Racist Calls of Apes and Pigs? Forget Rosanne. Let’s Talk Islam

On June 17, 2018, the New York Times printed an editorial about Racism titled “The Racist Trope that Won’t Die.” The author, Brent Staples, called out Rosanne Barr for resurrecting a slander against a Black advisor to President Barack Obama “as the offspring of an ape.

Staples described how the accusation of blacks being descendants of apes was originally promoted by slave traders and historians to justify slavery and lynchings. While such attitude “has been pushed to the margins of the public square,” according to Staples, “it has maintained a pernicious grip on the American imagination.

Staples would go on to illustrate how Black people were more likely to be convicted of a crime, receive a longer sentence, and were more likely to be shot even if unarmed compared to White people. He argued that the “pernicious grip” of imagining a Black man as an animal accounted for the disparity and injustice befalling people of color.

Needless to say, Staples was happy about ABC’s cancellation of the Rosanne Barr show, but he viewed the sentiment of the Barr comment as much deeper and systemic in the American pysche.

“centuries of institutionalized racism – and the dehumanization of black people upon which it relied – have left an indelible imprint on how Americans process blackness.

“The notion that the country might somehow move past this deeply complex, historically layered issue by assuming an attitude of “color blindness” is naive. The only real hope of doing that is to openly confront and talk about the powerful, but submerged, forms of discrimination that have long since supplanted the undisguised version.”

Staples essentially said that all Americans have a variety of racism, some are just more disguised. The quick dismissal of Barr was appropriate, but a simple tonic. Americans need to have a deeper conversation about race.

Now imagine the same situation as described above ratcheted up by many decibels to an entirely new deafening level:

  • Imagine that it wasn’t a solitary hated black person being called an ape, but all black people being disparaged
  • Imagine the person making such accusation was not a comedian, but a prophet
  • Imagine society not shutting down the comedian, but echoing the vile words for everyone to hear across the world
  • Imagine that the racism is not even discussed

That is Islamic anti-Semitism.

Islamic Anti-Semitism

The root of Islamic antisemitism is regrettably found in Islam’s holiest text, the Quran:

  • Surah 5:59-60:Say, “O People of the Scripture [Jews], do you resent us except [for the fact] that we have believed in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed before and because most of you are defiantly disobedient? Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah ? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.
  • Surah 7:166: “So when they were insolent about that which they had been forbidden, We said to them, “Be apes, despised.“”
  • Surah 2:65: “And you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the sabbath, and We said to them, “Be apes, despised.”

These are unfortunate verses. But it is also important to note that many verses in the Bible can also be read in a very unfavorable light. Many moderate Muslims today do NOT believe that the Islamic prophet Mohammed despised all Jews and that the sentences are not to be read literally. However, there are many powerful Muslims throughout the world that do hold such antisemitic views.

Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI list several examples of Muslim clerics and leaders calling Jews the “sons of apes and pigs.”

