Jewish Journal

Students angry about removal of Muslim passage calling for murder of Jews

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 5, 2008 | 7:07 pm

“The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.”

That passage comes from the 41st book of the Hadith, which contains the oral traditions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. It is a historic passage that has long been identified as an innate source of anti-Semitism in Islam. And last month the provost at the University of Southern California required the Muslim Student Union remove the passage from a compendium of Islamic texts on the USC server.

“The passage cited is truly despicable,” Provost C.L. Max Nikias wrote in a letter to USC trustee Alan Casden.

I wrote about the action last month. But it’s now gaining new life because the Muslim students allege the university, at the urging of members of the Jewish community, censored their religious texts without speaking with them.

“We are outraged at the censorship of a complete religious and classic text without consulting us or any religious authority first,” the group said in the statement. “The ‘compendium’ is now incomplete. There are verses in many religious texts (be it the Torah or the New Testament) that when taken out of context can be taken as offensive.”

Certainly there are violent and offensive passages in the Tanakh. I’m particularly a fan of how Simeon and Levin avenge the raping of their sister, Dinah. But I can think of none in the Christian New Testament. More importantly, though, was that this passage, vile regardless of its tradition, was hosted on a university Web site. If members of the Muslim Student Association were prevented from displaying this passage on a private Web site, that would be an entirely different case.

(Thanks for the link, Web Guy.)

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