by Hugh Fitzgerald
Joe Biden wants to stamp out bigotry and antisemitism. Who could disagree? In fact, we have some suggestions as to where he might focus his efforts. Unfortunately, he seems to think the problem is only one of neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The story is here.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Thursday [September 16] that the violent demonstrations involving white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 were a decisive factor in his decision to run this November.
Nonsense. Joe Biden has been running for President for more than three decades. He ran as a Presidential candidate twice, in both 1988 and 2008, and lost both times in the Democratic Party’s primaries. The decisive factor this year, as in 1988 and 2008 and all the years between and since, was perfectly obvious: Joe Biden really wants to be President. Yet he would like us to believe that not personal ambition, but his sudden realization that he needed to answer his country’s call to duty, and to enter the presidential lists to do battle for the forces of Good (for Catholic Joe Biden, its practically “in hoc signo”) against the Bad (those neo-Nazis and white supremacists) are what truly impelled him. And he will do, apparently, what no one in history has been able to do, which is to “stamp out” bigotry and antisemitism. He might have said something more truthful to his Jewish audience: “We must give no quarter to bigotry – no quarter, especially, to what, historically, has been the most murderous form of it, antisemitism. Antisemitism – the figures bear me out — is experiencing a resurgence, with new transmitters of the pathological condition, both here and in Europe. The fight must never end.”
“We saw white supremacists alongside Nazi flags, and the president tells us that there are ‘fine people on both sides,’” Biden recalled, quoting from President Donald Trump’s answer to a media question on the events in Charlottesville at the time.
“That’s not who we are,” Biden declared during a Zoom call on Thursday afternoon with more than 6,000 US Jewish supporters ahead of Rosh Hashanah.
“Together, we can stamp out bigotry and antisemitism,” Biden pledged.
Reflecting on the Jewish High Holy Day season that begins on Friday, Biden said its traditions “remind us that we can find purpose in pain.”
Biden also shared one of his favorite quotes — the late Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s maxim that “faith sees best in the dark” — as he accused Trump of “appealing to our dark side.”
Arguing that keeping silent in the face of injustice “is complicity,” Biden recalled a family visit to the site of the Dachau concentration camp in Germany. He remarked on the contrast between the camp’s grim interior and the pleasant houses on its perimeter inhabited by people who saw the atrocities being committed and remained silent.
“We have to step up and speak out,” Biden said.
The reflective address largely avoided policy issues, although Biden underscored his commitment “to secure peace by remaining a steadfast ally of Israel.”
Just a day after the historic signing of the Israel-UAE-Bahrain normalization agreements, Biden passed over that diplomatic triumph for the Trump Administration in silence. Praising the President for this remarkable achievement would have been the handsome thing to do, but Joe Biden wasn’t up to it.
Wishing Jews a sweet new year, Biden exhorted his backers to prepare for the final stretch of the campaign.
“Shanah Tovah, let’s get it done,” he said. “This has to be a better year.”
I don’t wish to rain on anyone’s parade, but I have a few questions for Joe Biden.
Is he aware that the resurgence of antisemitism in Europe is due almost entirely to its Muslim immigrant population?
Is he aware that Jews have been attacked by Muslims throughout Europe, and that many synagogues and Jewish schools now must have armed guards?
Is Biden aware of the murders of Jews by Muslims in Europe? In France alone, there have been a dozen such high-profile killings. Joe Biden should look into the particularly gruesome murders of Ilan Halimi, Mireille Knoll, Sarah Halimi, Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two sons Gabriel and Arieh, aged four and five, the four Jewish shoppers at the Hypercacher. Does he know about the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the scrawling of antisemitic slogans and “Juden” on Jewish-owned stores? Does he know that many Jews in Europe are now afraid to wear their kippahs (if men), or Star-of-David necklaces (if women) in public? They are afraid not of neo-Nazis, but of Muslims, and angry about the authorities who minimize the baleful effects of Islamic antisemitism.
Has Joe Biden read the Qur’an? In particular, has he read the dozens of Qur’anic verses that denounce Jews? These include the following (as usefully compiled by Robert Spencer):
The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the wellbeing of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); as fabricating things and falsely ascribing them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); claiming that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); loving to listen to lies (5:41); disobeying Allah and never observing his commands (5:13); disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more.
