Christchurch, “Jewish Blame,” and the Global Scourge of Muslim Jew-Hatred

April 8, 2019 Updated: April 23, 2019


Brenton Tarrant committed a heinous, cowardly act of mass murder when he gunned down 50 defenseless Muslims at two Christchurch, New Zealand, area mosques on March 15.

As revealed in his own alleged manifesto, Tarrant’s ideological paradigm is a bigoted ethno-nationalist, Marxist-Leninist communist state—i.e., the People’s Republic of China (PRC)—“the nation with the closest political and social values to my [Tarrant’s] own.”  

The PRC’s brutal behavior on a grand scale—forcibly interning and “re-educating” an estimated 1.5 million Xinjiang province Uyghur Muslims—comports neatly with Tarrant’s ideologically driven violence.

Tarrant alone bears ultimate responsibility for the carnage he wrought. Moreover, predictably hysterical claims by the Jew-hating Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan—echoed by supposedly staider Muslim organizations, “expert” media commentators, and “academics”—that Tarrant somehow represents systemic Western Islamophobia, grotesquely distort the global context of both Muslim versus non-Muslim (especially Christian) and internecine Muslim violence.

Salient events ignored by all those disingenuously perseverating “Islamophobia,” alone, include:

  • The last 30 days of worldwide jihad depredations, through March 20, witnessed 111 Islamic attacks in 21 countries, during which 768 people were murdered, and 780 injured.
  • The specific jihad carnage of Nigerian Christians perpetrated by a combination of Boko Haram and Fulani tribesmen jihadists, resulting in nearly 300 Christian deaths since February of this year.
  • The four-year anniversary of a coordinated series of Sunni jihadist bombings (ISIS claimed “credit”) of Zaydi Shiite mosques in Yemen on March 20, 2015—internecine Muslim on Muslim mosque carnagewhich killed 142 Shiite Muslims.
  • As reported in February 2018, in Christchurch, New Zealand, itself, a jihad mass murder by a young Muslim convert to Islam was prevented. The thwarted jihadist planned to ram a car into a group of people in Christchurch and then stab them “for Allah.” New Zealand Crown Prosecutor Chris Lange told the court of the would-be perpetrator’s significant premeditation and hostility toward non-Muslims.
  • As reported in 2014, the very Christchurch Al-Noor mosque that bore the brunt of Tarrant’s anti-Muslim carnage allegedly preached jihadism to Muslim convert Christopher Havard, killed in Yemen fighting for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and perhaps many others. This 2014 report also included observations from a man who attended a converts’ weekend at the mosque 10 years earlier. He said a visiting speaker from Indonesia talked about violent jihad and many attendees shared his views. “Most of the men were angry with the moral weakness of New Zealand. I would say they were radical.

Muslim Jew-Hatred

Transcending even the grossly exaggerated Islamophobia culpability premise, and lunatic as it may seem outside Islamdom, Sudanese cleric Sheikh Abd Al-Jalil Al-Karouri assigned blame for the Christchurch mosque mass killings to the most fitting Islamic culprit: “the Jews.”

During a March 15, 2019, sermon the good sheikh, citing themes of conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred, intoned:  

“I am asking: Who was [the New Zealand mosque attacker] working for? The Christians are not hostile to the Muslims, as it is said in the Koran [5:82 ]: “You shall find the people strongest in enmity towards the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists, and you shall find the nearest among them in love to the believers to be those who say: ‘We are Christians.’” We are talking about a Christian country. So where did the Jews come from? We are not talking about Gaza. No, we are talking about Australia [sic]. As I’ve said before, this aggression [in New Zealand] was meant to incite Christians and Muslims against one another. The Jews are the ones who stand to gain. Even if the perpetrator was not Jewish, he was acting in the interest of the Jews, because he was fanning the flames of enmity between Christians and Muslims. The truth is that the Jews are enemies of both the Christians and the Muslims. They are the ones who claimed that they killed [Biblical prophets; Koran 2:613:112 , 4:155] Christ, and they killed John the Baptist. Who tried to poison the Prophet of Islam [in the traditions and earliest pious Muslim biographies of Muhammad] if not the Jews?”

