The report published in Times of Israel that French Muslim leaders have refused to sign a letter condemning anti-semitism should hardly be surprising. It comes at the same time that an imam in Toulouse has recited the infamous hadith about Jews hiding behind trees and rocks on the Day of Judgement. The sad fact is that the Muslim minority is driving Jews out of France, coupled with French indifference for the most part.
At the risk of sounding like, “Damned if you do and damned if you don’t”, the news out of the UK in the report does little to encourage me. Unless Muslim leaders are willing to acknowledge that Jew hatred (and Christian hatred as well ) runs deep in Islamic theology, I am not impressed when Muslim leaders get together with Jewish leaders and decry the “twin hatreds of anti-semitism and anti-Muslim hatred”. What they are really saying is that Jews and Muslims stand together against white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and, in the case of the US, KKK types and Trump supporters while refusing to even mention Islamic anti-semitism. I have attended just such an event at a synagogue in Southern California and have seen first-hand this form of hypocrisy.
The UK statement is, on its face, admirable and even acknowledges that “some Muslims” are anti-semitic. What it does not say is that this anti-semitism is learned from Islamic teachings. In my view, hatred of Muslims as people is as wrong as anti-semitism, but the teachings of Islam in the Koran, the hadith, and the life of the Prophet Mohammad must be confronted head on and not buried. Expressions such as those uttered by the Toulouse imam, which come straight from the hadith and are not taken out of context, should be rejected by any free, pluralistic and democratic society. They are not welcome in the US and should not be welcome in Europe.
In my view, most of today’s modern anti-semitism is coming from Islamic quarters. It is not accurate to say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main cause while omitting the teachings of Islam itself, as well as the Islamic thinking that any land ever occupied by Muslims must be Muslim forever. But more to the point: Interfaith efforts are meaningless unless there is an honest and open discussion about Islamic anti-semitism and what lies behind it, namely, Islamic teachings. It is true that many of us (Gentiles, of which I am one) need to separate our concern about Islam from our feelings about the Muslim next door, but we are not the ones that Jews need to worry about assaulting them on European streets or worse, coming to kill them in the dead of night.