ZOA Sponsors Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus Briefing on Jihad and Islamic Anti-Semitism With Andrew Bostom
News
May 22, 2008

 Professor Andrew Bostom briefed congressional


staffers on “Jihad and Islamic Anti-Semitism:


Conjoined Threats to Life, Liberty, and Human Dignity 


 


 


 


 


Washington, DC — Recently, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) sponsored Professor Andrew Bostom’s briefing on Jihad and Islamic Anti-Semitism: Conjoined Threats to Life, Liberty, and Human Dignity” to an audience of senior and junior professional Congressional staffers on Capitol Hill, under the auspices of the House Anti-Terrorism Caucus, which is chaired by Reps. Sue Myrick (R-NC), Robert “Bud” Cramer (D-AL), Kay Granger (R-TX) and Jane Harman (D-CA).


 


Professor Bostom’s edifying lecture demonstrated how the global aspirations of contemporary Islamists, and their annihilationist hatred of the State of Israel, are informed and even mainstreamed by the interplay of anti-Semitic motifs in Islamic theology, especially Islamic eschatology (“end of times” beliefs), with the hallowed Islamic institutions of jihad war and its corollary of “dhimmitude,” or the subjugated status of all conquered non-Muslims. Professor Bostom’s presentation drew upon his two related scholarly works, the The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims (Prometheus Books 1995) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History (Prometheus Books 1995).  Both books were made available to the audience. Additional information on Dr. Bostom and his work can be found at www.andrewbostom.org.


 


Much of the lecture focused on the Islamic concept of “Jihad” and its meaning, which has historically been unambiguously understood to refer to waging war against ‘unbelievers.’  Details of the founding of Islam, and the fruits of the modern theology which resulted were presented with extensive documentation from the Koran and early Islamic sources.  Dr. Bostom said “It is conventional to assert Muslim Jew hatred is only a recent phenomenon that began in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, and is a mere by-product of the advent of the Zionist movement. This is not what is indicated by a close examination of early Islamic writings. The uncomfortable examination of Islamic doctrines and history is required in order to understand the enduring phenomenon of Muslim Jew hatred, which dates back to the origins of Islam. Even if all non-Muslim Judeophobic themes were to disappear miraculously overnight from the Islamic world, the living legacy of anti-Jewish hatred, and violence rooted in Islam’s sacred texts – – Koran, hadith, and sira — would remain intact.”


Dr. Bostom also noted: “The rise of Jewish nationalism—Zionism—posed a predictable, if completely unacceptable challenge to the Islamic order — jihad-imposed chronic dhimmitude for Jews—of apocalyptic magnitude… [as historian Bat Ye’or has explained] ‘Because divine will dooms Jews to wandering and misery, the Jewish state appears to Muslims as an unbearable affront and a sin against Allah. Therefore it must be destroyed by Jihad.’”


Daniel Pollak and Joshua London of the Division of Government Relations for the ZOA said: “Dr. Bostom’s fascinating and informative briefing was an important wake-up call for Congressional staffers concerning the nature and tenor of contemporary Islamic and Islamist thinking towards non-Muslims and towards Jews in particular, and an essential rejoinder to the Federal Government’s latest directives against mentioning anything related to “Islam” in discussing the global war on terrorism and the terrorist threat against the West (see the recent White House memorandum, “Words that Work and Words that Don’t: A Guide for Counterterrorism Communication,” and the companion Homeland Security report, “Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims”). Indeed, during the lively Q&A, one of the staffers present at this briefing recognized exactly this point, commentating negatively as to the soundness of these new policies. An unmistakable inference of all this is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has less to do with any particular actions or policies pursued by the State of Israel or any ideas propagated by Zionists than with the rabid anti-Semitism which is organically built-in to Islamist ideology. This has been institutionalized into the religious teachings embraced by the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as such organizations as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Since this hatred has such sacred and historic roots to the Islamists, it becomes obvious that none of this hatred can be abated, much less defeated, by helping to foster, create, fund, and establish a Palestinian state — especially one within a rocket’s launch of Jewish civilian population centers.


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Professor Bostom’s work sheds light on the true nature of the Arab war against Israel, and demonstrates why the conflict in the Middle East is not about borders, but about the very existence of free Jews living under Jewish sovereignty in the biblical Land of Israel. Translated into contemporary public policy, Professor Bostom’s contributions help to further underscore the fact that concessions to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA), especially concessions leading to Palestinian statehood, would only help to produce the world’s newest terrorist state and yet another existential threat to the State of Israel. It would be folly for either Israel or the United States to support the establishment of a Palestinian state under such conditions and it is noteworthy that the former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, former CIA director R. James Woolsey and pre-eminent Middle East historian Bernard Lewis have all come out in opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state.”


“The ZOA was very pleased to sponsor Professor Bostom through the House Anti-Terrorism Caucus, and is very thankful to Rep. Sue Myrick and her staff for inviting ZOA to work with them to help make this happen.”

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