Yesterday, in a brief discussion with a friend, I mentioned a book called, "The sons of pigs and apes": Muslim antisemitism and the conspiracy of silence, by Neil Kressel, that I recently came across.
My friend is a progressive. Not like the ones to be found online. She is more accepting. And this is not to criticize her. It is more concerned with the way things are. About how Jews experience a disconnect when it comes to their status as an oppressed minority, more accurately the deprivation of that status, as hatred and threats to them grow out of all proportion.
After I mentioned the book, of which I had read a Kindle sample, she asked what is that, referring to the phrase "sons of pigs and apes." My conversational response was that it's what Muslims call Jews. This link to Palestinian Media Watch provides context. The belief is ingrained in Islam, past and present. Here is an example, among many, from last July:
Some say PMW disseminates propaganda. However, in 2007 Senator Hillary Clinton praised PMW for exposing child abuse, imposed by the Palestinian Authority, as above, through indoctrination that teaches them to hate Jews and Israel. Such demonization is prevalent in Palestinian society, and simple to discover if one looks.
Back to the story. Rather than acknowledgement of the utter indecency of calling EVERY Jew a son of a pig or ape, my good hearted friend admonished me for suggesting that ALL Muslims call Jews sons of pigs and apes. Did I not see that this is what a listener would conclude from my remark?
Only later did I realize her orientation was more concerned with protecting sensibilities of Muslims, generally, rather than the sensibilities and human rights of Jews, ALL Jews, to be free from these hateful, eliminationist threats, insults and behaviors based on the underlying belief by too many Muslims that Jews deserve to be exterminated.
The summary of Kressel's book says:
Though it is impossible to determine precisely how many of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims hold anti-Jewish beliefs, Kressel finds that much bigotry comes from the highest levels of religious and political leadership.There are 14 million Jews on the planet. If only 5% of Muslims held these beliefs, that would be 60 million people. Is my perceived bigotry or bigotry of Jews the real problem here?
Of course, before going forward, I had to clearly concede that I did not intend to suggest that ALL Muslims hated Jews. That should have been a given in the scheme of things. But the main point was lost, that Muslims do call Jews the sons of pigs and apes. With rare exception, ONLY Muslims do this.
There is nothing bigoted about presenting this fact based truth, not to mention the virtually complete silence of the Muslim community to confront it. It is not just Muslims, however. The Kressel summary also says:
[M]any in the West refuse to recognize this issue. The growing epidemic of hate has been largely ignored, misunderstood, or downplayed, Kressel reveals, because of apathy, ignorance, confusion, bigotry, ideology, purported pragmatism, and misguided multiculturalism. Those who value human rights ignore antisemitism at their own risk, he cautions, noting that no antisemitic regime or movement has ever been otherwise reasonable or progressive.This is what matters, at least to me. To say that "the sons of pigs and apes" is what Muslims (and only Muslims) call Jews (which is accurate), does not imply that ALL Muslims are equally guilty. To raise the implication actually diverts from what matters, which is the express bigotry toward Jews simply for not being Muslim, and the ignorance and indifference of too many among us.
Though not the intention of my friend, the same cannot be said for others, including activists that proclaim the right to define social justice. Diversion becomes a tactic to shut down discussion. In this case it diverted from the very first question asked about the insidious phrase itself, and perhaps lost was an opportunity to become more enlightened about reality that will likely continue to be obscured so long as communication is between those that agree among themselves.