After 1,400 years of jihad violence against Jews everywhere that Muslims and Jews have lived in proximity, the Orthodox Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who serves as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, says that he finds it “alarming” that so many Muslims in the United Kingdom are anti-Semitic. But given Islam’s texts, teachings and history, what else did he expect?
Rabbi Mirvis recently participated in an online debate about Israel’s normalization of relations with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), along with the UAE’s Minister for International Cooperation, Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimy; former UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon; and Britain’s former Middle East Minister Alistair Burt. In the course of the debate, Mirvis referred to a survey that found that 44 percent of Muslims in Britain believed in hateful and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and remarked: “This is an alarming rate, it’s nearly half of the Muslims in the UK. That underlines how crucially important engagement, dialogue and understanding is… There’s so much potential relating to Jewish-Muslim relations. I believe the Abraham Accords have unlocked certain doors for us.”
Yes, they have, but they have done so by laying aside the Islamic teachings that inculcate this deep hatred of Jews in all too many Muslims. If Rabbi Mirvis were to take the time to open the Qur’an, he would find that it depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the well-being of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); they fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); they claim that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); they love to listen to lies (5:41); they disobey Allah and never observe his commands (5:13). They are disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more. They are under Allah’s curse (9:30), and Muslims should wage war against them and subjugate them under Islamic hegemony (9:29).
There are more exhortations to violence in Islamic tradition. Muhammad said this, according to a hadith:
The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. (Sahih Muslim 6985)
Many Muslims take this genocidal saying very seriously. Such passages have induced Muslims throughout the last fourteen centuries, as The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS shows in detail, to brutalize and kill Jews. There are innumerable examples of this. In 1013, Berbers from North Africa entered Spain and took Córdoba in 1013. They began massacring Jews and initiated a wholesale slaughter of Jews in Granada. And again in 1066, rioting Muslims, enraged by the humiliation of a Jew who had been appointed to rule over Muslims, murdered four thousand Jews in Granada. The twelfth-century Muslim historian Ibn Baydhaq detailed how the Almohads treated the Jews as they advanced:
Abd al-Mumin…the leader of the Almohads after the death of Muhammad ibn Tumart the Mahdi…captured Tlemcen [in the Maghreb] and killed all those who were in it, including the Jews, except those who embraced Islam…. [In Sijilmasa] one hundred and fifty persons were killed for clinging to their [Jewish] faith…. All the cities in the Almoravid state were conquered by the Almohads. One hundred thousand persons were killed in Fez on that occasion, and 120,000 in Marrakesh. The Jews in all [Maghreb] localities [conquered]…groaned under the heavy yoke of the Almohads; many had been killed, many others converted; none were able to appear in public as Jews.
Islamic apologists in the West today don’t want people to know all this and more about the shameful history of Islamic antisemitism, because of the jihad against the modern-day State of Israel. But Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, given that he has a position of considerable prestige and influence, should know it, and should not be surprised that a large number of Muslims in Britain know it as well, and approve. In light of Islam’s deeply rooted anti-Semitism, what is surprising here is actually that the percentage of anti-Semites is as low as it is.
But Rabbi Mirvis and all other rabbis, and all clerics of other faiths, should be fully aware of the wellsprings of Islamic anti-Semitism. In this case, perhaps more than is usually so, knowledge is power.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.