Antisemitism in the Qur’an, Part 2

Several years ago Andrew Bostom published a comprehensive survey of antisemitism as expressed in the Qur’an. The article is unfortunately no longer available online, so the author has kindly sent us the full text.

This is the second of four installments. Part 1 is here.

Koran, 9th century AD

Antisemitism in the Qur’an: Motifs and Historical Manifestations

Part 2

by Andrew G. Bostom

The Persistent Historical Application of the Anti-Jewish Motifs in the Qur’an

Earlier, in relation to Qur’an 5:82, a few brief examples were provided [85] illustrating the historical continuity (from 9th century Baghdad/Iraq, to19th century Egypt) of the hateful attitudes towards Jews this specific verse (5:82) engendered among the Muslim masses, as chronicled by contemporary observers, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Having now presented a full spectrum of the major anti-Jewish motifs in the Qur’an, additional illustrations demonstrating their persistent influence on Muslim attitudes (and resultant behaviors) towards Jews, can be provided. Four themes will be considered: (I) the Jews being associated with Satan and consigned to Hell (Qur’an 4:60, 4:55, 58:14—19, and 98:6); (II) the imposition of the Qur’anic poll-tax (jizya; Qur’an 9:29) on Jews, specifically, and (III) the related enforcement of the Qur’anic (2:61) “curse” upon the Jews for killing the Prophets, and other transgressions against Allah’s will, meriting their permanent humiliation and abasement; and, last in connection to this curse, (IV) the Jews’ transformation into apes/swine, as punishment (Qur’an 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166).

Formal decrees (or modern pronouncements) and opinions from Muslim rulers, jurisconsults, and theologians—past and present—have repeatedly associated non-Muslim dhimmis in general, or Jews specifically, with Satan, and the torments of being consigned deservedly to Hell. The Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil in an anti-dhimmi decree dated 850, according to Tabari’s account, [86] “…commanded that wooden images of devils [87] be nailed to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims.” Ibn Abdun, a Muslim jurist from Seville, Spain invoked Qur’an 58:19 in a section of his treatise (dated 1100) on dhimmi servitudes which discussed the appropriate dress of dhimmis, and how Muslims should “greet” them: [88]

You must not allow any…Jew or Christian to wear the attire of great men, doctors of law, or the wealthy. On the contrary, they must be objects of contempt and disgust; they are not entitled to a greeting of peace , [“Peace upon you!” (as-salam alaykum!)]. In effect [quoting 58:19] “Satan has gained the mastery over them, and caused them to forget God’s Remembrance. Those are Satan’s party; why, Satan’s party, surely, they are the losers!” They must wear a distinctive, ignominious sign.

A September, 2002 review of Friday sermons from Saudi Arabian mosques [89] indicates that these motifs remain vibrant in popular modern Islamic religious teaching. At a mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Adnan Ahmed Siyami, stated,

[Islam] believes that only Islam and the “Camp of Kufur [unbelief]” exist, and that there is no way to reach Paradise and to be delivered from Hell except by walking in the path of our Prophet Muhammad and joining Islam. Any other way leads to Hell.

Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, another contemporary Saudi cleric, referred to the Jews, explicitly in his related discussion during a sermon delivered at a mosque in Al-Damam:

The Jews are the helpers of Satan. The Jews are the cause of the misery of the human race, together with the infidels and the other polytheists. Satan leads them to Hell and to a miserable fate.

The common expressions and practices of ordinary Muslims demonstrate how such associations of the Jews with Satan and Hell have long been imbibed by the masses. Solomon b. Jeroham, the authoritative Karaite Jewish exegete who lived in Jerusalem during the mid-10th century, [90] confirmed that the hateful doctrine regarding salutation (and humiliation), illustrated (above) by Ibn Abdun’s treatise, [91] was actually practiced by Muslims in their encounters with Jews. Solomon included the following observation in his 955/56 commentary on the Book of Lamentations: [92]

What can you say about people [Muslims] who curse you when you greet them, and when you do not greet them humiliate you and offend you?

Sir John Drummond-Hay (1816-1893), was a British diplomat and fluent linguist, with an extensive knowledge about Morocco, having lived with his father (Consul-General Edward Drummond-Hay) in Tangier from the age of 16, and served as a trusted personal adviser to three generations of Moroccan Sultans. Writing in 1844, Sir John noted the belief among Muslims of the North African Maghreb (especially Morocco) that, [93]

…if a Muhammadan walks on a Jewish grave he gives relief to the infidel in it, who is in torture, and that for this reason he should keep away from the grave.

