Monday, 15 June 2015

Asghar Bukhari and the Zionist Shoe Fairy

If you are feeling a little depressed and empty inside after watching the season finale of Game of Thrones (no spoilers here), and you need a little pick-up, you can't do any worse than to click here and watch Ashgar Bukhari, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), accusing "Zionists" of breaking into his house and stealing one of his shoes.

Bukhari is a nasty character who (of course) gets frequent airtime as a Muslim spokesman in the British mainstream media, where he generally does very little but shout and snort furious inanities. But as riotously funny as his latest video is, it is worth remembering that Muslim antisemitic conspiracy-mongering has a much darker side.

We only need to look back in recent history to see the tragic consequences of hateful anti-Jewish lies, as epitomised in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and in Nazi propaganda. Muslim conspiracy theories can be no less deadly. In August of 1929, Hajj Amin Al Husseini, who was at that time the Mufti of Jerusalem, incited a series of anti-Jewish massacres that left hundreds of people dead in the city of Hebron in the West Bank. Al-Husseini provoked the local Muslims by claiming that a Jewish religious gathering near the Western Wall was actually part of a plot by the Jews to take over Muslim holy sites, and quoted from the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion to buttress his point. He also made the emphatically religious statement: "He who kills a Jew - his place in the life after death is assured!"

And we have seen where such conspiracism leads in Iran, which has managed to make the most chortle-worthy accusations against Israel about the use of "animal spies" - while at the same time taking steps to amass a nuclear arsenal for the sole purpose of destroying the "Zionists" and their sovereign state.

So by all means, laugh at Asghar Bukhari and his wacky Zionist shoe fairy - it is a lot less than he deserves. But temper that laughter with the recognition that such paranoid conspiracism is designed to do but one thing: demonise and dehumanise Jews.

And we all know where that leads.

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