Yom HaAtzmaout

Wishing a very happy holiday to all our readers celebrating Israel’s 70th Independence Day!



2 comments on “Yom HaAtzmaout

  1. Happy Independence Day. Meanwhile, here is an extract from a recent Gatestone Institute piece by Andrew Jones showing the BBC’s indulgence of one Hamas supporter who helped write an English schoolteachers’ religious education handbook:

    “In a BBC interview after the 2015 Paris attacks, Mogra dodged the principal issue of Islamic terrorism, and stressed instead the supposed victimization of UK Muslims. “[W]e are beginning to see society turning on Muslims who’ve made this country their own and now are being seen as a threat or as an enemy within,” he said.

    It was not an innocuous statement, given that the Teacher Handbook specifies the following circumstances under which the “lesser jihad” of supposedly justifiable, religiously-sanctioned violence is permitted in Islam:

    In self-defence (“Those who have been attacked are permitted to take up arms because they have been wronged”);
    As a last resort (i.e. all other ways of trying to solve the dispute have been tried);
    To preserve Islam or to enable Muslims to freely practice their faith;
    To protect the oppressed (i.e. if a tyrant is ruling a country).
    In this context, Mogra’s bemoaning of supposed Muslim victimhood on the BBC could be perceived either as a “dog-whistle” to jihad, or, at the very least, as a veiled threat of “defensive” violence, should Muslims feel that they or Islam are in any way regarded as responsible for Islamic terrorism.

    The logic of Mogra’s BBC statement and the content of the Teacher Handbook, when combined, is that if society is “turning on Muslims,” then they are “oppressed,” and it is then but a small step to “tak[ing] up arms because they have been wronged.”

    Herein lies the crux of the matter. Behind Mogra’s softly spoken rhetoric of inter-faith dialogue, there seems to lie a faint but clearly discernible threat of violence — a potential menace made all the more real by the company he keeps.

    The Teacher Handbook itself has many examples of the Muslim-as-victim narrative. The section on “Islam in the media,” for example, includes the following passages:

    “…[M]any Muslims feel they are the targets of a sinister agenda, and that there is a commitment on the part of big news corporations to demonise them at any opportunity. Everyone knows there are bad Muslims, but there are also bad Jews, Buddhists and atheists, whose fanaticism and violence do not seem to be as newsworthy. A lot of Muslims argue how this proves conclusively that there is institutional prejudice against Islam, and explains why there is distrust in Western journalism especially. Sometimes it is difficult to establish which ‘news’ items are even true…[He continues later in the section:]

    “As the role of the RE [Religious Education] teacher requires both an appreciation and appraisal of religions, it is important to redress the imbalance of constant negativity about Islam and Muslims in the media.”

    This claim, however, that Islam suffers from “constant negativity […] in the media” is false. The BBC, for instance, completely whitewashed the Finsbury Park mosque’s links to Hamas, while promoting its imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, as a hero. Mahmoud prevented a Muslim mob assaulting Darren Osborne, the perpetrator of the deadly van-ramming attack on worshipers outside the mosque in June 2017. The grim irony — of a Hamas-linked mosque being the recipient of a Hamas-inspired vehicular ramming — was not, of course, mentioned by the BBC.”


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