Indeed the notion that Jews are condemned, rightfully, to such eternal torment after death is made clear by Muhammad, as recorded in the canonical hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim:

Narrated Aisha: Once Allah’s Apostle passed by the (grave of) a Jewess, whose relatives were weeping over her. He said, “They are weeping over her and she is being tortured in her grave” [94]

Narrated Abi Ayub: Once the Prophet went out after Sunset and heard a dreadful voice, and said, “The Jews are being punished in their graves” [95]

Tudor Parfitt’s 1996 analysis of the 20th century exodus of Yemen’s Jews, [96] leading to the liquidation of their ancient community, observed that Jews figured prominently in Yemeni proverbs and expressions, including this common reference to Hellfire:

It used to be the case after saying “It’s hot today” to comment “Ah! A Jew must have perished”—an allusion to the Jew burning in Hell.

The jizya collection ritual, consistent with Qur’an 9:29, fulfills the prescribed debasement of Jews and other dhimmis. Al-Suyuti (d. 1505), author (along with his mentor) [97] of a seminal Qur’anic commentary (Tafsir al-Jalalayn), made these recommendations regarding jizya collection:

…[jizya is part of] land and slaves…is incumbent upon the People of the Book…on people who allow wine [Jews and Christians] and pig-meat [Christians]…[Saaghiruuna means] submissively…[it means] by coercion…[`an yadin means] directly, not trusting the trickery of an intermediary…by force…without resistance…in an unpraiseworthy manner…while you stand and [the dhimmi] sits with the whip in front of you [you take] the money while he has dirt on his head.

Al-Maghili (d. 1504/1505), a contemporary of Al-Suyuti, and an important North African theologian whose writings on the dhimmis influenced both the Muslim masses of his day, and followers through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, insisted that affronts be inflicted upon the dhimmis, especially Jews, when collecting the jizya: [98]

On the day for tax collecting, they should be assembled in a public place, like the souk. They should present themselves there, standing up at the lowest, vilest place. The auxiliaries of the Law should stand above them, striking a menacing pose, so that appears to their eyes and to the eyes of the others that our purpose is to debase them by pretending to take their belongings. They will realize that we do them a favor [again] by accepting the jizya from them and letting them go [their way]. Then they shall be brought one by one [before the official responsible] for collecting the tax. While paying, the dhimmi will receive a slap and will be pushed back in such fashion that he will think that he has escaped the sword thanks to this [insult]. This is how the friends of the Lord in the first and last generations act toward their miscreant enemies, for power belongs to God, to His Apostle and to the Believers.

The enduring legacy of Al-Maghili’s teachings are evident in two remarkable accounts of the humiliating conditions under which the jizya was still being collected from Moroccan Jews within the modern era. An Italian Jew traveling in Morocco in 1894, reported the following: [99]

The kaid Uwida and the kadi Mawlay Mustafa had mounted their tent today near the Mellah [Jewish ghetto] gate and had summoned the Jews in order to collect from them the poll tax [jizya] which they are obliged to pay the sultan. They had me summoned also. I first inquired whether those who were European-protected subjects had to pay this tax. Having learned that a great many of them had already paid it, I wished to do likewise. After having remitted the amount of the tax to the two officials, I received from the kadi’s guard two blows in the back of the neck. Addressing the kadi and the kaid, I said” ‘Know that I am an Italian protected subject.’ Whereupon the kadi said to his guard: ‘Remove the kerchief covering his head and strike him strongly; he can then go and complain wherever he wants.’ The guards hastily obeyed and struck me once again more violently. This public mistreatment of a European-protected subject demonstrates to all the Arabs that they can, with impunity, mistreat the Jews.

