Saturday, 11 July 2009

Barbarism In An Islamic Guise

Face of evil - Youssouf Fofana

It was announced yesterday that the leader of a French Muslim gang called "the Barbarians", who in 2006 tortured and murdered a Parisian Jew in an act of unspeakable cruelty, has been sentenced to life in prison (which, in modern parlance, means "a minimum of 22 years").

The Islamic religious character of this atrocity must be acknowledged. According to the France 24 article, "[Youssouf] Fofana, the son of Ivorian immigrants, raised his fist as he turned up in court at the start of the trial and proclaimed 'Allah will conquer!' Asked to state his name, he answered 'African Barbarian Armed Revolt Salafist [Salafism is a brand of Islam].'"

This squares with other information divulged previously. For example, during the horrific torture-murder of Ilan Halimi, his captors reportedly telephoned the victim's family and made them listen to recitations from the Qur'an while Ilan's agonised screams could be heard in the background.

This Islamic character needs to be recognised and acknowledged because a uniquely Islamic strain of antisemitism is on the increase in Europe. A number of studies, including this one last year, have shown that Muslims are now more responsible than any other group for antisemitic violence on the continent. Those who would deny the Islamic component, or attribute it solely to the fallout from the Arab-Israeli conflict, must deal with some harsh realities about the virulent antisemitism contained in the foundational Islamic texts (remember, the Barbarians recited from the Qur'an during the ordeal) and a long, sad history of anti-Jewish persecution and hatred in Muslim lands, all of which is dealt with in amazing depth by Andrew Bostom in his brilliant book The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism. For just one small example of how Qur'anic verses are used to incite hatred against Jews, see here.

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