Qasim Rashid begins his attack on our American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) ads against Islamic anti-Semitism by stating: “New bus ads in DC say the Qu’ran [sic] promotes Jew-hatred. It’s a meritless, dangerous accusation.” He even claims that “Islamophobes are fabricating the myth that Islam promotes Jew-hatred by taking out ads on D.C. buses.”
It’s “Islamophobes” who are “fabricating the myth that Islam promotes Jew-hatred”? How odd, then, that so many Muslims have bought into that “myth,” including Hamas lawmaker Yunis Al-Astal, who recently declared that the Qur’an directs Muslims to “massacre” Jews; and Senior Palestinian Authority official Abbas Zaki, who said in March: “I believe that Allah will gather [the Jews] so we can kill them.”
Rashid, however, appears more interested in defaming us rather than really combating this Islamic anti-Semitism, as he characterizes our ad as “promoting pictures of Adolf Hitler,” as if we were pro-Nazi, when what it actually depicts is the Mufti of Jerusalem, one of the world’s foremost Muslim leaders of that time, meeting with Hitler.
Likewise disingenuous is Rashid’s claim that “nothing in the Qur’an or in Prophet Muhammad’s example supports the myth of ‘Islamic Jew hatred.'” He discusses two Qur’an verses at length, purporting to prove that they aren’t as anti-Semitic as they appear. But he ignores others that are much worse than the ones he discusses, such as 3:181-182, which excoriates the Jews for “slaying of prophets against all right” and says they are bound for hellfire; 5:51, which tells Muslims: “Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies”; 5:64, which says that the Jews are “rejected” by God; 5:82, which says that “of all people, the most hostile to those who believe are the Jews”; 9:29, which tells Muslims to fight against the “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians) “until they pay the jizya [poll tax] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued”; and 9:30, which claims that “the Jews say, ‘Ezra is God’s son'” and exclaims: “May God destroy them!” And there are others also.
Rashid claims that “far from ‘Jew hatred,’ the Qur’an 2:63 repeatedly declares that the Jews shall attain eternal paradise.” However, the two most popular English translators of the Qur’an, Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, as well as Muhammad Asad, translator of the allegedly “moderate” Qur’an that the Council on American-Islamic Relations is giving away for free, all feel it necessary to add parenthetical glosses that make the passage mean that Jews and Christians will be saved only if they become Muslims. And according to Ibn Abbas, the cousin of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 3:85: “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).” Also, Qur’an 98:6, which says that Jews who do not accept Muhammad as a prophet and become Muslims are “the most vile of created beings.”
Rashid spends a great deal of time excoriating Christian anti-Semitism, and it rightly should be excoriated; however, it is not Christians who are responsible for the sharp recent rise in anti-Semitism in post-Christian Europe; it is that continent’s rapidly increasing number of Muslims. Yet while noting that “anti-Semitism is a worldwide epidemic,” Rashid ignores the fact that its highest levels are found in Muslim countries.
Most dishonestly of all, Rashid claims that “per Islamic teaching, Prophet Muhammad treated Jews as equals and with compassion.” He doesn’t mention that Muhammad exiled two of the three Jewish tribes he found in Medina and massacred the third, and then massacred the exiles at the oasis of Khaybar in northern Arabia, giving rise to the chant that jihadis repeat even today: “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.” Rashid claims to want to “root out anti-Semitism wherever it exists,” and yet he criticizes our ads for focusing on one of its primary sources. Does he really want to stop Islamic anti-Semitism, or allow it to grow and fester while the larger population remains ignorant and complacent about it? If he is sincere in his opposition to it, I hope he will drop his wrongheaded and defamatory opposition to our ads and join us in fighting this growing scourge.
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