My column this week addresses how wrong Daniel Pipes is on Islamic Jew-hatred. Pipes is entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled to his own facts. It's hard to quantify the damage dissemblers like Pipes have done in disarming so many millions. Andrew Bostom has challenged Pipes to a debate; I look forward to Pipes' response.
Islamic anti-Semitism: 20th century invention?
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Sugar-coating harsh realities and pretending that unpleasant facts
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the price of the truth?
According to an article about a speech he gave last week in Toronto,
scholar Daniel Pipes “suggested it is Islamism, a political ideology,
that inspires hatred of ‘the other,’ rather than Islam. … He emphasized
that while Islam has existed since the age of the prophet Muhammad,
Islamism is a recent phenomenon and need not be considered an authentic
expression of Islam.”
Need not be considered an authentic expression of Islam by whom? By
Muslims? Yet so many do, all around the world. By non-Muslims? What
would that accomplish, since so many Muslims think it is an authentic expression of Islam, except to render us complacent in the face of the jihad threat?
And anyway, is “Islamism” really not an authentic expression of
Islam? In fact, political Islam and violent Islam go back to Muhammad,
who massacred the Qurayzah tribe and the Jews of Khybar and left oceans
of blood in his wake. In Medina, he started waging war against
non-Muslims, and he explained to his followers that they should offer
those non-Muslims three choices. As Robert Spencer explains, “the
choices for unbelievers ar … to convert to Islam; or submit as inferiors
to Islamic rule, paying the tax and accepting the discrimination that
Islamic law mandates for non-Muslims in the Islamic state; or die.”
also rejects the Islam/Islamism distinction: “[T]he distinction is
artificial and imposed from without. There are not, in other words,
Islamist mosques and non-Islamist mosques, distinguishable from one
another by the sign outside each, like Baptist and Methodist churches.
On the contrary, ‘Islamists’ move among non-political, non-supremacist
Muslims with no difficulty; no Islamic authorities are putting them out
of mosques, or setting up separate institutions to distinguish
themselves from the ‘Islamists.’”
And Andrew Bostom adds: “One must ask, ‘What Went Wrong’ with Daniel Pipes who now sprays (Edward) Saidian
charges of ‘essentialism’ at brave Muslim freethinkers like Ayaan Hirsi
Ali and Wafa Sultan, as well as the stalwart Dutch politician Geert
Wilders, for simply rejecting his self-contradictory mantras on
Even worse, Pipes “said the religion of Islam itself is not
inherently hostile to Jews, and Muslim anti-Semitism scarcely existed
before the establishment of the state of Israel.”
Amazing. Is he unaware of the Quran’s terming the Jews the “worst
enemies” of the Muslims (5:82), or saying that Allah cursed them and
turned them into apes and pigs (2:62-66; 5:59-60; 7:166)? Where is Pipes
on that and so much more Quranic anti-Semitism? Has he never heard of
the genocidal hadith in which Muhammad said that “the last hour would
not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims
would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a
tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah,
there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him” (Sahih Muslim 6985)?
Has Pipes never read Bat Ye’or or Andrew Bostom on Islamic
anti-Semitism, or Sir Martin Gilbert’s history of the Jews in Muslim
lands, “In Ishmael’s House”? All of them show that Jew hatred is a
constant of Islamic history. Pipes thinks it started with Israel? What
about the pogroms conducted by Palestinian Muslims against Palestinian
Jews in the early 20th century – the wholesale slaughter of Jews as
prescribed and preached by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin
al-Husseini, who lived in Berlin during the war, made broadcasts in
Arabic for the Nazis and raised up an SS division of Bosnian Muslims?
Historian Phillip Hitti states: “The caliph al-Mutawakkil in 850 and
854 decreed that Christians and Jews should affix wooden images of
devils to their houses, level their graves even with the ground, wear
outer garments of honey color, i.e. yellow, put two honey-colored
patches on the clothes of their slaves … and ride only on mules and
asses with wooden saddles marked by two pomegranate-like balls on the
cantle.” Andrew Bostom’s work shows much more. One-thousand years later,
in 1888 a Tunisian Jew lamented a similar situation:
“The Jew is prohibited in this country to wear the same clothes as a
Muslim and may not wear a red tarbush. He can be seen to bow down with
his whole body to a Muslim child and permit him the traditional
privilege of striking him in the face, a gesture that can prove to be of
the gravest consequence. Indeed, the present writer has received such
blows. In such matters the offenders act with complete impunity, for
this has been the custom from time immemorial.”
In 1291, Isaac ben Samuel, a Palestinian Jew, said: “In the eyes of
the Muslims, the children of Israel are as open to abuse as an
unprotected field.” The philosopher Maimonides said: “You know, my
brethren, that on account of our sins G-d has cast us into the midst of
this people, the nation of Ishmael, who persecute us severely, and who
devise ways to harm us and to debase us. … No nation has ever done more
harm to Israel. None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us. None
has been able to reduce us as they have. … We have borne their imposed
degradation, their lies, and absurdities, which are beyond human power
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