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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Jews as the Ultimate Underdog in Arab-Muslim Society -- Part 2

Previous posts have shown that the Jews in Jerusalem were at the bottom of the social ladder, low man on the totem pole. The post before this one showed that the Muslim population in the Ottoman Empire generally was unhappy with the Tanzimat reforms that made the non-Muslim [dhimmi] population almost equal in rights to the Muslims. It also showed that some in the Greek Orthodox Church were unhappy with their equality since it also meant that the Jews, previously lower in rank than themselves, were brought up to equality with them. This supports the argument that the Jews were the ultimate underdog in Ottoman society.

Egypt too was part of the Ottoman Empire, although the central government's hand was weaker there than in places closer to Constantinople, the Ottoman capital. Here is testimony from Egypt that the Muslims there hated and humiliated the Jews even more than the Christians.

The Jews, even more demeaned than the Christians, and few in number besides, are counted for almost nothing. [Tableau de l'Egypte pendant le sejour de l'Armee francaise, par A.G...D, membre de la Commission des Sciences et Arts, seant au Kaire, an XI, 1800, vol. I, p 14.]
Les Juifs, encore plus avilis que les Chretiens, et d'ailleurs en petit nombre, sont a peu pres comptes pour rien
The testimony above is from 1800, by a member of the scientific delegation that accompanied Napoleon and left so much important documentation about the Egypt of their time, and about the remains of ancient Egypt, which were far more numerous and in better condition then than today. The main written record of their research is La Description de l'Egypte in 25 volumes, of incalculable value for knowledge of all sorts of aspects of that country.

Here is the testimony of Edward Lane, a British observer who lived in Egypt for several years in the 1830s. The excerpt below has been translated back into English from a French translation [by Bat Yeor]. Readers are invited to check Lane's original.

In general, the Muslims feel towards them [the Jews] the most profound hatred and contempt, and accuse them of hating the Muslims and the Muslim religion more than any other people . . . Consequently, one cannot be surprised if the Jews are detested by the Muslims much more than the Christians. Not long ago they were often shoved in the streets of Cairo and sometimes beaten for merely having passed on the right side of a Muslim. Presently, they are less oppressed [Muhammad Ali eased the oppression of dhimmis generally], but they still hardly dare protest when they are insulted or unjustly struck by the most miserable Arab or Turk, since often a Jew has been put to death under the false and malicious accusation of having murmured words disrespectful of the Qur'an or the Prophet [Muhammad]. . . A Jew has often been sacrificed [by a court] in order to save a Muslim. . ." [E. Lane, The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, 2 vol., London 1836]
Hence, the extreme, vicious hatred for Jews expressed in Egypt and other Arab countries --and by the PLO and its satellites-- has old roots, not imported from Europe and not because of anything that Israel may have done.

The quotations in this post were found in Yahudiya Masriya, Les Juifs en Egypte (Geneva: Editions de l'Avenir, 1971). Yahudiya Masriya [= Egyptian Jewess, in Arabic] is a pen name for a woman scholar now known as Bat Yeor [= daughter of the Nile, in Hebrew] who no doubt has a justified fear of using her legal name when writing critically of Arabs or Islam.
- - - - - - - -
More on the bottom-of-the-ladder status of Jews in Arab lands coming up.
Also, exploitation of Jews in Jerusalem both before and after the Crusades.


  • On the same theme, I offer an article which may be considered as background:

    The pro Islamic apologia has reached unprecedented heights after the bombing of the WTC. One can hardly find somebody that would not try to absolve Islam from its "radical’s" actions.
    That distinguished group includes, among so many others, Peres, Bush and of course every "liberal-leftist" around the globe, as well as every Anti-Jew and oil business connected person. The absurdity of assumptions and assertions to that effect puts to shame even Goebbles' best efforts while at the same time displaying either total ignorance, mental distortion or is relying on the ignorance of people around the world, a much more acceptable notion, to spread that concept.

    Central to the issue is the basic question: Is what we call "radical Islam" in contradistinction to "Islam" proper[to sop the feelings of would-be political partners and to make Muslim neighbours feel that we really like them and their
    faith] an illusion?
    Are the so-called radical and extremist and fanatic or fundamentalist doctrines not essentially part of mainstream Islam?

    One of the first statements to appear: only a perfect ignorant would connect the 9/11 bombing with Jihad. That bombing and in general the Islamic terror have a completely different cause.
    Jihad, they're explaining to us, is, as taught in the several Islamic
    theological schools, an internal, spiritual fight in which the believer fights with himself in order to arrive at the truth.

    So there are good and bad Muslims, radical and non radical Islam, and terror has nothing to do with Islam or Jihad.

    Is that so?

    In his "Radical Islam", Bruno Etienne states: "in fact, Jihad means war against ourselves, but, as a means for the expansion of Islam and thus a fight against the infidels and "bad" Muslims.
    That is exactly the opposite of what all apologists are trying to shove down the throats of the ignoramus and their associates.
    Furthermore, Etienne explains, the effort on oneself cannot be separated from the fight against "evil" given that the scope of Jihad is the establishment of an Islamic geographical regime over all social groups. Jihad has to bring all of humanity to submission to god and therefore Muslims must first of all transform themselves… in that sense Jihad becomes the organization
    of violence."

    Moreover, Etienne explains that the Jihad is not a fundamentalist's deviation of Islam; it is the ethical contents of Islam itself.

    Muslims, rely on the Koran and the Sunna, the classic Islamic doctrine on which the original sense of Islam was founded: the fight not only against the infidels but also against the same Muslims in order to bring to the world the fulfilment of the prophecy and with it the world Islamic state, or Kalifat.