Spencer notes that both classic and contemporary Qur’anic commentators, as well as clerics and Jihadists, embrace virulent antisemitism:
The classic Qur’anic commentators not do not mitigate the Qur’an’s words against Jews, but only add fuel to the fire. Ibn Kathir explained Qur’an 2:61 (“They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah”) this way: “This Ayah [verse] indicates that the Children of Israel were plagued with humiliation, and that this will continue, meaning that it will never cease. They will continue to suffer humiliation at the hands of all who interact with them, along with the disgrace that they feel inwardly.” Another Middle Ages commentator of lingering influence, Abdallah ibn Umar al-Baidawi, explains the same verse this way: “The Jews are mostly humiliated and wretched either of their own accord, or out of coercion of the fear of having their jizya [punitive tax] doubled.”
Ibn Kathir notes Islamic traditions that predict that at the end of the world, “the Jews will support the Dajjal (False Messiah), and the Muslims, along with ‘Isa [Jesus], son of Mary, will kill the Jews.” The idea in Islam that the end times will be marked by Muslims killing Jews comes from the prophet Muhammad himself, who 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.’” This is, not unexpectedly, a favorite motif among contemporary jihadists.
Spencer has also offered grim evidence that current mainstream clerics take those verses seriously:
Not just contemporary jihadists, but modern-day mainstream Islamic authorities take these passages seriously. The former Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who was the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims, called Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.” The late 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.”
How useful it would be if someone were to send those Qura’nic verses about Jews quoted above, and the commentaries by Muslim clerics on them, to Joe Biden and to ask him to please read and respond. Or will his ignorance be allowed to stand?
We might hope that Biden would also read the Hadith concerning Jews. He would learn about how Muhammad personally took part in the slaughter of 600-900 prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe in Mecca, and of how his men expelled several Jewish tribes from Medina. He would learn of the attack on the inoffensive Jewish farmers at the Khaybar Oasis, and about how Muhammad took a beautiful 17-year-old Jewish girl, Saafiya, as his wife, the same day as her husband and father had been killed by the Muslim raiders. He would learn of how Muhammad’s loyal followers carried out his wishes, assassinating three people who had mocked him, including two Jewish poets, the 120-year-old Abu ‘Afak and Ka’b bin al-Ashraf. He might even learn some of Muhammad’s most memorable statements in the Hadith, including “War is deceit” and “I have been made victorious through terror.”
And what, speaking not just of antisemitism but of a broader bigotry, does Biden think of the Qur’anic verses that tell Muslims they are “the best of peoples” (3:110), while non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings” (98:6)? Does he not realize these verses, valid for all time, are read and believed and taken to heart by billions of Muslims? Does he not know about all the Qur’anic verses that command Muslims to wage Jihad against the Infidels, to “fight” and to “kill” and to “smite at the necks of” and to “strike terror in the hearts of” the Infidels? If he can’t spare the time or mental effort to read the whole Qur’an, might Biden at least read a dozen verses where Believers are commanded to wage Jihad, including 2:191-13, 4:89, 5:33, 8:12, 8:39, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4? Does he think these verses are some kind of a cosmic joke that he can afford to dismiss, or will he at long last devote the time and attention necessary to studying these verses seriously?
And then there is Islamic bigotry in the Qur’an, directed not just at Jews, but at all Infidels. We want to help Biden save time. So here are the main Qur’anic verses directed at all Infidels:
“And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out; persecution is worse than slaughter. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, kill them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is all-forgiving, all-compassionate. Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.” (Qur’an 2:191-193)
“They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore do not take friends from among them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, seize them and kill them wherever you find them; do not take for yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.” (Qur’an 4:89)
“This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth to do corruption there: they shall be killed, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall be struck off on opposite sides; or they shall be exiled from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement.” (Qur’an 5:33)
“When your Lord was revealing to the angels, ‘I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers; so strike the necks, and strike every finger of them!” (Qur’an 8:12)
“Fight them, till there is no persecution and religion is all for Allah; then if they give over, surely Allah sees the things they do.” (Qur’an 8:39)
“Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to strike terror into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatever you spend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.” (Qur’an 8:60)
“Then, when the sacred months are over, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.” (Qur’an 9:5)
“Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and do not practice the religion of truth, even if they are of the People of the Book — until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” (Qur’an 9:29)
“Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.” (Qur’an 9:111)
“O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.” (Qur’an 9:123)
“When you meet the unbelievers, strike their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.” (Qur’an 47:4)
Were Joe Biden to familiarize himself with this material, that is, both the anti-Jewish Qur’anic verses and those verses directed at all non-Muslims, he would soon realize that the strongest antisemitic force in the world today is Islam, and that Islam sanctions bigotry of the worst sort, too, against all non-Muslims. But that he cannot do. It would only confuse him, and his followers, who just “know” that they have to fear only white supremacists and neo-Nazis. They will ignore, for as long as they can, those murderous “sons of Allah,” as Oriana Fallaci in her fury called them, who are staring him, and all of us, in the face.
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