Several news outlets (1, 2, 3, 4) are reporting that the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahatir Mohammad, opened the summit of the Organization of Islamic States with some good ol’ fashioned anti-Semitism. I’m not talking anti-Israeli comments – which are often labeled as anti-Semitic, but more on how that lazy use of language, and how it does a dis-service to all involved, in another post – but full out Judeophobia. Just so you don’t doubt me, here’s the most obvious example:
“The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews are in control of the world via their proxies. They lead others to fight and die for them.”
Someone needs to take back his Protocols of the Elders of Zion and let him know it’s all a forgery. There is no Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. Never has been. He’s right that the Muslim community is faltering in the modern period, and there needs to be a push towards self-improvement, but that isn’t going to come by expressing our failures as Judeophobia. And just to be clear, I really can’t be bothered with the rest of his message, because much like the Nation of Islam, there may be some good, but it’s so tainted by hatred, fear and ignorance that it’s not worth salvaging.
Judeophobia and Islamophobia spring from the same well; a lack of awareness, understanding and self-confidence. It’s also a huge power issue: rather than admitting powerlessness, attribute a greater/different power to someone else, whether they in fact have that power or not. Power, in this situation, is additionally exercised by naming and classifying in order to gain some level of control.
All these comments have done is disgrace the Muslim world. They highlighted the failure of the ummah to advance itself and it’s unwillingness to face reality. The comments disgraced us, not only because they focused on our weaknesses, but because they showed that we ignore our own history, when our strongest periods were when lived in pluralistic societies, and more importantly we are denying our own heritage, our own selves. God’s trust to humanity was intellect. All these comments did was show that the ummah has no interest in fulfilling that trust.