The Power of Ancient Doctrines

Islamic Anti-Semitism is “Congenital”

A feature of contemporary Islam is its reflexive hatred of Jews.  Some prominent Islamic political  declare that the Holocaust never happened, or that it did happen and a good thing it was too.  Others get fulfilment by drawing maps of the Middle East, with Israel being emphatically erased off the map.  Still others call for the annihilation of Israel to be a central foreign policy plank and summon the umma to arms to achieve it.

The Left in the West, still addled with long-obsolete notions of Marxist class warfare, find themselves aligned with the Islamic cause because it represents the current “little guy” struggling against “big guy” Western imperialism.  The Left is increasingly showing its solidarity with Islamic ideology.  It increasingly espouses its own form of anti-semitism so as to stand with its Islamic brothers.  Elements in the UK Labour Party provide one example.  President Obama’s genuflections and considerateness toward Islam provide another.

And on it goes.  But, why the hatred of Israel and the Jewish people in Islamic doctrine, rhetoric, and eschatology?  According to Efraim Karsh, anti-semitism has deep historical roots, stretching all the way back to Muhammad.

When Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina to escape the persecution of the Meccan idolaters (as the Koran calls them) a good deal of the “revelations” of Muhammad had to do with rejecting the pagans and idolaters of that city (i.e. Mecca).  Whilst in refuge at Medina, Muhammad tried to ally himself with the local Jewish communities.  But things did not go according to plan.

We take up Karsh’s account at the point at which Muhammad felt strong enough to deal to those who did not ally with him:

The first to find themselves in the line of fire were the Jews, who had refused to acknowledge the validity of Muhammad’s revelations, and whose affluence made them a natural target for plunder. . . . The physical elimination of the Medina Jews was accompanied by Islam’s growing break with its Jewish (and to a lesser extent Christian) origins.  Upon moving to the town, Muhammad had sought to woo the local Jewish population  by emphasizing  the similarity between his incipient religion and Judaism, and by adopting a number of Jewish practices and rituals.  These included the fast of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, turning toward Jerusalem in prayer, raising the number of daily prayer from two to three, and accepting a number of dietary restrictions such as eating no pork or blood.  These gestures failed to impress the Median Jews.  Rather than endorse Islam or unite with Muhammad against the local idolaters, they became his staunchest critics, highlighting the gaps and inconsistencies in the Qur’an and its misrepresentations of Old Testament stories.

The embittered Muhammad began to cast the Jews in his revelations as a devious and treacherous people, who had persecuted past prophets and falsified the Holy Scriptures. . . . This disengagement was completed on Muhammad’s deathbed in the form of an injunction ordering the expulsion of Jews (and Christians) from the peninsular: “Two faiths will not live together in the land of the Arabs.”  [Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007),  p.14f.]

To the modern Western secularist, pondering what a random self-styled prophet in the mid-seventh century AD did and thought with respect to the Jews in Medina at the time, can only be seen as bizarre. Weird.  That’s why the West in general fails to comprehend Islam, let alone take it seriously.  That’s why the West persists in overlaying its own ideological and eschatological narratives upon Muhammad and Islam–namely, Marxism and neo-Marxism.

But Karsh’s account of the most ancient events in Islamic, Muhammadan history explains perfectly why to this day anti-semitism (and anti-Christianism) is rife  amongst the Islamic nations.

Any effete Westerner who fails to see a connection between hard line Islamism’s attitude toward Jews and Israel, on the one hand, and Muhammad’s dying declaration of,  “Two faiths will not live together in the land of the Arabs”, on the other, is wilfully blind.

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