  • Former President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi in September 2010: “No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track. Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.
  • Sheikh Taleb Al-Silwadi in the Palestinian Authority Daily in December 2012 wrote “the strong Jihad fighter, adhering to its religion and faith, challenging the tyranny and oppression of the Zionists, those descendants of monkeys and pigs who thought they could deny us our strength.”
  • Teacher on official PA TV September 2013: “The Israeli occupation authorities lock the Al-Aqsa Mosque from morning until afternoon. At this time, the assistants of the monkeys and pigs (i.e., Jews) and the herds of settlers can enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., Temple Mount plaza) without anything stopping them.”
  • Poet on official Palestinian Authority TV September 2014: “O, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets; You have been condemned to humiliation and hardship
    O Sons of Zion, O most evil among creations; O barbaric apes, O wretched pigs
  • Danish imam Mohammed al-Khaled Samha in October 2014: “How can we – or any free Muslim with faith in his heart – accept the division of Palestine between [the Palestinians] and a gang of Jews, the offspring of apes and pigs?
  • Jordanian preacher Ibrahim al-Namarna in November 2014: “Oh Allah, destroy the Americans and the Shiites. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews, for they cannot contend with you. Oh Allah, elevate the Al-Aqsa Mosque until Judgment Day. Oh Allah, elevate the Al-Aqsa Mosque until the Judgment Day. Expel the brothers of apes and pigs from Palestine in humiliation and degradation.
  • PA cleric on official Palestinian Authority TV January 2015: “Many Muslims are being harmed these days by a group whose hearts were sealed by ‎Allah. ‘He made of them [Jews] apes and pigs and slaves of deities
  • Girl on official Palestinian Authority TV May 2015: “Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets; Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood; Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations; Oh barbaric monkeys.
  • Sheikh Muhammad Abu Sa’ada in October 2015: “The Al-Aqsa Mosque awaits its Mujahideen, and its Martyrdom-seekers. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is waiting, and it knows that even if the occupier desecrates the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the heroes of Gaza are making preparations and are digging tunnels that lead to Al-Aqsa, and one day they will emerge in the [Al-Aqsa Mosque] plaza, the streets, and alleys, and proclaim: Allah is great! And will announce general mobilization against the brothers of apes and pigs
  • Official spokesperson for Fatah, Raafat Alayan said in November 2015: “we have succeeded in preventing 80% of the settlers, the sons of apes and pigs from walking around the Old City [of Jerusalem].
  • A terrorist who murdered three Israelis in 2017 left a will calling “You, the sons of apes and pigs – if you do not open the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, I am certain that after me will come a man who will strike [you] with an iron hand, I warn you!
  • Preacher in Gaza in March 2018: “we are near our blessed land which is being trampled by those descendants of apes and pigs, the remnants of the brutal, savage, and barbaric colonialism.

All over the Muslim world, clerics, imams, teachers, sheiks and government officials call the Jews the descendants of apes and pigs. This is not a single comedian calling out a single person whom she detested; but scores of leaders calling out all Jews, especially Israelis.

These Islamic leaders are not expelled from their posts nor ridiculed by the public. Instead, their messages are internalized by children and the aged. The message is heard in the streets of Europe where Muslims are as much as five times more antisemitic than Christians according to ADL polls. And it is the tagline of Islamic countries, including 30 countries that don’t even recognize the basic existence of Israel.

The antisemitic Muslim preachers of hatred are at full volume and their calls to stab and kill the inhuman Jews are more vivid than slave traders who lynched blacks 200 years ago. But their apologists in the liberal press boldly whitewash the bigoted words and actions by mischaracterising Arabs as “resorting to violence” because of “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians,” while their band of brothers in the United Nations similarly invert cause-and-effect by labeling “Zionism is Racism,” as they attempt to remove the Jews from the Jewish Holy Land and obliterate every aspect of Zionism from the world.

Americans have come a long way in the decades since black slavery, lynchings and segregation, but there is still a need to speak candidly about race as the echoes of racism are still heard in our society. The urgency is all the more pressing that we speak clearly and loudly denouncing the pervasive and pernicious Muslim antisemitism that is broadcast openly around the world. Peace and civility will never exist without such efforts.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The “Unclean” Jew in the Crosshairs

Abbas’s Speech and the Window into Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism

Covering Racism

If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

No Jews Allowed in Palestine

The Palestinian State I Oppose

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

Blessing Islamophobia

Where’s the March Against Anti-Semitism?

The Highbrow Anti-Semite

Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

Jews in the Midst

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If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

On July 15, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN, a black Muslim police officer shot and killed an unarmed white Australian woman. You would have a hard time learning about the ethnicity of the police officer from The New York Times.

On July 22, the NYT ran an article entitled “Minneapolis Police Chief Is Forced Out.” The article relayed a lot of personal background of key players in the story, including that the chief of police was the first woman to serve in that capacity and was openly gay. It spoke of a a civil rights lawyer that argued that the chief of police “needed to be fired” because the chief only decried the recent killing of the Australian woman only because she was white, while she had always defended the police in past shootings when the victims were black.

