sat on the editorial boards of Soviet front pseudo-academic journals


Muhammad Morsi’s Islamic Jew-Hatred, Bernard Lewis’ Islamic Negationism

Why do the media’s Middle East pundits ignore the Jew-hatred intrinsic to Islamic doctrine?

A month has passed since the Middle East Media Research Institute posted a 2010 video interview of Muslim Brotherhood leader, and now Egyptian President, Muhammad Morsi spewing Antisemitic vitriol. Morsi’s comments included a characterization of today’s Zionists — plainly Jews in his parlance — as “descendants of apes and pigs” — a specific invocation of Koran 5:60, which he had repeated, elsewhere, in print interviews, and commentaries.

That this dehumanizing Koranic depiction was in reference to Jews has been validated by the most authoritative classical and modern exegeses* (“tafsir,” or commentaries) on the Koran, the words of Muhammad himself (as recorded in the sira, or pious Muslim biographies of Islam’s prophet), as well as a large corpus of Islamic theological writings which demonstrate the motif’s application by Muslims over a nearly 1400-year continuum.

Yet to this day, thousands of reports and opinion pieces later (search “Morsi” + “apes and pigs” using to estimate the vast output), only a handful have noted this irrefragable link to a Koranic verse (i.e., 5:60) declaring the Jews to be apes and pigs. The apotheosis of this negationist trend was captured in a January 27, 2013 Times of Israel interview of Charles Small, head of the itinerant Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). Small piously proclaimed that ISGAP was uniquely committed to addressing what was framed as “Islamic” Antisemitism, because,

There’s a reluctance among scholars to open up this subject [i.e., “Islamic” Antisemitism]. This subject is dangerous, embarrassing. It touches on various political interests in international relations that people don’t really want to engage with.

However, also ignoring Morsi’s repetition of the Koran 5:60 “apes and pigs” reference, Small made this pathognomonic assertion“The danger does not come from Islam itself.”

What explains the almost uniform, egregious omission of Morsi’s Koranic reference, and Small’s broader see-no-Islam in “Islamic” Antisemitism mindset, displayed even by politically centrist or conservative Western media outlets, and the centrist or conservative “Middle East experts” opining for them? I argue that such willful blindness is rooted in the misrepresentation of Islamic Jew-hatred — indeed its frank denial as a coherent doctrine — by one of the leading contemporary scholars of Islam, turned late-blooming, ubiquitous public intellectual, whose limited, dogmatic investigation of the subject, has smothered all such desperately required discussion. That scholar is Bernard Lewis.

Accrued over a distinguished career of more than six decades of serious scholarship, Bernard Lewis clearly possesses an enormous fund of knowledge regarding certain aspects of  classical Islamic civilization, as well as valuable insights on the early evolution of modern Turkey from the dismantled Ottoman Empire. A gifted linguist, non-fiction prose writer, and teacher, Lewis shares his understanding of Muslim societies in both written and oral presentations, with singular economy, eloquence, and wit. These are extraordinary attributes for which Lewis richly deserves the accolades lavished upon him.

But as I will demonstrate, Lewis’ remarkable contributions are diminished by yawning gaps in his expressed understanding of Islamic Jew-hatred, and the overall condition of non-Muslims vanquished by jihad, and living as so-called “dhimmis,” under the restrictive and humiliating mandates of the Sharia. Ultimately, Lewis takes the rather dogmatic (and apologetic) positions that Islam is devoid of theological Antisemitism, and dhimmitude has never existed as a Sharia-based Islamic institution. Lewis’s views on Islamic Jew-hatred and (for Jews, the conjoined institution of) dhimmitude, are doctrinally and historically untenable, as the evidence I adduce will make clear.

Moreover, Lewis’s apologetic tendencies must have been attractive to the Muslim Brotherhood/Saudi Wahhabi front Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, and its pseudo-academic Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), which has been an Abedin family enterprise since 1979. Regardless of whether Lewis was a willing dupe, or not, he served on the editorial board of the JMMA for some 14-years, from 1996 to 2010, despite the fact this “academic” journal was, and remains, a thinly veiled mouthpiece for Sharia supremacism. These critical limitations of his scholarship and judgment have implications which must also be recognized by all those for whom Lewis remains an iconic source of information, and advice, especially policy advice.

The late Orientalist Maxime Rodinson (d. 2004), a contemporary of Bernard Lewis, warned forty years ago of misguided modern scholarship effectively “sanctifying” Islam:

Understanding has given away to apologetics pure and simple.