Unfortunately, such paranoid, conspiratorial Muslim hatred of Jews reflects a global pandemic consistent with canonical Islam, and sanctioned by the most authoritative Islamic religious teaching institutions.

Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) director Yigal Carmon is a fluent Arabic speaker, and translator, whose organization scrupulously monitors and records mosque sermons across the world, including within the United States.

A recent chilling Israeli documentary on American Muslim Jew-hatred referred bluntly to the “jihadist conversations of the antisemitic Islam” taking root, unopposed, in the United States. Interviewed for the documentary, Carmon said, “A lot of the hatred against the Jews has turned into really violent threats, based on Islamic texts.”

Carmon further warned that violent acts of Jew-hatred perpetrated by Muslims in the United States could reach a Western European scale “if there isn’t an awakening and resistance against this.” He also condemned the feckless inaction of a Jewish community unwilling to identify, and combat, the Islamic religious origins of this Jew-hatred, because it is paralyzed by fears of being labeled “Islamophobic.”

“The Jewish community, which are direct victims and direct targets of these [Islamic religious] incitements are afraid to do something [i.e., about the religious incitement, specifically]. Not a protest, no public activity, nothing at all. They are afraid to be thought of as Islamophobic,” he said.

There is no better example of this broader self-destructive fear of “Islamophobia” that Carmon described in the U.S. Jewish community than the perverse House Resolution spawned by Somali Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) statements of overt conspiratorial Muslim Jew-hatred. The final draft did not mention her by name, and was compelled to include language decrying “anti-Muslim bigotry.”   

Referencing Rep. Omar as a “lightning rod for criticism” in a Fox News clip, the documentary places her Jew-hating remarks, appositely, within the animating U.S. and global Muslim milieu, willfully ignored by our craven political and religious leaders, and major media outlets:

“[T]he roots of this [Jew-hating] conversation are implanted in the communities and leaders of the [American] mosques. After many years of tracing the conversation in mosques [U.S., and globally] it is clear. This [incitement of Jew-hatred] is not an indirect response to what is happening around the world, but an organized effort to revert to the original Islam, that sees the Jews as infidels they [the Muslims] must fight and annihilate. These ideas are not preached to empty rooms.”

Koranic Rationalization

These traditional Islamic Jew-hating themes are not just espoused by isolated “radical Muslim clerics.” The last two de facto Sunni Muslim papal equivalents, i.e., the most recent former, and current, Grand Imams of Sunni Islam’s Vatican, Al-Azhar University, promulgated traditional Islamic views regarding Jews that demolish that soothing canard.

Indeed, the late Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Al-Azhar Grand Imam from 1996, until his March 2010 death, authored what can be aptly characterized as modern Islam’s Koranic Kampf on the Jews, entitled “Banū Isrāʼīl fī al-Qurʼān wa-al-Sunnah,” or “Jews in the Koran and the Traditions.” Tantawi’s magnum opus, a 766-page Muslim academic religious treatise, includes this summary Koranic rationalization for Muslim Jew-hatred:

“[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e., killing the prophets of Allah [see Koran 2:61/3:112 ], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously [4:161], refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do [3:120; 5:79], and other ugly characteristics [see a fuller 2004 litany with Koranic citations by Tantawi’s Al-Azhar colleague, and head of the religious edict, or “fatwa” committee, Sheikh Saqr: “Jews’ 20 Bad Traits As Described in the Qur’an”] caused by their deep-rooted (lascivious) envy [2:109] … only a minority of the Jews keep their word. … [A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113], the bad ones do not.”

More ominously, Tantawi’s exhaustive modern analysis of Islam’s defining, canonical sources concluded by sanctioning these bigoted—even violent—Muslim behaviors towards Jews:

“[T]he Jews always remain maleficent deniers. … [T]hey should desist from their negative denial … some Jews went way overboard in their denying hostility, so gentle persuasion can do no good with them, so use force with them and treat them in the way you see as effective in ridding them of their evil. One may go so far as to ban their religion, their persons, their wealth, and their villages.”

As Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Tantawi’s public statements on “dialogue” (January 1998) with Jews, the Jews as “enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs” (April 2002; from Koran 5:60), and the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews (April 2002) made his personal Muslim Jew-hatred eminently clear.

