Long-time (or Islam-savvy) readers will remember the infamous Muslim chant: Khaybar, Khaybar ya yahud, jaysh Muhammad qadimun. These words celebrate the mass slaughter of Jews at Khaybar by the prophet Mohammed. Chanting them is a favorite pastime of Hizb ut-Tahrir, among other Islamic zealots.
Jew-hatred during rioting in Malmö: “Want to kill Jews”
September 1, 2020
Unverified videos have circulated on social media since Friday, and now Kvällsposten can confirm that hate against Jews occurred in connection with the riot.
One young man became upset and said, “This isn’t my demonstration any longer, now they want to kill Jews,” says Victor Pressfeldt, who himself was a witness to the anti-Semitic aspects.
In the videos a small crowd can be seen with clenched fists screaming in Arabic, “Jews, remember Khaybar, Mohammad’s armies are returning.”
According to the Jewish Central Council, the meaning cannot be interpreted other than a call for the “murder and cleansing of Jews,” as Khaybar was a place where Jews were murdered by the Prophet Mohammad and his followers in the year 628 AD.
According to persons who were at the scene in Rosengård on Friday evening, the Jewish Central Council seems to be justified in its interpretation.
The freelance journalist Victor Pressfeldt was on the scene and followed the events during the entire afternoon into the night going into Saturday, and he confirms that he heard the anti-Semitic rhyme being chanted during the evening.
“Yes, I heard it on at least a couple of occasions. There was a guy who translated it for me from Arabic, and he himself was very upset over what was being shouted.” He said, “Now it isn’t my demonstration any longer — now they want to kill Jews.” I thought it was creepy.
“Islamists and ISIS— followers seemed to be moving among the demonstrators”
According to Victor Pressfeldt, there were several in the area who reacted to the anti-Semitism, but also to the views of the religious extremists in the crowd.
“There were several I talked to who were upset that Islamists and ISIS-followers seemed to be moving among the demonstrators. So I would say that there were internal tensions both among those who took part in the demonstrations and those who took part in the riot.”
Police are aware of the videos that are circulating, and are now investigating the matter as a suspected hate crime.
“We have initiated our own police report, and the Jewish congregation has also made a report about it,” says Ewa-Gun Westford, press spokesperson with the Malmö police.
Is there any video that has been verified yet?
“I cannot verify that at this time, but we are gathering reports, and an investigation will take place.”
Fredrik Sieraszki, a spokesperson for the Jewish congregation in Malmö, thinks that the incidents indicate Malmö has a long way to go to overcome the anti-Semitism that still flourishes in the city.
“Obviously, we think this is uncomfortable. And obviously, there is discomfort in our congregation since we have surely heard this before This is a sign that we have a long way to go in Malmö. We must work hard on these questions, and that is not something someone does on a coffee break.”
“I saw the clips, and I was furious.”
In recent years, the rabbi of the Jewish congregation, Moshe-David HaCohen, together with Imam Salahuddin Barakat, have worked actively for increased understanding among different religious groups in Malmö, and Fredrik Sieradski is careful to point out the importance of not speculating as to who is behind the content of the videos.
“We are in contact with the Muslim network and are having discussions as to how we will do further work on these questions. The absolute last thing we will do right now is speculate.”
An imam who spends a lot of time in Rosengård, and who also was at the scene during the disturbances on Friday, is Samir Muric. He says that he himself didn’t hear any anti-Semitic slogans, but that he saw a clip of it on Facebook.
“I saw the clip and was furious. I really hope they find out who it is and that they are convicted for hate against a group of people. I have also emailed the Jewish congregation to show my empathy for them,” he says.
“Surprised when I heard the anger directed at Jews”
The Malmö resident Salomea Gosenius, 20 years old, has long been engaged with Jewish life in Malmö. Before Friday, she felt anxious, and on Saturday her anxiety was increased.
“I was ready for what might happen because it is totally common that this problem crosses over into Jew-hatred. But I am clearly so surprised that it came from the counter-demonstrators’ side, since both Muslims and Jews are a target group for right-wing extremists. We are sitting in the same boat, so therefore I was a little surprised when I heard the anger directed specifically against Jews.”
Salomea Gosenius says that she is one of many others who fight to keep young Jews in Malmö. The weekend’s incidents she considers a step back for the future of Jews in the city.
“These kinds of incidents with concrete threats only makes things go the wrong way. We Jews in Malmö have already experienced so much, and this only worsens the situation. As the people become more afraid, they will flee.”