And in a letter from January 30, 1911 by Avram Elmaleh, Head of the Fez boys’ school, to the President of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, Paris, we learn the degrading conditions imposed upon the rabbinical leaders of the Moroccan Jewish community, in connection with “community business” (i.e., such as payment of the jizya), even into the second decade of the 20th century: [100]

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter No. 1283 of 30 January, enclosing a letter from Rabbi Vidal Sarfaty. The rabbi asks you to intervene with Si Mohamed el Mokri, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, at present in Paris, for the abolition of the degrading custom imposed on Jews, not to enter Dar el Maghzen except barefoot. Unfortunately, the facts given in Rabbi Vidal’s letter are correct. Jews must take off their shoes at the gate of Dar-Maghzen. Quite apart from the humiliation involved in this measure, it is an intolerable suffering for our co-religionists to be obliged to stand many hours barefoot on the earth of the Palace courtyard, which is either cold and damp or white-hot from the summer sun. Rabbi Vidal. a regular visitor to the Dar-Maghzen in connection with community business or on behalf of individuals, has often returned ill from a rather too long sojourn in front of the offices. It is my opinion that it would be impossible to obtain an order from the Sultan to allow Jews to enter the Palace with their shoes on. It is a concession which his pride would not permit, and one quite contrary to the Muslim conception of the relative positions of the Jews and themselves.

Only when Morocco became a French Protectorate was there effective abolition of such Shari’a-based practices, affording Jews, as Stillman observes, [101] “far greater security and opportunity” than had existed in the “chaotic and violent days” prior to its (1912) establishment. However, even a quarter century after the establishment of a French protectorate in Tunisia (May, 1881), as described by Jacques Chalom (in 1908), rural Tunisian Jews were still required to pay the jizya (termed majba in Tunisia). [102] Moreover, Jews in Yemen and Afghanistan continued to pay the jizya until the liquidation of their communities after Israel was established in 1948. [103]

Although Yemen’s 20th century rulers (Imam Yahya, and his son Ahmad) dispensed with public ceremonial degradation, the deliberately threatening and humiliating atmospherics of jizya collection persisted. Aviva Klein-Franke describes the collection process: [104]

The Imam [Yahya, and later his son Ahmad] would nominate a respectable Jew to collect the Poll Tax. The nominated was called Ma’mur, Sheikh or ‘Aqil…He was ordered to prepare a list of all the Jewish males in his community who had reached the age of thirteen years for the purpose of collecting the Djizya…The ‘Uqqal [assistants to the Ma’mur] also had to mention those Jews who had emigrated. As we have seen, the Imam confiscated the property of anyone who left the Yemen. Jews were not allowed to sell their property before leaving the country—everything would be forfeited to the Imam by his [Imam Yahya’s] decree of 1920.

Before the ‘Uqqal collected the money, a street crier went through the Jewish quarter, proclaiming that the Imam expected everyone to pay the Djizya without delay. Failure to do so meant that a soldier, Baqaa, might be billeted on those in default until such time as they paid…Usually the Jews paid without any objection…they could send a written appeal to the Imam. If a Jew still refused to pay the Djizya, the Imam would accept no further excuses and would send his soldiers to the recalcitrant Jew until he was willing to pay. This meant soldiers might stay in his household for a few days. The Jew had to house them and do everything to satisfy their needs, otherwise soldiers would complain to the Imam that they had not been treated well, and that they had been insulted as Muslims. Not only would such an arrangement cost the person much more than the Djizya he owed, he could even end up in prison.

According to a 1950 report, the Jews of Afghanistan were subjected to governmental anti-Jewish bias, and the religious zeal of local Muslim populations, right until their final exodus (typically escaping to India, and thence to Israel). This ongoing discrimination included their public humiliation during collection of the jizya: [105]

…the Jews in Afghanistan are still subject to all the forms of discrimination which rigorous adherence to the Koran [9:29] requires. They have to pay the jizyah poll-tax imposed upon infidels, and the payment is accompanied by humiliating ceremonies…

The degrading jizya collection ritual was a salient feature of broader anti-dhimmi regulations codified into Islamic Law, consistent with Qur’an 9:29. The “contract of the jizya”, “dhimma”, or “system of dhimmitude”, encompassed other obligatory and recommended regulations for the conquered non-Muslim “dhimmi” peoples, including Jews, such as: [106] the prohibition of arms for the vanquished non-Muslims (dhimmis), and of church bells; restrictions concerning the building and restoration of churches, synagogues, and temples; inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims with regard to taxes and penal law; the refusal of dhimmi testimony by Muslim courts; [107] a requirement that Jews, and other non-Muslims, wear special clothes; and the overall humiliation and abasement of non-Muslims. It is important to note that these regulations and attitudes were institutionalized as permanent features of the sacred Islamic law, or Shari’a. The writings of the much lionized Sufi theologian and jurist al-Ghazali (d. 1111) (the famous theologian, philosopher, and paragon of mystical Sufism, who, as noted by the renowned scholar W.M. Watt, has been “…acclaimed in both the East and West as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad…” [108]) highlight how the institution of dhimmitude was simply a normative, and prominent feature of the Shari’a:

