Islamophobia and Antisemitism    

Note: My observations in this social media post refer to the broad historical periods of the Western world (Euro-American history) at the level of public institutions and societal ideology. The observations are not about individual whites and white-majority communities many of whom are nothing like the imperial and colonial Christian establishment then or now. The cartoon (above) by Clay Bennett came out two days ago. It was not drawn for this post but I’m using it because I find it an extremely telling commentary on the absurdity of the West’s relations with both the Jewish and the Arab peoples as well as on what Jews and Arabs are doing to one another. They should be making peace and embracing one another in their shared denigration and victimization by the West for over a millennium – instead of, as they have been doing -- locked in an unending conflict of mutual destruction.

Cartoon by Clay Bennett, 2 November 2023

EVERY educated person in the world knows the history of Western Christendom’s relations with Jewish and Islamic societies. But it seems necessary to remind ourselves, especially at a time when Western powers are on Israel’s side, that it was European Christianity that gave birth to Antisemitism and Islamophobia. Antisemitism and Islamophobia are both the inventions of Europe and the Western establishment and are still running strong among white nationalists and fundamentalist Christians in the 21st century.

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1. Antisemitism — history at a glance: European Christendom could not forgive the Jewish people as a whole for being “Christ killers.” Early Christians could not live alongside the “anti- Christ” people and enemies of European Christian civilization they considered the Jews to be. There even was a time when European Christians came up with a conspiracy theory about the Jews, “blood libel,” to generate hatred and violence against them. The entirely fabricated lie accused Jews of using the blood of Christian children for their worship ceremonies. We know how that anti-Semitic history reached its logical heights in the pogroms of 19-century Europe and peaked with the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Yet antisemitism continues in varying degrees to this day in the West, even alongside the Western governments’ support for the state of Israel at the expense of Palestinians.

2. Islamophobia: Not very long after Islam came to be in the 7th century, European Christianity could not tolerate the rise of another religion and fought four rounds of Holy Crusades against Muslims for the Holy Land from the end of the 11th to the start of 13th centuries. Thereafter, European colonialism took over the campaign against the Islamic world in a changed form, followed by the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, in part to ease Europe’s guilty conscience for the Holocaust. It inaugurated th

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