The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism
From Sacred Texts to Solemn History
Publication Date: April 2008
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This comprehensive, meticulously documented collection of scholarly articles presents indisputable evidence that a readily discernible, uniquely Islamic antisemitism-a specific Muslim hatred of Jews-has been expressed continuously since the advent of Islam. Debunking the conventional wisdom, which continues to assert that Muslim animosity toward Jews is entirely a 20th-century phenomenon fueled mainly by the protracted Arab-Israeli conflict, leading scholars provide example after example of antisemitic motifs in Muslim documents reaching back to the beginnings of Islam. The contributors show that the Koran itself is a significant source of hostility toward Jews, as well as other foundational Muslim texts including the hadith (the words and deeds of Muhammad as recorded by pious Muslim transmitters) and the sira (the earliest Muslim biographies of Muhammad). Many other examples are adduced in the writings of influential Muslim jurists, theologians, and scholars, from the Middle Ages through the contemporary era. These primary sources, and seminal secondary analyses translated here for the first time into English - such as Hartwig Hirschfeld's mid-1880s essays on Muhammad's subjugation of the Jews of Medina and George Vajda's elegant, comprehensive 1937 study of the hadith - detail the sacralized rationale for Islam's anti-Jewish bigotry. Numerous complementary historical accounts illustrate the resulting plight of Jewish communities in the Muslim world across space and time, culminating in the genocidal threat posed to the Jews of Israel today.
- New Republic
"For those looking for a serious, scholarly work on the subject of Islamic hatred of Jews, there is simply no better book available on the market today."
- Jihad Watch
"Affords important lessons for Jews and Christians alike…. This important book should become the standard reference work on its subject."
- Human Events
"[Bostom] provides an extraordinarily thorough look at the history of Islamic anti-Semitism in practice.… Truly unique…"
- Jerusalem Post
"A seminal treatise likely to enlighten intellectuals in search of the truth about anti-Semitism for generations to come."
- Kam Williams
"Exceedingly well organized and extensively documented…."
"[This] is the place to look for answers.... Bostom's bold book is a challenge to Muslims to reconsider the beliefs and practical manifestations of their faith."
- First Things