Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lara Logan And Egyptian Antisemitism

The majority of Western media institutions have by now covered the horrifying rape of CBS reporter Lara Logan in Egypt. But curiously, many of those "respectable" media institutions who have covered the story have omitted all mention of the fact that the thugs who assaulted her yelled "Jew, Jew!" as they violated her.

We have already seen the anti-government demonstrators deface pictures of Hosni Mubarak by drawing a Star of David on his forehead (see below), and we have heard them say: "He [Mubarak] is supporting Israel. Israel is our enemy...If people are free in Egypt...they gonna destroy Israel."

According to a 2009 Pew survey, 95% of Egyptians view Jews "unfavourably".

People will insist that this hatred of Jews stems primarily from the Arab conflict with Israel, but they fail to explain why, according to the English Orientalist E.W. Lane, the Muslims of Egypt hated Jews with a passion long before Israel ever came into existence. From his book Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, published in 1835:

They [the Jews] are held in the utmost contempt and abhorrence by the Muslims in general, and they are said to bear a more inveterate hatred than any other people to the Muslims and the Muslim religion. It is said, in the Qur'an [quoting 5:82] 'Thou shalt surely find the most violent of all men to those who have believed to be the Jews…'

Notice that Lane attributes the Muslim hatred of Jews in Egypt to antisemitic teachings in the Qur'an - an observation that in the modern day would have him accused of "Islamophobia".

This whole distressing story is actually quite reminiscent of a letter published in an Egyptian newspaper in 1948 - almost twenty years BEFORE Israel's "illegal occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza, and subsequent "inflammatory" conflicts with nearby jihadist groups - which read as follows:

It would seem that most people in Egypt are unaware of the fact that among Egyptian Muslims there are some who have white skin. Every time I board a tram I see people pointing at me saying, “Jew, Jew!” I have been beaten more than once because of this. For that reason I humbly beg that my picture (enclosed) be published with an explanation that I am not Jewish and that my name is Adham Mustafa Galeb.

Like Adham Mustafa Galeb, Lara Logan was not Jewish - but also like him, she learned first-hand the disturbing reality of antisemitism in Egypt.

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