On March 15, 2019, a horrific massacre happened in New Zealand, as a racist burst into two mosques and slaughtered innocent people. The actions were rightly condemned broadly throughout the civilized world.
However, the following day, the outspoken Palestinian-American, anti-Zionist Linda Sarsour chose not to attack the racism and racist actions of the madman, but instead criticized people who were angered by Muslim antisemitism, as if they deserved part of the blame:
“I am triggered by those who piled on Representative Ilhan Omar and incited a hate mob against her until she got assassination threats now giving condolences to our community. What we need you to do is reflect on how you contribute to islamophobia and stop doing that.”
Sarsour has often said that criticizing the policies of the government of Israel is not anti-Semitic, so it is therefore interesting how she can somehow not appreciate that condemning specific actions and comments – Muslim antisemitism – is not a call to hate all Muslims, nor is it Islamophobia.
As reviewed in these pages, Muslim antisemitism is widespread throughout the world and more prevalent over the past decades than antisemitism from other religious groups. That is a fact which all well-meaning people wish was not true. The condemnation of Ilhan Omar’s antisemitic comments were made in the hopes that she would not make such comments again. Similarly, the aim of writing about Muslim antisemitism is to work to eradicate the noxious hatred, not Islam itself. The ultimate goal is to see all religions – including Islam, Judaism and Christianity – living together peacefully in all corners of the world.
A proud American can criticize US policies and a proud Israeli can criticize Israeli policies, and a pro-Zionist American might also criticize some Israeli policies. Pointing out particular flaws in some of Israel’s policies does not label a person antisemitic, just as pointing to a flaw prevalent in Muslim society, which have been repeatedly spewed from the mouth of an elected Muslim American Congresswoman, is not Islamophobic.
However, Sarsour is not trying to change a particular Israeli policy; she is attempting to destroy the Jewish State. Her comments like “There’s nothing creepier than Zionism,” and people should not “humanize” Israelis, as well as her repeated calls to boycott Israel make it clear that her goals are not simply to soften Israel’s blockade of the terrorist-controlled enclave of Gaza, or to expel all Jews from the West Bank, arguably antisemitic desires in their own. But her incessant comments make clear that she wants to see the destruction of the Jewish State which does make her an anti-Semite.
I hope for a world in which Muslims live in peace alongside people of all faiths: that Jews and Muslims can each pray on the Jewish Temple Mount; that Jews, Muslims and Christians can each live and work throughout the “West Bank,” Israel and Gaza; where antisemitic terrorist groups like Hamas are banned outright; where the Jewish State has embassies in the entire Muslim world and all of those countries similarly locate their embassies in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. It is a goal of coexistence with peace-loving people.
The act of denouncing Muslim antisemitism instead of continuing the global policy of ignoring and encouraging it, is to facilitate such a peaceful world. If only the demonizers of Israel had such lofty goals, instead of the antisemitic desire to destroy the only Jewish state.
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