We’ve repeatedly heard this vile expression from prejudiced Muslims. Quoting from two verses in the Koran, Muslims of this odiferous ilk portray Jews as descendants of apes and pigs.
The offensive verses, 59 and 60, are found in chapter five of the Islamic holy book and turn on the refusal of the disobedient “People of the Scriptures,” namely Jews, to submit and convert to Islam. Due to their stubborn attitude, Allah “cursed” Jews and “made of them apes and pigs …”
Muslim clerics, in particular, are fond of regurgitating this odious phrase.
In one of his weekly sermons at the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, the highest-ranking Sunni cleric in the Arab world, the late Sheikh Muhammed Sayyid Tantawi, called Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.”
And in a sermon at the Said Al-Jandoul mosque in Al-Taif, the Saudi Arabian sheikh, Ba’d bin Abdallah Al-Ajameh Al-Ghamidi, said, “The current behavior of the brothers of apes and pigs, their treachery, violation of agreements and dealing of holy places … is connected with the deeds of their forefathers during the early period of Islam, which proves the great similarity between Jews today and Jews who lived at the dawn of Islam.”
Prominent Muslim politicians, including the secretary-general of Hezbollah and the former president of Egypt, have also seized upon this malicious phrase to defame Jews.
In a speech delivered on the occasion of the Shi’a Ashoura holiday in 1998, Hassan Nasrallah expressed regret that it coincided with the 50th anniversary of the creation of Israel, “the state of the grandsons of apes and pigs — the Zionist Jews — on the land of Palestine and Jerusalem.” Nasrallah ended his speech with these inflammatory words, “To the murderers of the prophets, the grandsons of apes and pigs, we say, death to Israel.”
Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s president from 2012 to 2013, stooped just as low in 2010 when, as the head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political department, he denounced Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
“These bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, (are) the descendants of apes and pigs,” he said. Referring to Jews as “Zionists,” Morsi denounced Jews by way of two classic antisemitic themes: “They have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout their history. They are hostile by nature.”
Fathi Hammad, a former Hamas interior minister, embarked on this route, too, having vowed to annihilate the “brothers of apes and pigs.”
Morsi’s and Hammad’s rants, as well as Nasrallah’s screed, were far from unusual, converging with the undercurrent of anti-Zionism which bleeds into antisemitism in Arab societies today. A Pew survey in 2011 found that 94 percent of Egyptians and 95 percent of Lebanese hold a “very unfavorable” view of Jews.
Since then, I would venture to say, little, if anything, has changed insofar as Arab attitudes to Jews are concerned.
Case in point: a few days ago, Heshmat Khalifa, the director of Islamic Relief Worldwide, the largest Muslim charity in Britain, resigned after the Times of London published a story disclosing he had referred to Jews as the “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs” in social media posts in 2014 and 2015.
In other posts, he praised Hamas as “the purest resistance movement in modern history” and bitterly attacked Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who deposed Morsi in a military coup in the summer of 2013. Khalifa, an Egyptian who acquired British citizenship 15 years ago, denounced Sisi as a “Zionist pig,” a “Zionist pimp,” a “Zionist traitor,” and a “Zionist criminal.”
Having been exposed as an antisemite, Khalifa, 63, told the Times he regretted his comments, claiming they were his “expressions of frustration” with Sisi’s authoritarian regime rather than “beliefs I hold.”
He went on to say that he did not intend “to insult the Jewish community,” and that he is not antisemitic. “I have dedicated much of my life’s work to promoting tolerance and freedom of religion and beliefs,” he claimed.
Khalifa’s contrition, having been solely manufactured for the occasion, sounds completely insincere and cannot be taken seriously for even a second.
Clearly a bigot whose social media posts reflect his true and unfiltered opinions, Khalifa issued these abject apologetic remarks to deflect criticism from his execrable views and to spare Islamic Relief Worldwide further discomfort and embarrassment.
Judging by his disgusting remarks, Khalifa is definitely not someone who promotes tolerance and understanding or who opposes bigotry.
His mind has been poisoned by those awful verses in the Koran.