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Anti-Semitism Is Deepening Among Muslims; Hateful Images of Jews Are Embedded In Islamic Popular Culture

Anti-Semitism Is Deepening Among Muslims; Hateful Images of Jews Are Embedded In Islamic Popular Culture

Author(s):

Date Published: 
Saturday, 27 April, 2002
Summary: 

Stay in a five-star hotel anywhere from Jordan to Iran, and you can buy the infamous forgery ''Protocols of the Elders of Zion.'' Pick up a newspaper in any part of the Arab world and you regularly see a swastika superimposed on the Israeil flag. Such anti-Semitic imagery is now embedded in the mainstream discourse concerning Jews in much of the Islamic world, in the popular press and in academic journals. The depictions are not limited to countries that are at war with Israel but can be found in general-interest publications in Egypt and Jordan, the two countries that have signed peace agreements with Israel, as well as in independent religious schools in Pakistan and Southeast Asia.

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Yet in many Muslim countries the hatred of Jews as Jews, and not only as citizens of Israel, has been nurtured through popular culture for generations. Take for instance an official Jordanian government textbook for high school students. It describes Jews as innately deceitful and corrupt. ''Up to the present,'' it states, ''they are the masters of usury and leaders of sexual exhibitionism and prostitution.''