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Systemic Western 'Islamophobia' Is Not to Blame for the Christchurch Mosque Attack

Brenton Tarrant gunned down 50 defenseless Muslims at two Christchurch, New Zealand, area mosques on March 15, 2019, in a heinous, cowardly act of mass murder. Tarrant’s own alleged manifesto declared that "The Peoples Republic of China [PRC], a bigoted ethno-nationalist, Marxist-Leninist Communist state, was “the nation with the closest political and social values to my [Tarrant’s] own.”  The PRC’s brutal behavior on a grand scale—forcibly interning and “re-educating” an estimated 1.5 million Xinjiang province Uighur Muslims—comports neatly with Tarrant’s ideologically-driven violence.

Despite hysterical claims by the Jew-hating Turkish President Erdogan—echoed by supposedly more staid Muslim organizations, “expert” media commentators, and “academics”—Tarrant himself bears complete responsibility for the carnage he wrought, not systemic Western “Islamophobia.” All those perseverating dishonestly on “Islamophobia,” are silent about disproportionate Muslim vs. non-Muslim, especially Christian, violence. Due to this continuous anti-Christian jihad, a Christian in a Muslim country is at least 143 times more likely to be killed than a Muslim in a Christian country. The global context of internecine Muslim vs. Muslim violence also passes without comment. Specific events ignored by all those perseverating dishonestly on “Islamophobia,” alone, include:

  • The last 30-days of worldwide jihad depredations, through 3/20/19, witnessed 111 Islamic attacks in 21 countries, during which 768 people were murdered, and 780 injured.
  • The specific jihad carnage of Nigerian Christians perpetrated by a combination of Boko Haram and Fulani tribesmen jihadists, resulting in nearly 300 Christian deaths since February of this year (2019).
  • The 4-year anniversary of a coordinated series of Sunni jihadist bombings (ISIS claimed “credit”) of Zaydi Shiite mosques in Yemen on March 20, 2015 -- internecine Muslim on Muslim mosque carnage -- which killed 142 Shiite Muslims.
  • As reported February 2018, in Christchurch, New Zealand [NZ] itself, a jihad mass murder by a young Muslim convert to Islam was prevented. The thwarted jihadist planned to ram a car into a group of people in Christchurch and then stab them “for Allah.” NZ Crown prosecutor Chris Lange told the court of the would-be perpetrator ’s significant premeditation and hostility towards non-Muslims.
  • As reported in 2014, the very Christchurch Al-Noor mosque that bore the brunt of anti-Muslim carnage, “successfully” preached jihadism to Muslim convert Islam Chris Havard, killed in Yemen fighting for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and perhaps many others. This 2014 report also included observations from a man who attended a converts’ weekend at the mosque 10 years earlier. He insisted a visiting speaker from Indonesia talked about violent jihad and many attendees shared his views. “Most of the men were angry with the moral weakness of New Zealand. I would say they were radical.”

Yet, lunatic as it may seem outside Islamdom, Sudanese cleric Sheikh Abd Al-Jalil Al-Karouri has assigned blame for the Christchurch mosque mass killings to the most fitting Islamic culprit: “the Jews.” During a March 15 sermon the good sheikh, citing themes of conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred, stated:

I am asking: Who was [the NZ mosque attacker] working for? The Christians are not hostile to the Muslims, as it is said in the Koran [ 5:82  ]: “You shall find the people strongest in enmity towards the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists, and you shall find the nearest among them in love to the believers to be those who say: ‘We are Christians.’” We are talking about a Christian country. So where did the Jews come from? We are not talking about Gaza. No, we are talking about Australia [sic; NZ]. As I've said before, this aggression [in NZ] was meant to incite Christians and Muslims against one another. The Jews are the ones who stand to gain. Even if the perpetrator was not Jewish, he was acting in the interest of the Jews, because he was fanning the flames of enmity between Christians and Muslims. The truth is that the Jews are enemies of both the Christians and the Muslims. They are the ones who claimed that they killed [Biblical prophets; Koran 2:613:112  , 4:155 ] Christ, and they killed John the Baptist. Who tried to poison the Prophet of Islam [in the traditions and earliest pious Muslim biographies of Muhammad ] if not the Jews ?

