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DANIEL PIPES: What little Basmallah 'knows'-Jew-hatred are emblematic of Muslim thinking
Jerusalem Post ^ | 10-28-03 | DANIEL PIPES

Posted on 10/29/2003 5:38:38 AM PST by SJackson

Contrary to Rice's analysis, recent expressions of Jew-hatred are emblematic of Muslim thinking.

The prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, informed the world last week that, among other things, "Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them." In reaction, Condoleezza Rice, the US national security adviser, described Mahathir's comments as "hateful, they are outrageous." She then added, "I don't think they are emblematic of the Muslim world."

If only she were right about that.

In fact, Mahathir's views are precisely emblematic of Muslim discourse about Jews – symbolized by the standing ovation his speech received from an all-Muslim audience of leaders representing 57 states. Then, a Saudi newspaper reports, when Western leaders criticized Mahathir, "Muslim leaders closed ranks" around him with words of praise (e.g., "very correct," "a very, very wise assessment").

Although anti-Jewish sentiments among Muslims go back centuries, today's hostility results from two main developments: Jewish success in modern times and the establishment of Israel. Until about 1970, however, Muslim resentment and fear of Jewish power remained relatively quiet.

This changed in the 1970s, when a further political radicalization combined with an oil boom gave states like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Libya the will and the means to sponsor anti-Jewish ideas worldwide. With barely a Muslim voice to counter increasingly outlandish theories, these multiplied and deepened. For the first time, the Muslim world became the main locus of anti-Jewish theories.

By now, notes Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America, "Hatred of Jews is widespread throughout the Muslim world. It is taught in the schools and preached in the mosques. Cartoons in Muslim newspapers routinely portray Jews in blatantly anti-Semitic terms."

Indeed, Mahathir is hardly the only Muslim ruler to make anti-Jewish statements. President Bashar Assad of Syria said in 2001 that Israelis try "to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ."

The Iranian ayatollahs and Saudi princes have a rich history of anti-Jewish venom, as of course do Egyptian television programs and Palestinian textbooks.

OF THE many examples, one stands out for me: a June 2002 interview with a three-year-old girl named Basmallah on Saudi television, made available by the Middle East Media and Research Institute. Anchor: Basmallah, are you familiar with the Jews? Basmallah: Yes. Anchor: Do you like them? Basmallah: No. Anchor: Why don't you like them? Basmallah: Because... Anchor: Because they are what? Basmallah: They're apes and pigs. Anchor: Because they are apes and pigs. Who said they are so? Basmallah: Our God. Anchor: Where did he say this? Basmallah: In the Koran.

The little girl is wrong, but her words show that, contrary to Condoleezza Rice's analysis, Muslim anti-Semitism extends even to the youngest children. That Mahathir himself is no Islamist but (in the words of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman) "about as forward-looking a Muslim leader as we're likely to find" also points to the pervasiveness of anti-Jewish bias.

In its attitudes toward Jews, the Muslim world today resembles Germany of the 1930s – a time when insults, caricatures, conspiracy theories, and sporadic violence prepared Germans for the mass murder that followed.

The same might be happening today. Wild accusatory comments like Mahathir's have become banal.

Against Israelis, violence has already reached a rate approaching one death per day over the past three years. Outside Israel, violence against Jews is also persistent: a Jewish building blown up in Argentina; Daniel Pearl's murder in Pakistan; stabbings in France; the Brooklyn Bridge and LAX killings in the United States.

These episodes, plus calling Jews "apes and pigs," could serve as the psychological preparation that one day leads to assaulting Israel with weapons of mass destruction. Armaments chemical, biological, and nuclear would be the successors of Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau. Millions of Jews would perish in another Holocaust.

As in the 1930s, the world at large – including the US government – again seems not to note the deadliness of processes now under way. Anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence are decried, to be sure, but with little sense of urgency and even less of their cumulative impact.

Condoleezza Rice and other top-ranking officials need to recognize the power and reach of the anti-Jewish ideology among Muslims, then develop active ways to combat it. This evil has already taken innocent lives; unless combated it could take many more.

The writer is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Militant Islam Reaches America.

TOPICS: General Discusssion

1 posted on 10/29/2003 5:38:38 AM PST by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
2 posted on 10/29/2003 5:39:36 AM PST by SJackson
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To: SJackson
The media has a perfect opportunity to majorly bash the Bush Administration but their love affair with Islam will prevent that.
3 posted on 10/29/2003 5:42:23 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: SJackson
Man! I wish I could say this piece is wrong....but I can't.
If memory serves one of accusations of the Ayatollahs against the shah was he was dealing with Israel.

4 posted on 10/29/2003 7:01:08 AM PST by Valin (A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject)
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To: SJackson
".....This changed in the 1970s, when a further political radicalization combined with an oil boom gave states like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Libya the will and the means to sponsor anti-Jewish ideas worldwide....."

