[Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Imagine if a Jewish or Christian cleric in any Western nation preached a sermon in which he declared that Muslims were “bloodthirsty,” as well as cowardly and treacherous. The outcry would be immediate and immense. Commissions would be established to study “Islamophobia” and determine its remedies, which would inevitably involve more government control over speech. The establishment media would be filled for weeks with stories featuring Muslims claiming to have been subjected to bigotry, discrimination, harassment, unwarranted suspicion, and worse. The same rules, however, do not apply to Muslim clerics.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) recently featured video of a Friday sermon at Masjid As-Sunnah Lakemba in Sydney, Australia. The mosque clearly didn’t think this sermon involved anything out of the ordinary, as they streamed it live on their Facebook page. Yet the Imam Ahmad Zoud took the opportunity to speak about the “characteristics of the Jews” in terms that could have come, aside from the references to the Qur’an and Allah, straight from National Socialist propaganda.
Zoud was discussing Israel’s defensive action against Hamas in Gaza, which has made Israel the focus of worldwide criticism for the number of civilian casualties. In reality, however, the Israelis take immense pains to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas does everything it can to increase their number because it is aware of the value such casualties have for propaganda purposes. The number of civilians killed in Gaza is actually quite low, comparing favorably to the death toll of civilians in other recent conflicts, notably the battle of Mosul against ISIS in Iraq.
The facts, however, don’t matter to demagogues and propagandists, and so, speaking about the alleged misdeeds of the Israelis in Gaza, Zoud asked: “Who are these criminals who perpetrate these crimes? Who are the terrorists who act and behave this way? Who are these monsters from whose hearts mercy has been ripped out? My people, these are the Zionists.” He didn’t, however, stop there. Instead, he went full Goebbels: “These are the Jews. However, not all of the Jews are like that; just most of them.” Oh, well then!
Zoud continued: “The most important characteristic of the Jews is that they are bloodthirsty. They love to shed blood. From an early age, they raise their children on terrorism, violence, and killing.” This was a bit of projection here from Imam Ahmad Zoud. It is not the Jews’ scripture, but his own, that contains open-ended and universal commands to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers, and that thrice repeats “Kill them wherever you find them” (Qur’an 2:191, 4:89, cf. 9:5).
And as for terrorism, it is once again Zoud’s sacred texts, not those of the Jews, that call for it. The Qur’an states: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe partners to Allah, for which no justification has been revealed. Their dwelling is the fire, and wretched is the dwelling place of the wrongdoers.” (3:151) And: “When your Lord inspired the angels, I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then strike the necks and strike their fingertips.” (8:12) As if those two weren’t enough, the believers themselves are commanded to terrorize the unbelievers: “Make ready for them all that you can of force and of warhorses, so that by them you may strike terror in the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom you do not know. Allah knows them. Whatever you spend in the way of Allah, it will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.” (Qur’an 8:60) A hadith quotes Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, saying: “I have been made victorious through terror” (Bukhari 4:52.220).
Zoud engaged in some verbal terror, continuing: “Jews remain Jews. They are not changed by the passing of time. Oh Muslims, servants of Allah, betrayal and treachery are among the characteristics of the Jews. Betrayal is one of their traits, and treachery is a characteristic deeply rooted in them. In Gaza, we’ve seen the Quranic truth [about Jews being cowardly] with our own eyes, when these cowards collapsed in the face of the attacks of the mujahideen, and ran away from them like rats.”
Australian authorities should consider how they would react to a Jewish or Christian cleric who said such things about Muslims, and respond accordingly. But as craven and cowardly as they are, they will instead do nothing.