Did the Prophet Muhammad passionately despise Jews

Myths & Facts: German

In a 1977 Jordanian handbook for elementary school teachers in the West Bank, educators are instructed to “implant in the souls of students the Islamic rule that if the enemy occupies even an inch of Islamic land, jihad (holy war) is an inevitable duty for every Muslim will «. And it goes on to say that the Jews conspired to kill Muhammad when he was a child. Another Jordanian text, a community journal from 1982, states that Israel ordered the massacre of the Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila during the Lebanon War; there is no mention that the executors of this arrangement were Arabs of Christian faith.11

“Syrian President Bashar Assad provided drastic, even repulsive evidence on Saturday May 5th that he and his government are not worthy of respect or good relations with the United States or any other democratic country. While welcoming Pope John Paul II in Damascus, Mr. Assad attacked the Jews in a way that in terms of ignorance and clumsiness probably eclipses everything that the Pope had heard in the 20 years of his travels in all parts of the world got. He compared the misery of the Palestinians to the suffering of Jesus Christ and stated that the attitude of mind with which the Jews' tried to kill the principles of all religions was the same as that in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and delivered them to the prophet Muhammad betrayed and tried to kill ‹. With this egregious assertion, the Syrian President polluted both his own country and the Pope ... "

Washington Post, May 8, 2001

A review of Syrian textbooks found that “the Syrian education system is expanding hatred of Israel and Zionism into anti-Semitism against all Jews. This anti-Semitism makes use of old Islamic motifs to describe the eternally constant bad character of the Jews, the most important trait of which is treason. The inevitable conclusion is that the Jews must be exterminated. "12 An example: In an 11th grade textbook it says that the Jews hated the Muslims and, driven by envy, called for enmity against them:

“The Jews go to great lengths to deceive us, slander our prophet, intrigue against us, and distort the meaning of the scriptures. The Jews work hand in hand with the polytheists and unbelievers against the Muslims because they know that Islam exposes their cunning and meanness. "13

An Arabic translation of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, which was circulated in East Jerusalem and in the areas under Palestinian self-government, quickly became a bestseller.14

Every now and then, Arab anti-Semitism also shows up within the United Nations. For example, in March 1991 a Syrian delegate read a statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights recommending that commissioners read a "valuable book", The Matzoh of Zion, written by Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas. This book justifies ritual murder charges brought against the Jews in the Damascus blood suit of 1840.15 (The term "blood suit" refers to the accusation that the Jews killed Christian children because they needed their blood to prepare the Passover matzos.)

King Faisal of Saudi Arabia uttered a similarly adventurous slander in a 1972 interview:

“Israel has had evil intentions since ancient times. Its aim is the extermination of all other religions. ... The Jews consider other religions to be inferior to theirs and other people to be inferior. As for the motive for vengeance, they have a certain day when they knead the blood of non-Jews into their bread dough and then eat that bread. Two years ago, while I was visiting Paris, the police discovered the bodies of five children. They did not have a drop of blood left in their wombs, and it turned out that they had been killed by Jews who took their blood and mixed it with the bread they ate that day. That shows you how far they go in their hatred and malice against non-Jewish peoples. "16

On November 11, 1999, Suha Arafat, the wife of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, said in a joint appearance with the American First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in Gaza: “Our people were exposed to the intensive use of poison gas by the Israeli armed forces every day has led to an increase in cancer incidence among women and children. «Similar statements came several times from officials in the Palestinian camp.17

The Arab / Muslim press, which is state-controlled in almost every country in the Middle East, regularly publishes anti-Semitic articles and cartoons. In Egypt, anti-Semitic publications are part of everyday press life. For example, the most important Egyptian daily Al-Ahram published an article on the "historical" background of the tradition of the blood suit and at the same time accused Israel of still baking matzos from the blood of Palestinian children.18 Anti-Semitic articles also appear regularly in the Jordanian and Syrian press. Many of these attacks focus on denial of the Holocaust and its "exploitation" by Zionism, and draw parallels between Israel and Zionism and Nazism.

The media of the Palestinian Authority also publish some inflammatory and anti-Semitic material. A Friday sermon in the Zayed bin Sultan Aal Nahyan Mosque in Gaza calling for the murder of Jews and Americans was broadcast live on official Palestinian television:

“Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, no matter what country they live in. Fight them wherever you are. Kill them wherever you get together. Wherever you are, kill the Jews and kill the Americans who are like them and everyone on their side. They all pursue the same goal and are against the Arabs and the Muslims, because they founded Israel, here, in the middle of the living heart of the Arab world, in Palestine ... «19

Even Palestinian crossword puzzles are used to deny Israel the right to exist and to make the Jews bad; for example, the term "treason" appears as a solution for the decisive Jewish trait.20


"The Jews in Islamic countries were always treated well by the Arabs."


