The website of the Qatari Education Ministry posted its Islamic Education school textbooks for Grades 1-12 in Qatari state schools, for the first half of the 2018/2019 school year. The Grade 11 book devotes a chapter to the subject of orientalism and the Christian mission. The chapter presents orientalism and the Christian mission as "the most obvious, significant, and malicious" expressions of "the Western ideological attack" aimed at destroying Islamic culture and undermining Muslims' fundamental principles. Orientalists are referred to as scholars from the West whose research – a product of the Catholic Church – is aimed at vilifying Islam and compensating for the failure of the Crusades and to advance religious, scientific, commercial, cultural, and political goals. It states that orientalist research served Western colonialism by providing advance intelligence that aided the colonialist takeover of the Muslim world and helped "spread Western culture from a position of patronization of other peoples." It adds that orientalist research is biased and is aimed at casting doubts upon the prophethood of Muhammad and distorting Muslim history, while deliberately focusing on its dark chapters and disregarding the golden ages of Islam. At the same time, it presents a number of what it termed "fair" orientalists who praised Islam – among them German author Sigrid Hunke, who was a member of the SS's German Sciences Service.
This report will review the subject of orientalism and the Christian mission as taught in the Qatari Islamic Education textbook for Grade 11.
"Orientalism And The Christian Mission Are The Most Obvious, Significant, And Malicious" Manifestations Of The Western Ideological Attack On Islam
The chapter, which presents orientalism as one of the manifestations of the Christian mission, opens with Verse 2:120 of the Quran, which states: "And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion." The student is asked, "Have you seen anything in reality that proves this verse?" (p. 162).
The introduction to the chapter states that since the beginning of preaching to Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, "there has been a struggle between the righteous path and deviation from it, between truth and falsehood. The flag of falsehood was borne by the polytheists. The Jews went in the polytheists' path, and all the enemies of the [Islamic] ummah allied with them. Thus it was until the Crusader armies attacked the Muslim lands, motivated by blind fanaticism aroused by the Christian clergy among the European peoples by attributing the most loathsome plots to the Muslims."
It goes on to say that after the Crusaders were defeated, "the hostility [to Islam] continued under other slogans, without the Islamic ummah being aware of it. Then an ideological attack began, carried out by the enemies of the Islamic ummahby means of hidden weapons and various ways in order to destroy [this ummah's] culture, distance it from its religion, weaken its internal strength and determination, and undermine all its elements and fundamental principles. This attack was manifested in several ways; orientalism and the Christian mission are the most obvious, significant, and malicious of these" (p. 162).
Orientalists Are Western Scholars Advancing Religious, Academic, Commercial, Cultural And Political Goals
The book defines orientalism as "academic activity by Western scholars focusing on the study of the East" and orientalists as "a group of Western scholars who studied Islam, the Arabic language and the languages, religions and cultures of the East with the aim of achieving religious, academic, commercial, cultural and political goals" (p. 162).
Definition of orientalism
On January 27, 2019, an antisemitic lecture by Michigan-based Shi'ite Imam Bassem Al-Sheraa was uploaded to the YouTube channel of the Al-Zahraa Islamic Center, which is in Detroit. Al-Sheraa said that the Jews have distorted sacred texts and sanctioned the killing of prophets such as Jesus and John the Baptist. He accused the Jews of employing tricks and fraud in matters of religion and morality, and of amassing gold and spreading usury. Explaining that usury is a "peculiar Jewish philosophy," Imam Al-Sheraa said that the Jews have used it as a means of attaining power, even though it contradicts their religious teachings, and that even the modern banking system is based on the Jews’ "instructions and vision." He further said that Jewish women have historically established and managed "dens of female iniquity" and headed the brothels of Europe, and that the Jews allow their faith to be passed down maternally so that their women could increase the Jewish population through prostitution.
Al-Sheraa is a graduate of the Najaf Hawza in Iraq. He emigrated to the United States and serves as the imam of the Al-Zahraa Islamic Center of Michigan. He also founded the Scholarly Najaf Hawza in Northern America – Michigan.
To view the clip of Bassem Al-Sheraa on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
The website of the Qatari Education Ministry has posted the Islamic Education textbooks for grades 1-12 in Qatari state schools, for the first half of the 2018/2019 school year. The books for Grades 7-11 devote considerable space to the attitude towards Jews and Christians in Islam, while quoting from the Quran and Hadith but occasionally also tying the material to the current era. The Jews are presented, inter alia, as treacherous, quarrelsome, crafty and vindictive, as well as weak and wretched, claims that are also part of antisemitic Arab propaganda. Judaism is presented as a false religion that distorts the word of God, and the Jews are accused of having maligned the prophets and even killed some of them, out of their "evil nature."