…the dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle…Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya [poll tax on non-Muslims]…on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear [i.e., the mandible]… They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells…their houses may not be higher than the Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle[-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths…[dhimmis] must hold their tongue….[109]

Two particularly humiliating “vocations” were imposed upon Jews by their Muslim overlords in Yemen, and Morocco, where Jews formed the only substantive non-Muslim dhimmi populations. Yemenite Jews had to remove human feces and other waste matter (urine which failed to evaporate, etc.) from Muslim areas, initially in Sanaa, and later in other communities such as Shibam, Yarim, and Dhamar. [110] Decrees requiring this obligation were issued in the late 18th or early 19th century, and re-introduced in 1913. [111] Yehuda Nini reproduces an 1874 letter written by a Yemenite Jew to the Alliance Israelite in Paris, lamenting the practice: [112]

…it is 86 years since our forefathers suffered the cruel decree and great shame to the nation of Israel from the east to sundown…for in the days of our fathers, 86 years ago, there arose a judge known as Qadi, and said unto the king and his ministers who lived in that time that the Lord, Blessed be He, had only created the Jews out of love of the other nations, to do their work and be enslaved by them at their will, and to do the most contemptible and lowly of tasks. And of them all…the greatest contamination of all, to clear their privies and streets and pathways of the filthy dung and the great filth in that place and to collect all that is left of the dung, may your Honor pardon the expression.

Moroccan Jews were confined to ghettos in the major cities, such as Fez (since the 13th century) called mellah(s) (salty earth) which derives from the fact it was here that they were forced to salt the decapitated heads of executed rebels for public exposition. [113] This brutally imposed humiliating practice—which could be enforced even on the Jewish Sabbath—persisted through the late 19th century, as described by Eliezer Bashan: [114]

In the 1870’s, Jews were forced to salt the decapitated heads of rebels on the Sabbath. For example, Berber tribes frequently revolted against Sultan Muhammad XVIII. In order to force them to accept his authority, he would engage in punitive military campaigns. Among the tribes were the Musa, located south of Marrakesh. In 1872, the Sultan succeeded in quelling their revolt and forty-eight of their captives were condemned to death. In October 1872, on the order of the Sultan, they were dispatched to Rabat for beheading. Their decapitated heads were to be exposed on the gates of the town for three days. Since the heads were to be sent to Fez, Jewish ritual slaughterers (Hebrew, shohetim) were forced to salt them and hang them for exposure on the Sabbath. Despite threats by the governor of Rabat, the Jews refused to do so. He then ordered soldiers to enter the homes of those who refused and drag them outside. After they were flogged, the Jews complied and performed the task and the heads of the rebels were exposed in public.

Various anti-dhimmi regulations became integral to the permanent “humiliation and wretchedness” prescribed for the Jews, specifically, by the Qur’anic curse of 2:61. Breaches of this regulatory pact (or “dhimma”) by Jews—whether real or perceived—could have disastrous consequences, including fully sanctioned jihad violence [115] directed at them. For example, the poet Abu Ishaq al-Elbiri is believed to have helped incite the Muslim masses in 1066 against the Jewish vizier of Granada, Joseph Ibn Naghrela, with a vitriolic anti-Jewish ode, emphasizing how the dhimma had been violated. Abu Ishaq wrote: [116]

Bring them down to their place and Return them to the most abject station. They used to roam around us in tatters Covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn. They used to rummage amongst the dungheaps for a bit of a filthy rag To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in…Do not consider that killing them is treachery. Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.” [The translator then summarizes: ‘The Jews have broken their covenant (i.e., overstepped their station, with reference to the Covenant of Umar) and compunction would be out of place.]

A contemporary chronicle written by Sultan ‘Abd Allah (who became Sultan of Granada in 1073) confirms that a breach in the system of dhimmitude precipitated the outburst of anti-Jewish violence by the Muslims of Granada: [117]

Both the common people and the nobles were disgusted by the cunning of the Jews, the notorious changes they had brought in the order of things, and the positions they occupied in violation of their pact [i.e., the dhimma]. Allah decreed their destruction on Saturday 10 Safar 459 (December 31, 1066)…The Jew [Joseph Ibn Naghrela] fled into the interior of the palace, but the mob pursued him there, seized him, and killed him. They then put every Jew in the city to the sword and took vast quantities of their property.

