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Published in the 1-15 July 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Book Review
Muslim phobia

By Quamar Ashraf 

Book: The Jewish Obsession
Author: Soroor Ahmed
Publishers: Global Media, 
New Delhi
Year: 2004; Price: Rs 195
ISBN: 81-88869-04-X

Francis Bacon said, "Some books are to be tasted, some are to be swallowed, and a few are to be chewed and digested." In this sense, Suroor Ahmad's book, The Jews Obsession falls in the last category. For, each page of the book offers well-research substances that evoke readers to rethink over the entire affairs of Middle East. Unlike other writers on the subject, he views the situation differently. He appears reluctant to believe that the Jews are the biggest threat to world peace and poses a question, "How a small community less than 0.25 per cent can be a threat to world peace?" To him, it is the Christiani West which stands behind all the mess. 

Ironically not only intellectuals in general but also the Muslims intelligentsia in particular are inclined to believe that Jews are capable of creating disorder, turmoil and wreck the entire humanity. Such belief only legitimizes the latter's claim that they "are born to rule" and that they are responsible for every make or break. Those obsessed with such ideas are daif-ul-iman (of weak faith), says the writer straightforwardly. He criticises Mahathir Muhamad’s speech in which he said, "Jews are ruling the world by proxy and make others fight their wars". This is what, argues Suroor, they want to be known for. They loved to be considered this way. At another place Suroor writes, "It remained mystery as to why the Muslim world quotes so much the Zionist media to claim that only four Israeli died in the 9/11 blitz and that only a handful of them were present on that day". He reveals that the sources of this piece of news are three Israelis newspapers—Jerusalem Post, Ha'artez and Yediot Ahronot in addition to the ABC News, an American channel dominated by Jews. However, one should not confuse Israelis with American Jews. 

The apathy is that a sizeable number of Muslims still believes that US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and vice president Dick Cheney are Jews. Some even believe that George Bush is a Jew, claims Suroor. It is to be noted that all three key figures of US establishment are extreme right Evangelists of the Protestant school of thought. "Believe it or not, Evangelists are the much bigger champions of Israel than many Jews," observed the author.

In the very beginning he declares that the Jews and Muslims lived together for more than 13,00 years without ever fighting a war or quarrelling. Ever since Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) expelled Jews from Madinah and its vicinity following the breach of agreement by them in 628 till the killing of 12 people—six Jews and six Muslims—in 1920, the two never drew swords against each other. He refutes the charges that the Jews instigate Christians to fight Muslims. Rather it is Christianized West who harbour hostility towards Muslims since the hatred between the two serves the latter’s interests. And those who are persistent to find the Jewish factor behind every wreck either overlook the truth or play into the hands of West. After all tragedy in places like Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Nigeria—not to speak Iraq and Afghanistan—the hostility was/is between Muslims and Christians. But the irony is that Muslims fail to see any "Christian conspiracy." He encapsulates that the Christianized West and tactless Arab elites are to be blamed for the situation. The book suggests that Muslim intelligentsia in particular and the intellectuals in general should to swallow this fiction, and reject this idea injected by the Christianized West.

In short, the book is worth reading for the academicians, intellectuals and journalists who until now have relied on the Western version. However, after going through this book, one emerges with the idea that Jews are less hostile and destructive to Muslims than the Christianized West. «

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