Debunking Qanta Ahmed’s Corrosive Claim, 'Antisemitism Is Profoundly Against Islam'
Qanta Ahmed is a secular Pakistani Muslim physician, and occasional talking head, who fancies herself “a Muslim expert in Islamism.” As I have demonstrated previously, she in fact has a very thin veneer of understanding of Islam, and an apparent willingness to engage in takiya, sanctioned Islamic dissimulation.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), an American Muslim of Somali origin, shames American Muslims with the antisemitism she has brought to Congress.
Notwithstanding this rather dubious assertion of “shame,” given the global pandemic of Muslim Jew-hatred, which now includes Muslim diaspora populations in the West, Ahmed had the following exchange (from 35:14-35-37) with Judge Pirro. Ahmed observed, appropriately, “Empowering antisemitism is against every American value,” which elicited a quick interjection from Judge Pirro, “And against our Judeo-Christian ethics,” prompting Ahmed to aver, “And it is also against Islam, which reveres the Torah and Judaism.” This latter, patently false statement by Ahmed, in turn, prompted Judge Pirro to add the requisite cultural relativist fig leaf caveat, “And you and I understand when you say, ‘Islamist’ there is a political ideology, versus the Muslim religion,” because Ahmed had earlier (32:07-17) accused Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of “ringing completely true with Islamist antisemitism”—as if this artificial construct was completely divorced from Islam’s intrinsic Jew-hatred. Nodding approvingly, Ahmed quickly chimed in, “Exactly,” and the segment ended.
The views Qanta Ahmed summarized for Judge Pirro and her audience were discussed more fully in Ahmed’s 2/14/19 oped:
For Muslims in America, we are faced with the realization that Muslim Antisemites claim to speak for our Islamic faith and our Muslim identity. They invite hostility to our own communities, and more misunderstanding of Islam within America. This is despite the reality that Islam reveres Judaism, the Torah, Moses and the Jewish people as legitimate believers, and Jerusalem as belonging only to the Jews—all documented within the Quran. The Quran’s truths will go unknown in the shadow of Muslim congresswomen spewing Antisemitism and all Muslims will be thus branded Antisemites.
Qanta Ahmed’s self-righteous pronouncements on the phenomenon of Muslim antisemitism—again, a worldwide pandemic in our era—are disturbingly counterfactual, perhaps even deliberately so (i.e., more takiya). Both the Koran itself and the so-called traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad (i.e., as recorded in the “hadith” and “sira”) are rife with virulent Jew-hatred, which I have copiously documented at length (here; here; and here). A daily, striking example of such mainstream, devout Muslim Jew-hatred is the multiply repeated recitation of the Koran’s opening (i.e., the “Fatiha”) short sura, or chapter, specifically, sura (chapter) 1, verse 7. Pious Muslims repeat Koran 1.7 up to 17 times a day, as part of the five daily prayer sessions. Independently confirming my own research assessment of the Jew-hating motif(s) intrinsic to this verse, is the verdict of The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia. This modern, authoritative compendium of analyses written by 43 Muslim and non-Muslim mainstream academic experts was published by Routledge, New York, in 2006. Extracts from p. 614 of The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia, which I have annotated with the intimately related Koranic verses, and a tradition mentioned, serve as an irrefragable “final summary consensus” on how Muslims and non-Muslims alike are to understand Koran 1.7, the Fatiha’s last verse, and its overall Koranic context, vis-à-vis the Jews:
…[T]he 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, nor of the misguided (al-Fatiha, 1:5-7.)…mention two groups of people but do not say who they are. The Prophet [Muhammad] interpreted those who incurred God’s wrath as the Jews and the misguided as the Christians[ Tirmidhi: Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3954]. The Jews, we are told killed many of their prophets [see Koran 2:91and 4:155; and in the traditions, Sunni and Shiite , the Jews are accused of a conspiratorial poisoning of Muhammad that caused his death, while the Shiite traditions claim Jews are further responsible for the deaths of Ali and his son Husayn]., and through their character and materialistic tendencies [usurious 2:275, 4:161; greedy/hedonistic 2:96; envious 2:109; hard-hearted 2:74; liars 2:78] have contributed much to moral corruption social upheaval and sedition in the world [Koran 5:32- 33; 5:64] …[T]hey were readily misled [ 3:24] and incurred both Allah’s wrath and ignominy [ 2:61; 2:90; 3:112].
While it is an egregious omission for Qanta Ahmed to ignore these examples (and many others, Jews as apes, or apes and pigs, Koran 2:65, 5:60, and7:166, for instance) of Jew-hating “Koranic truths,” she compounds this offense with false declarations of “Koranic realities” being “reverence” for the Jewish faith and belief system, the Torah, Moses, and the Jewish claim to Jerusalem. Central Koranic motifs that Ahmed also ignores—either as a deliberate deception, or through witlessness—elucidate Islam’s absolute supersession of Judaism. The Jews wronged themselves (16:118) by losing faith (7:168) and breaking their covenant (5:13). The Jews (echoing an ante-Nicaean polemic) are a nation that has passed away (2:134; repeated in 2:141). Twice Allah sent his instruments (the Assyrians or Babylonians, and Romans) to punish this perverse people (17:4–5)—their dispersal over the earth is proof of Allah’s rejection (7:168). As a logical consequence—within the framework of Koranic logic—expressed in Koran 3:110-3:113, the best “umma” or nation, i.e., the Muslims (3:110), have replaced the permanently and justly abased Jews (3:112). However the (paltry few) Jews who became Muslims (3:113)—thereby recognizing the Koran as the “true revelation” of the Torah, which includes recognizing Moses as another Muslim prophet—are bestowed Allah’s bounty, including rightful ownership of Jerusalem, via their adherence to Islam. The late Sunni Muslim papal equivalent for 14-years (1996-2010), Al-Azhar University Grand Imam Tantawi, reiterated this essential mainstream supersessionist belief in his gloss on Koran 3:113, melded to his summary Koranic rationalization for Muslim Jew-hatred, in his definitive work, a 700 page treatise entitled, Jews in the Koran and the Traditions:
[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [see Koran 2:61/ 3:112 ], [and see al-Azhar Sheikh Saqr’s contemporary Koranic citations, “Jews’ 20 Bad Traits As Described in the Qur’an”] 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, Tantawi’s exhaustive modern analysis of Islam’s defining, canonical sources concluded by sanctioning these bigoted—even violent—Muslim behaviors towards Jews:
[T]he 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.
