Charles Moore, is it only Christianity and Islam
that are fair game?
Shaykh Riyad Nadwi, PhD.
Saturday (11/12/04), Mr Charles Moore published
an historically inaccurate article in the Daily
Telegraph defending the right to ridicule Christianity
and Islam. My question is: when did the Telegraph
last publish an article mocking Judaism or Zionism?
My guess would be never. Even if the reasoning behind
it were merely to maintain the pretence of objectivity,
the charge of anti-Semitism would saturate the air
we breathe before the ink had dried on the paper.
One need only look at the recent Global Anti-Semitism
Review Act, passed in the US House of Representatives
in October this year, to see the intensity with
which Judaism is protected. Were Mr Moore a genuine
defender of free speech, as he would like the world
to believe, one would have expected him to engage
two months ago with the fact that the Act orders
the establishment of an office within the State
Department dedicated to monitoring anti-Semitism.
Congress overruled strong opposition from diplomats
in the State Department who complained in an internal
memo that a special focus on Judaism "opens
us up to charges of favouritism and challenges the
credibility of our reporting".
Christians and Muslims have begun to question why
a Pro-Israel newspaper (The Daily Telegraph) is
fixated on defending the right to mock and ridicule
the faiths of others while global schemes are being
promoted and implemented to protect every facet
of sentiment among followers of Judaism. It is an
issue upon which the Telegraph is tactfully complacent.
by Mr Moore’s article, a young Muslim sent
me a letter he had written asking why Muslims were
not responding with an equal charge of paedophilia
in Judaism by quoting the Rabbis’ verdict
that, “A girl three years old may be betrothed
through an act of sexual intercourse” (Neusner
1993, 41) and that, according to the Tannaïte
Rabbis, Moses had ordered the Israelites to kill
all women older than three years and a day old,
because they were suitable for having sexual relations.
My response to this was that as Muslims we are commanded
to revere and send salutations on all the Prophets
of God including Moses and Jesus. In fact, the Prophet
Muhammad (on whom be peace) is mentioned by name
in only four places in the Quran whereas Moses (on
whom be peace) is mentioned 136 times. Together
with Anglicans, Catholics and Presbyterians around
the world, Muslims also find the latest waxwork
exhibit at Madame Tussaud's in London disrespectful
and offensive to the esteemed status of Jesus in
the Quran. We do not encourage or follow the wrongdoers
into their swamps of contempt for the best of humanity.
Michael Hoffman II, a right wing commentator on
Jewish affairs, claims on his website that according
to Judaic teaching all gentile women are "Niddah,
Shifchah, Goyyah and Zonah" (menstrual filth,
slaves, heathens and whores) and he laments the
failure of Muslims to respond with the Torah, saying,
“Westernised Muslim ‘intellectuals’
have a real blind spot in this regard too. They
are the ones who should be throwing the Talmud's
misogyny back in the face of all these people. But
The reason we do not is, despite being part of traditional
Jewish teaching, we believe it does not reflect
the true teachings of Moses (on whom be peace) and
those who claim it are misguided. Hence, despite
the continuous onslaught of vile attacks from the
Telegraph’s Will Cummins and his substitutes,
we continue to exhibit what some see as an extraordinary
degree of restraint.
Mr Charles Moore should know that his slight of
hand attempt to ferment strife among Muslims and
Christians by listing the recent unfortunate incidents
about Christians in Iraq does not alter or hide
the fact that Christian communities have lived and
flourished in Muslim lands for hundreds of years.
The presence of Arabic-speaking Christian communities
in the 21st Century is testimony to Muslim tolerance
and respect for the followers of Isa (Jesus, on
who be peace). If Muslims were inherently hostile
to the existence of Christians in their lands they
would not have waited fourteen centuries to attack
those churches. The question we need to ask is:
what is so different about 2004? Could it be that
some people, who envisage therein a great benefit
to themselves, are trying to incite a clash between
the Muslim and Christian worlds? Publish this Mr
Charles Moore if you are indeed a defender of free