Tantawi’s comments on dialogue, which were issued shortly after he met with Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Israel Meir Lau, in Cairo, on Dec. 15, 1997, provided him another opportunity to re-affirm his ongoing commitment to the views expressed about Jews in “Jews in the Koran and the Traditions”:

“[A]nyone who avoids meeting with the enemies in order to counter their dubious claims and stick fingers into their eyes, is a coward. My stance stems from Allah’s book [the Koran], more than one-third of which deals with the Jews. … [I] wrote a dissertation dealing with them [the Jews], all their false claims and their punishment by Allah. I still believe in everything written in that dissertation [Jews in the Koran and the Traditions].”

Ahmed al-Tayeb, who succeeded Tantawi as Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, was the number one ranked Muslim figure for 2017 in “The Muslim 500.” His “The Muslim 500” profile states: “Influence: Highest scholarly authority for the majority of Sunni Muslims, runs the foremost and largest Sunni Islamic university. School of Thought: Traditional Sunni.”

Al-Tayeb, in an interview that aired on Channel 1, Egyptian TV, on Oct. 25, 2013, gave a concise explanation of the continuing relevance of the Koranic verse 5:82, which has been invoked—“successfully”—to inspire violent Muslim hatred of Jews since the advent of Islam. It’s also important to note that al-Tayeb was explicit in equating Zionism with Judaism, and Zionists with Jews.  

“A verse in the Koran explains the Muslims’ relations with the Jews. … This is an historical perspective, which has not changed to this day. See how we suffer today from global Zionism and Judaism. … Since the inception of Islam 1,400 years ago, we have been suffering from Jewish and Zionist interference in Muslim affairs. This is a cause of great distress for the Muslims. The Koran said it and history has proven it: ‘You shall find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews …,'” Al-Tayeb said.

Within a year—because of his belief in (and promulgation of) Islam’s “sacralized,” conspiratorial Jew-hating canon (see Koran 5:3233 and 5:64; Muhammad’s poisoning to death by Jews in the “traditions)—Grand Imam al-Tayeb insisted that the scourge of jihad terrorism, ravaging the Middle East, epitomized by ISIS, is due to the machinations of “global Zionism,” i.e., Jews.

During a televised statement that aired on Channel 1, Egyptian TV, on Sept. 8, 2014—consistent with Sudanese Sheikh Al-Karouri’s recent unhinged claim regarding “the Jews” culpability for the Christchurch mosque murders—al-Tayeb intoned: “All the [fundamentalist terrorist groups] are the new products of imperialism, in the service of global Zionism in its new version, and its plot to destroy the [Middle] East and tear the region apart.”

Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Al-Gameia, the Al-Azhar University representative in the United States, and Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, provided a very concrete and disturbing example of the authoritative Al-Azhar Islamic mindset exported to America.

Sheikh Gameia was interviewed for an Al-Azhar University website on Oct. 4, 2001. Sheikh Gameia returned to Egypt after Sept. 11, 2001, alleging, without any substantiation, that he was being “harassed.” Gameia’s interview (originally in Arabic, extracts translated by MEMRI) was rife with conspiratorial Islamic antisemitism, which riveted upon his invocation of the central Koranic motifs of Jew-hatred, while equating Jews and Zionists:

“The Jewish element is as Allah described it when he said: ‘They disseminate corruption in the land.’ [Koran 5:3233; 5:64] We know that they have always broken agreements [4:155; 5:13], unjustly murdered the prophets [Koran  2:61; 2:87; 2:91; 3:112; 4:155], and betrayed the faith [2:42; 2:75; 2:89]. Can they be expected to live up to their contracts with us? These people murdered the prophets; do you think they will stop spilling our blood? No. You see these people (i.e. the Jews) all the time, everywhere, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs. [Because of them] there are strip clubs, homosexuals, and lesbians everywhere. They do this to impose their hegemony and colonialism on the world. Now, they are riding on the back of the world powers. These people always seek out the superpower of the generation and develop coexistence with it. Before this, they rode on the back of England and on the back of the French empire. After that, they rode on the back of Germany. But Hitler annihilated them because they betrayed him and violated their contract with him. We saw these Zionists, just one hour after the event [the 9/11 attacks], broadcasting on the BBC, the biggest media channel, that the Arabs, and particularly the Palestinians, were celebrating and rejoicing over the American deaths [which, in fact, was true].”

