According to one interpretation, anti-Semitism in the Muslim world is something intrinsic to Islam itself, rooted in Mohammad’s interactions with Arabian Jewry and a constant feature of Middle Eastern history. Others would argue that it is merely a reaction to Israel’s existence or behavior (perhaps even a justified one). In The Anti-Semitic Origins of Islamist Violence, Evin Ismail presents a sophisticated alternative to these painfully simplistic explanations. Daniel Ben-Ami writes in his review:
Ismail argues that anti-Semitism has played a central part in the Islamist outlook since its inception with the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928. That is, it should be noted, twenty years before the founding of the state of Israel. So, seeing Islamist anti-Semitism as simply a reaction to Israel’s actions is not tenable.
Several factors contributed to the rise of Islamism and its anti-Semitism in particular. In the 1930s and early 1940s the Nazis promoted the Muslim Brotherhood as a counterweight to Britain—which then dominated Egypt—and France. Naturally the Nazis brought their poisonous anti-Semitic baggage with them. But even before the rise of the Nazis other pernicious European influences, most notably the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, were having an influence on sections of Egyptian society.
Later these ideas would blend with other extremist Islamic tendencies, including a hostility toward Shiite Muslims, giving rise to the ideologies of al-Qaeda and then Islamic State (IS):
Islamic State took this anti-Shiism a step further by linking it to their anti-Semitism. It developed the idea that Shiites were not really Muslims at all but—astonishingly—undercover Jews, as they reject the true teaching of Islam. This in turn, in the view of IS, justified its systematic killing of Shiites in Iraq.
This is perhaps the most surprising example of the paranoid conspiratorial anti-Semitism that is central to the Islamist worldview. For example, IS—like most other Islamists—believes that America is controlled by Jews and Israel. It has also referred to Kurdish troops as representing “Peshmergan Zionism.” In addition, IS has claimed that Sunni leaders, especially monarchs, are “apostate rulers” who act as “the slaves of the Jews and the Christians.” . . . Jews are, from this warped perspective, engaged in an evil conspiracy against the entire global Muslim community.