Such traditional, institutionalized Islamic Jew-hatred is ultimately manifest in the global pandemic of strongly bigoted Muslim attitudes toward Jews as documented by unprecedented Anti-Defamation League (ADL) surveys conducted in 2014, and updated in 2015. “Scaling” conspiratorial Jew-hatred, based upon an index of eleven antisemitic stereotypes, 50% of the world’s Muslims harbored the most intense animus (affirming ≥ 6/11 stereotypes), a rate 2 to 3-fold higher than among any other major faith (i.e., Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism), or those professing no religion. Fully 75% of Middle East and North Africa Muslims, overall, expressed this level of Jew-hating intensity, ranging between 92%-93% in Gaza/ Judea-Samaria (“the West Bank”) and Iraq, to 74%-75% in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, respectively. Predictably, when queried, canonical Islamic Jew-hatred emerges as a critical etiologic factor in shaping these Muslim attitudes. Follow-up 2015 ADL data from Western European Muslims (an oversample of the Belgian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and UK Muslim populations) revealed that 55% shared this level of Jew-hatred. These Western European ADL findings are consistent with prior analyses of the indoctrination of Muslim European youth and adults with textual Islamic Jew-hatred, and European Union data that acts of overt antisemitic violence are at least ~25-fold more likely to be committed by Muslims, relative to non-Muslims. European reports on violent Jew-hatred published in 2015 and 2017 highlighted the ongoing “disproportionate” culpability of Muslims in committing such acts. The 2015 and 2017 reports were also concordant in identifying the central role of Islam in fomenting European Muslim Jew-hatred, observing [in 2015] “the level of antisemitism rises with the level of [Islamic] religiosity,” and with so-called, “fundamentalist interpretations of Islam,” and [in 2017], “Muslim respondents’ high level of religiosity was therefore a key factor in explaining the high level of antisemitism among Muslims.” The documented promulgation of canonical Islamic Jew-hatred in U.S. mosques (here; here), through early 2019, and Muslim primary and secondary schools (here; here), may have already contributed to sporadic violent acts (or attempted acts) by Muslims against American Jews (here; here; here), and if unchecked, could eventually spawn levels of Muslim antisemitic violence on par with those now occurring in Europe.
Instead of engaging in corrosive Islamic apologetics, or willful takiya about Islamic Jew-hatred, would that Qanta Ahmed had addressed this existential Muslim threat to Jews with the mea culpa-based candor of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. During her 2006 acceptance speech upon receipt of the American Jewish Committee’s “Moral Courage Award,” Ayaan was unabashed in identifying Islam as the overriding source of pervasive Muslim Jew-hatred:
Ladies and gentlemen I have a confession to make, if you are Jewish. It's a testimony to my dark past when I lived in ignorance. I used to hate you. I hated you because I thought you were responsible for the war that took my father from me for so long. When the Soviet Union allied with our home-grown dictator in Somalia, I was told the Jews were behind that. In Saudi Arabia I saw poor people from a place called Palestine. Men women and children huddled together in despair. I was told you drove them out of their homes. I hated you for that. When we had no water I thought you closed the tap. I don't know how you did it, but you did it. If my mother was unkind to me I knew you were definitely behind it. Even when I failed an exam I knew it was your fault. I don't know how you did all these things. But then I didn't need proof. You are by nature evil. And you had evil powers and you used them to evil ends. Learning to hate you was easy. Unlearning it was difficult. Even after I had learned about The Holocaust in Europe, the terrible outcome of centuries of Antisemitism, I still found it difficult to take a stand against it. When my half-sister told me The Holocaust was the best thing that had happened to Jews, I refrained from arguing with her because I did not wish to risk breaking the family ties. When she showed me holy [Koranic] verses to support her hatred of Jews I feared arguing with Allah for Allah would burn me. Isn’t it ironic that the American Jewish Committee decided to give me the Moral Courage Award? I am ashamed of my prejudices against you in the past. The good news is I am not alone in learning not to blame you for my misfortunes. Many others who are taught in the name of Islam to hate youhave stopped hating you. The tragedy is however that those unlearning to hate are far fewer in number than those who still do. As we sit here thousands, perhaps millions are learning to blame you and wishing to destroy you
Until Qanta Ahmed musters the intellectual and moral courage to similarly connect the modern scourge of Islamic Jew-hatred to Islam itself, she and her obfuscating misrepresentations will continue to do more harm than good.