As Jew-hatred is becoming normalized at an alarming rate in Biden’s America, the far-left anti-Semitic hate preacher Linda Sarsour recently reinforced even more than she has already done, in a video with Amin Aaser, who has been described as “an expert on identity, self-confidence, and self-esteem among Muslim children in America,” and who has (of course!) “been featured on NPR, BBC, The Huffington Post, The Boston Herald, and The Christian Science Monitor.” Aaser declared that the Biblical Kings Saul and David were Muslims, without any demurral from Sarsour regarding this appropriation of Jewish identity.
At first glance, it seems simply absurd: how could Saul and David have been Muslims when they lived many centuries before the time that Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad lived? But it is worse than absurd. As The Palestinian Delusion explains, it is one manifestation of the hatred of Jews that is embedded in the Islamic holy texts.
There is a strong native strain of anti-Semitism in Islam that rooted in the Qur’an. The Qur’an puts forward a clear, consistent image of the Jews: they are scheming, treacherous liars and the most dangerous enemies of the Muslims. The Qur’an also presents Muhammad as the last and greatest in the line of Biblical prophets, preaching a message identical to theirs. The identical character of their messages may seem odd to those who know very well that the Qur’an’s contents are quite different in character from those of the Bible, but the Qur’an has an ingenious explanation for this: the original message of all the Biblical prophets was Islam, and they were all Muslims. Only later did their followers corrupt their messages to create Judaism and Christianity.
Consequently, in the Qur’an, Abraham is not a Jew or a Christian, but a Muslim (3:67); his message was identical to Muhammad’s. The Islamic claim is that the authentic Torah actually commands Jews to follow Muhammad and recognize his prophecy. Those who refuse to accept Muhammad as a prophet are, in the Muslim view, rejecting both Moses and the prophecies of the Torah. It is no surprise, then, that in the Qur’an both David and Jesus curse the disbelieving Jews for their disobedience (5:78). It is assumed that both of them, like Abraham, are Muslims as well.
Yet of course, Torah-observant Jews did not and do not accept Muhammad as a prophet, and this, according to Islamic tradition, enraged the prophet of Islam during his lifetime. According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad initially appealed energetically to the Jews, hoping they would accept his prophetic status. He even had the Muslims imitate the Jews by facing Jerusalem for prayers, and he adopted for the Muslims the Jews’ prohibition of pork. But he was infuriated when the Jews rejected him, and Allah shared his fury in Qur’anic revelation: “And when there came to them a messenger from Allah, confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the Book threw away the Book of Allah behind their backs, as if they did not know!” (2:101).
Another Jewish leader noted that “no covenant was ever made with us about Muhammad.” Allah again responded through his Prophet: “Is it ever so that when they make a covenant a party of them set it aside? The truth is, most of them do not believe” (2:100). In fact, Allah gave food laws to the Jews because of their “wrongdoing,” and “for their turning many from the way of Allah” (4:160), and by doing so, “repaid them for their injustice” (6:146). Some Jews are “avid listeners to falsehood” who “distort words beyond their usages.” These are “the ones for whom Allah does not intend to purify their hearts,” and they will be punished not just in hellfire but in this life as well: “For them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment” (5:41).
Jews dare to deny divine revelation, claiming that “Allah did not reveal to a human being anything,” to which Muhammad is told to respond, “Who revealed the Scripture that Moses brought as light and guidance to the people? You [Jews] make it into pages, disclosing some of it and concealing much” (6:91).
Muslims should not get close to such people: “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as friends. They are friends of one another. And whoever is a friend to them among you, indeed, he is of them. Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people” (5:51). It would hardly be appropriate for Muslims to act peaceably toward the Jews when the Jews, according to the Qur’an, are prone to war—especially against Muslims. Whenever the Jews “kindle the fire of war,” says the Qur’an, “Allah extinguishes it” (5:64).
Ultimately, Allah transforms disobedient Jews into apes and pigs (2:63–66, 5:59–60, 7:166). While the Qur’an says that Muslims are the “best of people” (3:110), the unbelievers are “like livestock” (7:179). “Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are those who have disbelieved, and they will not believe” (8:55).
The Jews also “strive to do mischief on earth”—that is, fasaad, for which the punishment is specified in Qur’an 5:33: “they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.”
The rebellion against Allah that has resulted in the Jews’ degradation—the “terrible agony” that those who have rejected Islam are to feel “in this world” as well as in the next (3:56)—is a frequent preoccupation of the Qur’an. Departing from his earlier tendency to appeal to the Jews as the authorities on what Allah had revealed, Muhammad began to criticize them for concealing parts of that revelation. The Qur’an several times criticizes Jews for refusing to follow Muhammad, asking, “Why don’t the Jews’ rabbis stop their evil behavior?” (5:63)
A pious and knowledgeable Muslim will discover in his Qur’an that the Jews are busy hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78). They staged rebellion against the prophets and rejected their guidance (2:55), and even killed them (2:61). They prefer their own interests to the teachings of Muhammad (2:87). They wish evil for people and try to mislead them (2:109), and even feel pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120). They’re arrogant about their status as Allah’s beloved people (5:18) while devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion (4:46), and killing the prophets (2:61). They’re merciless and heartless (2:74), unrestrained in committing sins (5:79), cowardly (59:13–14), and miserly (4:53). They are under Allah’s curse (4:46, 9:30).
Above all, they are the worst enemies of the Muslims: “You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers to be the Jews…” (5:82)
When Amin Aaser asserts, with Linda Sarsour’s tacit assent, that Saul and David were Muslims, it is within the context of all this Qur’anic anti-Semitism. The Muslim holy book is the foundation of the Jew-hatred that fuels the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and rising anti-Semitism all over the world.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins―Revised and Expanded Edition. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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