Babylonian Hostility

Last August, when Imam Mahdi al Jumeili of the small Hudheifa Mosque in Baghdad’s Shurti neighborhood met three American officers to resolve a dispute over soldiers entering the grounds of his mosque, his first question was, “Are any of you Jews?” When he was satisfied that none was, he allowed the meeting to proceed. Prior to the Americans’ arrival, he had voiced his views about them. “We are sure they came here to steal the country and protect Israel,” he said, adding that “Judaism and Masonism are at war with Islam.”

Such views are common in Iraq, where “al Yahud” — “the Jews” — are everywhere. Purportedly serious works about the Jewish threat, including Arabic editions of the notorious czarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, are available in every book market. The widespread acceptance of outlandish fantasies about Jewish infiltration and manipulation demonstrates the degree to which Iraqis, whose views were shaped by years of authoritarian control, misunderstand and fear the outside world. The anti-Semitic paranoia is one measure of how difficult the transition to liberal democracy will be.

Reason‘s Nir Rosen on antisemitism in Iraq.

6 thoughts on “Babylonian Hostility

  1. well…first dear Nir Rosen…..there are many possibilitys that Imam Mahdi al Jumeili said and has all these ideas…..and the people too….because I knew some pople like these….about “Americans are all Jews and mercenaries” the idea is wrong….we cant judge all people because some of them are in away…so this ALL is wrong.
    2-in a country as iraq(where is war)you cant expect that the nation will love their anemy ….as they say “Nobody accepts them”.
    would u love and acept the arabs and muslims in your country? WOULD SELL LAND ( YOUR LAND) TO ARABS AND MUSLIMS?
    3-about the Koran : it is right that relegat the jew to an inferior but protected status. but dont be upset it is the same thing about the christians……(but not as a protected status)…..
    *it is good explaind” occupation of their land”
    4-“implying that Jews and pagans are of equal stature as enemies of Muslims and God.” this one is toltaly wrong…well I dont know from where u found out this thing ….(probablely from a person that hate jew and sure dosent know the Koran) because I know it and there is no such thing like that thing anyway …….who could god say that the jew are his enemies????
    dont understand it wrong “PAGANS” mean the people who dont belive in god(the sinner and atheist) NOT THE JEW …”keep it in mind”
    5-the fact that u wrote this “Jews as disobedient and treacherous unbelievers, rejecting God and His messengers” means that u really dont know nothing about the koran,,,!!!!
    6-AND about “God’s curse is on them for their blasphemy”,Other verses imply that Jews “shall be the companions of hell fire” it is absolutely pathetic!
    (and I’m sure that some jew know that, jew that dont listten to the wrong interpretation of the religion, that had studied the religion and know something about it ! ),this is totally wrong we are talking about”” the sinner and atheist””…..not about the jew again!
    I will wait for more coments/…..
    peace to all.

  2. Perhaps Mr. Rosen is in need of courses in Modern Standard Arabic-perhaps he DID mistranslate/misunderst and the Imam’s tirades.A course in comparitive religion might also have helped balance out what he heard from what he knew of Islam, the Koran , hadith etc?
    If a translator was unavaible to him, he might have done well to whip out a Hans Weir dictionary…to report clearly what was said and intended(check out “Politics and the English Language”-by George Orwell)
    The comments about “YEHUD” may simply represent for many Arabs and third world states alike , the US’s constant backing of the Apartheid racist state of Israel.The Imam like many others wielding power thrive on propoganda…fueling mistrust and hatred.
    People mistakingly over simplify, justify and excuse their fears , ignorance and xenophobia by using WORDS incorrectly like the Imam and perhaps Nir Rosen.
    But from these words what are we to gather or understand about political agendas, religion as a weapon, the struggle of the Iraqi people-the people who lead them with misinformation?
    So also what of the journalist and his role or goal in reporting?Is the goal progressive, to find understanding and maybe some sort of warped reason but reason nonetheless in the ranting of an oppressed and yet desperate religious leader.
    More research, reporting and historical context should be incorporated into this piece…or Mr. Rosen runs the risks of sounding like the Propoganda pamphlateer that he seems to abhor.

  3. one more thing…look up anti -semitic! Semitic denotes those who have a linguistic link;berber,hebrew, arabic, amharic etc !!!! so Mr. Rosen speaks of Iraqi Anti-semites is simply incorrect. Again the clear use of language and the correct meaning of words is so important. It is imperative that people understand words by their definition not by its common misuse. Call the Iraqis mentioned in his piece anti -Israeli, anti -foreigner, anti -jew even. But they are most certainly not anti -semitic.
    peace and love y’all!

  4. He would be corrrect in using anti-semite if his mentioned Imam ranted, raved or spoke Kurdish or Farsi. Please, please “journalists” of the world check yourselves-and check the dictionary before misinforming and miseducating the masses.
    c’mon Nir you gotta work for that Kanye West album title!

  5. But from these words what are we to gather or understand about political agendas, religion as a weapon, the struggle of the Iraqi people-the people who lead them with misinformation?

  6. In reference to Froggy’s response or comment or…
    what is your question about my comments? we live in a world of agendas no doubt, my comments were based on the misuse of words. Words of propoganda whether from Mr. Rosen or the Imam do exist.
    All I am saying as at least use clear language if you want to get your message across. I simply asked Mr. Rosen to look up the word anti-semitic. The common misuse of this word-applying it only to jews in this case is incorrect. Semitic peoples are connected by a linguistic root-semitic languages are as follows Aramaic(long gone!)Amharic, Arabic, Hebrew and Berber.
    peace out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.