BLOG 240 February 15, 2015
An attack on a free speech event and a synagogue in Denmark was apparently motivated by the horrific attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris that killed 17 people. All staged by Islamic radical terrorists. The Danish Prime Minister called it an attack on freedom of speech and anti-Semitism. But why would Middle Eastern Islamic terrorists assault citizens in far-off Denmark and France –and Jews in particular?
What is there in Islam that prompts such hatred of the Jews?
Actually, Mohammed admired Jews because they were monotheists and viewed them as natural adherents to his new faith. At the same time, he fought and killed Jews while being friends with other Jews. Some early Islamic practices were somewhat modeled on Judaism. After the 7th century rise of Islam, treatment of Jews varied and was not that different from the general populations conquered by the sword. Today many Muslims abhor jihadists’ violence. However, the variant practices of Mohammed were reflected in the Quran.
After Muslim prayers shifted from Jerusalem to Mecca, negative verses about the Jews appeared. The Quran and its interpreters had conflicting things to say about the Jews. Islamic tradition regarded Jews as a legitimate community of believers in God and called them “People of the Book.” On the other hand, Islam made mostly negative references to Jews in the Quran and Hadith. While some Quran verses preach tolerance of the Jews, other verses make hostile remarks. The standard Quranic reference (Quran 2:61) is:
And abasement and poverty were pitched upon them, and they were laden
With the burden of God’s anger; that. Because they disbelieved the signs
of God and slain the Prophets unrightfully; that, because they disobeyed,
and were transgressors.
This page fuels the ISIS belief they are fighting a religious war with the West.
In Bernard Lewis’s book The New Anti-Semitism, he argues that negative stereotypes of Jews were different from the Europeans. Unlike Christians, Muslims saw Jews as objects of ridicule, not fear. Christians actually treated Jews worse during these early periods.
In today’s world, the radical hatred of the Jews is fueled by the rise of the nation of Israel. The success of Israel imparted a deep and embarrassing sense of failure and loss in the Muslim world. Religion has been superseded by politics.
So, how did the hatred of Israel in the Middle East get to France and Denmark? Hatred knows no boundaries. (ISIS just murdered 21 Christians) Perhaps, the terrorist in Europe were simply “nut cases.” Probably not. Possibly they were infected by the disease of murder. Could be. Sociopathic personalities look for chaos and hostility as an outlet for what they claim are “righteous” concerns. Conceivably the “true believers” fundamentalists believed that Allah was directing them and their martyrdom was a free ticket to heaven. A simple cartoon of Mohammed had already sent them on a rampage to stop so-called desecration as well as free speech along the way.
France has the largest community of Jews in Europe (around 600,000) but with attacks on their synagogues, kosher stores, and population, many are preparing to immigrate to Israel. Calling these attacks “Muslim anti-Semitism,” they recognize Muslim hatred of the nation of Israel does spill over and might well splash on their children. As frightening and sad as it is, racial hate never seems to stop.