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In a post yesterday I argued that the gang-rape of CBS reporter Lara Logan in Cairo was a product both of Islamic misogyny and Islamic antisemitism. Regarding the latter, the invaluable Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Jihad and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, takes a far more detailed look at antisemitism in Egypt and traces it from bedrock Islamic traditions over a thousand years to the present day to explain why her attackers would call Logan a “Jew” while attacking her. An excerpt:
Such virulent Muslim Jew-hatred, inspired by the core, profoundly Antisemitic motifs of Islam’s foundational texts—the Koran hadith, and sira—dates from at least the 11th century as documented by Jews under living Muslim rule then, in Egypt, and neighboring areas of the Middle East. S.D. Goitein’s seminal analyses of this primary source documentary record of letters revealed a unique strain of Islamic Jew hatred was extant at this time (i.e., up to a millennium ago). The Jewish victims of this Muslim hatred created
- …a special word for it and, most significantly, one not found in the Bible or in Talmudic literature (nor registered in any Hebrew dictionary), but one much used and obviously coined in the [11th century] period. It is sin’?th, “hatred,” a [Muslim] Jew-baiter being called s?n?, “a hater.”
Incidents of such Muslim Jew-hatred documented by Goitein were particularly frequent in Egypt.
All of the following events which wrought tremendous devastation to Egyptian Jewry under Muslim rule, up to a millennium before the advent of the modern bogeymen of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928: the murderous persecutions of al-Hakim during the early 11th century, one of which was timed for Passover in 1012; Jews in Alexandria and Cairo being pogromed and plundered in 1047, 1168, 1265, and 1324; and Sultan Baybars in the 13th century blaming Jews for starting a plague, and subjecting them to extortion, massacre, and expulsion.
Bostom brings this forward to the modern era by discussing the gross antisemitism of the Muslim Brotherhood and of the recently deceased Sheikh Tantawi, formerly head of Al Azhar, the most revered center of learning in Sunni Islam. It is well worth reading in full to understand some of the context of the atrocity committed against Ms. Logan.
RELATED: At Big Peace, Gal Luft makes an interesting observation of how Egyptian dictators, including Mubarak, used that vein of antisemitism to channel the people’s anger away from themselves and toward Israel and Jews, making that the acceptable outlet. Even at the fall of the tyrant, their reacted in accord with their conditioning, ancient and modern.
UPDATE: Edited because Bostom actually mentions the Brotherhood only in passing, instead dwelling at length on Sheikh Tantawi.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)