Antisemitism and Islamist terrorism

29 Oct 2009 by CST

Earlier, this month, Inayat Bunglawala took exception to the assertion by CST and the Board of Deputies that radical Islamist terrorism is rooted in an ideology that includes "a core belief in antisemitism". We have answered this in some detail previously, but a recent plot uncovered in America gives a little insight into what we meant.

Two men from Chicago have been arrested for plotting to assassinate Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, and cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, for their roles in the publication of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in 2005. The plot was hatched in conjunction with Lashkar e Taiba, the Kashmiri group behind the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008, and Harakat-ul Jihad Islami. The criminal complaint against one of the accused, a Muslim convert named David Headley, includes this detail:

With respect to his activities in Denmark, HEADLEY stated that he conducted surveillance of the Jyllands-Posten offices in Copenhagen and Arhus, Denmark, in preparation for an attack [...] HEADLEY also stated that he conducted surveillance of Danish troops posted nearby, as well as of a nearby synagogue. HEADLEY stated that the surveillance of the Danish troops was conducted because they were posted near the newspaper and might serve as a reaction force in the event of an attack. He also said that he conducted the surveillance of the synagogue at the direction of Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A, whom HEADLEY described as being under the mistaken belief that Rose was Jewish.

The complaint also reveals that when Headley was arrested on 3rd October trying to board a flight out of Chicago, his luggage included surveillance videos of the Jyllands-Posten office and a military barracks, and a book entitled "How to Pray Like a Jew".

The conspiracy theory that the Danish cartoons were part of a Zionist plot against Islam was fairly widespread during the cartoons affair of late 2005/early 2006. It could be found in several mainstream Arab newspapers, as detailed in this report from the Anti-Defamation League. Here in Britain, it was pushed most vigorously by MPACuk - never slow to identify the hand of Zion behind any misfortune - who wrote on their website:

As suspected, and claimed on this blog over the weekend, the inflammatory anti-Muslim cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten were a deliberate provocation designed to outrage and incite Muslims and thus engender support in Europe and America for the manufactured "clash of civilizations" engineered by the Straussian neocons. As Christopher Bollyn writes for the American Free Press, the neocon operative behind the cartoon scheme is Flemming Rose, cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten, who has "has clear ties to the Zionist Neo-Cons." Rose "traveled to Philadelphia in October 2004 to visit Daniel Pipes, the Neo-Con ideologue who says the only path to Middle East peace will come through a total Israeli military victory. Rose then penned a positive article about Pipes, who compares 'militant Islam’ with fascism and communism," Bollyn reveals.

There is no suggestion that Inayat Bunglawala shares this opinion of the cartoons, and I'm sure he doesn't support the use of violence against Jyllands-Posten. Rather, he reveals a blind spot in addressing the habit of radical Islamists to blame Jews - or 'Zionists' - for everything, and recognising the antisemitism that lies behind Islamist terrorism against Jews.

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“Since 2003, CST has been a stalwart supporter of ODIHR in its efforts to effectively monitor antisemitic hate crime in the OSCE Region. With its rigorous methodology and innovative partnerships with the British police, it is viewed by many as representing the gold standard for NGO responses to all forms of hate crime. I wish CST all success in its exciting new phase of work.”

Michael Georg Link
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights