Antisemitism is foreign to Islamic history

The myth of Muslim antisemitism

Today, western media delivers images and news that are designed to perpetuate a lie: that Muslims have an ingrained hate towards Jews. That Islam is antisemitic, is a common accusation that critics of Islam throw at the religion and its community. Never mind the fact that it was not the Muslim community but the Christians that decimated six million Jews or that it was Muslim governments that saved countless Jews from European pogroms that swept through Europe and Russia and not the other way around, Muslims, today, receive the greatest brunt of accusations of antisemitism. Eminent Jewish scholar Professor Dr. Moshe Ma’oz, who is Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, candidly refutes such stereotype:

“For centuries Islam was more tolerant than Christianity toward Jews… with its capital in Damascus, Christians and Jews were treated fairly well and many were employed in various public quarters, including in the royal court of Khalif Mu’awiyya (who also married a Christian Jacobite woman, Maysun).” [1]

The consistency in which Muslims throughout their history showed towards Jewish communities, protecting their lives, dignity and heritage is proof positive that whatever divide or rift that may exist between these Abrahamic faiths today, it has nothing to do with anything that is ingrained or innate in either community. In general, Muslims have never demonised Jews simply for being Jews. No doubt, pockets of such behaviour must have existed in Islam’s 1400 long years of civilisation but these were limited to very small fringe elements that the overwhelming majority of Muslims never cared to share. As Moshe Ma’oz says, “For centuries Islam was more tolerant than Christianity toward Jews.”


[1] Ma’oz, M. (2009). The Meeting of Civilizations: Muslim, Christian, and Jewish. England: Sussex Academic Press. p. 5