Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian researcher Muhammad Al-Buheiri, which aired on Nile Culture TV on February 25, 2007.
Interviewer: What is this story of the blood matza, which some authors – even Arab ones – say is anti-Semitic lies and nonsense, while others say it is true?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: Unfortunately, some Arabs want to be holier than the Pope...
Interviewer: A journalist like Salah 'Issa, for example, wrote in Nahdhat Masr that we don't need to decide whether the blood matza story was true or not, but that we should examine how we deal strategically with the Jews and the Israelis in the 21st century.
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: That's true, but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't deal with such issues. Let's not forget that the West in its entirety globally celebrated Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. So why shouldn't we do the same? I called for a Nobel Prize to be awarded to the Israeli Jewish historian, the son of the chief rabbi of Rome...
Interviewer: He's the son of the chief rabbi of Italy...
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: He's the son of the chief rabbi of Rome, who is still alive at 90 years of age.
Interviewer: He wrote Bloody Passover, the book we are discussing.
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: This man proved scientifically and objectively... He's an academic, who heads the department of Jewish history at the Israeli Bar-Ilan University. We are not talking about an amateur, a fraud, or someone looking to get famous. We are talking about an academic, who follows scientific and objective principles. He reached the conclusion that there was indeed a group of extremist Jews, who used to slaughter Christian children, and to collect their blood in order to make the Passover matza. It had to be a child who had not reached puberty. They would abduct him, and put him into a barrel designed for this purpose, which had holes in the sides at the place of the arteries. They would insert iron skewers through the barrel, and make the boy's blood flow that way. Then they would collect the blood, and use it for Passover. Some sources in Jewish halacha say that preparing a single matza on Passover this way is sufficient for all the Jews. Others believe that such matzos should be prepared in each country separately.
Interviewer: They sacrifice Christian children... When was it? In what century?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: It has been substantiated since the Middle Ages.
Interviewer: Since then?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: Yes.
Interviewer: My question is: Until when did it happen?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: That is the question we must ask. Have the Jews, with all their extremists, especially in Israel, given up... Have they given up these customs and religious rituals, which are important to them? There were very many cases. There were similar cases in Syria. There were similar cases in 1700 and 1800. Such children were abducted.
Interviewer: I have another question. Who are the people who prepare these matzos? Are they Jewish extremists or moderates? As a researcher specializing in inter-faith dialogue, do you believe this still occurs in Israel? I'm rephrasing the question.
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: I believe it does, because these are religious rituals.
Interviewer: In some Israeli newspapers and media, we have seen that they take an Israeli hen or rooster, and shed its blood, and they say that this is a form of Israeli sacrifice that brings blessing. We have witnessed this on several occasions. The question is why this important book, Bloody Passover, provoked the Jews throughout the world, who said that this renowned Israeli historian is anti-Semitic.
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: First of all, we should be aware that the Jews always implement a rule they consider basic: A loud voice is capable of erasing the truth.
Interviewer: A loud voice?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: Yes.
Interviewer: They are quite loud, aren't they?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: Precisely. If they attack somebody, they announce in the media and propaganda tools, which they control so skillfully, throughout the world... They turn the facts upside down. They turn the attacker into the attacked.
Interviewer: The media are controlled by the Jews.
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: The Jews have made great efforts to conceal the issue of the Passover blood. They even called it "blood libel." In Jewish culture, this is called "blood libel" – the lie about the use of Christian blood to prepare matzos.
Interviewer: Some people say that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – and we are talking about the Israeli blood matza – is a complete fabrication about the history of the Jews and Judaism. How do you respond to this as a researcher?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: By Allah, even if I did not have historical proof, like the proof obtained by the Israeli historian Ariel Toaff, the current reality proves that it is true, or, at the very least, raises the possibility that it is true. We await a generation of new Israeli historians, who are characterized by scientific objectivity, and, incidentally, deserve our respect. We're waiting for them to look into this issue, and it will surely turn out to be true.
Interviewer: Are the Jews of the Banu Nazir and Banu Qurayza tribes, from the time of the Prophet Muhammad – are they the same Jews who live in Israel today? Some commentators, historians, and professors say that this is not true - that the Jews from the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the Jews of Al-Madina are not the same Jews who live in Israel today. What do you think about this?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: Of course, this is true. No Israeli researcher can claim that his lineage goes back to the Jews of Banu Nazir or Banu Qaynuqa, or to the Jews of the Arabian Peninsula. They are all from Romanian, Polish, Russian, or English families. Not a single one... Only very few... There are Jewish families who have lived since bygone times in Palestine, and, by the way, these families are very...
Interviewer: Your response is very important, because it will make us consider the Jews in Israel in a different light - that they are not the accursed Jews, that they are not the Jews mentioned in the Koran. What do you think?
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: No, the fact that they are the accursed Jews is not restricted to any geographical region. This is because of their religion. If you believe in this religion, you believe some instructions that contradict the true religions and the instructions of monotheistic religion, and therefore, you deserve this curse. So this issue is not connected to any specific geographical region, but to an ideological theory.
Interviewer: What you are explaining now is that the Jews of Israel are not the Jews of Al-Madina.
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: That's right.
Interviewer: But this does not mean they are not the Jews cursed in the Koran.
Muhammad Al-Buheiri: No, because they were cursed on account of their behavior. If you adopt this religious theory and these rituals, you deserve to be cursed.