With all of that background, you would imagine that the Times would highlight that the police officer, Mohamed Noor, that killed the unarmed white woman was black.

And a Muslim.

And from the Somali community.

But the Times decided not to mention any of those points, even while it described particular details of others in the story, as well as protests from back in 2015 following the killing of an unarmed black man.

The Times would similarly not describe Officer Noor’s ethnicity in its July 21 article “Woman Shot by Minneapolis Officer ‘Didn’t Have to Die’ Police Chief Says,” or in the July 19 article called “Officer Said He Heard Loud Noise Before Partner Shot Minneapolis Woman.

When the Times did cover the fact that the police officer was a black man from the Somali community (it never wrote that he was a Muslim), it did so from the perspective of the Somali Community.

The July 20 article heading “Police Shooting Rattles Somalis in Minneapolis” would make a person think that a Somali was the victim, rather than the killer. The article wrote that the Somali immigrant population in Minneapolis “sometimes expressed frustration with law enforcement.” It added that Somalis felt that police officers used excessive force with its community and that “many Somalis have expressed frustration with their portrayals in the news media, saying reporters have unfairly emphasized stories about terrorist recruitment and cultural differences.

As if the issue was purely one of media bias.

As detailed in “Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota,” the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report in September 2015 flagging the problem of jihadists in Minnesota. Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee said that “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.” Liberal politicians including Senator Al Franken and then presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton acknowledged the findings of the report, while they argued for increased cooperation between law enforcement and the Somali community to combat terrorism.

The Homeland Security report and acknowledgment by liberal politicians was not mentioned by the New York Times. Just that the Somali community felt vilified unfairly by the press, even as the Times called-out “President Trump’s travel ban.”

When a white police officer shoots an unarmed black man, the New York Times repeats the race of each party over-and-again for days. However, when the attacker is not just black, but a Muslim, the Times reorients the story for its readers.

Another edition of the New York Times #AlternativeFacts.

 


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Ties that Bind (and Those Unmentioned)

The Media Finds Religion in Matters of Security. Sometimes.

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

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Dancing with the Asteroids

Mankind has always been enamored with stars. Since our earliest history, people have looked up at the stars in wonder. The bright points of lights inspired some of civilization’s greatest poetry and stories of heroism. The beacons of light in the darkness guided sailors lost at sea and eased the fear of night for children at home.

Today, some of our favorite celebrities and sports heroes are referred to as “stars”. Compared to the heroes in mythology immortalized in the sky, today’s stars are modern heroes on the sports field and movie screens on earth. We cheer their successes as our own and wait anxiously for the next opportunity to watch them.

Conversely, asteroids are lightless, lifeless pieces of rock. They lack any internal source of light and warmth. Some may have, once upon a time, been a part of something greater and noble, but those days are long past.

A hit television show developed in 2005 called “Dancing with the Stars” in which famous celebrities were paired in dance competitions with ballroom dancers. The shows quickly rocketed to number one as audiences loved watching their stars compete in an entertaining new setting. The phenomenon spread to more than 40 countries around the globe, including in: Western Europe; North America; parts of South America; Australia; Russia and China. Almost all of Africa and the Middle East did not adopt the show, with the only exceptions being Israel, Lebanon and South Africa.

Dancing_With_the_Stars_Map.svg
The map in blue of countries with “Dancing with the Stars”



The Politics of Dancing with Asteroids

In the fall of 2014, US President Obama formed a coalition of forces to fight the Islamic State or ISIS. Obama stated that: “The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.” Over 50 countries pledged support for the fight, but only a handful agreed to take part in military action.

Obama worked hard and touted his success in bringing Arab countries into the fighting coalition: Bahrain; Jordan; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; and the UAE. This was the US dance card Obama sought for what he claimed was “going to be a long-term campaign”.

