Jihad and Genocidal Islamic Anti-Semitism in Shi’ite Iran, Part Three
February 7, 2010 - 12:00 am
How have the jihad and its corollary institution, dhimmitude — including “najis-inspired” dhimmitude — been conjoined to Islamic anti-Semitism, past and present?
Demonizing Israel and Jews via motifs in the Koran, hadith, and sira (the earliest pious Muslim biographies of Muhammad), Hezbollah views the jihad against the “Zionist entity” as an annihilationist war intrinsic to broader conflicts: the struggle between the Islamic world and the non-Muslim world, and the historical struggle between Islam and Judaism. 62
The most senior clerical authority for Hezbollah, Husayn Fadlalah, has stated:
We find in the Koran that the Jews are the most aggressive towards the Muslims … because of their aggressive resistance to the unity of the faith. 63
Fadlallah repeatedly refers to anti-Jewish archetypes in the Koran, hadith, and sira: the corrupt, treacherous, and aggressive nature of the Jews; their reputation as killers of prophets who spread corruption on earth; and the notion that the Jews engaged in conspiratorial efforts against Muhammad. 64 Hassan Nasrallah — current secretary general of Hezbollah, a protége of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and presently Iran’s highest ranking political and religious authority (its “guardian jurisprudent”) — has reiterated these anti-Semitic views with particular vehemence. Invoking motifs from Islam’s foundational texts, Nasrallah has characterized Jews as the “grandsons of apes and pigs” and as “Allah’s most cowardly and greedy creatures.” 65 He elaborates these themes into an annihilationist animus against all Jews, not merely Israelis: 66
Anyone who reads the Koran and the holy writings of the monotheistic religions sees what they did to the prophets, and what acts of madness and slaughter the Jews carried out throughout history. …
Anyone who reads these texts cannot think of co-existence with them, of peace with them, or about accepting their presence, not only in Palestine of 1948 but even in a small village in Palestine, because they are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment. … There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel.
If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak, and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology, and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli. … [I]f they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.
The crux of all these allegations is a central antisemitic motif in the Koran which decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61, reiterated at 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah. 67 It should be noted that Koran 3:112 is featured before the pre-amble to Hamas’ foundational covenant. 68
This central motif is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60 and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60) or simply apes, (i.e., verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been “ … cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son (5:78).” Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith (Sunan Abu Dawoud, Book 37, Number 4322):
He [Muhammad] then recited the verse [5:78]: ” … curses were pronounced on those among the children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary.” 69
The related verse 5:64 accuses the Jews of being “spreaders of war and corruption” — a sort of ancient Koranic antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — invoked not only by Hezbollah leaders Fadlallah and Nasrallah, 70 but “moderate” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He cited Koran 5:64 during a January 2007 speech which urged Palestinian Muslims to end their internecine strife and “aim their rifles at Israel.” 71
Indeed the Koran’s overall discussion of the Jews is marked by a litany of their sins and punishments, as if part of a divine indictment, conviction, and punishment process. The Jews’ ultimate sin and punishment are made clear: They are the devil’s minions (4:60) cursed by Allah, their faces will be obliterated (4:47), and if they do not accept the true faith of Islam — the Jews who understand their faith become Muslims (3:113) — they will be made into apes (2:65/ 7:166), or apes and swine (5:60), and burn in the Hellfires (4:55, 5:29, 98:6, and 58:14-19). 72
The centrality of the Jews’ permanent “abasement and humiliation,” and being “laden with God’s anger” in the corpus of Muslim exegetic literature on Koran 2:61 and 3:112 is clear. By nature deceitful and treacherous, the Jews rejected Allah’s signs and prophets, including Isa, the Muslim Jesus. Classical Koranic commentators such as Tabari (d. 923), Zamakshari (d. 1143), Baydawi (d. 1316), and Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), when discussing Koran 5:82 (which includes the statement “Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews”), concur on the unique animus of the Jews towards the Muslims, which is repeatedly linked to the curse of Koran 2:61/3:112. 73 For example, in his commentary on 5:82, Tabari writes: 74
In my opinion, [the Christians] are not like the Jews who always scheme in order to murder the emissaries and the prophets, and who oppose God in his positive and negative commandments, and who corrupt His scripture which He revealed in His books.
Tabari’s classical interpretations of Koran 5:82 and 2:61, as well as his discussion of the related verse 9:29 mandating the Jews payment of the jizya (Koranic poll-tax), represent both antisemitic and more general anti-dhimmi views that became and remain intrinsic to Islam to this day. Here is Tabari’s discussion of 2:61 and its relationship to verse 9:29, which emphasizes the purposely debasing nature of the Koranic poll tax: 75
“Abasement and poverty were imposed and laid down upon them,” as when someone says “the imam imposed the poll tax (jizya) on free non-Muslim subjects,” or “The man imposed land tax on his slave,” meaning thereby that he obliged him [to pay ] it, or, “The commander imposed a sortie on his troops,” meaning he made it their duty. … God commanded His believing servants not to give them [i.e., the non-Muslim people of the scripture] security — as long as they continued to disbelieve in Him and his Messenger — unless they paid the poll tax to them; God said: “Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden — such men as practice not the religion of truth [Islam], being of those who have been given the Book [Bible] — until they pay the poll tax, being humble.” (Koran 9:29)
The dhimmis posture during the collection of the jizya “[should be lowering themselves] by walking on their hands … reluctantly.”
His words “and abasement and poverty were imposed upon them,” “These are the Jews of the Children of Israel. … Are they the Copts of Egypt?” … What have the Copts of Egypt to do with this? No, by God, they are not; but they are the Jews, the Children of Israel. … By “and slain the prophets unrightfully,” He means that they used to kill the Messengers of God without God’s leave, denying their messages and rejecting their prophethood.
The Koranic curse (verses 2:61/3:112) upon the Jews for (primarily) rejecting, even slaying Allah’s prophets, including Isa/Jesus (or at least his “body double,” 4:157-4:158), is updated with perfect archetypal logic in the canonical hadith. Following the Muslims’ initial conquest of the Jewish farming oasis of Khaybar, one of the vanquished Jewesses reportedly served Muhammad poisoned mutton (or goat), which resulted ultimately in his protracted agonizing death. 76 And Ibn Saad’s sira account maintains that Muhammad’s poisoning resulted from a well-coordinated Jewish conspiracy. 77
The contemporary Iranian theocracy’s state-sanctioned Jew hatred employs this motif as part of its malevolent indoctrination of young adult candidates for national teacher training programs. Affirming as objective, factual history the hadith account (for eg., Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786) of Muhammad’s supposed poisoning by a Jewish woman from ancient Khaybar, Professor Eliz Sanasarian notes: 78
The subject became one of the questions in the ideological test for the Teachers’ Training College where students were given a multiple-choice question in order to identify the instigator of the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad, the “correct” answer being “a Jewess.”
It is worth recounting, as depicted in the Muslim sources, the events that antedated Muhammad’s reputed poisoning at Khaybar. 79
Muhammad’s failures or incomplete successes were consistently recompensed by murderous attacks on the Jews. The Muslim prophet-warrior developed a penchant for assassinating individual Jews and destroying Jewish communities by expropriation and expulsion (Banu Quaynuqa and B. Nadir), or massacring their men and enslaving their women and children (Banu Qurayza). 80