'In Context': Muhammad Morsi's (Islamically Correct) Jew-Hatred
Promoters of modern jihad genocide have repeatedly invoked Islam’s Jew-exterminating eschatology. Hajj Amin el-Husseini, ex-Mufti of Jerusalem and Muslim jihadist who became, additionally, a full-fledged Nazi collaborator and ideologue in his endeavors to abort a Jewish homeland and destroy world Jewry, composed a 1943 recruitment pamphlet for Balkan Muslims entitled, “Islam and the Jews.” This incendiary document was rife with the anti-Semitic Koranic verses cited herein, as well as Jew-hating motifs from the hadith, and concluded with the apocalyptic canonical hadith describing the Jews’ annihilation.
Forty-five years later, the same hadith was incorporated into the 1988 Hamas Covenant, making clear its own aspirations for Jew annihilation.
The historical treatment of Jews in Muslim societies, including Egypt, since the advent of Islam -- chronic oppression, punctuated by outbursts of mass anti-Jewish violence, forced conversion to Islam, or expulsion -- has been consistent with such sacralized religious bigotry. Thus the dehumanizing Koranic references to Jews as apes (or apes and pigs) were used explicitly for polemical incitement to large scale, annihilationist pogroms against dhimmi Jewish communities in Granada (within mythically “tolerant” Muslim Spain) during 1066, Baghdad and its environs, proliferating into Iran at the end of the 13th century and southern Morocco at the close of the 15th century.
Furthermore, all of the following events wrought tremendous devastation to Egyptian dhimmi Jews under Muslim rule, up to a millennium before the advent of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928: the murderous persecutions of al-Hakim during the early 11th century, one of which was timed for Passover in 1012; Jews in Alexandria and Cairo being pogromed and plundered in 1047, 1168, 1265, and 1324; and Sultan Baybars in the 13th century blaming Jews for starting a plague, and subjecting them to extortion, massacre, and expulsion.
Centuries later, the great scholar of Arabic E. W. Lane reported after nearly a decade of residence in both Cairo and Luxor (through 1835) on the difference between the attitude of Egyptian Muslims toward Jews and Christians, highlighting the influence of Koran 5:82:
They [the Jews] are held in the utmost contempt and abhorrence by the Muslims in general, and they are said to bear a more inveterate hatred than any other people to the Muslims and the Muslim religion. It is said in the Koran [quoting 5:82]: “Thou shalt surely find the most violent all men to those who have believed to be the Jews.
Lane further notes:
It is a common saying among the Muslims in this country, “Such one hates me with the hate of the Jews.” We cannot wonder, then, that the Jews are detested far more than are the Christians. Not long ago, they used often to be jostled in the streets of Cairo, and sometimes beaten for merely passing on the right hand of a Muslim. At present, they are less oppressed: but still they scarcely ever dare to utter a word of abuse when reviled or beaten unjustly by the meanest Arab or Turk; for many a Jew has been put to death upon a false and malicious accusation of uttering disrespectful words against the Koran or the Prophet. It is common to hear an Arab abuse his jaded ass, and, after applying to him various opprobrious epithets, end by calling the beast a Jew.
Subsequent 19th century accounts validate and expand upon Lane’s narrative regarding the pervasive Egyptian Muslim Jew-hatred which was endemic well before the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, the French surgeon A.B. Clot who resided in Egypt from 1825 to 1848 and served Muhammad Ali as a medical adviser, earning the honorific title, “Bey”, made these confirmatory observations written in 1840 -- five years after Lane’s travelogue first appeared in 1835:
The Israelite race is the one that the Muslims hate the most. They think that the Jews hate Islam more than any other nation … Speaking of a fierce enemy, the Muslims say: “He hates me the way the Jews hate us.” During the past century, the Israelites were often put to death because they were accused rightly or wrongly to have something disrespectful about the Koran.
And three decades later, such hateful attitudes directed at the Jews specifically, persisted among Egyptian Muslims, as recorded in 1873 by Moritz Lüttke:
The Muslim hates no other religion as he hates that of the Jews … even now that all forms of political oppression have ceased, at a time when such great tolerance is shown to the Christian population, the Arabs still bear the same contemptuous hatred of the Jews. It is a commonplace occurrence, for example, for two Arabs reviling each other to call each other Ibn Yahudi (or “son of a Jew”) as the supreme insult … it should be mentioned that in these cases, they pronounce the word Yahudi in a violent and contemptuous tone that would be hard to reproduce.
Jacob Landau’s modern analysis of Egyptian Jewry in the 19th century elucidates the predictable outcome of these bigoted archetypes “constantly repeated in various forms” -- the escalation from rhetorical to physical violence against Jews:
It is interesting to note that even the fallahin, the Egyptian peasantry (almost all of them Muslim) certainly did not know many Jews at close quarters, but nevertheless would revile them. The enmity some Muslims felt for the Jews incited them to violence, persecution, and physical assault, as in 1882 … Hostility was not necessarily the result of envy, for many Jews were poverty-stricken and even destitute and were sometimes forced to apply for financial assistance to their co-religionists abroad.
From the 1930s onward, traditional Egyptian Islamic Jew-hatred was complemented by the influx of European Anti-Semitism, especially Nazi motifs, which resonated with the Muslim masses. During World War II, after the creation of Israel in 1947-48 and following the Suez war of 1956, anti-Jewish pogroms, riots, and finally government expropriations and expulsions caused the final liquidation of the Egyptian Jewish community.