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Anti-Semitism Cannot be Equated with Islamophobia

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Posted on October 19 2010 8:45 pm
Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. For extended biography visit The Phyllis Chesler Organization.
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Even as Chancellor Angela Merkel pronounces the failure of “multiculturalism” in Germany, the English-language German newspaper reporter, Marc Young, writing for the English-language German news at The Local, proclaims that “bigotry towards Muslims is the new anti-Semitism.”

As the author of a book with the title The New Anti-Semitism (with an edition in German), allow me to remind Mr. Young that one of the things that is “new” about this most ancient of hatreds is that it is pandemic in the Islamic world and in Muslim communities in the West and that the multicultural relativists in the world’s universities, media, and political leadership, are collaborating with it in the name of “political correctness.”

Thus, what both Young and those who run the state-subsidized Center for Research on Anti-Semitism at the University of Berlin have learned from the Nazi Holocaust is that Europeans should not discriminate against Muslims as they once did against Jews.

German scholar Clemens Heni strongly disagrees:

“There is no other prejudice or form of racism which you can compare to this centuries-long hatred (anti-Semitism) which has no real justification. If you look at Islam today, there is a point to Islamophobia because Jihadists say, ‘We want to kill the unbelievers.’ Jews never said that. Because as a German I have a responsibility to deal with my own history, and if I see that other Germans want to downplay anti-Semitism and to minimize the threat of Islamic jihad and other forms of anti-Zionism—I think there is something deeply wrong, they didn’t learn the lesson from the Holocaust, they are even downplaying the Holocaust itself.

“I think it’s really important to focus on anti-Semitism as a specific phenomenon. This was the subject of my first article in the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism. Most people in Germany and in academia focus on anti-Semitism as one prejudice among many like racism, colonialism, imperialism, sexism, whatever. That was the reason why Robert Wistrich, the leading historian of anti-Semitism, was never invited to the Berlin Center for Research on anti-Semitism for the last 20 years. Usually an institute, well-funded, with hundreds of thousands of Euros a year—they have to invite the leading scholars. They didn’t invite him. One must ask why.”

Heni has paid a punishing price for his beliefs and values.

Continue reading at Arutz Sheva.

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