The pogrom by Granada’s Muslims resulted in the assassination of Joseph Ibn Naghrela, and the massacre of some three to four thousand Granadan Jews, along with the pillage of the Jewish community. [118] This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. [119]

To be continued…


85.   See notes 57-69, above
86.   Tabari. Ta’rikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, M.J. de Goeje, Editor, Leiden, 1879, Vol.3, pp. 1389-90, English translation in Norman Stillman. The Jews of Arab Lands. A History and Source Book., Philadelphia, 1979, p.167.
87.   Moshe Gil. A History of Palestine, 634—1099, Cambridge, 1992, p. 159, note 32.
88.   Georges Vajda. “À propos de la situation des Juifs et des Chrétiens à Séville au début du XIIe siècle”, Revue des Études Juives, 99, 1935, pp. 127-129. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
89.   “Friday Sermons in Saudi Mosques: Review and Analysis”, Middle East Media Research Institute, September 26, 2002, Special Report # 10.
90.   Kaufmann Kohler, Isaac Broydé. “Solomon ben Jeroham”. The Jewish Encyclopedia
91.   Georges Vajda. “À propos de la situation des Juifs et des Chrétiens à Séville au début du XIIe siècle”.
92.   Salomon Feuerstein. Der Commentar des Karäers Salmon ben Jerucham zu den Klageliedern : Zum ersten Male nach der Pariser Handschrift edirt. 1898, Krakau, p. xiii. English translation by Haggai Ben-Shammai, in “The Attitude of Some Early Karaites Towards Islam”, from Isadore Twersky, editor, Studies in Medieval Jewish History and Literature, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1984, Vol. II, p. 10.
Additional examples of this Muslim doctrine on salutation were provided in the opinions of the 10th century Kairouan (northeast Tunisia) jurist al-Qayrawani, and the 18th century Egyptian Sheikh Damanhuri. From Qayrawani (La Risala. Translated from Arabic to French by Leon Bercher, Algiers, 5th edition, 1960. English translation in Bat Ye’or. Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide. Cranbury, New Jersey, 2001, p. 99):
One should not be the first to say salam [blessing be upon you] to Jews or Christians; but when one has (inadvertently) said salam to a tributary, he should be asked to consider it null and void. If a Jew or Christian greets you, you must reply “alayka” [“the same to you”] (nothing more). But you can also reply: “alayka’ s-silâm,” with kasra of the sîn [vocalized with an “i” and not an “a” to make it an insult], for it would then mean: “the stone,” because, according to one opinion, this is permitted.
Sheikh Damanhuri issued a similar ruling on this subject some eight centuries later (from, Shaykh Damanhuri on the Churches of Cairo, 1739. Edited and translated by Moshe Perlmann. Berkeley, California, 1975, p.57):
If you greeted one whom you considered a Muslim, only to learn he was a dhimmi, withdraw your word, pretending “he considered my salutation.” If one of them salutes he is answered with “same to you” only. If you correspond with one, you say: “Salutation to him who follows right guidance.” But avoid congratulating, consoling, or visiting them, unless you expect the person visited to convert to Islam.


93.   Sir John Drummond Hay. Western Barbary: Its Wild Tribes and Savage Animals, London, 1844, p. 3.
94.   Sahih Bukhari. Vol.2, Book 23, #376 Sahih Muslim Book 004, #2029
95.   Sahih Bukhari Vol.2, Book 23, #457; Sahih Muslim Book 040, #6861
96.   Tudor Parfitt. The Road to Redemption. The Jews of the Yemen 1900-1950. Leiden, 1996, p. 89.
97.   Suyuti wrote a famous, and ubiquitous commentary, *Tafsiir al-Jalalayn* he composed with his teacher, Jalaal al-Diin al-MaHallii; the latter composed the second part, and then Suyuti wrote the first part to complete it, including this translation/quote for Q9.29.Tafsir al-Jalalayn. Beirut 1404/1984. 244. from Suyuti’s Durr al-Manthur… Beirut, no date, Vol. III, p. 228, where Suyuti quotes various traditions. These quotes, in English translation, are reproduced from, Andrew Bostom , editor, The Legacy of Jihad, Amherst, New York, 2005, p. 127.
98.   Georges Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos: Ahkam Ahl Al-Dimma Du Sayh Muhammad B. ‘Abd Al-Karim Al-Magili’ ”, in Etudes D’Orientalisme Dediees a La Memoire de Levi-Provencal, Vol. 2, Paris, 1962, p. 811. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
99.   Bat Ye’or, Islam and Dhimmitude, pp. 70-71.
100.   David Littman, “Jews under Muslim Rule in the late Nineteenth Century” The Wiener Library Bulletin, 1975, Vol. 28, p. 75.
101.   Norman Stillman. The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, Philadelphia, 1991, p. 51.
102.   Jacques Chalom. Les Israelites de la Tunisie: Leur condition civile et politique, Paris, 1908, p. 193.
103.   For Yemen: Parfitt, The Road to Redemption, p. 163, and Aviva Klein-Franke. “Collecting the Djizya (Poll-Tax) in the Yemen”, in Tudor Parfitt editor, Israel and Ishmael : studies in Muslim-Jewish relations, New York, 2000, pp. 175-206; For Afghanistan: S. Landshut. Jewish Communities in the Muslim Countries of the Middle East, Westport, Connecticut, 1950, pp. 67-70.
104.   Klein-Franke. “Collecting the Djizya (Poll-Tax) in the Yemen”, pp. 182-83, 186.
105.   S. Landshut. Jewish Communities in the Muslim Countries of the Middle East, p. 67.
106.   Al- Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance [al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah], London, United Kingdom, 1996, p. 211; Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam, 1985, Cranbury, New Jersey, p. 169; K.S. Lal, The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, New Delhi, 1992, p. 237.
107.   For example, see Marghinani Ali ibn Abi Bakr, d. 1197, al-Hidayah, The Hedaya, or Guide- A Commentary on the Mussulman Laws, translated by Charles Hamilton, 1791, reprinted New Delhi, 1982, Vol. 2, pp. 362-363.
Malik and Shafi’i have said that their (i.e., the non-Muslim dhimmis) is absolutely inadmissible, because as infidels are unjust, it is requisite to be slow in believing anything they may advance., God having said (in the Koran) ‘When an unjust person tells you anything be slow in believing him’; whence it is that the evidence of an infidel is not admitted concerning a Mussulman; and consequently that an infidel stands (in this particular) in the same predicament with an apostate…Besides, a dhimmi may be suspected of inventing falsehoods against a Mussulman from the hatred he bears to him on account of the superiority of the Mussulmans over him.
And, from, Joseph Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law, Oxford, United Kingdom, , 1982, p. 132.
..the dhimmi cannot be a witness, except in matters concerning other dhimmis…
108.   Watt, W.M. [Translator]. The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali, Oxford, England, 1953, p. 13.
109.   Al-Ghazali (d. 1111). Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi’i, Beirut, 1979, pp. 186, 190-91; 199-200; 202-203. [English translation by Dr. Michael Schub.] Reproduced from Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, p. 199.
110.   Parfitt, The Road to Redemption, p. 187.
111.   Ibid., p. 87; Yehuda Nini. The Jews of the Yemen, 1800—1914. Translated from the Hebrew by. H. Galai. Chur, Switzerland, 1990; pp. 24-25.
112.   Nini, The Jews of the Yemen, p. 24.
113.   M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes. “Marocain Mellah”, Journal Asiatique, 1914, Vol. 3, p. 651; Meakin. “The Jews of Morocco” p. 372.
114.   Eliezer Bashan. “New Documents Regarding Attacks Upon Jewish Religious Observance in Morocco during the Late Nineteenth Century” Pe’amim 1995, p. 71. English translation by Rivkah Fishman.
115.   Al-Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance pp. 60; 77-78; 200-201.
116.   Moshe Perlmann, “Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 1948-49, Vol. 18, pp. 286-87
117.   Sultan ‘Abd Allah of Granada. Kitab al-Tibyan, translated by Bernard Lewis. Extracts reproduced from Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands, pp.224-225. The account was part of a memoir composed during ‘Abd Allah’s imprisonment beginning in 1090 when Granada was conquered by the Berber Muslim Almoravids from North Africa.
118.   Perlmann, Ibid., p. 284; Reinhart Dozy. Spanish Islam: A History of the Muslims in Spain, Translated by Francis Griffin Stokes, London, 1915 (reissued by Kessinger Publishing), p. 653.
119.   Richard Gottheil, Joseph Jacobs. “The Crusades” in The Jewish Encyclopedia

8 thoughts on “Antisemitism in the Qur’an, Part 2

  1. There was not such a thing as anti-semitism when the Koran was composed. You might mean anti-Judaism. Then again, traditional Christianity’s intepretation of the New Testament constitutes anti-Judaism, very recent modifying trends nothwithstanding.

  2. Modern Jewish men in Israel SPIT on Christians – AND Jewish women at the wailing wall.

    What IS your precise point? That people hate? Because ALL people HATE – even Jews – even blacks – even Mexicans – and especially Muslims as mandated by Sharia Law!

    Casting Jews as the eternal victim minimizes the humanity of Jews who – like ALL humans – may indeed be perpetrators of hate in addition to victims of hate.


  3. Egghead, Yes all people hate. But seldom (never?) do we see hate mandated by religion in such an (may we say) extravagant way. That is one of the points to be made.

    It’s so foreign to the modern, liberal concept of religion.

    Another point is that Muslims don’t hate Jews because Israelis have aggresively defended themselves and their country. As Pat Condel points out, Muslims hate Jews because their foundational religious texts tell them to hate Jews. That’s another point.

  4. Yes, I understand the depth of Muslim hate.

    My reply was to amspirnational who gave a low blow to Christianity while giving Judaism a pass for participating in hate.


  5. ChristianInfidel says:

    Thank you, Baron, for posting this; and thanks to Andrew Bostom for this impressive review.

    @amspirnational– you write, “Then again, traditional Christianity’s intepretation of the New Testament constitutes anti-Judaism, very recent modifying trends nothwithstanding.”

    Yes, for most of Christian history, Christians have often treated Jews abominably; but there is a crucial difference between this anti-Judaism, as you call it, and the anti-Judaism practiced by Muslims.

    Christian anti-Judaism can easily and irrefutably be shown to be in direct violation of the teachings and example of Jesus, and of the New Testament in general. This fact has played a key role in the ongoing self-correction of Christianity in this area.

    In direct contrast with Christianity, Islam’s anti-Judaism can be shown– easily and irrefutably– to be consistent with, and largely or completely a result of, Muhammad’s teachings and example. This fact plays a key role in the difficulty any reform-minded Muslims find in trying to improve Islam’s dismal record in this area.

    This same general principle, that bad actions by Christians are in violation of the New Testament’s teachings whereas bad actions by Muslims are in line with the Koran and Sunna, applies to every comparison of the two religions I have seen or thought of. (See, e.g., website’s “about Islam,” “Compared with Christianity” section.) If you think I am overlooking anything, please challenge me.

  6. “Egghead” complains of some Jewish men spitting at Christians in Israel. I am afraid that while this has happened on rare occasions it is very unusual, and he has succumbed to the usual sort of antisemitic slanders so pushed on the internet by certain types of people. In general, Christians in Israel live everywhere in the country, with completely normal and relaxed lives without any special frictions with Jews. They grow up with Jews, go to school with them, work with them, are friends and so on. They have a higher than usual standard of living even for Israel, and have prosperous and agreeable lives.

    Israel is the only country in the entire Middle East in which the percentage of Christians in the population has actually grown in the past 60 years; in all others, it has dropped drastically due to constant persecution, difficulties in business, personal attacks including rape and murder, sharp pressures to convert to Islam, prohibitions on Christian worship or even the maintenance of churches, and the like. Nothing of this occurs in Israel — except in Nazareth from the Muslims there.

    The spitting occurs only in certain not just Ultra-Orthodox but rather in Ultra-extremist-anti-Zionist-Orthodox neighbourhoods in specific secluded neighbourhoods of Jerusalem and it is done solely by members of the very small extremist group Neturei Karta, the same exceedingly strange people who throw stones at cars on the street during the Sabbath (thus breaking very seriously both the ethical and ritual laws of Rabbinic Judaism!), the same ones who object to women sitting where they like on the few buses that go through their neighborhoods, who appear together with PLO leaders including the late Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and who are happy to be photographed with Ahmadinejab of Iran at antisemitic rallies in Iran — these are truly bizarre people. But there are not many of them, they do not live outside their tiny enclaves in Jerusalem so hardly any Christians encounter them, and they are repudiated by all other Jewish Israelis, Ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, secular and all shades inbetween.

  7. He is a she, and it is RIDICULOUS to say that someone who points out that some Jews spit on Christians in Israel is anti-semitic.

    You make my point for me that some Jews expect some special exemption from even the mildest criticism of bad behavior.

    If I point out that some Jews spit on Christians, other Jews should say, “Those Jews are wrong, and move on, rather than saying, as you have, “Anti-Semite!”

    ““The issue makes headlines every few years, and promises are made to combat it, but it continues every day,” said Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs. “We believe it is time for Israel’s religious leaders to stand up for the Jewish values of treating others with respect and kindness, and to put an end to this ugly phenomenon.””

    “Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Dov Pollock recently dismissed the indictment of a Greek Orthodox priest who punched a Haredi yeshiva student in the face after the student spat at him in Jerusalem’s Old City. Judge Pollock noted that this practice has been recurring for years, and that authorities have not been able to identify the perpetrators or to stop these acts.”

    Jan 16, 2012 – ADL: Jews Should Not Spit at Christians (Be sure to read the reader comments.)

    “When Rabbi Ron Kronish, Director of ICCI, invited me to an event entitled, “Why do some Jews spit on Christians in the Old City,” I was surprised. I had no idea that some “religious” Jews literally spit on Christians when they walk past them in the Old City. I also had no idea how widespread this practice is: literally hundreds of such incidents of assault are reported every year, and most remain unprosecuted.”

    “Archbishop Shirvanian explained that this was the first time that he had ever addressed a group of Jews about the harassment that he experiences, practically daily, in the Old City. In fact, earlier that day, he was spat upon twice, while walking near the Armenian seminary in the Old City, which is on the grounds of the Armenian Patriarchate. Despite the humiliation of such incidents, Archbishop Shirvanian has never retaliated: “I cannot resort to the same means as younger and hot-blooded people,” he explained. Instead, he concluded with a message of peace: “We [the Armenian community] would like to live in peace, and we would like to see love and understanding exist among all the peoples of this holy land…We have to follow the commandment of our Lord: love your neighbor as yourself.””

    Mar 21, 2010 – A Problem that Should Concern All of Us: Why do some Jews Spit on Christians in the Old City?


  8. All of my comments relating to quite positive Jewish-Christian relations and Christian life in Israesl are to the point and are correct. The response of “Egghead” do not change them; rather, they tend to confirm them. The Neturei Karta chiefly live in Meah Shearim, right next to the Old City. That is why people encounter them there, although they tend to stay in their own quarter. By the way, they also spit at secular Jews, too.

    Spitting is not just something the Neturei Karta do: Arabs in the Old City sometimes spit at Orthodox Jews as well, which may have been the origin of this response from the Neturei Karta. It was first encountered from Arabs in Jaffa back before there was a State of Israel (I have come across references to it in memoirs from that period), and continued, especially towards anyone who looked especially Orthodox in Tel Aviv during the 60s as I can personally attest (the one time I was ever spat at — since it really is rare anyway in Israel — was in 1964 when walking down a street in southern Tel Aviv, not far from Jaffa. I was young, smiling and happy, which coming from a Jew evidently offended an Arab walking by; I also had a trim beard at the time, and had a suit on, but I believe I had no headcovering since I am not Orthodox, but anyway I may have looked like an Orthodox yeshivah student to some. On the rather similar, and actually much worse, treatment of ordinary Jews walking in the streets by other Egyptians as far back as the early 19th century, see E.W. Lane, Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836), pp. 546-7, cited also by Bostom.

    Anyway, it is a misrepresentation to suggest that this sort of treatment of Christians is typical or widespread in Israel. Instead, they are well received. The post by “Egghead” tries to convey a different impression, going right off-topic and using the clearly obnoxious and unacceptable behavour of a distinct minority to paint a very negative and misleading picture of Jews and Jewish-Christian relations as such in Israel.

    I am entirely in agreement that such obnoxious behaviour is unacceptable and worthy of firm condemnation. But what I do not agree on is that this is typical, nor even that it is relevant at all to these articles which deal with the very much worse sorts of treatment Jews have received from Muslims down through the ages. In that connection, it is a red herring and a diversion.

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