More here.

NOTE: And clowns like this go unanswered by the likes of Lewis.

OIC ishanoglu

Andy has more on the pro-Muslim Brotherhood board Bernard Lewis sat on for 14 years

The IMMA/JMMA “editorial” board comprised  clever mixture of full-throated fundamentalists, and “respectable” apologists–BUT ALL under the guidance of the fundamentalist Abedin patriarch (Syed), initially, and later matriarch (Saleha).

My long piece on the IMMA is here

Here is a relevant extract (note Lewis’s tenure was 1996-2010–overlapping Ansari’s by 13 years and the odious John Esposito by Lewis’s full 14-year tenure; “Espo” is still there!):

Two prominent, longstanding members on the Editorial Board of the JMMA accompanying Editor-in-Chief Saleha Abedin, whose tenures both began in 1996, are Zafar Ishaq Ansari (1996 to 2009), and John Esposito (1996 to present). Not surprisingly, these two JMMA Editorial Board members share Saleha Abedin’s — and the Muslim Brotherhood’s —Weltanschauung.

Zafar Ishaq Ansari is a full-throated champion of the 20th century Indo-Pakistani jihadist ideologue (see herehere, and here) Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903-1979). Ansari’s “magnum opus” is a reverent translation of Mawdudi’s Tafhim Al-Quran(“Understanding the Koran”) — one of the most important works of modern Koranic exegesis, or interpretation. Ansari’sPreface notes how Mawdudi’s collective works greatly inspired the mass Muslim phenomenon, “… characterized, mainly by the outside world, as ‘Islamic resurgence.’” Ansari then extols Mawdudi unabashedly for both his personal attributes and authentic — and currently relevant — Islamic vision:

Mawdudi was uniquely gifted for the task he undertook — a systematic exposition of the teachings of Islam. To help him fulfill that task he possessed a clear and penetrating mind as well as a felicitous and vigorous pen … [H]e distinguished himself by arguing and forcefully establishing that the principles prescribed by Islam were intrinsically sound, that they were relevant for, and viable in, every age and clime, that they were conducive to the overall well-being of man.

Extracts from Ansari’s own translation of Understanding the Koran make plain Mawdudi’s firmly rooted, traditionalist Islamic Weltanschauung — the subjugation of humanity via jihad to the totalitarian Sharia, and all its intrinsic disregard of human rights and dignity for non-Muslims.

Mawdudi’s unapologetic exegeses of Koranic verses 2:191ff and 9:29 capture the essence of the timeless, uniquely Islamic institution of jihad:

[on 2:191-193] These misguided people have no right to either enforce the false laws of their own contriving instead of the laws of God or to drive the people of God to bondage of others than God. In order to put an end to this fitnah, both persuasion and force be used, whenever and to the extent to which each of the two is needed, and a true believer will not rest until the unbelievers give up this fitnah.

[on 9:29] The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not, as one might think, to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam. Rather their purpose is to put an end to the sovereignty and supremacy of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over men. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the true faith [Islam]; unbelievers who do not follow this true faith should live in state of subordination. Unbelievers are required to pay jizyah [the deliberately humiliating Koranic poll tax] in lieu of the security provided to them as the Dhimmis [non-Muslim, non-citizen pariahs vanquished by jihad] of an Islamic State. Jizyah symbolizes the submission of unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam. “To pay jizyah of their own hands humbled” refers to payment in a state of submission. “Humbled” also reinforces the idea that the believers, rather than the unbelievers, should be the rulers in performance of their duty as God’s vicegerents. Initially the rule that jizyah should be realized from all non-Muslims meant its application to Christians and Jews living in the Islamic state. Later on the Prophet extended it to Zoroastrians as well, granting them the status of Dhimmis. Guided by the Prophet’s practice the Companions applied this rule to all non-Muslim religious communities living outside Arabia. Some nineteenth century Muslim writers and their followers in our own times never seem to tire of their apologies for jizyah. But God’s religion does not require that apologetic explanations be made on its behalf.

Mawdudi also cites the same Koranic injunction (Koran 4:59) referenced by Islamic legists since al-Mawardi (d. 1058; from al-Mawardi’s seminal treatise Al-Akham as-Sultaniyyah – The Laws of Islamic Governance) as legitimizing the totalitarian caliphate system of global governance, which demonstrates its remarkable consistency across a millennium of time.

