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Anti-Semitism in the Arab/Muslim World

The Arab Media's Portrayal of Jews

Posted: February 7, 2006

The extreme reaction to the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in the European press has led to death threats, rioting and targeting of Danish and other European embassies and institutions throughout the Muslim world.


At the same time, some Muslim and Arab newspapers and Web sites have ratcheted up their publication of cartoons with virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel themes:


  • The Web site of the Arab-European League has published several stridently anti-Jewish cartoons including one showing the Holocaust diarist Anne Frank in bed with Hitler supposedly in an attempt to show Europeans what can happen when the freedom of the press in their societies is taken too far.
  • A newspaper in Bahrain printed a cartoon with Danish cheese shaped like a Star of David in an attempt to blame the controversy on a so-called "Zionist penetration" in Denmark. 
  • The Hamshahri newspaper, a large circulation daily in Tehran, announced a deliberately inflammatory contest to find and publish the 12 "best" cartoons about the Holocaust.  

Anti-Semitism in the Muslim and Arab press is hardly a new phenomenon.  In newspapers throughout the Muslim and Arab world, Jews are routinely depicted in editorial cartoons as controlling, manipulative killers who are working to undermine the Islamic world and to kill Arabs.  The caricatures show Jews as Nazi-like, hooked nosed and clad in stereotypical black hats and beards.


The following are examples of anti-Semitism in the Muslim and Arab press, including cartoons that have appeared both before and during the recent controversy:

Ash-Sharq, February 19, 2006 (Qatar)

On the left: "Islam" is caricatured;
On the right: the "Western media" bows in front of a toilet bowl, labeled "Zionism," from which fire, labeled "the Holocaust," emanates.  Behind this is the devil, a menorah and the Star of David.

Al-Watan, February 11, 2006 (Saudi Arabia)
Translation: "The
Western Media."

, February 6, 2006 (Iran)

Translation: The Jewish\Israeli devil is saying: "I don't admit the limits of freedom of speech except the Holocaust."

Web Site of the Arab European League (
February 2, 2006)

Akhbar al-Khalij
, January 29, 2006 (Bahrain)
Flag in cheese - Danish Product Boycott It
On right - The Penetration of Zionism to Denmark

, January 24, 2006 (UAE)
Top - The Robbery
Over Gun - The Holocaust

, January 6, 2006 (Qatar)

December 22, 2005 (United Arab Emirates)

, December 1, 2005 (Saudi Arabia)

, November 5, 2005 (Jordan)

, February 3, 2004 (Oman)
On left - Feast of the Immolation
On right - The Islamic World's Attitude?

Apirl 21, 2002 (Syria)
The book in the left hand of the Jewish stereotype is the Torah

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End the Hypocrisy: ADL Ad in the International Herald Tribune

Other Examples of Anti-Semitic Cartoons In the Muslim/Arab Media 
Arab Media Review: Anti-Semitism and Other Trends July - December 2005
ADL Statement on Danish Cartoons Depicting Mohammed

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2006 Anti-Defamation League