Richard A. Lopchinsky

Islamophobia: Racist or Reality

In every speech, President Biden equates antisemitism with Islamophobia (and other “isms) when he rales against all forms of bigotry and hate. Is that an accurate assessment? I believe we need to review history to clarify our relationship with Islam. The fallacy of his blanket “antiracist” comments is that he assumes that there are no evil movements, that everything is relative. I would suggest that the recent protestations around the world in support of Hamas’ unprovoked, barbarous attack upon Israeli civilians: men, women, elderly, children, and infants should teach us that there is an element within Islam that is violent and evil. Let’s look at Islam’s history:

Some of the recent pro-Palestinian protestors have reminded us of Khybar as their model for treating Jews. In about 628 of the common era, Mohammed slaughtered the Jews of Khybar because they would not convert to his new religion.

For centuries, Jews in many Moslem countries were considered second class citizens and required to pay special taxes to the regime. At various times there were also pogroms in Arab countries with Jews living in fear. The traditional concept of the dhimma (writ of protection) was extended by Muslim conquerors to Christians and Jews in exchange for their subordination to the Muslims. Peoples subjected to Muslim rule usually had a choice between death and conversion, but Jews and Christians, who adhered to the Scriptures, were allowed as dhimmis (protected persons) to practice their faith. This protection did little, however, to insure that Jews and Christians were treated well by the Muslims. On the contrary, an integral aspect of the dhimma was that, being an infidel, he had to openly acknowledge the superiority of the true believer – the Muslim.

In the early years of the Islamic conquest, the tribute (or jizya), paid as a yearly poll tax, symbolized the subordination of the dhimmi. Later, the inferior status of Jews and Christians was reinforced through a series of regulations that governed the behavior of the dhimmi. Dhimmis, on pain of death, were forbidden to mock or criticize the Koran, Islam or Muhammad, to proselytize among Muslims or to touch a Muslim woman (though a Muslim man could take a non­Muslim as a wife).

Dhimmis were excluded from public office and armed service, and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices-as that might offend the Muslims. The dhimmi had to show public deference toward Muslims-always yielding them the center of the road. The dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence in court against a Muslim, and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, the dhimmi would have to purchase Muslim witnesses at great expense. This left the dhimmi with little legal recourse when harmed by a Muslim

Dhimmis were also forced to wear distinctive clothing. In the ninth century, for example, Baghdad’s Caliph al-Mutawakkil designated a yellow badge for Jews, setting a precedent that would be followed centuries later in Nazi Germany.

On December 30, 1066, Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, was crucified by an Arab mob that proceeded to raze the Jewish quarter of the city and slaughter its 5,000 inhabitants. The riot was incited by Muslim preachers who had angrily objected to what they saw as inordinate Jewish political power.

Similarly, in 1465, Arab mobs in Fez slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, after a Jewish deputy vizier treated a Muslim woman in an offensive manner. The killings touched off a wave of similar massacres throughout Morocco.

Other mass murders of Jews in Arab lands occurred in Morocco in the 8th century, where whole communities were wiped out by Muslim ruler Idris I; North Africa in the 12th century, where the Almohads either forcibly converted or decimated several communities; Libya in 1785, where Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews; Algiers, where Jews were massacred in 1805, 1815 and 1830 and Marrakesh, Morocco, where more than 300 hundred Jews were murdered between 1864 and 1880

Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted in Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293-4, 1301-2), Iraq (854-859, 1344) and Yemen (1676). Despite the Koran’s prohibition, Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790-92) and Baghdad (1333 and 1344)  (see:

Skipping ahead to the past century, in August 1929 over sixty Jews were massacred in Hebron because the Arab mob feared these unarmed Jews were going to take over the Temple Mount. in June 1941, the Iraqi Arabs, encouraged by the Mufti of Jerusalem, who were Hitler sympathizers initiated a pogrom and killed over 150 Jews in Baghdad in 2 days.

Then came the “Nakba” (or the Israeli War of Independence ). The British Mandate gave Transjordan to the United Nations to partition between the Jews and the Arabs. The Jews were given 22% of the territory while the Arabs received 78%. But that was not good enough as Islam demands that any land that was once under control of Islam can not be surrendered at all. As such, 5 Arab armies declared war on the nescient State of Israel. Why the hatred when they got most of the land? It was not based upon a lack of space as there were less than a million Jews in the whole country. It was strictly an Islamic dictum m to not let the Jews get it, any of it.

Mahmoud Al-Zahar, one of the co-founders of Hamas in 1987, and the most senior Hamas official still living in Gaza, has a goal that should alarm all non-Muslims. That goal is this:“The entire 510 million square kilometers of Planet Earth will come under [a system] where there is no injustice, no oppression, no Zionism, no treacherous Christianity.”

With world domination as radical Islam’s goal, with the history of murdering Jews at will over the past 13 centuries, with the expulsion of all Jews from Arab lands after the establishment of Israel, with the sometimes violent protests throughout Europe and all over America’s “elite” college campuses celebrating Hamas’ barbarous atrocities, with the lack of any significant Arab or Islamic condemnation of the Hamas pogrom, I ask: Should I not be afraid of Islam? A phobia is defined as an anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. My fear of Islam is not an anxiety disorder and not excessive. It is a natural and appropriate reaction to Islam’s unquenchable desire for world domination and the centuries of Arab persecution of Jews!

About the Author
Strong religious zionist background: First trip in 1963 - bar mitzvah, spent a summer volunteering at Hadassah in 1970, spent a year in Yeshiva in Jerusalem in 1971-72, parents made aliya in 1979, Tried to make aliyah in 1983 but was told I wouldn't fit into the system (after completing a fellowship in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) Professional: Board certified in general surgery, private practice in Manhattan for 28years, the Chief of the ENT / Head & Neck Service at the Phoenix VAMC, Clinical professor of surgery at Univ of AZ-Phoenix for 8 years. Finally made Aliyah in 2016 to work in Rambam. Licensed and Board certified in Israel Hobbies: Skiing, Hiking, Creating
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