This verse [Koran 4:59] is the cornerstone of the entire religious, social, and political structure of Islam, and the very first clause of the constitution of an Islamic state. It lays down the following principles as permanent guidelines: (1) In the Islamic order of life, God alone is the focus of loyalty and obedience … (2) Another basic principle of the Islamic order of life is obedience to the Prophet … (3) In the Islamic order of life Muslims are further required to obey fellow Muslims in authority … (4) In an Islamic order the injunctions of God and the way of the Prophet constitute the basic law and paramount authority in all matters. Whenever there is any dispute among Muslims or between the rulers and the ruled the matter should be referred to the Qur’an and the Sunnah [traditions], and all concerned should accept with sincerity whatever judgment results.

The basic difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is that whereas the latter feels free to do as he wishes, the basic characteristic of a Muslim is that he always looks to God and to His Prophet for guidance, and where such guidance is available, a Muslim is bound by it … [T]he Qur’an is not merely a legal code, but also seeks to instruct, educate, admonish, and exhort … Two things are laid down. First, that faithful adherence to the above four principles is a necessary requirement of faith. Anyone who claims to be a Muslim and yet disregards the principles of Islam involves himself in gross contradiction. Second, the well-being of Muslims lies in basing their lives on those principles. This alone can keep them on the straight path in this life, and will lead to their salvation in the Next. It is significant that this admonition [Koran 4:59] after the section which embodies comments about the moral and religious condition of the Jews. Thus the Muslims were subtly directed to draw a lesson from the depths to which the Jews had sunk, as a result of their deviation from the fundamental principles of true faith just mentioned. Any community that turns its back upon the Book of God [the Koran] and the guidance of His Prophets, that wittingly follows rulers and leaders who are heedless of God and His Prophets, and that obeys its religious and political authorities blindly without seeking authority for their actions either in the Book of God or in the practice of the Prophets, will inevitably fall into the same evil and corruption as the Israelites [Jews] …

Elsewhere in his Islamic Law and Constitution (1960; p. 154) Mawdudi elucidates the nature of the idealized Sharia societies he envisions, even invoking 20th Century totalitarian ideological states as analogous examples:

A state of this sort cannot evidently restrict the scope of its activities. Its approach is universal and all-embracing. Its sphere of activity is coextensive with the whole of human life. It seeks to mould every aspect of life and activity in consonance with its moral norms and programme of social reform. In such a state no one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private. Considered from this aspect the Islamic State bears a kind of resemblance to the Fascist and Communist states.

Despite Ansari’s hagiography, to the non-Muslim “outside world” Mawdudi deservedly represents the apotheosis of the persistent Medieval obscurantism which continues to define vast swaths of contemporary Islamdom, and increasingly, Muslim minority communities in Europe and North America.

John Esposito, who heads the lavishly Saudi-funded (i.e., 20 million dollars donated in 2005, according to the New York Times) Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, is the doyen of American academic apologists for jihadism. Esposito, despite being a distressingly shallow and transparent janissary for the House of Saud who nonetheless continues to proffer geostrategic “advice” on the Muslim world to the American government, opined in a fall 2003 Boston Review essay that Muslim Brotherhood jihadist ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi (see Qaradawi’s “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model”) embodied: “[A] reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism and human rights.” Even at his best, Esposito’s academic presentations suffer from these inappropriate biases, as lucidly described by the scholar Bat Ye’or: 1) historical negationism, consisting of suppressing or sketching in a page or a paragraph, one thousand years of jihad which is presented as a peaceful conquest generally “welcomed” by the vanquished populations; 2) the omission of Christian and in particular Muslim sources describing the actual methods of these conquests and the rule of the conquered peoples as sanctioned by the classical jihad ideology written by numerous Muslim jurists since the 7th Century: pillage, enslavement, deportation, massacres, and the imposition of dhimmitude; 3) the mythical historical conversion of “centuries” of “peaceful coexistence”, masking the processes which transformed majorities (i.e., vast Christian populations, in particular) into minorities constantly at risk of extinction.

Not surprisingly, Esposito’s warped, apologetic narrative — which negates the 7th through 11th century waves of violent jihad conquests that antedated and precipitated the First Crusade — was also stated by his co-IMMA editorial board colleague, now Editor-in-Chief, Saleha Abedin in a 1979 IMMA journal essay:

From the Crusades down to the colonial era Muslims have encountered the Christian West as a cultural and political adversary.

3 Responses

  1. I have long been of the opinion that Lewis is a man who knows vitually everything about Islam yet understands nothing.

  2. For ‘vitually’, above, read virtually. Ooops 🙁

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