Watch him grin as he says it. Is it because he is delighted at the thought of blood and murder, or because he knows just how big the lie is that he is perpetuating?
This blood libel, of course, originated in Christian Europe. Yet it was never universally accepted. Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254) issued a strong denial of the blood libel, as did Gregory X (1271-1276), Martin V (1417-1431), and Sixtus IV (1471-1484). Paul III (1534-1549) denounced those who “pretend, in order to despoil them of their goods, that the Jews kill little children and drink their blood.” That this had to be repeated over several centuries testifies to the persistence of the libel in Christian Europe, but nevertheless, excommunication was consistently the penalty for those who spread such stories or victimized Jews on such a basis.
In any case, many scholars even to this day contend that Islamic antisemitism is a borrowing from Christianity, but this is not actually true. In reality, there is a strong native strain of anti-Semitism in Islam, which is rooted in the Qur’an. The Muslim holy book contains a great deal of material that forms the foundation for a hatred of Jews that exists independently of the Christian variety. It is also, in many ways, more virulent and harder to eradicate. The Qur’an portrays the Jews as the craftiest, most persistent, and most implacable enemies of the Muslims—and there is no Muslim equivalent of the Second Vatican Council to mitigate against destructive interpretations. The Qur’anic material on the Jews remains the prism through which far too many Muslims see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and Jews in general—to this day.
A vivid illustration of this came in 2004 from Islam Online, a website founded by, among others, the internationally influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi in 1997. Although al-Qaradawi has won praise from Islamic scholar John Esposito for engaging in a “reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism, and human rights,” that “reformist” impulse doesn’t seem to carry over to his view of Jews (he has justified suicide bombings against Israeli civilians), or the view of them he has allowed to be published on Islam Online. In 2004 the site posted an article titled “Jews as Depicted in the Qur’an,” in which Sheikh ‘Atiyyah Saqr, the former head of the Fatwa Committee at the most respected institution in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, depicts Jews in a chillingly negative light, illustrated with abundant quotations from the Qur’an. Among other charges he levels at the Jews, Saqr says that they “used to fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah”; they “love to listen to lies”; they disobey Allah and ignore his commands; they wish “evil for people” and try to “mislead them”; and they “feel pain to see others in happiness and are gleeful when others are afflicted with a calamity.” He adds that “it is easy for them to slay people and kill innocents,” for “they are merciless and heartless.” And each charge he follows with Qur’anic citations.
Though he offers many examples of the alleged evil traits of the Jews supported by the Qur’an, Saqr doesn’t mention the notorious Qur’anic passages that depict an angry Allah transforming Jews into apes and pigs: 2:63–66; 5:59–60; and 7:166. The first of those passages depicts Allah telling the Jews who “profaned the Sabbath”: “Be as apes despicable!” It goes on to say that these accursed ones serve “as a warning example for their time and for all times to come.” The second has Allah directing Muhammad to remind the “People of the Book” about “those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil.” The third essentially repeats this, saying of the Sabbath-breaking Jews that when “in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions,” Allah said to them, “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.”
In traditional Islamic theology these passages have not been considered to apply to all Jews. The classic Qur’anic commentator Isma’il bin ‘Amr bin Kathir al Dimashqi (Ibn Kathir), whose commentary is widely distributed and respected among Muslims today, quotes earlier authorities saying that “those who violated the sanctity of the Sabbath were turned into monkeys, then they perished without offspring,” and that they “only lived on the earth for three days, for no transformed person ever lives more than three days.” While parts of the Qur’an are hostile to the Jews, Muhammad’s curse, in this case, was limited to these Sabbath-breakers, not to all Jews.
However, that hasn’t stopped contemporary jihadists from frequently referring to Jews as the “descendants of apes and swine.” The implication is that today’s Jews are bestial in character and are the enemies of Allah, just as the Sabbath-breakers were. The grand sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims today, has called Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.” Saudi sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the principal mosque in the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, said in a sermon that Jews are “the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.”
Another Saudi sheikh, Ba’d bin Abdallah al-Ajameh al-Ghamidi, made the connection explicit: “The current behavior of the brothers of apes and pigs, their treachery, violation of agreements, and defiling of holy places … is connected with the deeds of their forefathers during the early period of Islam—which proves the great similarity between all the Jews living today and the Jews who lived at the dawn of Islam.” A 1996 Hamas publication says that today’s Jews are bestial in spirit, and this is a manifestation of the punishment of their forefathers. In January 2007, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas stated, “The sons of Israel are mentioned as those who are corrupting humanity on earth,” referring to Qur’an 5:64.
All this shows that leading Muslim authorities approach the Qur’an not as a document rooted in history, but as a blueprint for understanding the world today. Likewise, Sheikh ‘Atiyyah Saqr describes the Qur’anic teachings that because Jews “revolted against the Divine ordinances … they found no warm reception in all countries where they tried to reside. Rather, they would either be driven out or live in isolation.” Moreover, “Almighty Allah told us that He’d send to them people who’d pour on them rain of severe punishment that would last till the Day of Resurrection.” Then comes a threat: “All this gives us glad tidings of the coming victory of Muslims over them once Muslims stick to strong faith and belief in Allah and adopt the modern means of technology.” The “rain of severe punishment” resulting from adoption of the “modern means of technology” may come to fruition in former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nuclear ambitions and implacable hostility to Israel. In January 2007 he warned that the “demise” of the “Zionist regime” is “imminent.” Do the Iranians plan to bring about that demise with a nuclear “rain of severe punishment”?
"Egyptian Politician Khaled Zaafrani: Jews Use Human Blood for Passover Matzos," from MEMRI, May 12:
Following are excerpts from a TV show with Khaled Al-Zaafrani, founder of the Egyptian Justice and Progress Party, which aired on Al-Hafez TV on May 12, 2013.
Khaled Al-Zaafrani: It is the Jews who have instigated wars in the world. They instigated World War I, as well as World War II, and they will keep on instigating wars. The Jews cannot live without wars, conspiracies, deceit, and deception. We can rest assured that the Jews will not seek or uphold peace.
It s well known that during the Passover, they make matzos called the "Blood of Zion." They take a Christian child, slit his throat and slaughter him. Then they take his blood and make their [matzos]. This is a very important rite for the Jews, which they never forgo.
Interviewer: Could you repeat the name of this rite?
Khaled Al-Zaafrani: It is called the Blood of Zion rite. During the Jews Passover, they must slaughter…
TV guest: Like [ancient] Egyptians used to sacrifice "the Bride of the Nile"…
Interviewer: And the Jews do this to this day?
Khaled Al-Zaafrani: Absolutely. The French kings and the Russian czars discovered this in the Jewish quarters. All the massacring of Jews that occurred in those countries were because they discovered that the Jews had kidnapped and slaughtered children, in order to make the Passover matzos.
Recorded evidence of this is kept in the Egyptian national archives. This happens to this day.
Passover was near, and the Jews of Damascus could not find a Christian. There was a Christian priest, who would give them medical treatment. He was of Italian and French nationality, and his job was to treat people. He used to treat the Jews, but since they couldn't find any other Christian, they summoned him to treat them… Their confessions are well documented.
They placed the priest in a tub, slaughtered him, smashed his bones with a pestle, took his blood, and made the "matzos of Zion."
Interviewer: Are these matzos eaten?
Khaled Al-Zaafrani: Of course. They slice it and fight over who gets to eat Christian blood.
When this subject is raised, the Jews consider it to be a problem, just like the problem of Hitler and the Holocaust.