The Jewish communities in Islamic countries fared better overall than in Christian countries in Europe, but persecution and humiliation were no stranger to them among the Arabs either. Bernard Lewis, professor of history at Princeton University, wrote: "The golden age of equality was a myth, and belief in it was the result rather than the cause of Jewish sympathy for Islam."21

Mohammed, the founder of Islam, traveled to Medina in AD 622 to win followers for his new faith. When the Jews of Medina refused to convert and rejected Muhammad, two of the larger Jewish tribes were expelled from there; In 627, Muhammad's followers killed between 600 and 900 Jewish men and divided their wives and children among themselves.22

The attitude of Muslims towards the Jews is reflected in various verses in the Koran, the holy book of Islam. “They [the children of Israel] were struck with shame and misery, and they incurred the wrath of Allah; this because they rejected the signs of Allah and wrongly wanted to kill the prophets; it was because they were unruly and wicked ”(Sura 2:62). According to the Koran, the Jews only seek harm on earth (5.65), have always been disobedient (5.79) and are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels (2.98-99).

The Jews were despised by their Muslim neighbors. A peaceful coexistence of the two groups was only possible if the Jews completely subordinated themselves to the Muslims. In the 9th century Caliph designed

al-Mutawakkil awarded Baghdad a yellow badge for the Jews, setting a precedent that was taken up again centuries later in Nazi Germany.23

At certain times the Jews in Islamic countries were able to live reasonably in peace, and during these times there was a regular cultural and economic boom in the Jewish communities. But their position has always remained highly insecure, and changes in the political or social climate have repeatedly led to persecution, violence and murder.

When an Islamic society got the impression that the Jews were doing too well, anti-Semitism flared up, often with devastating consequences. On December 30, 1066, Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, was crucified by an Arab mob; after that, the city's Jewish quarter was razed and its 5,000 residents slaughtered. The riot was instigated by Muslim preachers for fear that the political influence of the Jews would become too great.

In 1465, the Arab mob murdered thousands of Jews in Fez after a deputy Jewish vizier approached a Muslim woman "in an insulting manner." Only five people survived the massacre. The killings sparked a wave of similar massacres across Morocco.24

In the 8th century there were mass murders of Jews in Morocco, in which the Muslim ruler Idris I had entire communities wiped out; In the 12th century, the Almohads in North Africa forcibly forced several communities to convert - those who refused were killed; In 1785, Ali Burzi Pasha had hundreds of Jews murdered in Libya; In 1805, 1815 and 1830 there were massacres among the Jews in Algiers; and between 1864 and 1880 over 300 Jews were murdered in Marrakech, Morocco.25

In Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293-1294, 1301-1302), Iraq (854, 859, 1344) and Yemen (1676), decrees to destroy synagogues were repeatedly issued. In Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790 to 1792), and Baghdad (1333 and 1344), Jews were forced to convert to Islam or to die, despite the fact that it was forbidden by the Koran.26

In the 19th century the situation of the Jews in the Arab countries reached a low point. In most of North Africa (including Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Morocco), Jews were exiled to ghettos. In Morocco, the country with the largest Jewish community in the Islamic diaspora, Jews had to go barefoot or were only allowed to wear straw shoes when they left the ghetto. Even the Muslim children participated in the oppression of the Jews; they pelted them with stones or otherwise tortured them. The riots against Jews increased and many Jews were executed on the pretext of apostasy. In the Ottoman Empire ritual murder charges against Jews were the order of the day.27

The well-known orientalist G. E. von Grunebaum wrote:

“It would not be difficult to quote the names of a considerable number of Jewish subjects or citizens of Islamic countries who were of high rank, political and economic influence, and who were highly regarded in the intellectual field; the same is true of Christians.But it would be just as easy to compile a long list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions or pogroms. "28

The danger for the Jews became even greater when a decisive test of strength threatened to take place in the UN. The Syrian delegate Faris el-Khouri warned: "Until the Palestinian problem is solved, we will hardly be able to protect the Jews in the Arab world and in no way guarantee their safety."29

In the 1940s, there were anti-Jewish riots in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen, in which over 1,000 Jews were killed.30 That was one of the triggers for the mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries.


"As the› Peoples of the Book ‹, Jews and Christians are protected by Islamic law."


This argument is rooted in the traditional notion of protection ("dhimma") that the Muslim conquerors gave to Christians and Jews when they submitted. The French scholar Jacques Ellul writes: "You have to ask: 'Protection from whom?' If the 'stranger' who needs to be protected lives in Islamic countries, the answer can only be: from the Muslims themselves."31

Whoever fell into the hands of the Muslims usually had only the choice between conversion or death. Only Jews and Christians who adhered to their holy scriptures were allowed to practice their faith as dhimmi ("protected persons"). However, this "protection" hardly meant that Jews and Christians were treated well by the Muslims. On the contrary, as unbelievers, they had to acknowledge the superiority of the true believers - the Muslims.

