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Press ReleaseAnti-Semitism: International
ADL: Old Hatreds Churning in Liberated Iraq

New York, N.Y., June 20, 2003 ... As the United States and its allies seek to build new opportunities in a liberated Iraq, old problems and hatreds are churning. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today cited an incendiary, anti-Jewish tirade made during Friday prayers at a Sunni mosque in Baghdad as a signal that age-old anti-Semitism is "alive and well in Iraq."

"Unfortunately, the same old conspiracy theories of Jewish domination that are so prevalent elsewhere in the Muslim and Arab World are alive and well in Iraq," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While the world remains focused on the physical and political rebuilding in Iraq, it is equally important for the new Iraq to take steps to denounce all manifestations of anti-Semitism and other forms of religious and ethnic bigotry, and to promote a more tolerant Iraqi society."

In an incendiary speech during weekly prayers at the Sheikh Abdul Kader al-Kilani mosque in Baghdad, Sheikh Mahmud Khalaf charged that U.S. forces in Iraq were opening up the country to "the Jews" and that some Iraqis were working as "brokers" for Jewish infiltrators.

According to Agence France-Presse, Khalaf said: "The liberation of which they spoke boils down to liberating Iraq from its Arab Muslim people so that the Jews can enter it. The Jews, civilian and military people are now entering Iraq, buying property, factories and companies while Iraqis work for them as brokers and guides. It is a sin for Iraq's people to sell their lands to the Jews and to deal with the Jews in this way."

ADL monitors and exposes manifestations of anti-Semitism in the Muslim and Arab world, and has recently released reports on anti-Semitism in the press in various Arab nations.

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.

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2003 Anti-Defamation League