Despite clearly demonstrated, intimate connections to the jihadist and virulently Jew-hating Muslim Brotherhood (via the Brotherhood’s affirmed Palestinian Muslim branch, the Jew-hating, jihad terrorist organization Hamas), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) persists in its Orwellian self-characterization as an “anti-discrimination” organization.
On June 3, the stalwart Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) provided video and audio extracts documenting that CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid invoked Jew-hating motifs in a recent May 25 sermon, and in an earlier January speech.
As the IPT report notes, Dawud asked, “Who are those who incurred the wrath of Allah?” during his May 25 sermon at the Islamic Organization of North America mosque in Warren, Michigan. Dawud immediately answered his own query in Arabic: “They are the Jews, they are the Jews.”
In the January 2012 speech, Dawud claimed that when Islam’s prophet Muhammad oversaw the mass murder of the vanquished males of the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza (accompanied by the enslavement of their women and children), it was both appropriate and not in the least bigoted, i.e., anti-Semitic. Discussing Dawud’s January 2012 Detroit speech, the IPT report observes:
“Did Muhammad order the killing of Jews?” Walid asked in a Twitter post promoting the video [of the sermon]. In response, an Islamist follower wrote, “Yes he did and I agree with it … Well isn’t treason a sentence to death.” Rather than oppose a hateful perspective, Walid merely corrected the follower and reinforced the anti-Jewish sentiment. Muhammad “didn’t order it. Sa’ad ibn Mu’aadh [one of his followers] ordered that punishment. It was a correct one.”
What the invaluable IPT documentation and analysis fails to provide, however, is the Islamic religious source context of Dawud’s remarks on each occasion. Simply put, Dawud was reiterating motifs from the Koran, hadith (words and deeds of Muhammad as recorded by his devout early Muslim companions), and sira (earliest pious Muslim biographies of Muhammad) that illustrate Islam’s canonical, mainstream Jew-hatred, repeated continuously, across space and time, since the creed’s advent until now.
Cairo’s 1000-year-old Al Azhar University and its mosque represent the pinnacle of Islamic religious education, equivalent to a Sunni Muslim Vatican. A front page New York Times story published January 10, 2009, included extracts from the Friday sermon (of 1/9/09) at Al Azhar mosque pronounced by Egyptian-government appointed cleric Sheik Eid Abdel Hamid Youssef. Referencing well-established anti-Semitic motifs from the Koran (citations provided below) Sheikh Youssef intoned:
Muslim brothers, God has inflicted the Muslim nation with a people whom God has become angry at [Koran 1:7] and whom he cursed [Koran 5:78] so he made monkeys and pigs [Koran 5:60] out of them. They killed prophets and messengers [Koran 2:61 / 3:112] and sowed corruption on Earth. [Koran 5:33 / 5:64] They are the most evil on Earth. [5:62 /63]
For over thirteen centuries, through our contemporary era, the consistent, collective understanding of Koran 1:7 — cited by Al_Azhar’s Sheikh Youssef — is that Jews are cursed eternally for their ostensible “repeated transgressions” against the will of Islam’s deity, Allah, a few of which the good sheikh then enumerates. (Earlier, for example, in keeping with classical, mainstream Koranic interpretation, Sheikh Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar’s Fatwa Committee, identified at least 20 negative, inveterate traits of the Jews as described by Islam’s holy book.) It should be noted that Koran 1:7 is the last verse in the Koran’s opening sura or chapter, the Fatiha, which pious Muslims repeat up to 17 times per day, as part of their five daily prayer sessions.
Professor of Oriental Languages Bernard Carra de Vaux’s official entry on the “Fatiha” in the venerated E.J. Brill’s First Encyclopedia of Islam, 1913-1936 (republished 1987, vol. 3 p. 85), states simply:
The words almaghdoobi AAalayhim “those against whom God is enraged,” in verse 7 of the fatiha … are said to refer … to the Jews.
The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia is a modern, authoritative compendium of analyses written by 43 Muslim and non-Muslim mainstream academic experts, edited by Oliver Leaman, and published by Routledge, New York, 2006. These extracts from p. 614 serve as an irrefragable “final summary verdict” — consistent with over a millennium of definitive Muslim interpretation — on how Muslims and non-Muslims alike are to understand Koran 1:7, the Fatiha’s last verse:
[Regarding] the phrase in the daily prescribed prayers “Guide us to the straight path, to the path of those you have blessed, not of those who incurred [Your] wrath (al-Fatiha, 1:5-7.) … The Prophet [Muhammad] interpreted those who incurred God’s wrath as the Jews… The Jews, we are told [i.e., in both the Koran, and hadith] killed many of their prophets, and through their character and materialistic tendencies have contributed much to moral corruption, social upheaval and sedition in the world…[T]hey were readily misled and incurred both God’s wrath and ignominy. By interpreting the phrase “not of those who incurred [Your] wrath,”…the Prophet identified them and clarified in what way and by what beliefs and deeds a man incurs God’s wrath. This is a warning for the Muslims not to follow in the footsteps of the Jews.
Thus the centrality of the Jews being “laden with Allah’s anger,” and their resultant eternal “abasement and humiliation” in the corpus of Muslim exegetic (i.e., interpretative) literature on the Koran, is clear. By nature deceitful and treacherous, the Jews rejected Allah’s signs and prophets, including Isa, the Muslim Jesus, and ultimately Islam’s prophet Muhammad. The crux of all these conspiratorial allegations is a central anti-Semitic motif in the Koran which decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61, reiterated at 2:90/91, and 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah. It should be noted that Koran 3:112 is featured before the preamble to Hamas’ foundational covenant.
