Monday, April 6, 2015

In Indian Newspaper, MEMRI Scholar Tufail Ahmad Discusses Antisemitism, Flight Of Jews From Europe - MEMRI


"Some analysts, especially those on the other side of morality, argue that the recent rise in attacks on European Jews is due to Israel's treatment of Palestinians. However, the attacks on Jews in Europe were much more when Israel did not exist. It's also historically an incorrect argument that Jews did not live in the region called Israel.
On March 25, 2015, the Indian Express published an article by MEMRI scholar Tufail Ahmad titled "Hatred of Jews, And Our Own", in which he discussed Antisemitism and other forms of racism in South Asia.
Following is the text of the article:

"Ideas build societies. Ideas also kill people. When ideas coalesce into becoming an ideology, a pattern of killings becomes predictable. Societies host murderous ideologies. As an ideology targets a community, its members are shunned by neighbors, ridiculed and killed systematically over long periods, forced to emigrate and find new shelters. Antisemitism - or the prejudice and hate that targets Jews collectively and individually - is a type of racism now murdering Christians and Shia Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere. 'The hate that begins with Jews,' wrote British rabbi Jonathan Sacks recently, 'never ends with Jews.'

"Before Islam was born, Jews lived in the land now called Saudi Arabia. Today there are no Jews in Saudi Arabia, eliminated completely. In the 1930s, more than half of the world's Jews lived in Europe. Eight decades later, the population of Jews in Europe has declined sharply. As estimated by Sergio Della Pergola of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 54 percent of the 16.6 million Jews worldwide, or 9.5 million, lived in Europe in 1939. Europe's Jewish population fell to 3.8 million in 1945, the year the Allies won the World War II and discovered the Nazi genocide of Europe's Jews, of Holocaust in which six million Jews were killed in Hitler's gas chambers.

"It was expected that attacks on Jews would decline after the Allies ushered in the path of democracy in Europe. But the population of Jews in post-War Europe continued to fall - from 3.8 million in 1945 to 3.2 million in 1960, 2.0 million in 1991, which further declined to 1.4 million in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center. In the European parts of the former USSR, there were 3.4 million Jews in 1939, declining to 310,000 now. The Pew notes: 'Similar trends have occurred in Eastern European countries that were outside the USSR, including Poland, Hungary, Romania and several other nations' where the Jewish population fell from 4.7 million in 1939 to 100,000 now.

"Some argue that the population of European Jews fell, especially in the early post-War decades, because Israel emerged as a shelter; but Israel was not the cause. The cause, in case of Arabia or Europe, is the hate Jews suffered through centuries. The current worry: There is upsurge in attacks on European Jews. The Community Security Trust, a charity, reports that Antisemitic incidents in Britain, which is relatively safe, doubled to 1,168 last year. Amid mounting attacks, 7,000 Jews left France in 2014, doubling from the previous year. Sixty percent of Jews in Sweden are afraid to identify themselves as Jews, says a European Union survey. In Greece, 69 percent adults hold Antisemitic views.

"A Pew study recorded Antisemitic attacks in 77 of 198 countries in 2013, but it was in 34 of 45 European countries that harassment of Jews was most alarming. This issue was highlighted after recent attacks by jihadists on a kosher supermarket in Paris and a Copenhagen synagogue. Synagogues, Jewish museums and supermarkets are targets. While there are periods in history when Muslim-Jewish relations were good, Antisemitism is now encouraged in Muslim societies in Europe or elsewhere. Now the issue is the European nations' inability to check the rise of Antisemitism - the reason why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Jews to leave Europe amid the desecration of 400 Jewish graves in France.

"Some analysts, especially those on the other side of morality, argue that the recent rise in attacks on European Jews is due to Israel's treatment of Palestinians. However, the attacks on Jews in Europe were much more when Israel did not exist. It's also historically an incorrect argument that Jews did not live in the region called Israel. Those who say that Jews should go back should be, for argument's sake, told this: they should go back to Saudi Arabia. In the present era, it is difficult to distinguish the hatred of Jews from a genuine criticism of Israel's policies as a state.

"Since 1947, Pakistani Hindus and Christians have been targets of racism originating from Islam and the Pakistani constitution. In Morocco, which is lauded for good treatment of Jews, Shia Muslims are mistreated. In Islamic countries, Ahmadi Muslims are targeted. In 1984, it became difficult for Sikhs to find an inch of earth to hide in Delhi, the capital of India. In 2002, it became difficult for the Muslims of Gujarat to find shelters. In Bangladesh, life for Hindus has become miserable, as they are habitually hunted by soft Islamists. Murderous beliefs held by those who attacked Charlie Hebdo in Paris are taught by Barelvi clerics across India.

"In a video on YouTube, Indian lawmaker Yogi Adityanath graces a meeting at Siddharth Nagar where speakers exhort: 'The day this nation becomes a Hindu Rashtra, the day this nation will go into the hands of youth sanyasis like Yogi Adityanath, that day in this country the situation of Muslims will become the same as it is of Hindus in Pakistan. Today inside Pakistan, in temples, dharamshalas and mutts, sheep and goats are being kept. (In Indian mosques) nurseries of pigs will be opened.' Speeches continue: 'And when this nation will become a Hindu Rashtra, the Muslim will be turned into a second class citizen. And when the Muslim will become the second class citizen, then his voting right will be snatched away.'

"As thousands of people clap and Adityanath listens, another speaker issues a murderous call: 'Today the need is to dig out the (corpses of Muslims') mothers, sisters and daughters from graves and rape them.' As Indians, how we respond to such hate will determine our future. India is a free country. In this free country, you can wake up as Hindus, Muslims, Christians or others. This writer decided to wake up as an Indian. Depending on how you wake up each morning will decide how you will help to resolve this country's problems, and in doing so determine if India emerges as a great nation, willing to take up a respectful place, in the comity of nations."



Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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