In the early years of Muslim rule, the "tribute" (jizya), an annual tax levy, symbolized the subordination of the dhimmi.32

The subordinate status of Jews and Christians was later reinforced by a series of ordinances concerning the conduct of the dhimmi. For example, it was forbidden for the dhimmi to mock or criticize the Koran, Islam or Mohammed, to proselytize among Muslims or even to touch a Muslim woman (whereas a Muslim man could marry a non-Muslim woman ).

Dhimmi were excluded from public office and from military service and were not allowed to carry weapons. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, build synagogues or churches larger than mosques, or build houses larger than Muslim houses, or drink wine in public. They were forced to wear clothes that indicated their religious affiliation at first sight and were not allowed to pray aloud or mourn, as this could have offended the ears of the Muslims. The dhimmi always had to show their defiance to the Muslims in public, which meant making way for them on the street. They were not allowed to testify against a Muslim in court, and their oath was invalid. In order to defend themselves, the dhimmi had to buy Muslim witnesses at a high price. Thus, if they were harmed by a Muslim, they had hardly any rights.33

In the 20th century, the status of the dhimmi in Muslim countries had barely improved. H.E. W. Young, the British Vice Consul in Mosul, wrote in 1909:

“The attitude of Muslims towards Christians and Jews corresponds to that of masters towards their slaves, who treat them with a certain superior tolerance as long as they remain in their place. Every slight movement that suggests that they could lay claim to equality is immediately suppressed. "34

1 Vamberto Morais: A Short History of Anti-Semitism; NY: W.W. Norton and Co. 1976; P. 11; Bernard Lewis: Semites & Anti-Semites; NY: W.W. Norton & Co. 1986; P. 81. 2 Oxford English Dictionary; Webster’s Third International Dictionary.
3 Official UK Document, State Department Report No 371/20822 E 7201/22/31; Elie Kedourie: Islam in the Modern World; London: Mansell 1980, pp. 69-72.
4 Howard Sachar: A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time; NY: Alfred A. Knopf 1979, p. 196. 5 Jordanian Constitution, Official Gazette No. 1171, Article 3 (3) of Law No. 6, 1954, February 16, 1954, p. 105.
6 From a letter to M. René Mheu, Director General of UNESCO; reprinted in: Al-Thawra, May 3, 1968.
7 Excerpt from the religious orders; Syrian Ministry of Education 1963-1964; P. 138.
8 basics of syntax and pronunciation; Syrian Ministry of Education 1963.
9 doctrine of religion; Egyptian Ministry of Education 1966.
10 history of the modern world; Jordanian Ministry of Education 1966, p. 150.
11 David K. Shipler: Arab and Jew; NY: Times Book 1986, pp. 167.170.203.
12 Meyrav Wurmser: The Schools of Ba’athism: A Study of Syrian Schoolbooks; Washington, D.C .: Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI) 2000; P. Xiii. 13 Wurmser, p. 51. 14 Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI).
15 Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 4, 1991.
16 Al-Mousawar, August 4, 1972.
17 Middle East and Research Institute (MEMRI).
18 Al-Ahram, October 28, 2000.
19 October 14, 2000. 20 Palestinian Media Watch, http://www.pmw.org/, March 15, 2000.
21 Bernard Lewis: "The Pro-Islamic Jews"; Judaism, Fall 1968, p. 401.
22 Bat Ye’or: The Dhimmi; NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press 1985, pp. 43-44.
23 Bat Ye’or, pp. 185-86.191.194.
24 Norman Stillman: The Jews of Arab Lands; PA: The Jewish Publication Society of America 1979, p. 84, Maurice Roumani: The Case of the Jews from Arab Countries: A Neglected Issue; Tel Aviv: World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries 1977, pp. 26-27; Bat Ye’or, p. 72; Bernard Lewis: The Jews of Islam; NJ: Princeton University Press 1984, p. 158.
25 Stillman, p. 59.284. 26 Roumani, pp. 26-27. 27 G. E. von Grunebaum; "Eastern Jewry Under Islam"; Viator 1971, p. 369.
28 New York Times, February 19, 1947. 29 Roumani, pp. 30-31; Norman Stillman: The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times; NY: Jewish Publication Society 1991, pp. 119-122.
30 Bat Ye’or, p. 61.
31 Bat Ye’or, p. 30.
32 Louis Gardet: La Cite Musulmane: Vie sociale et politique; Paris: Etudes musulmanes 1954, p. 348.
33 Bat Ye’or, pp. 56-57.
34 Middle Eastern Studies 1971, p. 232.