US report slams dire antisemitism in Muslim lands

 

Antisemtic anti-Zionism in the Turkish TV series ‘Valley of the Wolves’

 

The annual US State Department Report into Religious Freedom has produced a scathing 2015 report on officially-sanctioned antisemitism in Arab and Muslim countries. (Oddly, it talks about discriminatory sharia law against Jews in Saudi Arabia, when the Kingdom bans Jews altogether.) Lea Speyer in The Algemeiner comes up with this analysis:

In Algeria, non-Sunni Muslims and
people of other religions, including Christians and Jews, “often kept a
low profile” after coming under threat or experiencing intolerance, the
report said. Antisemitic anti-Zionism was also found among government
leaders, including the Algerian president’s chief of staff, who accused a
rival of trying to “help the Zionists” and “selling Algeria to the
Jews.” 

 

In Afghanistan, the report listed only one Jewish person as a resident of the country.

In Iran, the regime continued its
practice of “restrictions and discrimination against Jews.” According to
the Tehran Jewish Committee, the principals of Jewish schools are
required to be Muslim and schools must remain open on Saturdays, “in
violation of Jewish religious law,” the report said. While the
government supposedly allows Hebrew instruction in Jewish schools, the
distribution of Hebrew texts, “particularly nonreligious texts,” are
limited, “making it difficult to teach the language.” 

In Yemen, the Jewish community’s
predicament is even more dire. Locals in Amran continue their
“harassment of Jewish community members,” the report said, “including by
throwing stones and coercion to convert to Islam.” Out of fear for
their lives, Jewish students continue to stay away from public schools
even as attempts to establish private Jewish schools are blocked. 

The media in Muslim majority
countries, the report found, plays a large role in contributing to
antisemitism and antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism. 

The Egyptian government, the report
said, “generally failed to take action against or condemn antisemitic
comments that appeared in both government-owned and private media.”

“Talk show hosts occasionally
approved the killing of Jewish civilians and failed to distinguish
between Jews and supporters of Israeli policies in broadcasts critical
of such policies,” the report explained. “Private Salafist media
sometimes included antisemitic programming that glorified or denied the
Holocaust, including in interviews with academics and clerics. There
were reports of imams using antisemitic rhetoric in their sermons,
including allegations that Jews were responsible for the ‘spilled blood’
of Muslim Palestinians.”

In Turkey, an antisemitic film —
which “paints the Jews as the country’s biggest enemy” — was “broadcast
repeatedly on private television channels and posted on the websites of
several pro-government media outlets,” the report found. 

In Jordan, editorial cartoons,
articles and public statements by politicians echoed antisemitic tropes
and “conflated anti-Israel sentiment with antisemitic sentiment.” In
Saudi Arabia, Jews are continually portrayed using “stereotypical
images…along with Jewish symbols, particularly at times of heightened
political tension with Israel.”

In the country’s legal system, Jews
in Saudi Arabia are also largely discriminated against. For example,
should a court rule in favor of a Jew in a case of compensation for
accidental death or injury, the Jewish plaintiff “is entitled to receive
only 50 percent of the compensation a Muslim male would receive,” the
report said. 

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2 Comments

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  • I actually saw this movie because someone managed to post the whole thing on YouTube with English subtitles (this was five years ago, it's been taken down). It had the familiar trope of the anti-Zionist Jew distancing themselves from the evil "Zionist entity" as one of the main characters was an American Jewish woman traveling with Turkish commandos (for some reason) who at the end of the movie embraced Islam by donning a hijab. And, of course, it promoted the myth of Mavi Marmara being a peaceful convoy as the opening sequence was someone on the loudspeaker shouting that they were coming in peace before the Israelis showed up. Overall, it was just loaded with terrible action sequences and tired anti-Israel tropes. I still wonder how I managed to watch the whole thing.

    Reply

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