Anti-Semitic Views Can Be Changed

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 22, 2008 | Go to article overview

Anti-Semitic Views Can Be Changed


Byline: Julia Duin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Years ago, while reporting for the Houston Chronicle, I realized I'd better wise up in terms of covering Muslims, many of whom were employed with the local oil industry.

This was years before reporters got serious about covering Islam. The first thing I did was read the first five chapters (suras) of the Koran, Islam's holy book.

What struck me was the passages comparing Jews to apes or pigs. I could not miss the deep invective against Jews for their hard-heartedness against Allah. The Koran built a case for the Jews - and the Christians as well - as being replaced by the followers of Allah.

For instance, Sura 3:67 claims the patriarch Abraham "was not a Jew nor yet a Christian," but a Muslim. Sura 5 is full of imprecations against Jews and Christians.

Which is why, when Andrew Bostom's new book, "The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism" landed on my desk a few weeks ago, I took notice.

This enormous 700-page-plus read catches one's attention with cover art depicting the beheading of a 17-year-old Moroccan Jewish girl. The French painter portrayed an actual incident that happened in Fez, Morocco, in 1834 when Sol Hachuel, the daughter of a Talmudic scholar, was executed. The culprit was a female Muslim friend who claimed Sol had secretly become a Muslim, then apostacized.

Apostasy, that is, leaving Islam, was punishable by death back then and still is considered a capital crime today in some Islamic republics. Although Sura 2:256 says, "Let there be no compulsion in religion," Sura 3:85 says "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him."

That jogged something in my brain. While an exchange student in Strasbourg, France, I was assigned to live with a Jewish family that had fled Morocco years before.

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