In an article he posted on the Arabic Ida2at.com website, Egyptian journalist and academic Ahmad Al-Bahnasi, a researcher of Jewish studies and Israeli Orientalism, called on Islamic institutes to publish an "Islamic" Hebrew translation of the Quran. This is necessary, he said, because the existing Hebrew translations of the Quran, produced by Jews, are riddled with errors as well as deliberate omissions and distortions. It is also important due to the interest in Islam and the Quran among Jews and Israelis, which has been growing recently, and in light of the growing number of Jewish Israelis converting to Islam, he explained. Al-Bahnasi added that an accurate translation of the Quran would constitute a form of "academic resistance" (muqawama 'ilmiyya) to Israel and help in spreading Islam among Jews. He proposed to involve Israeli Arabs in this project, including the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, since they know Hebrew well and are familiar with Israeli and Jewish culture.
Ahmad Al-Bahnasi (source: Youtube.com, December 31, 2016)
In his November 14, 2018 column in the Al-Riyadh daily, Saudi writer 'Abdallah Bin Bakhit wrote sarcastically that whoever wants to understand "the Jewish conspiracy against the world" must acknowledge the reasons for the Jews' success in the West and the reasons for the Arabs' backwardness there. The Jews, he wrote, managed to become integrated in the Western society and culture, and to achieve leading roles in it and make significant achievements, while the Arabs failed to do so. One of the reasons for the gap between the Jews and Arabs, he added, is that the Jews have few children and give them the best possible education; but the main reason is that the Jews, unlike the Arabs, adapt their lifestyle to Western norms and do not try to impose their religious values on their surroundings. That is why "we now see them standing at the pinnacles of science, culture, art, literature and politics," he concluded.
The following are excerpts from his article:
'Abdallah Bin Bakhit (image: Alarabiya.net)
"The difference between the Jews and Arabs is large. One of the many [differences] concerns their affiliation with Western culture. The Jews are part of Western culture. Their harmonic [relations] with it are organic, and their contribution to it is endless. Looking at cinema, literature or drama, one encounters too many Jewish names to ignore. Looking at people in the media and press, one finds that the most famous and prominent names [belong to] Jews. Everyone is aware of their presence in finance and business – their traditional arena of activity – and everyone knows that they are dominant among the lecturers in universities and centers of research and learning. Take any respectable profession, and you will find that the proportion of Jews in it is conspicuously large."
In response to February 15, 2019 statements by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Munich Security Conference accusing Iran of Nazi-like antisemitism, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded, in a February 16, 2019 interview with the German daily Der Spiegel, that Iran was not antisemitic and that it had "always supported the Jews," that it was "against the Zionists" and that the "Holocaust was a disaster."
Zarif's statements contradict the long-standing reality of antisemitic incitement in Iran by the Iranian regime, as shown by the following MEMRI reports and MEMRI TV clips from years past, that include antisemitic content and anti-Jew and Holocaust-denial statements by senior Iranian regime officials.
Antisemitism In Iran
Special Dispatch No. 7758, At Antisemitic Conference In Tehran, Iranian Presidency Official Denies Holocaust: 'In Fact, We Do Show Antisemitic Behavior, And If We Are Not Doing Something Against The Jews, We Feel Bad – It Is Part Of Our Culture', November 12, 2018
Special Dispatch No. 6759, Khamenei Associate Mehdi Taeb: 'The Jews... Are The Only Ones Who Need Weapons Of Mass Destruction In Order To Rule The World – Because There Are 1.4 Billion Muslims And None Of Them Agree To Jewish Supremacy', January 27, 2017
Special Dispatch No. 6519, Antisemitism – A Rising Theme For Iran's 2016 Qods Day, July 11, 2016
Special Dispatch No. 5288, Iranian Official: The Jews Use Sorcery Against Iran, April 28, 2013
Inquiry and Analysis No. 922, The Image Of The Jew In The Eyes Of Iran's Islamic Regime – Part I: Theological Roots, January 25, 2013
Inquiry and Analysis No. 944, The Image Of The Jew In The Eyes Of Iran's Islamic Regime – Part II: The Blood Libel And 'The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, March 6, 2013
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