    The Umma has the historical mission of converting everybody to the "true" religion.

    He then quotes the Koran's suras that command you to the holy war. Besides, the Islamists' most quoted author, Ibn Taymiyya, places the divulging of Islam by holy war above the five pilasters and asserts that the Jihad may be only finished by the establishment of the total Umma, that is, when the whole world would be converted to Islam. He allows for "cease-fires and prorogations which are necessarily only provisory and of short duration, because: "Islam has to spread all over the universe, if necessary by force".

    Islam is not only supercessionist as a religion, it is triumphalist and there must be no mistaking this.

    Islam does not mean "peace", as some try to present it. That word in Arabic is
    "salaam" and even though the same consonants are present, the words are entirely different in denotation and connotation.

    Islam means "submission"- to the will of Allah.

    According to Mohammed and those who followed him, it is the will of Allah that Islam spread throughout the world and become dominant.
    The territorial base of Islam, knows no boundaries.

    As soon as any Muslim has set foot anywhere, that territory
    automatically becomes an active part of the Umma, an Islamic holy land, and it is completely justified to secure that territory by acts of aggression, deceit and treachery.

    So, is any part of the world safe once any mullah or imam or sheikh has declared that it "is" part of Muslim lands?

    The Arabs, from the seventh century to the present, have spread Islam by violence, forcibly converting populations en masse and waging war to expand the territorial base of the religion.

    We are most familiar with the Middle East, but let's not forget the Indian sub-continent and South East Asia.

    ... Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia ...

    Can Michigan- or Toscana be far behind? **

    ”It may not be that we must criminalize every Muslim; it'd be stupid and disgusting. But we must understand them while they should help us to do so”.
    Let’s understand:

    I remember the 14th. Of Sept. 1998 title on an important Italian newspaper, La Repubblica: "Italy will be Islamized- that's how holy war is being prepared". It reported the words of sheik Omar Bakri that quoting Muhammad asserted that after Constantinople "it will be Rome's' turn; no Muslim doubts that Italy would
    be Islamized and that Islam's flag won't fly over Rome".

    It is thus not an issue of terrorism. We thus need to know if the Muslims that live amongst us, in this and every country approve or condemn the concept of freedom in countries of a Muslim majority, given that Muslim immigration into the western countries has become significant and massive.

    Bernard Lewis is talking about "the third attempt of Muslim invasion of Europe, more successful than the previous ones".
    The same applies to America.

    A high Islamic exponent said: "we will invade you thanks to your democratic laws; we will dominate you thanks to our religious rules".

    ”It may not be so, but and then why don't the Muslims of the west ask and demand of the Arab and Islamic regimes equal rights to all?”

    They do mention that Jews and Christians are not obligated to convert "but must pay an additional tax in order for them to be "protected" in exchange for a submission pact; protected, but not citizens", observes Alexandre Del Valle.
    Dhimmies, or some sort of a third class subject or a first class slave.

    Christians, thus cannot publicly profess their religion, nor proselytize.

    That means the disappearance of Christianity. As is presently evidenced in all Muslim countries, including those called "moderate", while in others, as in the Sudan, Christians suffered genocide.

    Del Valle, an Islamologist in the University of Paris, observes: "comparative study of the legal status of non-Muslims- as is conceived in the four Sunni juridical schools and as is in the Shiite tradition shows that rejection of "infidels'" political-juridical power is inscribed in a historically continuous practice- from the submission of the Jews of Arabia in 638 to date. It stems from the purest orthodox Islamic tradition of which all Islam's' tendencies and
    divisions are unanimous.

    Del Valle is criticizing the fact that "all our 'intellectuals' blinded by their own western concepts of religion or faith" and also by their ignorance, "refuse, generally, to analyze Islam as being a threat."

    Indeed, in the political arena and in the Catholic and Anglican one it is preferred to defend the Arab regimes.

    Maybe it's done in order to alleviate the pressure on the Christian communities there. Or, more probably, due to their supercessionist beliefs, oil interests or plain old antisemitism.

    But, what are the results? Limes, Italy: "Christianity today is the most persecuted religion. Numbers are shocking: 250 million Christian persecuted in 1997, 160,000 victims every year of violent death in 70 [Muslim] countries".

    Of course, since Jews were already all but eliminated from Muslim countries they can't be persecuted there, except the few remaining. As a balancing act, Islam has taken to eliminate Jews by wars or terror from the ME and the rest of the world, as is being daily preached from the top of every mosque and by all Arab- Muslim media and most of its rulers.

    I wish, although I don’t believe it will happen, that the west would wake up before those who want to transform the whole world into a great Muslim Caliphate or a Saudi Arabia or an Iran of planetary dimensions will start blowing it up like in Iraq, or Madrid, to demand the liberation of “Pakistani London occupied by the British”.

    Shalom Noury (Shuny)

    Sep 24 2001

    ** Special thanks to BGD for his insightful humorous remarks.

    By Blogger Shuny2, at 10:52 AM  

  • Shuny, sorry I didn't get to this before 25 May 2006, but "moderate comments" was enabled and I didn't know how to use it.

    Ibn Taymiyya by the way, rejected any holy status in Islam for Jerusalem. That's because he was more severe. As far as I know, the Umayyads only decided to view Iliya [= Aelia], the Arab name for Jerusalem after the conquest in the 6th century, in about 690 CE, when they had rivals who controlled Mecca and Medina. They wanted to have a holy place under their own control.
    Vittoria a noi

    By Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon, at 11:13 AM  

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