Pop quiz for the bi-partisan Donald Trump circle jerk: who said the following in an extraordinary but little-noticed speech yesterday in New York?
“Today the free world should unite against Islam, not against Muslims but against Islam as a belief system. When the president of the free world stands and says that Islam is a religion of peace, he creates the climate, he provides the climate, the perfect climate, to create more terrorism.”
c)Rabbi Meir Kahane, the late great founder of the Jewish Defense League, upon his reincarnation
Nope. The correct answer is none of the above.
It was Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas founder, who, after laboring in the family business, worked undercover for the Israeli domestic security service to thwart terrorist attacks and later converted to Christianity.
Yousef, who eventually settled in the United States but the Obama administration unsuccessfully tried to have deported upon publication of his 2010 memoir, said at a conference sponsored by the Jerusalem Post that, “Today, free people need to unite against Islam, not against the Muslim people. Against Islam itself, as a belief system.”
“We can fool ourselves, but there is an Islamic problem,” he argued. “Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic Jihad, the Islamic State [ISIS] and Boko Haram — all of them kill in the name of Allah.”
In other words, the problem is not, per Obama, some amorphous brand of “violent extremism” — it is Islam.
“There is an Islamic problem. And I think humanity needs to stand against this danger, because this danger is not only against the State of Israel. This danger is against the evolvement of mankind.”
He pleaded with Muslims to find a better way.
“The Muslim people have a problem. And their problem is in their belief system. They have to face it, and we need to encourage them to fight the good fight,” he explained. “I had privileges as the son of a top Hamas leader. I had something to lose. But the average Muslim person [doesn’t] have lots of things to lose. They’re already living in darkness and misery. If they leave it, it’s better for them.”
Of course, in addition to bigotry, Donald Trump is often accused of ignorance when he links Islam to terrorism. But Yousef emphasized that, “I speak with the authority of experience, not from books or second-hand knowledge.”
“In the Muslim society, I witnessed a woman who sent five of her children to die in suicide bombing attacks. One after another. She would put the explosive belt on them and bless them and say: “Go, kill the Jews!” to gain respect in her society. This is hypocrisy.”
“At one point I thought that the Jewish nation is the enemy of humanity. I thought they were the enemy of our people, the Palestinian people, until I experienced what the Jewish nation truly is.“
Note to any Stalinist androids at Media Matters who might now feel compelled to try and discredit Yousef. His fascinating political, intellectual and religious journey was the subject of a 2014 film documentary favorably reviewed by The New York Times.
Are they Islamophobes, too?