October 3, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 792

Qatari Intellectual on the Islamic Roots of Antisemitism and 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

October 3, 2004
Qatar, The Gulf | Special Dispatch No. 792

In the Qatari daily Al-Raya, Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of the Faculty of Shari'a at the University of Qatar, criticized the conspiracy theory in the Arab world that the Jews and the Israeli Mossad were behind the 9/11 attacks. In the article, Al-Ansari wrote that this theory is rooted in Muslim tradition and in the founding scriptures of Islam. The following are excerpts from the article: [1]

Arabs are Still Unwilling to Accept that They Carried Out 9/11

"The third anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11 has passed, and the Arab world is still asking itself who was behind it. Despite the clear-cut evidence, and the many confessions and investigations … the Arabs are unwilling to accept that the ones behind the deed were a group from among us – the '19 Exalted Ones,' as they were called last year by the fundamentalists at their London convention. [2]

"The Arabs keep insisting on their innocence and accusing the Mossad of planning the deed with the aim of launching an aggressive war against the Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq… But this tale clashes with the fact that Jews are cowards and do not commit suicide. So the theory was amended, and it was claimed that the Mossad had planned and funded [the operation], and a group from among our innocent young people was deceived and ensnared by the Mossad, and that it was they who carried out [the operation].

"I do not know how long this [Muslim] arrogance will continue. Why don't we want to acknowledge that these young people were the sons of a culture that is hostile toward the world, not idiots or mad. No one enticed them, and they did not suffer from oppression, repression, or poverty. They carried out the operation because of their belief that it was Jihad and martyrdom. They were our young people and our sons, and they were our responsibility."

'We have Incited [Our Youth] to Die for the Sake of Allah'

"It is we who stole their future, and we have sinned against them because of our backwards education, because of our harmful religious views, because of our inciting preachers' pulpits, and because of our violent media. It is we who have not succeeded in giving their existence value and meaning, and have not made life better for them than death. We have incited them to die for the sake of Allah, and have not taught them how to live for the sake of Allah.

"How long will we make life hell for our young people? How long will we continue to replay the record about American injustice and world justice towards us as pathetic justification for the violence and terror among us – as if we are the only nation suffering from injustice…

"Why, in fact, are we the only nation enchanted by the theory that a Jewish conspiracy stands behind events? Why does the tree of conspiracy bloom on our soil…? And why are we still prisoners of theories whose falsity has been proven…?"

'Conspiracy Theory Roots [are] Connected to Belief, Historic Factors, and Political Circumstances'

"In my opinion, this theory has very deep roots connected to aspects of belief, historic factors, and political circumstances. Among the reasons [for the conspiracy theory] are:

· "The words of the Koran regarding the deception of the Children of Israel against their prophets and against the other nations.

· "The words of the Sira [biography of the Prophet Muhammad] with regard to the dangerous conspiratorial role [played by the Jews] already in the early days against Islam, against the Prophet Muhammad, and against the Muslims and their new empire.

· "The words that fill the books of [Muslim] heritage … [say] that the Jew Abdallah ibn Saba is behind the great conflicts [among Muslims]. [3] These conflicts shattered the strength of the Muslims, and therefore in our [school] curricula we make sure … to remain silent and skip over the political disagreements and armed conflicts about power and rule that arose among the Companions of the Prophet, [presenting] them all as using religious judgment, and as loyal and just. These conflicts [are presented as if they] occurred only because of the deception of Ibn Saba the Jew and that he is responsible and to blame. As we know, historical research has proven that Ibn Saba is a legendary figure, and that even if he existed it is impossible for any man, however devious, to play such an important and excessive role [in the history of Islam]. [If we believe this,] we must assume that the Companions of the Prophet were so careless and naive that a single Jew could deceive them, and thus we ostensibly decide that the Jews have superhuman genius.

· "The words that our culture implants in the souls and minds of the Muslims, [i.e.] that that the Jews are the source of evil in the world. It appears that we are the only nation that still thinks that ' The Protocols of the Elders of Zion 'are real – even though they were compiled by the Russian intelligence service in order to torment the Jews of Russia in the days of the Tsar, [as] the expert in Jewish affairs Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Masiri [wrote] in his famous encyclopedia.

· "The words of the stories of the final days, concerning the eternal conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, until the Day of Judgment when the Jew will hide behind [the tree] and the rock, and [the rock] will say [to the Muslim], 'O servant of Allah, o Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me, come and kill him.' These traditions make the Muslim suspicious, and he interprets every event as if a Jew is behind it. This is why Sheikh Fadhlallah and others have not ruled out a Jewish role in the tragic incident that took place in the school in Beslan.

"These are the deep roots that arbitrarily control both us and how we see the world around us. How can they be circumvented so that we can better and more accurately understand and grasp what happened and is happening in our complex world?"

[1] Al-Raya (Qatar), September 20, 2004.

[2] Referring to an annual convention held since 9/11 to celebrate the attacks organized by the London Islamist organization Al-Muhajiroun.

[3] Abdallah bin Saba was a Jew who converted to Islam. He considered the Fourth Caliph Ali bin Abu Taleb to have a divine element, and some, mostly Sunni, writers attribute to him the establishment of Shi'ite sectarianism. Some also claim that he was a legend invented by the enemies of the Shi'ites who sought to prove that Shi'a Islam was not true Islam, but was invented by a Jew. Also, he is thought to have incited against the Third Caliph Uthman bin 'Affan and caused his assassination.

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