Unfortunately, such paranoid, conspiratorial Muslim hatred of Jews reflects a global pandemic consistent with canonical Islam, and sanctioned by the most authoritative Islamic religious teaching institutions.

Ahmed al-Tayeb is the current grand imam of Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most important religious teaching institution. The profile of Sunni Islam’s de facto pope, and number 1 ranked Muslim figure for 2017 in “The Muslim 500—The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims,” reads: "Influence: Highest scholarly authority for the majority of Sunni Muslims, runs the foremost and largest Sunni Islamic university."

Al-Tayeb, in an interview that aired on Channel 1, Egyptian TV, October 25, 2013, gave a concise explanation of the continuing relevance of the Koranic verse 5:82, which was also cited by Sudanese Sheikh Al-Karouri, and has been invoked—“successfully”—to inspire violent Muslim hatred of Jews since the advent of Islam. It is important to note that al-Tayeb was explicit in equating Zionism with Judaism, and Zionists with Jews.

A verse in the Koran explains the Muslims’ relations with the Jews… This is an historical perspective, which has not changed to this day. See how we suffer today from global Zionism and JudaismSince the inception of Islam 1,400 years ago, we have been suffering from Jewish and Zionist interference in Muslim affairs. This is a cause of great distress for the Muslims. The Koran said it and history has proven it: “You shall find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews…”

Within a year—because of his belief in (and promotion of) Islam’s conspiratorial Jew-hating canon, Grand Imam al-Tayeb insisted that the scourge of jihad terrorism ravaging the Middle East, then epitomized by ISIS, is due to the machinations of “Global Zionism,” i.e., Judaism. During a televised statement which aired on Channel 1 Egyptian TV, September 8, 2014—consistent with Sudanese Sheikh Al-Karouri’s recent unhinged claim regarding “the Jews’" culpability for the Christchurch mosque murders—al-Tayeb intoned:

All the [fundamentalist terrorist groups] are the new products of imperialism, in the service of global Zionism in its new version, and its plot to destroy the [Middle] East and tear region apart.

Al-Tayeb’s predecessor, the late Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Al Azhar Grand Imam from 1996, until his March, 2010 death, authored what can be aptly characterized as modern Islam’s Koranic Kampf on the Jews, entitled “Banū Isrāʼīl fī al-Qurʼān wa-al-Sunnah,” or “Jews in The Koran and The Traditions”. Tantawi’s magnum opus, a 766 page Muslim academic religious treatise, includes this summary Koranic rationalization for Muslim Jew-hatred:

[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [see Koran 2:613:112 ], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously [4:161], refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do [3:120; 5:79], and other ugly characteristics [see a fuller 2004 litany with Koranic citations by Tantawi’s Al-Azhar colleague, and head of the religious edict, or “fatwa” committee, Sheikh Saqr: “Jews’ 20 Bad Traits As Described in the Qur’an”]  caused by their deep-rooted (lascivious) envy [2:109]…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.

Al-Azhar’s authoritative teaching of 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, updated in 2015, and again, during 2016-2017, in the U.S. “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 two- to threefold 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.

Based on 3,600 interviews conducted by the ADL in the U.S. in January and February 2017, and another 1,500 interviews in October 2016, 34% of American Muslims hold extreme antisemitic views (believe >=6/11 Jew-hating stereotypes), vs. only 14% of the general non-Muslim U.S. population. This relative 2.4-fold increased rate of extreme Jew-hatred amongst U.S. Muslims is very consistent with ADL’s global data on Muslims, although the absolute rates are, thankfully, lower across all American religious groups. The documented promulgation of canonical Islamic Jew-hatred in U.S. mosques (here; 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). Should this traditionalist, mainstream Islamic Jew-hating incitement continue unchecked, it will likely generate levels of Muslim antisemitic violence on par with those now occurring in Europe.