From Tablet yesterday, David Horowitz debated Daniel Luban on “Islamophobia” and the libelous allegation that the anti-Jihad movement is similar to anti-Semitism:
When Daniel Luban published an essay in Tablet Magazine last week finding resonances between what he called Islamophobic opposition to the Park51 Islamic center and past anti-Semitism, one comment on the piece jumped out at us. “This article is in serious denial,” began a brief, angry response from David Horowitz, the conservative intellectual and activist and the author, most recently, of A Cracking of the Heart, a book about his daughter. We invited Horowitz and Luban to extend their debate about Luban’s theory. Here is their exchange.
MARC TRACY, Tablet Magazine: David, in your comment on Dan’s piece, you said that “Jew hatred is part of the gospel of Islam and the practice of all Muslim states in the world today.” By contrast, a premise of Dan’s article is that there are in the world a relatively small group of Islamists—fundamentalists who subscribe to a violent, anti-Semitic, mutant strain of Islam—and, for the most part, ordinary Muslims who do no such thing, and that, contrary to the arguments of writers like Andrew McCarthy, most American Muslims are not Islamists. How do you respond to that? Is the problem with Islam or with Islamists? And if it’s with Islamists, how influential are Islamists in America? Are the people behind the Islamic center Islamists?
DAVID HOROWITZ: Like many Jews who are in denial about the existential threat to Israel and to Jews generally from the Islamic world, Daniel Luban thinks that the radical, Jew-hating element in Islam is relatively small, and consequently the threat is a pathology, which people like him call “Islamophobia.” Among such deniers there is a notable absence of attention to what the Islamic world actually does and says in relation to Jews or how seriously Muslims take the word of their God, who refers to Jews as “apes and pigs” and calls for their extermination (as per this infamous and well-known saying of the prophet: “The day of Judgment will come when Muslims fight the Jews and kill them”). Here are some corrective observations:
After the Sept. 11 attacks there were several public opinion surveys conducted in the Muslim world about Muslim views of Osama Bin Laden and his terror war against “crusaders and Jews.” The number of Muslims who supported Osama and the attacks ranged from a low 10 percent, or 150 millionMuslims, to 50 percent, or 750 million (the latter figure coming from a poll conducted by Al Jazeera). These cannot be dismissed as insignificant minorities, even if reduced by a factor of 10.
The Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—head of a nation of 70 million and a man who claims to speak in the name of Islam—has called for wiping Israel from the face of the earth, a comment seconded by a former prime minister of Malaysia. Leaders of the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank are openly opposed to the existence of the Jewish state, officially celebrate mass murderers of Jewish civilians as “martyrs” and “saints,” and run a school system that teaches kindergarteners to hate Jews and aspire to kill them. The charter of the Islamist terror organization Hamas calls for Israel’s extinction in the name of Allah, while the head of Hezbollah, the largest terrorist army in the world, armed with 30,000-plus rockets courtesy of Syria and Iran, has called for the liquidation of Israel and the extermination of the Jews.