April 29, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 703

Editor of Egyptian Weekly Criticizes Arab Embrace of European Antisemitism

April 29, 2004
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 703

In December 2003, the manuscripts museum at the Alexandria Library exhibited an Arabic translation of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' in its showcase of holy books of the monotheistic religions, placing it alongside the Torah. [1] Commenting on this incident, the editor of the Egyptian weekly Al-Qahira, Sallah 'Issa, wrote in the independent Egyptian weekly Nahdhat Misr a criticism of the dissemination of antisemitic ideas in the Egyptian media. The following are excerpts from his article: [2]

‘Instead of Highlighting This Stupid Event … the Newspapers Pointed Out That What Appears in The Protocols is 100% True’

"Some weeks ago, the Alexandria Library displayed the Arabic translation of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'in a showcase next to holy books acquired by the library's manuscripts department. No one might even have noticed, had it not been for one alert journalist of the kind addicted to seeking out fictitious gimmicks. He found it unacceptable that this act in the noble struggle to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea would pass without emphasizing the role of those who are behind it.

"He [i.e. the journalist] interviewed the director of the library's manuscript department, and [the latter] announced with pride that the library was proud of its acquisition of this book [i.e. 'The Protocols'] and that it had worked diligently to exhibit it because it was one of the books that are sacred to the Jews, and that he personally thinks that what appears in the book regarding the Jewish plot to control the world is 100% true.

"No sooner was the interview published than the Zionist organizations active in the West embraced it as proof that the Alexandria Library was an antisemitic institution. They demanded that the European Union, the [various] governments, and the international organizations that participated in funding the establishment of the library and still participate in directing it and supporting its activities, stop [all] this, because the library was disseminating racist ideas and a culture of hatred…

"The newspapers that highlighted this stupid event [could have] refrained from shaming the library, and giving the Zionists and their allies an opportunity to accuse us of antisemitism and racism. But instead, they hastened to attack the administration of the library, which capitulated following Zionist pressure, [and removed the book from the case]; [the newspapers then] pointed out that everything in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' was 100% true."

'Ideological and Journalistic Circles Try to Present the Middle East Conflict as a Religious Conflict Between Jews and Islam' by Using Medieval European Antisemitic Legends

"This is not the first political dead end to which some ideological circles and journalistic schools of thought have led us. [These circles] believe in exploiting the ignorance prevailing in society, such that unifying the Arab public is an end that sanctifies the use of every weapon – legal and illegal – to arouse the enthusiasm of this public.

"[These circles] try to present the Middle East conflict as a religious conflict between Jews and Islam [that has existed] since the conspiracy by the Banu Qurayza and the Banu Qaynuqa' [3] and the other Jews of Al-Madina against the Prophet Muhammad. [These circles] disseminate the idea that the battle for the liberation of Palestine is the continuation of the battle of Khybar. [4]

"[These circles] do not flinch from disseminating, espousing, and publishing all the legends that were common in medieval Europe in order to justify Europe's persecution of the Jews because of their monopoly in financial activity and money-lending, one of which was the 'matza of blood' that the Jews [allegedly] prepare on Passover from the blood of a gentile child. These circles disseminate among Muslims the perception that all the modern Jews are the offspring of the Jews who violated the word of the Prophet Moses, whose prayer Allah then answered and turned [the Jews] into apes and pigs. [These circles also say] that the Jews are responsible for their forefathers' crime, the crucifixion of Jesus. They embraced, and still warmly embrace, the stupid book 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, 'fabricated by the advocates of the Czarist tyranny in Russia to arouse hatred of the Jews because many of them were participating in revolutionary activity against the [Czarist] empire."

'These Ideas Cannot Withstand Any Rational Discussion'

"The problem is that these ideas cannot withstand any rational discussion. Furthermore, the logic on which these ideas are based is likely to lead us to a dead end, which in any case will place us – and not the Zionists – in the prisoner's dock.

"It is pointless to thus confirm to the world the correctness of the false accusations disseminated by the European fanatics, i.e. that our Islam calls us to hate members of the other monotheistic religions and incites us to take vengeance on them for the wars and battles that took place 15 centuries ago.

"It is not very smart to espouse the lies spread in the wave of persecution of the Jews in medieval Europe, when we – the Arabs and the Muslims – had no part in this, and when the perpetrators [of these lies and persecution] themselves today condemn them and apologize for them.

"It is not very smart at all to espouse a book such as the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion, 'that attributes to the Jews the honor of being the ones to plan the French Revolution, wave the mottoes of liberty, brotherhood, and equality, spur workers to establish trade unions, support political and ideological pluralism, and stand behind all revolutionary movements throughout history."

No Connection Between Today's Occupying Zionists and the Jews of Muhammad's Time

"What is certain is that there is no connection between the Zionists who occupied and are occupying Palestine and the rest of the Arab lands and the Jews of Khybar, the Banu Qurayza and the Banu Qaynuqa' – [and if there is any] it is the same as the connection between the modern Muslims and their ancestors who invaded parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe in the Middle Ages.

"If the Jews of today are responsible for what their forefathers did, then we, the Muslims [of today] are responsible for all the wars waged by our forefathers on all the continents, and the residents [of those continents] are permitted to fight us in order to avenge their defeat in those ancient wars."

[1] Please see MEMRI Jewish Holy Books On Display at the Alexandria Library: The Torah & the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion', December 3, 2003, 'Jewish Holy Books On Display at the Alexandria Library: The Torah & the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.'

Al-Ahram on the Aftermath of a MEMRI Report about the Display of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' at the Alexandria Library, March 2, 2004, ' Al-Ahram on the Aftermath of a MEMRI Report about the Display of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' at the Alexandria Library.'

[2] January 14, 2004.

[3] Jewish tribes who lived in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century. The tribes were expelled or killed by the Muslim forces.

[4] According to tradition, when Khybar, a city in the Arabian Peninsula, was conquered by Muhammad in 628, the lands belonging to the Jews who lived there were expropriated and they became tenant farmers.

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