As Muslim Rage Over Mohammed Cartoons Intensified, Arab/Muslim Newspapers Demonized Jews
New York, NY, March 28, 2006 … In the weeks during and after the eruption of violent protests across the Muslim world in reaction to caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, the demonization of Jews in the Muslim and Arab press reached a fever pitch, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
In the latest in its series of periodic reports on anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim press, the League has amassed more than two dozen examples of editorial cartoons appearing in newspapers from Bahrain to Damascus where Jews and Israelis are depicted using outrageous and deeply offensive anti-Semitic caricatures and themes, including anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of Jews plotting to control U.S. foreign policy and dominate the world.
"While the Muslim world acts out violently in response to the Mohammed cartoons and suggests that Western freedom of speech had gone too far, the plain fact is newspapers in the Muslim and Arab world continue to engage in vicious stereotyping of Jews," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "In fact, some newspapers used the controversy as an excuse to ramp up the use of caricatures featuring anti-Semitic stereotypes and Holocaust denial.
"Muslim and Arab leaders continue to have a blind spot, and a certain level of tolerance when it comes to the blatant anti-Semitism in their press," added Mr. Foxman.
ADL's Arab Media Review: Anti-Semitism and Other Trends, highlights cartoons appearing in the Muslim and Arab press in January through March 2006, the period during which the Mohammed cartoon controversy erupted with violent demonstrations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.
During this period, the Arab and Muslim media was rife with conspiracy theories of Jews and Israelis being responsible for international crises and events, including the publication of the caricatures of Mohammed, the destruction of Mosques and other Muslim sites, and the criticism of Iran's nuclear weapons program. Many newspapers also ran cartoons and columns that denied or downplayed the Holocaust, or accused Jews of using the Holocaust as an excuse to justify the persecution of others.
In the Muslim and Arab press, Jews are routinely portrayed with big noses, black coats and hats along with Jews symbols such as the Star of David.
"Jews were being stereotyped in the Arab press long before the Mohammed cartoon controversy, but once the issue of stereotypical caricatures came to the fore, the Muslim and Arab press made no attempt to hide the fact that they are the number one violators when it comes to incitement against Jews," said Mr. Foxman. "Instead, the stereotypical depictions of Jews only intensified."
Some examples include:
•Bahrain: A cartoon in Akhbar al-Khalij showed an inkpot marked with a Star of David next to a pen that had written, "Cartoons harming Allah's messenger," (February 16).
•Jordan: A cartoon in Ad-Dustur labeled "The Iranian Nuclear Portfolio," showed a stereotypical Jew holding a nuclear weapon and popping out of Uncle Sam's hat while threatening Iran (Jan. 21)
•Qatar: A hook-nosed, black-hatted and bearded Jew with a chicken body is chased by a knife-wielding Arab in a cartoon in Al-Watan labeled, "Bird Flu in Israel." (March 18).
•Saudi Arabia: In a cartoon in Al-Yawm labeled "God's Deceitful People," six stereotypical Jews with yarmulkes are shown bandit-like, with their hands in each others pockets (January 13).
•Syria: A man is bringing "Aid" to "poor countries," while a Jew behind him is trying to take it, in a cartoon that appeared in the state-sponsored and owned newspaper, Tishrin (January 11).
•United Arab Emirates: Al-Ittihad, a government daily, ran a cartoon headlined "Robbery," showing a Jew holding up the world with a gun labeled "the Holocaust" (January 24).
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.