Christianity is presented in an equally negative light, whereas Islam is presented as the true religion intended to deliver mankind out of darkness into the light.
The negative presentation of the Jews is apparently meant to justify their expulsion, the violence against them and the seizing of their property by Muhammad and the Muslims during the early years of Islam in Medina.
This report reviews the attitude towards Jews and Christians, and the status of Islam verses other religions, as presented in the Qatari Islamic Education textbooks for Grades 7-11.
The Superiority Of Islam Over Other Religions
The Islamic Education textbook for Grade 10, which deals with Islamic pride and conviction, stresses that one of the fundamental values of Islam is the Muslim's pride in his religion – which is the true faith – and his recognition of Islam's superiority over its enemies. The book states: "Greatness, pride and honor are some of the values that Islam instills in the hearts of its followers, the believers, and it refuses to let them be in a state of humiliation or dishonor. On the contrary. [Islam] aspires to imbue every Muslim with confidence in the mission entrusted to him by Allah: to deliver mankind from the darkness into the light and from the worship of [their fellow] men to the worship of the Lord of creation. Islam demands that Muslims always arm themselves with a sense of greatness, honor and superiority, and with conviction that anyone who regards himself as great, other than Allah, is small, and that anyone who takes an arrogant stance vis-vis Allah is despicable and wretched, as stated [in the Quran 35:10]: " Whoever desires honor - then to Allah belongs all honor."
"The True Religion: Islam." The Muslim's mission is to deliver mankind from the darkness into the light (Islamic Education textbook for Grade 10, p. 181)
A subsequent section explains the importance of the Muslims' sense of pride in his religion. It says: "When the faith becomes established in the believers' heart, he immediately absorbs the [sense of] greatness. This impels him to speech and action that emanate directly from an immense sense of pride and superiority over the enemies of this religion."
Attitude Towards Jews and Judaism
As stated, the textbooks present the Jews as treacherous and crafty but at the same time as weak, wretched and cowardly.
The Jews Are Treacherous And Crafty
The Islamic Education textbook for Grade 7 devotes a chapter to the Battle of the Trench (627). Explaining the historical background of the battle, the book states that in the year before it, Muhammad had "exiled the Jews of the Banu Nadir [tribe] from Medina to Khaybar because of their dishonest and treacherous ways," and that "their hearts burned with hatred for the Prophet and his preaching [da'wa], so they decided to take revenge [upon him]." It states further that the main reason for the Battle of the Trench was "the Jews' incitement of the Arab tribes against the Muslims... The heads of the [Jewish] Banu Nadir tribe, chief of them Huyayy ibn Akhtab, approached the Arab tribes (chief of them Banu Quraysh and Banu Ghatafan), and incited them to join the battle against the Muslims." These Jews and Arabs, the book relates, then formed an army of 10,000 fighters, which was joined by the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, whose members were neighbors of the Muslims and "who violated their contract with the Muslims and besieged them [along with the army] on every side."
Following this, the students are asked to discuss the Banu Qurayza tribe's violation of the contract with the Muslims from the following perspectives: the effect it had on the polytheists, the effect it had on the Prophet's Companions, and the Muslims' response, and to "infer the principle [that can be formulated regarding] the attitude towards the Jews."Listing the "lessons to be drawn" from the Battle of the Trench, the chapter states, inter alia, that "treachery and perfidy are among the traits of the Jews throughout history."
Assignment requires students to conclude what attitude should be taken against the Jews (Islamic Education textbook for Grade 7, p. 88)
The website of the Qatari Education Ministry has posted the Islamic Education textbooks for grades 1-12 in Qatari state schools, for the first half of the 2018/2019 school year. One of the subjects addressed in the books is the meaning of the terms "polytheism" and "unbelief," as well as the attitude towards unbelievers, including Jews and Christians, among others. The study of these terms is aimed at instilling in the students a sense of their Muslim identity and reinforcing loyalty to their coreligionists and to prevent them from following the culture of anyone defined as an unbeliever.
The school textbooks stress the principle of "loyalty and disavowal" (al-wala wal-bara), that is, loyalty to fellow Muslims and renunciation of non-Muslims. They link the study material to the students' daily lives by asking about how they implement this principle in their relationships with non-Muslims in Qatar and abroad.
