Their hatred of Jews is holding Arab and Muslim societies back: so says Ahmed Hashemi. He has a piece in the Times of Israel “Anti-Semitism is why the Arab Spring failed” that’s pretty brave considering who he is. From his biography:
Ahmad Hashemi is a former Iranian foreign ministry employee who worked as an interpreter. He is currently seeking political asylum in Turkey and works as a freelance journalist.
About the Arab Spring he begins:
I was not as optimistic. I argued that, unlike Iran’s opposition Green Movement – which was an uprising backed by predominantly secular, middle class and pro-western layers of society – the major opposition forces in the Arab streets were made up of Islamists and even salafists from poor neighborhoods, not real forces for change for the good. I contended that circumstances were not ripe for a positive transformation and that quick and bloody change would only exacerbate the situation by bringing anti-West extremist elements to power.
My skepticism gained further momentum by hearing and reading news headlines such as: “With more than 2000 years of Jewish heritage, Egypt shuts down its last synagogue,” or “Attacks on Coptic places of worship continue,” and “Egyptian high profile officials call Jews `apes,`” and “David Gerbi, the Libyan-Italian Jew who returned to his homeland, receives death threats,” and “The last synagogue in Iraq is closed, signaling the end of a 2,700-year Jewish presence there.”
These and other similar examples were indications that not only were the remaining small Christian and particularly Jewish communities becoming extinct in the Muslim world, but the already low tolerance towards the “other,” was shrinking. This is the main reason I continue to believe that Arab uprisings are unlikely to bring any change for the better.
It’s a great piece and I encourage you to read it all. It would be tremendous if more than a handful of Muslims ever saw material like this. But there’s just one step missing. What is the common element that spans all these Arab uprisings and even non-Arab Iran? There’s only one inescapable conclusion: Jew hatred is baked into parts of Islam we have no chance of changing.
If we accept the structural problem within Islam, we can face it with honesty. Perhaps we can’t change it, but denying repeatedly that it’s there isn’t going to help anyone, especially those Muslims who want out from under the control of the fanatics who are gaining the upper hand today.