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.

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Read more at Jewish Chronicle

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

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism