In an article in the Qatari daily Al-Arab, Egyptian journalist and columnist Sharif 'Abd Al-Ghani harshly attacked mosque preachers for their practice of cursing Jews and praying for their extinction, and praised the contributions that Jews have made to the world.
Following are excerpts from the article:
The Koran Orders to Be Kind to the Jews so Long as They Do Not Fight Us
"Since the days of my youth, during Friday prayers I could not wait for the mosque preacher in our village to deliver the prayer following his sermon, so that I could raise my hand and say 'amen' to his calls, along with the rest of those praying. I did not understand much of the meanings and intentions of the words he repeated, but I liked the rhyming prose and the sound of the people saying 'amen' automatically, without the least bit of thought.
"When I grew older, I noticed that the preacher, whose name [was] Sheikh Muhammad Al-Bari, peace be upon him, would dedicate an entire portion [of his prayer] to cursing the Jews: He would talk to his God [and ask him] to destroy them and their offspring. The man, [who worked] for many years in the city of Al-Arish in northern Sinai, which fell under Israeli occupation in the 1967 war and was liberated in 1979 with the Camp David Accords, would tell us what the 'impure Jews' were doing in the Sinai, and warned the youth of the nation against their tricks. He told us how these 'impure [Jews]' would bring young women 'with blond hair [like] you have never seen before to lead [the people] to acts of abomination, God forbid.' He would stress that 'after one of them would lead you to sin, she would infect you with AIDS, while she herself remained unharmed!'
"Sheikh Al-Bari's stories would cause me and everyone else behind him to curse 'the Jews – descendants of apes and pigs' – from the depth of our souls. But there was one thought that occupied my mind, and one question that I could not let go and that no one could answer: Why does our sheikh – and we behind him – shower all these curses on the Jews, but then add the expression 'peace be upon him' when speaking of their prophet Moussa [Moses]? Are the Jews not people of the Book and among those whom the Koran orders us to treat kindly so long as they do not fight us? And how could Allah have created them so impure and damned if they are the disciples of a prophet?
"Years went by until I found someone who explained what the sheikh could not, maybe because he himself did not understand it. I read an article by the late leftwing author Muhammad Sayyid Ahmad, who was one of the most noble and educated men to come out of Egypt. In the article, he explained in simple terms the difference between the Jews, whom we must value as people of the Book and be kind to so long as they do not fight us or expel us from our homes, and the racist Zionists who think the Jews are the most exalted among mankind and who work to expel Arabs from their lands and have massacred the Palestinians for decades."
Those Who Curse the Jews Do So to Exonerate Themselves of Inactivity in the Struggle against the Zionist Enemy
"As years went by, I discovered that cursing the Jews is a fixed feature in [the prayers of] all the preachers in the various mosques I have visited, in Egypt and elsewhere. I thought that with the advancement of media and various means of reading that young preachers possess, they would be brought to a [certain] level of knowledge and understand [this] matter, so that they could explain to the prayer attendees the difference between Judaism – a religion sent down from Allah – and Zionism – a racist movement. But [today], it is clear that no one has changed and everyone follows in the footsteps of Sheikh Al-Bari. One of them, behind whom circumstances force me to pray on Fridays... has reached a comic level with his curses that not even Sheikh Al-Bari could match. When he mentions [the Jews], his tone rises, his body stiffens, and he curses as his body spasms: 'O Allah, disturb the sleep of the damned Jews. O Allah, shake the ground beneath their feet. O Allah, cut off their seed, make their wives widows and their children orphans,' after which everyone behind him loudly says 'amen.' The attendees say [amen] and then their spirits are calmed because they believe that they have done their duty and fulfilled their role in the struggle against the Zionist enemy in the best way possible, thus casting off any guilt for [their] inactivity [in this struggle].
The Inventors Who Changed the World Were Jewish
"The absurd thing is that after cursing the Jews, the preacher never forgets to urge the attendees to donate [money in order to establish] a dialysis unit in the village... which will treat thousands of patients... But it doesn't occur to him, or to any of the attendees who say amen after the curses and curse the Jews themselves – many of whom suffer kidney failure – that the man who invented the treatment for this condition is the Jewish doctor and scientist Willem Klofkim [sic, apparently Kolff]!"
"O you, those who curse and besmirch the Jews, do you not know that the 'impure and damned' Jew Baruch Blumberg discovered the viral liver disease Hepatitis [B] and the treatment for it – a disease that afflicts 12% of Egyptians?
"And while we are the topic of inventions, note the following. The most famous people in the field of medical inventions were all Jews: inventor of the [bifurcated vaccination] needle, Benjamin Rubin; developer of the Polio vaccine, Jonas Salk; discoverer of the cure for leukemia [sic] and the cure for syphilis, Paul Ehrlich; developer of the study of immunology, Ilya Mechnikov; the most important researcher of endocrinology, Andrew Schally; the most important researcher of cognitive therapy, Aaron Beck; inventor of the birth control pill, Gregory Pincus; the most important researcher of the human eye and the retina, George Wald; and the most important researcher of cancer treatments, Stanley Cohen.
"The most famous people in terms of inventions that changed the world were also all Jews, including: developer of the micro-processing chip, Stanley Mazor; inventor of the nuclear reactor, Leo Szilard; inventor of fiber optics, Peter Schultz; inventor of the traffic light, Charles Adler; inventor of stainless steel, Benno Strauss; inventor of the motion picture soundtrack, Isidore [sic, apparently Theodore] Case; inventor of the microphone and gramophone, Emile Berliner; and inventor of the videotape recorder, Charles Ginsburg.
"The Jews invent, advance, and become giants in the political and economic arenas, while we remain backwards... Israel invests six percent of its GNP in scientific research, while all the Islamic countries together spend only 0.2%. I think that the preacher whose body stiffened while he cursed the Jews would answer derisively: 'Why should we waste money on these hollow things if we are carrying out the most important mission – cursing and besmirching the impure Jews?'"