Of course. Nothing uttered frankly to a Muslim audience that has been picked up with alarm by non-Muslims has ever been taken “in context.” That only proves that the message changes with the audience.
As Mohammed Hussein noted in his speech, the hadith that says “there is a Jew behind me, come kill him,” comes from hadith collections considered reliable by Muslims, including Sahih (“sound,” “reliable”) Bukhari 4.52.177: “Allah’s Apostle said, The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him’.”
That doesn’t stop our occasional comment-box apologists from throwing these collections under the bus and claiming that Islam depends only on the Qur’an, so these ahadith don’t matter. In reality, the Qur’an-only movement is a small set of dissenters. “Israeli leader condemns Palestinian Muslim cleric,” by Diaa Hadid for the Associated Press, January 22:
JERUSALEM (AP) “” The Palestinians’ top Muslim cleric faced sharp Israeli criticism Sunday for a speech in which he quoted a religious text that includes passages about killing Jews in an end-of-days struggle.
Mufti Mohammed Hussein’s comments came at a political gathering of supporters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He said his remarks were taken out of context and that he didn’t incite people to kill Jews. But by speaking at the venue, Hussein appeared to be linking the battle to the conflict with Israel.
“The hour of resurrection will not come until you fight the Jews,” Hussein told the gathering, citing a hadith, or saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad. “The Jews will hide behind stones and trees. But the trees and the stones will call: oh Muslim, oh servant of God, there is a Jew hiding behind me so come and kill him.”…
The mufti delivered his three-minute speech on Jan. 7 in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem during celebrations of the 47th anniversary of the Palestinian movement Fatah, said Itamar Marcus of Palestine Media Watch, an Israeli watchdog group that tracks incitement.
Marcus’ group posted excerpts of the speech on YouTube last week. The comments drew angry reactions from Israelis on Sunday.
“We’re talking about a heinous offense that all nations of the world must condemn,”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement sent to reporters by text message. He asked the Israeli attorney general to launch an investigation.
It is unclear what authority Israel would have since Hussein is appointed to his position by the Palestinian president. There was no immediate comment from Abbas’ office.
Hussein, who is based in Jerusalem, said his comments were taken out of context.
“I was speaking about the final signs of the day of resurrection,” Hussein said. “I did not incite, and I did not call for killing. We are not, at present, at the end of days.”
Even if that were true, passages like these inform how Muslims regard Jews in the present day.
The Quran, Islam’s holy book, offers contradictory attitudes toward Jews and Christians. There are texts that enshrine tolerance and respect for other faiths, while others are spiked with hatred and incitement.
See next: Naskh, or abrogation. Search our archives. While the AP is teaching us about religion, here is one giant leap of moral equivalence:
Some extremist rabbis also have found passages in Jewish texts that they believe justifies violence against the Palestinians….