Sunday, February 8, 2009

Obama, Muslims and Jews

Andy Bostom, author of The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, argues here that President Obama should give his long-announced speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt is one of the largest recipients of U.S. official assistance; it has the potential to play a key role in limiting the murderous activities of Hamas; and it is the home of the Al Azhar University, the most prestigious university in the Sunni world.

Bostom points out that numerous religious leaders of Al Azhar, starting with Grand Imam Tantawi, routinely demonize and denigrate Jews, and call for their destruction. Indeed, Tantawi's 1968-69 doctoral thesis, Jews in the Koran and the Traditions, consisted of 700 pages rationalizing Muslim Jew hatred.

Bostom notes that this 'sacralized Islamic hatred' is popping up all over the world, and is by no means confined to radical Islamic leaders or their followers. He quotes a January report about the surge in anti-Jewish incidents during the recent Gaza conflict: "The bulk of the antisemitic incidents took place in Western Europe and were led by local Muslim officials, including 100 in France and Britain each..."

There is indeed no time like the present for an American President to show leadership in opposing the global jihad against Jews and Christians. Bostom's proposal: Like George Washington before him, Obama should reassure American Jews that he is committed to their liberty and security - before he gives any speech in a Muslim capital.

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