March 20, 2016
MEMRI Clip No. 5457
Egyptian-German Scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad: Our Hatred of Jews Has Poisoned Us
In a lecture posted on the Internet on March 21, Egyptian-German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad said that the Prophet Muhammad had lowered the Jews to a "subhuman level, viewing them as animals," and he compared the treatment of the Jews in the years following Muhammad’s death to that of the Nazis. "This hatred is poisoning us" and "preventing us from dealing with our problems in a serious way," said Abdel-Samad, adding that "instead of poisoning one generation after another with this hatred, we should let them learn something from humanity," in order to enable them to "overcome the barrier of hatred and of fear of the other." The lecture is titled "Islamic Fascism and the Jews." For additional lectures by Abdel-Samad, see MEMRI TV clips 5443 and 5356.
Following are excerpts:
Hamed Abdel-Samad: Today, we will talk about Islamic fascism and the Jews. We have had a fixation about the Jews since the inception of Islam, and this fixation refuses to come to an end. The Jews have always been small in number, but they cause us some mental reaction and we cannot get them out of our mind.
When I was studying in Cairo, two of the most popular books that I used to see in libraries and on the streets were Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which was banned in Germany because of its racism, and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is a forgery. Without even checking, we accept it as a historical fact. This was one of the first books to be translated into Arabic in modern times. It is shameful that before translating Kant, Spinoza, Descartes, Rousseau, John Locke, or David Hume, the masters of the Enlightenment, we translated the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in order to use it to fuel our hatred towards the Jews. Do you know when The Protocols was translated into Arabic? In 1929 - before the State of Israel was established and before anyone was even thinking about it.
Can you imagine a religion whose adherents pray every day, reciting the most important chapter in their holy book, which consists of curses towards others? Have you ever asked yourself what the verse "those who incur wrath and those who have gone astray" means? What does it mean to pray and curse others?
Imagine what would happen if the Jews, the Christians, the Buddhists, or the Bahais had a verse cursing the Muslims. We would go to the UN and ask for this verse to be erased from their books, right? But for us it is very normal to curse others, because ours is the last religion and our Lord pampers us a little.
Ask all the interpreters, and they will tell you that "those who incur the wrath" are the Jews, and that "those who have gone astray" are the Christians. But, of course, ours is a religion of tolerance, and Islam accepts all the religions, right? This is hypocrisy.
The Jews have caused a crisis for Islamic identity right from the start, because they were the model. It is from the Jews that Muhammad borrowed the notion of legislation. Were the notions of legislation, shari’a, and so on familiar in the Arabian Peninsula? There were norms, and that’s it. They weren’t even written in any book. But when Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Al-Madina, he began to see what the Jews were doing, and to copy some things from them. You ban pork? What a great idea! I’ll ban pork too. There weren’t any pigs in the area anyway. The Arabs did not live on pork or anything, but Muhammad would do anything to ingratiate himself upon the Jews.
He was trying so hard to ingratiate himself upon them that he borrowed their direction of prayer and said: We will pray towards Jerusalem. Jerusalem bore no significance whatsoever for the Arabs. Why Jerusalem of all places? He chose the place that was holy to the Christians and the Jews.
Another issue that is similar in fascism, Nazism, and Islam is the view that Jews are like animals. Hitler used to call them ungeziefer in German, or "vermin." In Nazi publications, they used to draw them as mice. Likewise, when Muhammad had had enough of them, he called them "apes and pigs" and "the worst beasts in the eyes of Allah." By "the worst beasts in the eyes of Allah" he meant the Jews. He lowered them to a subhuman level, viewing them as animals. What do you do with animals? You slaughter it, you sell it, you ride it. This is the logic with which Islam treats not only the Jews, but non-Muslims in general.
After the death of Muhammad, Omar ibn Al-Khattab drafted the so-called "Pact of Omar," which is identical to Hitler’s treatment of the Jews. Jews and Christians had to wear a badge so that the Muslims could identify them. Only Muslims were allowed to part their hair in the middle. The Jews and Christians had to cut their hair straight like that, so that the Muslims could recognize them from afar. They had to wear belts in order to be recognized.
Fascism did exactly the same thing. This notion was adopted by fascism. When ISIS marked the homes of the Christians in Mosul - where did they get the idea from? From that "Pact of Omar." When the Lord says that they are "those who incur wrath and those who have gone astray," and that He would burn them in the Hellfire, how can I, as a Muslim, possibly live in peace and coexistence with them? People say: "The Prophet has instructed us to..." and whatever... What are you talking about?! Didn’t He call them "those who incur wrath and those who have gone astray"? Didn’t he say that [the Jews and Christians] were infidels? Didn’t he say that they should pay the jizya in humiliation? So why are you going on about tolerance, telling us stories about how Muhammad went to the funeral of a Jew, and so on? They were supposed to be humiliated. The Lord Himself plans to burn them in the Hellfire - so should we show them more compassion than Him?! Of course not.
After all this, some people say: "We have no problem with the Jews. It’s all about the Arab-Israeli conflict." The Arab-Israeli conflict is the cause of all these crises?! The Prophet Muhammad vowed that Judgment Day would not come unless the Muslims fight the Jews. Imagine that Israel came to you today and said: "Man, take Jerusalem. Take Haifa and Tel Aviv as well." Would that be the end of our enmity with them? In that case, we would miss out on Judgment Day. Our Lord linked Judgment Day with our conflict with the Jews. The story is not about land, occupation, and rights. The source of the crisis is that we do not view these people as humans.
Is the Mossad paying me to say these things? Am I saying this because it serves Israel, the Jews, or someone else? No. I’m saying this because this hatred is poisoning us. We have wasted vast efforts on this hatred. We have invested a lot in this hatred. This hatred prevents us from dealing with our problems in a serious way. You always need an enemy on which to pin all your catastrophes. Anything that happens to you is a conspiracy. Whenever something does not work your way, the Jews are the cause. It’s much easier this way.
We should get rid of this hatred, not for the benefit of the Jews and Israelis, but for our own sake. Instead of poisoning one generation after another with this hatred, we should let them learn something from humanity. They should overcome the barrier of hatred and of fear of the other. We should view all human beings as human beings.