A Controversy Involving a British Athlete Shows Britain’s Inability to Discuss Muslim Anti-Semitism

Nov. 30 2021

Azeem Rafiq, a Pakistan-born British professional cricket player, recently made waves after testifying before parliament about the racism and prejudice he suffered from teammates earlier in his career. Shortly thereafter, a decade-old correspondence between Rafiq and another cricketer came to light in which Rafiq made multiple anti-Semitic comments. Melanie Phillips observes:

Let’s park judgment for the moment on Rafiq himself. What was striking was the sharp difference between the reaction to the claims of racism against him and to the odious behavior by him. His racism claims led to instant anathema being pronounced upon the cricketing personalities he named. Yet the revelation of his past anti-Semitism—for which he instantly and abjectly apologized to the Jewish community—produced no such reaction.

Generous-minded people will want to believe that Rafiq is genuinely sorry for his past anti-Jewish prejudice. But [his former teammates] weren’t given the benefit of the doubt for their own shows of contrition. They were hung out to dry, with speaking engagements and radio appearances cancelled. So why the difference?

The real reason is surely the widespread refusal to acknowledge that Muslims might harbor bigoted attitudes. This is despite repeated evidence that a disproportionate number of Muslims hold anti-Jewish views. In 2019, a worldwide poll commissioned by the U.S. Anti-Defamation League found that Muslims in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK were on average almost three times more likely than the general population to accept anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Yet in all the recent sound and fury over anti-Semitism, this factor has almost never been mentioned. This is because of the “intersectionality” dogma that black- or brown-skinned people can’t be racists. And so those drawing attention to Muslim anti-Semitism find themselves anathematized instead as Islamophobes. [Even] Jewish leaders almost never mention it.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Jewry, European Islam, Sports, United Kingdom


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria