Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds The distorted interpretations of history so present inside Sayyid Qutb writings was widely adopted and is still advocated today by thinkers and leaders active in the Islamic world. As mentioned before, scholars trace a direct connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and Jihadist organizations, such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS. What are the common characteristics of the Muslim Brotherhood and these contemporary radical groups and what place does antisemitism hold in these organizations? The perceptions of Qutb in fact informed all the Islamist radical movements which came after the Six-Day War and especially in the 70s.
Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds Different groups in Egypt, of course - El Gama’a El Islamiyya, the Islamic Jihad, and then gradually we have those global - which meant to be global originally - but remained local and typical to the Egyptian scene. From them we have people who later on join those forces in Afghanistan, which became to be known later as Al-Qaeda. And from Al-Qaeda we have ISIS which is in fact a faction of Al-Qaeda originally, which became even more radicalized than Al-Qaeda and its perceptions of its struggle with the Christian-Jewish civilization. All Islamist organizations, and here especially ISIS and Al-Qaeda, believe that there is an historical, what they call “Jewish Crusader” or “Jewish-Western onslaught” against Islam that goes back to the 10th century.
Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds Both believe that this joint Jewish-Western offensive and onslaught intends to eradicate Islam. And therefore all Islamic organizations developed a very strong anti-Jewish ideology. I would also say that all Islamist organizations associate the Jews with modernity. They associate the Jews with global culture and economic processes which undermine the Muslim world. And therefore, of course, they hold a very strong anti-Jewish position and ideology. Ironically, on the other hand, even though ideologically they hold a very strong anti-Jewish position, on the practical level the Jews are not the number one enemy.
Skip to 2 minutes and 50 seconds In fact Al-Qaeda, for quite a few years, gave priority to fighting Muslim governments, out of the belief that first you have to purify the Muslim camp and then confront the external enemies of Islam. It’s what they call the near enemy and the far enemy. ISIS, which holds a very strong anti-Jewish ideology, for the time being gives priority to fighting the Shi’a. In fact ironically some of the Islamist organizations have a statement that says that the Shi’a are worse even than the Jews.
Skip to 3 minutes and 28 seconds And the reason is that the Jews don’t hide their evil nature, they are very open about their evil character, whereas the Shi’is hide their evil character, and therefore ISIS, for instance gives priority to fighting the Shi’a and gives priority to exterminating the Shi’a right now than fighting the Jews. So we can make a distinction between very deep brutal ideological animosity and practical policy which right now, for the time being, gives priority to other elements. At the same time we should not overlook the fact that in various terrorist attacks in Europe, Jews were the targets.
Skip to 4 minutes and 11 seconds We saw it in France. We saw it in Belgium. And here this is again an example of the manifestation or implementation of this deep animosity toward Jews.
From the Muslim Brotherhood to contemporary Islamism
Dr. Esther Webman, Prof. Meir Litvak
Scholars trace a direct connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and Jihadist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
What are the common characteristics of the Muslim Brotherhood and these contemporary radical groups? What place does antisemitism hold in their ideologies and actions?
Euben, Roxanne L. and Muhammad Qasim Zaman, eds., Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).
Fishman, Brian H., The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory (New Haven: Yale Universtiy Press, 2016).
Litvak, Meir, “The Anti-Semitism of Hamas,” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture, vol. 12, nos. 2+3 (2005), pp. 41 - 47.
Litvak, Meir and Esther Webman, “Israel and Antisemitism,” in Albert S. Lindemann and Richard S. Levy, eds., Antisemitism: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 237 - 249.
Maddy-Weitzman, Bruce and Meir Litvak, “Islamism and the State in North Africa,” in Barry Rubin, ed., Evolutionaries and Reformers: Contemporary Islamist Movements in the Middle East (Albany: SUNY Press, 2003), pp. 69 - 90.
Tibi, Bassam, Islamism and Islam (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).
Tibi, Bassam, “From Sayyid Qutb to Hamas: The Middle East Conflict and the Islamization of Antisemitism,” in Charles Asher Small, ed., The Yale Papers: Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective (New York: ISGAP, 2015), pp. 457 - 483.
Webman, Esther, Anti-Semitic Motifs in the Ideology of Hizballah and Hamas (Tel Aviv: Project for the Study of Anti-Semitism, Tel Aviv University).
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