Anti-Semitic Attitudes

Al-Azhar’s authoritative expounding of traditional, institutionalized Islamic Jew-hatred is ultimately manifest in the global pandemic of strongly bigoted Muslim attitudes toward Jews, as documented by unprecedented Anti-Defamation League (ADL) surveys conducted in the United States in 2014, updated in 2015, and again during 2016–2017.

On a scale of conspiratorial Jew-hatred, based upon an index of 11 antisemitic stereotypes, 49 percent of the world’s Muslims harbored the most intense animus (affirming more than 6 out of 11 stereotypes), a rate two- to three-fold higher than among any other major faith (i.e., Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism) or those professing no religion. Fully 75 percent of Middle Eastern and North African Muslims, overall, expressed this level of Jew-hating intensity, ranging from 92–93 percent in Iraq and Gaza/Judea-Samaria (“the West Bank”) to 74–75 percent in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, respectively.

Predictably, when queried, canonical Islamic Jew-hatred emerges as a critical etiologic factor in shaping these Muslim attitudes. Follow-up 2015 ADL data from Western European Muslims (an oversample of the Belgian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and UK Muslim populations) revealed that 55 percent shared this level of Jew-hatred.

These Western European ADL findings are consistent with prior analyses of the indoctrination of Muslim European youth and adults with textual Islamic Jew-hatred, and European Union data that acts of overt antisemitic violence are at least around 25-fold more likely to be committed by Muslims, relative to non-Muslims.

European reports on violent Jew-hatred published in 2015 and 2017 highlighted the ongoing “disproportionate” culpability of Muslims in committing such acts. The 2015 and 2017 reports were also concordant in identifying the central role of Islam in fomenting European Muslim Jew-hatred, observing (in 2015) “the level of antisemitism rises with the level of [Islamic] religiosity,” and with so-called “fundamentalist interpretations of Islam,” and (in 2017), “Muslim respondents’ high level of religiosity was therefore a key factor in explaining the high level of antisemitism among Muslims.”

Based on 3,600 interviews conducted by the ADL in the United States in January and February 2017, and another 1,500 interviews in October 2016, 34 percent of American Muslims hold extreme antisemitic views (believe greater than or equal to 6 out of 11 Jew-hating stereotypes), versus only 14 percent of the general non-Muslim U.S. population. This relative 2.4-fold increased rate of extreme Jew-hatred among U.S. Muslims is consistent with ADL’s global data on Muslims, although the absolute rates are, thankfully, lower across all American religious groups.

The documented promulgation of canonical Islamic Jew-hatred in U.S. mosques, through early 2019, and Muslim primary and secondary schools, may have already contributed to sporadic violent acts (or attempted acts) by Muslims against American Jews.

As Yigal Carmon has prognosticated, should this traditionalist, mainstream Islamic Jew-hating incitement continue unchecked, it will eventually generate levels of Muslim antisemitic violence on par with those now occurring in Europe.

Somali Muslim “apostate” Ayaan Hirsi Ali stands in striking contrast to the unrepentant, defiantly Jew-hating Rep. Omar. Ayaan’s genuinely contrite 2006 acceptance speech upon receipt of the American Jewish Committee’s “Moral Courage Award” was an unabashed mea culpa for her former attitudes of Islamic Jew-hatred.

She renounced, candidly, the “holy [Koranic] verses to support hatred of Jews … taught in the name of Islam.”

Vanishingly rare displays of intellectual courage by Yigal Carmon and Ayaan Hirsi Ali regarding Islam in Islamic antisemitism must become the rule. Otherwise, continued denial of Islam’s mainstream, canonical Jew-hatred, and the global Muslim attitudes it fosters, will have increasingly violent, even murderous, repercussions for Jews.

Andrew G. Bostom is the editor of the highly acclaimed “The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims” and of “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History.” He is the author of “Sharia versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism.” More of his work can be found at

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.