J.K. Rowling On Antisemitism and Her Ignorant Twin On Islam
by Hugh Fitzgerald
It’s always of interest when someone well known outside of politics, and whose views you do not know, suddenly reveals himself or herself as being eminently sensible on the fraught subjects of Israel and antisemitism.
I don’t know much about the designer Karl Lagerfeld — only that he designs dresses for Chanel — but when he said that “One cannot – even if there are decades between them – kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place. I know someone in Germany who took in a young Syrian and after four days [listening to this Syrian] said ‘the greatest thing Germany invented was the Holocaust,’” I knew this was a sensible man.
Now some time ago I ran across an article about J.K. Rowling, none of whose books I have read, but whom I now esteem — with reservations, expressed in the latter part of the piece — for other reasons.
This story from Haaretz provides information about her excellent tweets on antisemitism;
In J.K. Rowling’s New Novel, the Villain Is an Israel-hating anti-Semite
For months author J.K. Rowling has been warning about the dangers of anti-Semitism in England, sparring on Twitter with critics who either downplay the phenomenon or say its proponents are confusing criticism of Israel with Jew hatred.
Now, in her newest book, she includes a character whose obsessive anti-Zionism morphs into anti-Semitism.
“Lethal White,” the fourth series in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike mystery series, written under the pen name Robert Galbraith, features a pair of hard-left political activists who believe “Zionists” are evil and have a stranglehold on Western governments.
Extortionist Jimmy Knight’s extreme hatred of Israel has led him to hate Jews.“I wouldn’t trust him if it was anything to do with Jews,” Knight’s ex-wife tells a detective. “He doesn’t like them. Israel’s the root of all evil, according to Jimmy. Zionism: I got sick of the bloody sound of the word. You’d think they’d suffered enough,” she says of Jews.
Rowling’s depiction of a far-left anti-Semite comes at a time of record high anti-Semitism in Britain, where she lives. Britain’s Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have been accused of insensitivity to Jews and condoning anti-Jewish sentiments within the party’s ranks. Corbyn previously defended a grotesquely anti-Semitic London mural depicting Jewish bankers, and referred to his “friends” in terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah, though he’s said he now regrets these positions….
“Most UK Jews in my timeline are currently having to field this kind of crap, so perhaps some of us non-Jews should start shouldering the burden,” she wrote in April, in response to a critic who said Judaism is a religion, not a race. “Antisemites thinks this is a clever argument, so tell us, do: were atheist Jews exempted from wearing the yellow star?”
Rowling, who is not Jewish, also shared with her 14.4 million Twitter followers examples of posts she’d received that denied anti-Semitism was a problem.
To a commenter who posted that Arabs cannot possibly be anti-Semitic because Arabs are Semites too, Rowling tweeted a photo of a dictionary definition of anti-Semitism: “hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” She also included a spirited defense of Jews: “Split hairs. Debate etymology. Gloss over the abuse of your fellow citizens by attacking the actions of another country’s government. Would your response to any other form of racism or bigotry be to squirm, deflect or justify?”…
There are, it turns out, quite a number of statements by Rowling on Israel and antisemitism. Here and here.
There is another J. K. Rowling, this one her Ignorant Twin, who makes pronouncements about Islam without, I am certain, having read the Qur’an, or any of the hadith, or anything about the past 1,400 years of Islamic conquest, all of which might just possibly change her mind.
That other J. K. Rowling is on record, I regret to say, defending Islam and Muslims in a way I found surprisingly simple-minded — after her clear-headedness on Israel and antisemitism — and even painful. Here, for example, she tweets that “Islam doesn’t kill people. People kill people.” A sentiment worthy of the NRA. Here she tweets about the attack on the Finsbury mosque that “Yeah, I was waiting for this. We’re fine with using pictures of Syrian refugees to whip up resentment about immigration, are we?” (She apparently has no idea what unsettling and malign effects Muslim migrants are having all over Europe.) She claims that “those who dehumanize & stereotype muslims have no moral high ground from which to deplore demonisation of secular westerners by Islamists.”
There’s so much one could say about that last sentence, beginning with the idea that it is “Islamists” who “demonize secular Westerners.” Anyone who studies the texts and teachings of Islam soon recognizes that it is not just “Islamists” who “demonize secular Westerners,” but mainstream Muslims, and that they are taught to demonize, or rather despise, not just “secular Westerners,” but all Unbelievers, including Hindus and Buddhists in the East. I hope she will soon read, in the Qur’an, such verses as 2:190-194, 4:89, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, and 47:4.
Because J. K. Rowling is clearly outraged by antisemitism, she might well be disturbed by the Qur’anic verses pertaining to Jews 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.
My initial enthusiasm somewhat chastened, I allow myself to believe that those texts — the Qur’an, the most significant hadith, the histories that cover 1,400 years of Muslim Jihad — will pique her curiosity, that she will start to read, then read some more, and eventually J. K. Rowling will come round at last, and fully grasp the meaning, and the menace, of Islam.
First published in Jihad Watch.