This part of the series will review attitudes towards non-Muslims in the school textbooks used in Qatar's state schools to teach Islamic Education for Grades 9 through 11:
"Polytheism," "Unbelief," And Their Punishments In Islam
As noted, the schoolbooks include extensive chapters discussing the terms "polytheism" and "unbelief," as well as the punishments for those who fall into those categories. The subject is first introduced in Grade 9, with a discussion of these terms, and the book defines adhering to them as "the worst of all sins," punishable by eternity in Hell. The students are asked to study and memorize verses from Quran Surahs 25 through 64, which focus on unbelievers and polytheists and the punishment that awaits them on Judgment Day.
The study unit opens with Surah 64 of the Quran, which the students must read and memorize, and the book states that the Surah deals with the damage caused to unbelievers on Judgment Day and states that this is a "warning about unbelief and its consequences."
Explanation about Surah 64, which warns against unbelief (Islamic Education for Grade 9, p 20.)
New Jersey-based Imam Mateen Khan said during a lecture at the Muslim Center of Middlesex County, NJ, (MCMC) that liberalism is a philosophy that requires everybody to adopt it, and that holds that those who don't accept liberalism are a threat. Giving the example of Afghanistan, a country which he said the U.S. invaded under the pretext of empowering Afghani women, Khan said that those who do not accept liberalism are forced to accept it with the pretext of women's rights, LGBT rights, and combating intolerance. He said that liberals want Muslims to allow them to exercise their freedom of speech to insult the Prophet Muhammad. Later in the lecture, Khan said that the Jews in Europe had been hated and used as a scapegoat because Europeans were antisemitic. He then claimed that some Israeli psychologists had written that the Zionists had successfully convinced the Europeans to hate the Arabs and Palestinians – who he explained are also Semitic – instead of the Jews, by telling them that the Palestinians are the backwards, monotheistic Semites who should really be hated. The lecture was uploaded to MCMC's YouTube channel on December 30, 2018. Khan is a religious adviser at the Islamic Circle of Mercer County (ICMC) and also teaches at the Lantern Initiative, whose website says it "is dedicated to carrying the Tradition (Sunnah) of our Prophet Muhammad."
To view the clip of Imam Mateen Khan on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
The website of the Qatari Education Ministry has posted the Islamic Education textbooks for grades 1-12 in Qatari state schools, for the first half of the 2018/2019 school year. The Islamic Education textbooks for grades 6, 8, 9 and 12 deal extensively with the Islamic ethos of jihad, self-sacrifice and martyrdom. The books present jihad as the factor that led to the victories of Islam during its early history, as proof of true piety on the part of the Muslim, and as an honorable act that the Prophet's Companions aspired to with all their hearts – so much so that they were devastated if prevented from engaging in it. Moreover, jihad and self-sacrifice are presented as noble acts of sacrifice decreed by Allah, which entitle the believer to special rewards and a place in the highest level of Paradise.
The material is accompanied by questions and exercises in which the students are required to elaborate on the importance of jihad for the individual and society and memorize Quranic verses encouraging jihad and self-sacrifice.
This report reviews the indoctrination of these values in the Qatari Islamic Education textbooks for the aforementioned grades.
Grade 6 Textbook: Allah Commanded The Muslims To Wage Jihad; One Kind Of Jihad Is Jihad Of Sacrificing The Soul
The topic of jihad is studied already in grade 6. A chapter in the Religious Education textbook for this grade is devoted to the Battle of Badr (624), in which the Muslims defeated the Quraysh Tribe. It states that this was Muhammad's first battle against the Quraysh Tribe, which occurred after Allah permitted him to wage jihad against this tribe's oppression and in defense of Islam, and that Allah granted the Muslims victory over their enemies, who outnumbered them.
The chapter begins with a list of the topics to be covered, the first two being "the significance of jihad for the sake of Allah" and "types of jihad."
The first page of the chapter on the Battle of Badr
The chapter presents jihad as a virtuous act decreed by Allah, aimed at attaining peace and justice in the world, in contrast to other types of aggression which are acts of oppression. "Jihad for the sake of Allah" is defined as "doing everything one can in order to repel the enemy with one's hand [i.e., through action], tongue [i.e., with words] or money, so as to exalt the word of Allah the Almighty. Jihad in Islam is aimed at attaining justice and peace throughout the world. Allah commanded us to 'wage jihad for Allah as due to Him' [Quran 22:78]. Aggression, on the other hand, means oppressing people in word, deed or by other means, and Allah has forbidden us to do this..."
Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of the IRGC, said on Channel 2 TV (Iran) on February 2, 2019, that Iran has the experience and technological ability necessary to expand the stealth capabilities, destructive capacity, and range of its missile force, and that it has not done so only because of strategic considerations. Explaining that Iran's current defense strategy is one of deterrence and that this strategy is not fixed, Salami said that any desire on the part of Europe or other countries to disarm Iran of its missiles might give Iran no choice but to make a "strategic leap." He said: "Let no one negotiate with us, recommend anything to us, or request anything from us" with regard to Iran's missile program. Salami added that the Islamic Revolution has inspired and given confidence to other military powers in the Middle East and that it has connected them to Iran in terms of policy, strategy, and security. He also said that Iran's influence in the region is a matter of faith because the people and Iran share a conviction regarding a spirit of Jihad and of revolution against the tyrannical rule of the Zionists, the Americans, the terrorists, and the takfiris. In addition, Salami threatened Israel, saying that it is vulnerable and bringing itself closer to death. He said: "If Israel makes a mistake that sparks a new war, they can rest assured that this will bring about their elimination... They will be annihilated before the Americans get here. They should look for cemeteries outside of occupied Palestine."
To view the clip of IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
"No Technical Obstacles Are Preventing Us From Increasing The Range, The Precision, Or The Destructive Power Of Our Long-Range Missiles"
Hossein Salami: "We have valuable experience from our use of the missile force during the final years of the Iran-Iraq War and during the War of the Cities. We have valuable experience from the battles of the Muslim Palestinians and Lebanese against the Zionist entity and their confrontation with it. Therefore, the goal of our defense strategy is to create a constant deterring force."
On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Wasim 'Afifi, a columnist on the Egyptian news portal Elmwatin.com, published an article in which he listed "five reasons that caused the Arab world to reject the veracity of the Holocaust." He stated that the media inflated the dimensions of the Holocaust as part of a conspiracy by Russia, which wanted to blacken Germany's image, and the West, which wanted to establish a state for the Jews in Palestine. Auschwitz, he added, was not a concentration camp but rather a factory for manufacturing pesticides, and the crematoria were meant for burning the bodies of typhus victims. The world's misguided ideas about Auschwitz are a result of propaganda by Russia, which controlled the camp and manufactured fake evidence there after the war. Also according to 'Afifi, calculations prove that the Germans cannot have exterminated six million Jews, nor is it possible that their wealth was confiscated, considering that they now possess "the greatest wealth in the world." He claimed further that no official documents prove that the Nazis had a policy of exterminating the Jews. The German plan, he says, was to create a Jewish homeland in Madagascar, but "technical difficulties" and the need for working hands prompted them to use the Jews as laborers instead.
Afifi's article on the website: "Five Reasons that Caused the Arab World to Reject the Veracity of the Holocaust"
On December 2, 2018, Palestinian-American political activist Linda Sarsour spoke at the 2018 Salam Annual Banquet, held at the Salam Community Center in Sacramento, CA. She criticized President Trump for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, saying: "I declare to all of you here today in Sacramento that Jerusalem is and always will be the capital of Palestine." Calling the Trump administration fascist, she encouraged Muslims to become involved in politics even if their mosques usually avoid politics, because, she said, simply being Muslim is a political act. The Prophet Muhammad, she asserted, was a human rights activist, adding that there is no need for workers' rights movements, environmental justice movements, or Black Lives Matter movements, or anti-racism or feminism, because Islam taught these values long before they were hashtags or movements. She added: "I don't need people in the West, people in Europe, or people in the United States... to teach me what feminism is." The video of Sarsour's speech was uploaded to the Salam Center's YouTube channel on December 13, 2018. Also speaking at the event was Imam Kashif Ahmed.
View this clip on MEMRI TV here or below:
During a December 8, 2018 conference held by the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), French-Algerian political activist Houria Bouteldja delivered a talk titled "Fighting Philo-Semitism to Fight Islamophobia and Zionism." Defining philo-Semitism as the love of Jews, she criticized France and Britain for being philo-Semitic, and called philo-Semitism a kind of state racism that is combined with Islamophobia to maintain the whiteness of nation-states. She went on to explain that the philo-Semitic nation-states give Jews a privileged position in society, as part of an effort to create rivalry among Jews, Muslims, and blacks. Muslims, she said, do not occupy the same place in the racial hierarchy as Jews, and France allows its Jews to serve in the Israeli military because they are not considered real Frenchmen, and also because this serves Western interests. She concluded by saying: "The idea here is not to fight Islamophobia and anti-Semitism... [It] is to fight Islamophobia and philo-Semitism... [This will enable us] to be stronger against racism and... Zionism." The conference, which took place in London, was streamed live on IHRC's YouTube channel.
The Algerian-born Ms. Bouteldja is the initiator and spokesperson of France's Party of Indigenous People of the Republic (PIR). IHRC has had consultative status with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs since 2007, and it has recently been involved in launching a the launch of a "Counter-Islamophobia Toolkit" in the European Parliament.
View the clip on MEMRI TV here or below: