Last week, a lot of people decided it was best just to make fun of the news that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood spread the rumor that the new interim president replacing the ousted Mohamed Morsi was secretly Jewish. As the blog Simply Jews put it laconically: "Jew Mohamed Morsi out, Jew Adli Mansour in."
By now it is of course a time-honored Arab and Muslim tradition to express one’s hatred by calling someone a “Jew” or at least a “Zionist agent.” Apparently, there can be no worse smear, and no conspiracy theory is too bizarre to attract believers – by the way, did you know that it is “not propaganda” that also Qatar’s rulers “are Jews”? Yes, here we go: “The Thani clan is the clan of Ben-Gurion … Hamad Bin-Gurion Al-Thani is a Jew.”
But back to Egypt’s Jewish rulers… For whatever reason, Egypt’s Muslim Brothers eventually decided to pull the post about the secretly Jewish new interim president and the many evil conspiracies that had led to his appointment. Reporting this story in the Washington Post, Max Fisher noted in his conclusion[my emphasis]:
“The article has since been removed, suggesting perhaps that someone in the Brotherhood had acknowledged the potential for criticism. It would be wrong to conclude from just this one article that the Muslim Brotherhood was retreating back into some of its worst habits: conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, the insistence that no disagreement could be legitimate. But now that the group has been forced from power, this is a very real risk — not just for the group and its chances of regaining power, but for an Egyptian political system that is dangerously divided.”
Unfortunately, there is absolutely no need to rely on “just this one article” in order to realize that the Muslim Brotherhood couldn’t possibly be “retreating back into some of its worst habits.” The record is clear: the Muslim Brothers have never given up these “habits,” and there is a reason why they have been described by the ADL as the “Brotherhood of Hate.”
It’s dismaying to see that Max Fisher is either ignorant of this fact or prefers to pretend that there was some kind of major improvement. Moreover, if Fisher worries about dangerous divisions in Egypt, he can rest assured that conspiracy theories involving Jews or “Zionists” remain popular enough to unify much of Egyptian society – though admittedly, there may be disagreements about who should be denounced as a Jew or a “Zionist agent.” However, it is plainly an indication of the pervasive and obsessive hatred against Jews in the Middle East if even the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood is a Jewish creation intended to destroy Egypt and further the cause of “Greater Israel” can become quite popular.
So just a few minutes of googling or browsing through MEMRI’s recent reports could have helped Max Fisher to realize that, when it comes to anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and incitement, nobody in the Middle East needs to ‘retreat back into their worst habits’. Here are a few recent examples illustrating that these “habits” remain as popular as ever:
4) Egyptian Parliamentarian Muhammad Al-Saghir Preaches Jihad, Anti-Americanism And Antisemitism In Gaza
5) Egyptian Children Playact The Return Of Saladin, Vow To Fight To The Death For The Liberation Of Jerusalem
And, last but by no means least, with Ramadan starting this month, Muslim audiences can look forward to a miniseries produced as holiday entertainment that will show how perfidious the Jews have been ever since the times of Muhammad. As the Egyptian writer of the series frankly declared in an interview: “The goal of the series is to expose the naked truth about the Jews and stress that they cannot be trusted.” Needless to say, this is not the first Ramadan entertainment propagating Jew-hatred – I suppose one could call it a bad habit…