Antisemitism and religious groups: The blame game

If terrorism were a tree, antisemitism would be its biggest branch.

A CAPTURED Taliban insurgent is presented to the media after he was detained with car explosive devices in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in December 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/PARWIZ)
A CAPTURED Taliban insurgent is presented to the media after he was detained with car explosive devices in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in December 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/PARWIZ)
Last week, St.-Sgt. Amit Ben-Yigal was killed after being stoned by a Palestinian Islamist. His grave was sabotaged after his burial, and footage obtained by the police reveal a woman spending hours trying to exhume his body.
While many believe that the never-ending wave of global antisemitic attacks is actually about politics, a bit of pondering will show you that its roots stem from intolerant ideologies.
The belief that Jews are the source of all evil and therefore cannot be tolerated, let alone embraced, originated from religious people. The usage of terms such as “desecrated” when describing Jews is not political; it is ideological. It indicates that a land or area was holy, pure and blessed and was somehow polluted, defiled, contaminated and violated by Jews – simply because they are Jews.
On May 22 each year, we remember the 1370 Brussels Massacre. Jewish people were detained, tortured and murdered, and those who survived had to live their remaining days in exile. While this was over an alleged host desecration, it was part of a culture that blamed the Jews for all evil.
Two decades earlier, thousands of Jews were burned alive in 1348 after they were accused of being the source of all diseases, mainly the Black Death in Europe.
Extremist religious leaders from both Christianity and Islam are responsible for just about all the religious hate directed toward Jewish people. The so-called reformist Martin Luther promoted the idea that Jews consume Satan’s feces. It reflects a clear clerical agenda to demonize Jews and portray them to be so evil and against God that they would insert the feces of Satan into their own bodies. This of course is beside the fact that Satan is not a physical figure who eats and empties his stomach.
Today, this dark chapter in history is repeating itself as Jewish people are being blamed for the spread of COVID-19, and that Jews supposedly have a hidden agenda to conquer the world through this pandemic. The virus began in Wuhan, China, and many of its victims were Jewish people, including senior rabbis. Yet there is a loud group insisting that Jews are to blame for this global disaster, which has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people.
If you thought these antisemitic statements were from Internet trolls, I invite you to think again. These are accusations promoted by prominent members of the Taliban.
Tehreek-e-Taliban, Pakistan’s branch of the Taliban terrorists, published a “report” regarding COVID-19. Its primary writer, Mufti Abu Hisham Masoud, claims that Jewish people introduced this virus to rule the world, suggesting that they must be stopped at all costs.
Masoud states: “In the light of this introduction, I would like to argue that the coronavirus too is an important part of the war underway in the name of the New World Order. To comprehend this, it is necessary to understand a short background. Since it is a claim of the Jews that they are from among the descendants of the Prophet Sulaiman [Solomon] and Prophet Sulaiman ruled over the entire world, therefore the right to a global governance belongs to the Jews only,” and that “By bringing the world to a standstill through the virus war, [the Jews] are eager to have their existence accepted.” Such propaganda is deadly, as it results in terrorist attacks against Jewish communities not just in the Middle East, but throughout every continent and major city.
Antisemitism is a deadly industry that all leading religious extremists have invested in, only because it serves their agenda of violence, hate and terrorism. History has proven that major terrorist events such as the Brussels Massacre were a clear result of antisemitism and bigotry against Jewish people.
The next time you hear an accusation against Jews in the media, don’t be surprised if you find out that it actually originated from the Taliban.
The writer, an Iranian-born Islamic scholar, educator, bestselling author and speaker, is former president of the Islamic Association of South Australia.