Stupid article at Counterpunch: Islamophobia: Israel’s Blessing; Israel’s Curse

Islamophobia and anti-Semitism have a great deal in common.

Except that one targets Jews and the other Muslims, the two seem almost the same, even allowing for differences in the affected populations. To produce an Islamophobic diatribe, take a typical anti-Semitic rant, substitute “Muslim” for “Jew,” and voilà.

Both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism call on deeply entrenched cultural stereotypes, and both have roots in Christianity’s longstanding, theologically driven, animosity-ridden opposition to rival “Abrahamic” faiths.

But neither Islamophobia nor anti-Semitism is about religion per se; they are forms of racism.

As such, they are modern phenomena.

And they are both creatures of Western civilization.

Yet, despite their similarities, the two follow very different trajectories.

For one, they emerged at different historical moments. Anti-Semitism is nearly two centuries old; the Islamophobia that is rampant in the West today hardly existed a decade or two before the turn of the present century.

For another, Islamophobia is currently on the rise; anti-Semitism is in decline; indeed, it is barely hanging on…

This is wrong at various points. Here are a few statements that Wiki lists as typically anti-Semitic:

  • Powerful Jews control the business world: Powerful Muslims control the business world: never heard
  • All Jews are wealthy: All Muslims are wealthy: never heard
  • Jews use their power to benefit “their own kind”: Muslims use their power to benefit “their own kind”: not often heard, but it would apply to any tribal/clan group

While I acknowledge the long history of anti-Semitism in the West, it existed in the Muslim world from the beginning.

The Koran relates how Mohammed fought with an uppity Jewish tribe at Khaybar. References to Khaybar are still rallying cries in the Muslim world:

Khaybar, Khaybar, ya yahud, jaish Muhammad sayud (Khaybar, Khaybar Oh, Jew. Muhammad’s army will return).  

And that is the fault of the West?  It took place in seventh century Medina.

Nor is anti-Semitism declining. It might be declining amongst ethnic Europeans and their descendants but that is being made up in spades by floods of Muslim immigrants. Some recent headlines:

French Jews fleeing anti-Semitism turn to Quebec

Jewish migration to Israel up 40% this year so far

Antisemitic attacks in UK at highest level ever recorded

Germany see a 25% increase in anti-Semitic crime in 2014

The writer might even be Jewish: his surname is ‘Levine.’