Thursday, June 17, 2010

Assadullah al-Shishini: Eschatological Antisemitism

President Obama
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
Charles Ommanney / Getty Images
(Image from Newsweek)

Mark Hosenball and Evan Thomas have a recent article in Newsweek, "Blowback," about the dilemma faced by President Obama (hence the photo above) in continuing the previous administration's war on terrorism, namely, either pull back and watch the terrorists win or press on and expect blowback.

The article examines some homegrown would-be terrorists in the United States, including a certain Assadullah al-Shishini who raps his verbal violence online:
When the Jew's blood reds my knife
Then my life is free of strife
Hiding behind rocks and trees
I'll find them with greatest ease
Throw them in the ovens hot
Soap and lampshades sold and bought
Mercy's something I have not.
Al-Shishini's crude allusions to the Holocaust are shockingly clear -- so clear that Hosenball and Thomas need not even underline them -- but an obscure allusion to a hadith might go unnoticed, and perhaps was unnoticed by the authors, so I'll quote it here:
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: 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. (Sahih Muslim, Book 41 ["The Book Pertaining to the Turmoil and Portents of the Last Hour" ("Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa'ah")], Number 6985)
Allah's Messenger, of course, is the Muslim prophet Muhammad, and he was purportedly speaking of the eschaton, the last days before the Day of Judgment. This hadith is often cited by jihadists -- and is even cited by Hamas in Part I, Article 7 of its Charter.

What we see in Al-Shishini's merciless lyrics is evidence of what Paul Berman has already noted, fascist antisemitism in contemporary Islamist thought, but we also see that this fascist antisemitism is wedded to anti-Jewish sources in classical Islamic texts, from which the fascist antisemitism derives its actual legitimacy for Islamists.

I thought that this more obscure source ought to be pointed out since Hosenball and Thomas don't do so.

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At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Erdal said...

Unsurprising. Five or six years ago I spoke to a woman who was quite high up in the political scene and tasked to talk to (and ideally listen to, too) intelligence people and academics who briefed her in things Middleeastern, Islamic and counterterrorist. At that point she had been in that job for eighteen months or so. She wasn't even aware that Islam had common roots with Christianity and Judaism. All she has had time for was the budget and institutional infighting among party lines. In fairness, she was very good at delegating responsibility. But still...

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, I suppose that gaining even a modicum of knowledge on Islam takes a bit to time. I've been interested since 1980, but I still don't know much.

I suspect that we'll all be learning about Islam and its details for a while . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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