Silencing the Jews
Tarek Fatah also conveniently ignores the virulently anti-Semitic motifs in the Koran which sanctioned Muhammad’s murderous brutality towards the Jews, as described graphically in the hadith and pious Muslim biographies (or “sira”) of the Muslim prophet.
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).
The Koranic curse upon the Jews for (primarily) rejecting, even slaying Allah’s prophets (verses 2:61/3:112), 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. And Ibn Saad’s sira account maintains that Muhammad’s poisoning resulted from a well-coordinated Jewish conspiracy.
It is worth recounting -- as depicted in the Muslim sources -- the events that antedated Muhammad’s reputed poisoning at Khaybar.
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). Just before subduing the Medinan Jewish tribe 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.” Subsequently, in the case of the Khaybar Jews, Muhammad had the male leadership killed and plundered their riches. The terrorized Khaybar survivors -- industrious Jewish farmers -- became prototype subjugated dhimmis whose productivity was extracted by the Muslims as a form of permanent booty. (And according to the Muslim sources, even this tenuous vassalage was arbitrarily terminated within a decade of Muhammad’s death when Caliph Umar expelled the Jews of Khaybar.)
And Muhammad’s own depictions of “the end of times” (Muslim eschatology) in the hadith highlight the Jews supreme hostility to Islam, condemning them to annihilation. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl -- the Muslim equivalent of the Antichrist -- and as per another tradition, the Dajjâl is in fact Jewish. At the Dajjâl’s appearance, other traditions state that the Dajjâl will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan, or Jerusalem. When the Dajjâl is defeated, he and his Jewish companions will be slaughtered -- everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree.
Thus, according to a canonical hadith -- incorporated into the 1988 Hamas Charter (article 7) -- if a Jew seeks refuge under a tree or a stone, these objects will be able to speak to tell a Muslim: “There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!”
Thus Maimonides (d. 1203), the renowned Talmudist, philosopher, astronomer, and physician, as noted by historian Salo Baron (from Baron’s essay "The Historical Outlook of Maimonides" in Proc of the Amer Acad for Jewish Res, vol. 6, 1934-35, p. 82), emphasizes the bellicose “madness” of Muhammad and his quest for political control. Muhammad’s mindset, and the actions it engendered, had immediate and long-term tragic consequences for Jews -- from his massacring up to 24,000 Jews to their chronic oppression -- as described in the Islamic sources by Muslims themselves:
Following an apparently prevalent usage [Maimonides] calls the founder of Islam a “madman,” [meshugga] with both religious and political aspirations, who failed to formulate any new religious ideas but merely restated well-known concepts. Nevertheless, he attracted a large following and inflicted many wrongs upon the Jews, being himself responsible for the massacre of 24,000. Following his example the Muslims of the subsequent generations oppressed the Jews and debased them even more harshly than any other nation.
For over a thousand years, since its founding in 792 C.E., Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, has served as the academic shrine -- much as Mecca is the religious shrine -- of the global Muslim community. Al-Azhar University (and its mosque) represent the pinnacle of Islamic religious education.
A front-page New York Times story published on January 10, 2009, included extracts from the Friday sermon (of the day before) at Al-Azhar mosque pronounced by Egyptian-government appointed cleric Sheik Eid Abdel Hamid Youssef. Referencing well-established anti-Semitic motifs from the Koran, 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]