I'd also like to add............a heavy dose of Marxist-Liberation rhetoric compliments of the, now-defunct, Soviet Union and its proxies.

5 posted on 10/29/2003 7:06:02 AM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: SJackson
I find it quite meaningful to compare the Muslim/Jewish situation with some of the things the victims of the California wildfires are saying about their tragic loss. Many could see it coming, not only because of the annual flareups, but because of what was visible around them, dead trees, brush piling up, etc. They tried to prepare, but in the end, the fires burned so red hot that nothing could be done. When the fires started, it was way too late to stop them.

This article seems to me to be describing a similar situation. People see the hatred building up, know it will eventually lead to red hot action, which, once started, will be impossible to stop. It's worse than the 1930s because in 1930 there was no prior 1930 to remind them of what it meant, what was happening around them.

Rice probably sees it, but is hampered by her position. Even if one were hard hearted enough to pretend it is a Jewish problem, to think it so is to fail to see the brush building up around all of the non-Muslim world and to remain unprepared for the fireball to come. The question is still, how to stop it before it gets started? I believe in the Bush doctrine of preemptive strike whether the danger is imminent or not, but what is the target?
6 posted on 10/29/2003 8:54:44 AM PST by Sir Charles
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To: SJackson
Actually, Christians are the pigs (eating pork). Jews get to be the apes--for what reason, I do not know.
7 posted on 10/29/2003 9:44:59 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Sir Charles
i dont fundamentally disagree with you. however, (and last time i wrote this, someone got the wrong idea), 1930 is a blip on the radar screen. 1933 wasnt the beginning of world wide anti jew attacks nor was 1945 the end. the holocaust neither began nor ended in the mid 20thC. and yes, while most see it, fighting against it isnt helped by the frequent comments even here on FR and in other places by those who seem to want to help saying, "well so and so probably believes otherwise but cant do or say anything because of this or that..." doesnt help. i have heard or read this excuse primarily written about the president, but also about rice, rummy, powell, everyone at the state dept. and even sharon and some of the israeli right. it is time to stop making excuses and holding people accountable for their politics and policies.
8 posted on 10/29/2003 12:59:25 PM PST by APRPEH (tag you're it...)
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For the non-scholar, like me, the 1930s "blip" is a very visible comparison with what is going on today and people need to be reminded of the history which is about to be repeated if some drastic steps aren't taken soon. What those steps are, I have no idea, but an inflammatory statement by Rice, Bush or any one recognizable as a spokesman for the administration could be the spark that lets loose the dragon before adequate preparations are in place. No one, IMO, can say that we are dealing with reasonable minds.

What is missing, so significantly missing, is any meaningful attempt by prominent Muslims to isolate those militant leaders from the mass of Muslims who do not live and breath hatred for non-Muslims, if, in fact, such mass exists. This lack of any effective attempt to downplay the caustic rhetoric of militant Islam has been evident from the first moment after Sept 11, at least from what I have heard or read about, and probably before. Those so called rational spokesmen for peace loving Muslims are very much like the politicians who say they are personally opposed to abortion, and then vote for all pro choice legislation that comes down the pike because their constituents demand it.

Many have opinions on this. These are mine, FWIW.
9 posted on 10/29/2003 6:10:40 PM PST by Sir Charles
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To: Sir Charles
{if, in fact, such mass exists.}

yep. if only... maybe only in america but in decreasing not increasing numbers. just last night i heard an interview with the leader of the local islam center on our news saying the attacks on us soldiers and NGOs/red cross/international relief orgs was because the troops and those orgs are considered by the arab on the street as international occupiers. you also clearly see the duplicitous nature of arabians with your comparison to the opportunist american politicians who say they are against abortion and then dont back up their opinions with votes.

and yes, because always bubbling right below the surface is the threat of new attacks against jews it would be appropriate for a president who prouldly proclaims he is the first president to openly call for a state on jewish land for the suffering poor "ancient" palestinians to be stronger in condemning the outburst of anti jewism which is erupting as a result of his and tony blairs escalating of the pali issue.
10 posted on 10/29/2003 6:47:44 PM PST by APRPEH (tag you're it...)
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To: Sir Charles
...what is the target?

Can you say Meck Ahhh ???


11 posted on 10/29/2003 7:19:07 PM PST by GeekDejure (<H3> Searching For The Meaning Of "Huge" Fonts !!!</H3>)
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To: SJackson
12 posted on 10/29/2003 11:46:38 PM PST by lainde
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To: SJackson
Muhammad's Koran-inspired persecution of Christians, Jews and all non-Muslims continues...
13 posted on 12/17/2004 2:39:55 AM PST by miltonim (Fight those who do not believe in Allah. - Koran, Surah IX: 29)
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