Zionists, Jews, responsible for inciting the West against Islam

19 Dec 2013 by CST

This article is taken from pages 22-23 of CST’s latest publication, Antisemitic Discourse in Britainin 2012. (36 page pdf here, executive summary here.)

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One fast-developing theme of modern antisemitic discourse is the allegation that Zionists and/or Jews conspire to incite hatred and violence by the West against Islam.

This phenomenon is perhaps unsurprising, considering how pervasive the belief in antisemitic conspiracy theories is in many Muslim-majority countries, and communities elsewhere. The idea that Israel’s Mossad perpetrated the 9/11 terror attacks, and that 4,000 Jews avoided going to work that day, is the best known specific allegation of this type. Its combination of Israel as the perpetrator, with thousands of Jews as willing collaborators, is itself a keen illustration of how Israel, Zionists and Jews overlap within such conspiracy theories.

In recent years, the conspiracy theories have included Norwegian far right terrorist Anders Breivik, whom it is claimed attacked state and governing party targets to punish Norway for having adopted a pro-Palestinian stance. Also, the release of an anti-Islam film by an Egyptian Christian was widely (and wrongly) blamed upon both Israel and wealthy Jewish backers. (See below, MEMO and The Innocence of Muslims.)

The impact of such theories in Britain is hard to quantify, but they risk harming British Muslim attitudes towards British Jews.

  • MEMO and The Innocence of Muslims

MEMO (Middle East Monitor) is one of Britain’s leading pro-Islamist media and lobbying outlets. On 20 September 2012, it carried an article claiming that an anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims was “just one aspect of a calculated Zionist crusade to discredit anyone challenging Israel”. The article, by Jamal Kanj, was first published by the Gulf Daily News.

The same day, MEMO also published a letter from its senior editor, Ibrahim Hewitt, to the New York Times, claiming “there are deeper forces at work behind the film and other anti-Islam and Muslim publications in the West…intent on sowing discord between faith groups and communities”. Hewitt gave no further detail and, unlike in the article on MEMO’s own website, he made no actual mention of “Zionists” or “Jews”.

The film controversy had begun over one week previously, when a trailer for it appeared on YouTube. Associated Press then repeated the film-maker’s false claims to be Israeli, and to have received $5 million of funding from “100 Jewish donors”.

The following day, 13 September, Associated Press correctly stated that the film-maker was an Egyptian Christian, and that there was no truth in his Jewish donors claim. These developments were widely reported, as the film had become an international news story due to widespread protest riots and its being cited by those who attacked the US embassy in Libya, killing America’s ambassador.

Despite the above, MEMO’s article, dated 20 September, argued that the film was part of “a Zionist crusade” against anti-Israel elements, possibly funded by Jews. The article included the following claims:

...It seems that the latest Islamophobic film, Innocence of Muslims, is part of a trend designed to turn the memories of 9/11 into a lasting conflict between Islam and the West. Viewed from a different angle, it is just one aspect of a calculated Zionist crusade to discredit anyone challenging Israel.

It wouldn't be surprising if it emerges that producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is only a front for a pro-Israeli US group...his early assertions that he collected millions from Jewish donors provide possible clues about the real culprits behind the film.

...It is critical to recognise that this latest repulsive movie is part of a growing Islamophobic industry, promoted and financed by one-issue, tax-exempt pro-Israel organisations.

The West must deal firmly with this irrational yet measured phenomenon intended to incite and cause harm. For their part, Muslims must be circumspect when rejecting hate-inspired provocations. Violence only plays into the hands of those attempting to divide followers of religions who share the same reverence for Jesus and God.”

  • Islamic Centre of England: Anders Breivik motivated by Zionism

The Islamic Centre of England is a pro-Iranian Shia Islamic centre in London. Its director is the personal representative in Britain of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei .

The trial of Norwegian terrorist, Anders Breivik, prompted the centre’s magazine, Living Islam, to claim that Breivik had been motivated by Zionism. The article made no explicit mention of Breivik’s far right politics and instead included the following:

...A more attentive research in the background of Anders Behring Breivik shows that this individual who the media have tried to associate to Christian fundamentalism is in reality a ultra-Zionist, freemason, Islamophobic who claims to belong to the Templar order of the Rose-Cross.

Our understanding is that the main media has said very little on the masonic-zionist ideology of this isolated ‘illuminato’.

...An interesting theory is that this barbaric massacre could have been the direct consequence of the discourses presented by astute manipulators. Invisible hands belonging to ‘new world order’ that are intent to promote the clash of civilization...”.


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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