  • Qatar: one of the leading financiers of terrorists, especially Hamas, but also extremists in Libya and Egypt. It’s Al-Jazeera TV has helped spread Salafism throughout the Middle East. It’s treatment of migrant workers is infamous.
  • Saudi Arabia: home to 15 of the 19 September 11 mass murderers. The greatest offenders of women’s rights in the world. Zero political empowerment for the masses.
  • Bahrain: a monarchy that successfully crushed the pro-democracy movement in its country (out of the lens of the western press or United Nations).
  • Jordan: a leading funnel of jihadists that cross into and out of Iraq and Syria.
  • UAE: another financier of terrorists

Obama’s dance card of the dark was seemingly not quite full. Reports emerged that Obama sent a secret letter to Iran to help battle the Islamic State.

  • Iran: perhaps the only country to finance and export terror more than Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It helped undermine the stability of Iraq. It is building nuclear capability while it threatens to destroy Israel.

KerryIran
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (L)

Those are the partners Obama chose when he claimed that the battle is larger than ISIL, and that the coalition is “fighting an ideological strain of extremism that has taken root in too many parts of the region.That is the very definition of the coalition he assembled.

Obama may argue that allying in the fight with such parties is a necessary evil. It arguably protects the US from criticism that it is not acting alone against an Arab/Muslim foe, as fellow Arab and/or Muslim countries are alongside of America in the fight. Practically speaking, it is easier to wage a battle from nearby territory, so many of these coalition partners are simply the neighbors of ISIS. Perhaps.

It may be politically expedient to dance with the asteroids, but it is certainly not pretty to watch.



Sources:

Dancing with the Stars show: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287630/Strictly-Come-Dancing-global-hit-BBCs-successful-export-rakes-millions.html

The coalition against Islamic State forms: http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2014/09/heres-map-obamas-coalition-against-islamic-state/95000/

Obama’s speech to the coalition: http://www.politicususa.com/2014/10/15/president-obama-talks-strategy-anti-isil-coalition.html

America’s coalition partners: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/09/23/350877632/obama-coalition-against-isis-shows-it-is-not-americas-fight-alone

A perspective on the coalition partners: http://lubpak.com/archives/74002

Obama letter to Iran: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/11/07/lawmakers-slam-obama-letter-to-iran-ayatollah-ali-khamenei/

Hope versus Hate. The Anthems of Different Peoples.

In the two and one-half weeks since three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped, the government of Israel dispatched hundreds in search parties to find the boys, called “Operation Brothers’ Keeper.” The citizens of the country, and Jews and civilized people around the world, hoped and prayed for the boys’ safe return. The reactions were emblematic of Israel’s culture: to actively pursue – by physical and metaphysical means – a better future. A future that includes life and peace for its entire people.

The reaction from Israel’s Arab neighbors was also emblematic of their culture. Hamas spokesman Khaled Mashaal said “If it turns out the kidnapping really happened, I welcome it.” The mother of one of the men accused of the kidnapping, Amer Abu Aysha, said that “If he truly did it – I’ll be proud of him till my final day.”

Those sentiments of hatred can be found throughout the Arab and Muslim Middle East in their national anthems. Country after country have songs calling for death, vendetta and martyrdom, as seen in the video below. These are not army marching songs, but the values that are instilled in the people every day before soccer matches and graduations. Here is a small sample:

We all sacrifice for you, we supply you with our blood” – UAE

Our martyrs’ souls are formidable guardians” – Syria

We will drink from death” – Iraq

Palestine is my vendetta and the land of withstanding” – Palestinian Authority

A life of dignity and a death of glory” – Tunisia

We never betray the call for sacrifice, death” – Sudan

On our dead we build glory” – Algeria

May God take my life” – Turkey

We are your sacrifices” – Libya

Remember through my joy, each martyr” – Yemen

The Kurdish youth are ever-ready And always prepared to sacrifice their lives To sacrifice their lives, to sacrifice their lives” – Kurdistan

These aspirations stand in sharp contrast to the national anthem of the Jewish State of Israel, a democracy in the middle of the Middle East.  Israel’s anthem is called “Hatikva”, which means “The Hope”.

Our hope of 2000 years is not lost. To be a free people in our land- the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”