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.’” 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).
CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid’s January 2012 speech in Detroit extolled another anti-Semitic (and jihadist) motif from Islam’s mainstream canon: the brutal, mass murderous subjugation of the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza. Conveniently omitted from Walid’s summary “rationale” for these events — as described in the pious Muslim sira accounts of Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Saad — is that just before subduing the Banu Qurayza and orchestrating the mass execution of their adult males, Muhammad invoked perhaps the most striking Koranic motif for the Jews debasement. He addressed these Jews, with hateful disparagement, as: “You brothers of apes” (as per Koran 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166).
Notwithstanding Walid’s morally repugnant characterization — a bizarre admixture of apologetics and grisly celebration — the following details have been chronicled consistently by Muslim sources: Muhammad himself appointed the arbiter (Sa’d Mu’adh, whose verdict, W.H.T Gairdner noted aptly, as described in the sira, “was wholly and admittedly due to his lust for personal vengeance on as tribe which had occasioned him a painful wound”); Muhammad observed in person the horrific executions; Muhammad claimed as a wife a woman (Rayhana) previously married to one of the slaughtered Qurayza tribesmen; the substantial material benefits (i.e. property, receipts from the sale of the enslaved) that accrued to the Muslims as a result of the massacre, which simultaneously, caused the extinction of the Qurayza.
Abu Yusuf (d. 798), the prominent Hanafi jurist who advised the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid (d. 809), made the following observations about the Qurayza massacre in his writings on jihad, demonstrating more broadly how such liquidations became part of the “sacralized” legacy of this genocidal Muslim institution:
Whenever the Muslims besiege an enemy stronghold, establish a treaty with the besieged who agree to surrender on certain conditions that will be decided by a delegate, and this man decides that their soldiers are to be executed and their women and children taken prisoner, this decision is lawful. This was the decision of Sa’ad b., Mu’adh in connection with the Banu Qurayza … it is up to the imam to decide what treatment is to meted out to them and he will choose that which is preferable for religion and for Islam. If he esteems that the execution of the fighting men and the enslavement of their women and children is better for Islam and its followers, then he will act thus, emulating the example of Sa’ad b. Mu’adh.”
Finally, as reported by M.J. Kister in his scholarly 1986 analysis (“The Massacre of the Banu Qurayza: A Re-examination of a Tradition,” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 1986, vol. 8, pp.61-96.) the notion that this slaughter was sanctioned by Allah as revealed to Muhammad was reflective of “the current (as of 1986) Sunni view about the slaughter of the Banu Qurayza.”
Viewed in their larger context, Dawud Walid’s repeat utterances are pathognomonic of the unreformed and unrepentant Jew-hating bigotry intrinsic to mainstream institutional Islam. Walid’s remarks mirror the continual, monotonous invocation by Al Azhar clerics of such anti-Semitic (and jihadist) motifs from the Koran (or other foundational Muslim texts), which in turn are entirely consistent with the published writings and statements of the late Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Grand Imam of this preeminent Islamic religious institution from 1996 until his death in March 2010.
My book The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism includes extensive first-time English translations of Tantawi’s academic magnum opus, Jews in the Koran and the Traditions. Tantawi wrote these words rationalizing Muslim Jew-hatred in his 700-page treatise:
[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [Koran 2:61/ 3:112], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness … only a minority of the Jews keep their word … [A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113], the bad ones do not.
More ominously, Sheikh Tantawi’s study sanctioned frank abrogation of the practice of Judaism, and destruction of Jewish communities if deemed an appropriate remedy for the Jews’ allegedly inherent “evil”:
The Jews always remain maleficent deniers. … they should desist from their negative denial … some Jews went way overboard in their denying hostility, so gentle persuasion can do no good with them, so use force with them and treat them in the way you see as effective in ridding them of their evil. One may go so far as to ban their religion, their persons, their wealth, and their villages.
Tantawi was apparently rewarded for this scholarly effort by being named Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, a position he held for 14 years. These were the expressed, “carefully researched” views on Jews held by the nearest Muslim equivalent to a Pope — the head of the most prestigious center of Muslim learning in Sunni Islam, which represents some 85 to 90 percent of the world’s Muslims. And Sheikh Tantawi never mollified such hatemongering beliefs after becoming the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar as his statements on “dialogue” (January 1998) with Jews, the Jews as “enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs” (April 2002), and the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews (April 2002) make clear.
Tantawi’s statements on dialogue, which were issued shortly after he met with Israel’s Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau in Cairo on December 15, 1997, provided him another opportunity to re-affirm his ongoing commitment to the views expressed about Jews in his Ph.D. thesis:
Anyone who avoids meeting with the enemies in order to counter their dubious claims and stick fingers into their eyes, is a coward. My stance stems from Allah’s book [the Koran], more than one-third of which deals with the Jews … [I] wrote a dissertation dealing with them [the Jews], all their false claims and their punishment by Allah. I still believe in everything written in that dissertation. [i.e., Jews in the Koran and the Traditions, cited above.]
At present, even much ballyhooed “reformist” Muslims, including Mohammed Zuhdi Jasser, have failed to acknowledge and condemn the foundational Islamic textual sources of such murder-inspiring Muslim Jew-hatred. Worse still, mainstream Jewish and Christian religious institutions have also chosen to completely ignore Islam’s institutionalized Jew-hating theology and its unfettered inculcation to the global Muslim masses. Tragically, it has been left to a small cadre of non-Muslim scholars and activists, joined by a handful of remarkably brave Muslim apostates/free thinkers, such as Ibn Warraq, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to sound the tocsin of looming calamity.