On February 1, 2019, several days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Osama Al-Alfi, a former deputy editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram and now a columnist for the daily, published a column titled "The Truth about the Holocaust." Citing several Holocaust deniers, he claimed the Holocaust was a deception used by the Zionist movement to take over Palestine as the starting point of its plan to take over the world's resources and politics. He added that the Zionists have managed to "intimidate all the champions of the truth" through persecution and lawsuits.
The following are translated excerpts from his column:
Osama Al-Alfi (image: Facebook.com/elalfyusama)
"On January 27 the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day in memory of the so-called Holocaust victims. The global Zionist movement has cunningly exploited the Holocaust to realize its goals and plans, intended to transform Judaism from a monotheistic religion into a racist ideology – [an ideology] that uses Palestine as the starting point for a plan to take over the world's resources and global politics. This deception was explained by French philosopher and thinker Roger Garaudy in his most famous book, The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics. Garaudy bases his exposé of this lie on his experience as a resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation of his country during the war [World War II], and accuses the governments of the Zionist entity in occupied Palestine of exploiting the so-called Holocaust and inflating it in order to justify its barbaric crimes against the Palestinians. He emphasizes that there are scientific and historical facts that prove that the figure of six million [Holocaust victims] is highly exaggerated..."
In a letter to the contestants in the 12th Dar Al-Quran of the Imam Ali contest – a Quran memorization contest for women – which opened December 15, 2018 in Jamkaran, near the holy city of Qom in Iran, Iranian Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani, a senior Shi'ite scholar and part of the Iranian ruling establishment, stressed the appreciation of the merit of women in Islam and their importance in the Quranic tradition. He contrasted this with the denigrating and humiliating treatment of women in pre- and post-Islamic cultures, in both the East and the West.
Opening his letter with Quranic verses about women's equality to men, and directing a warning to humanity about the "Zionist regime's" treatment of women, he went on to say that this regime had opened a shopping center for publicly trafficking in women. He added that it also was murdering people and selling their organs, as was its protégé, the Islamic State (ISIS).
Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani. Source: Khabaronline, Iran, December 16, 2018.
The following are highlights of Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani's letter to the contestants:
"Our teacher [Ayatollah] Alama [Mohammad Hossein] Tabataba'i [leading Shi'ite Quran commentator, d. 1981] said in his 'Al-Mizan' commentary that these [Quranic] verses [on equality between men and women] descended in the era when it was thought that a woman who transgresses must take responsibility and be punished, but if she does a good deed, her husband should get the credit. This stemmed from the fact that women [were considered] base and disgraceful, and unworthy of receiving credit. These verses reject this thinking."
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.)