I was pleased to see Alfred Schlicht’s column “Anti-Jewish Attitudes in Early Islam” in the AJT (June 15). A nefarious political correctness has been obstructing the free and open discussion of Islam. Like the self-flagellants during the Black Death, blaming themselves for the plague, many Jews are self-flagellants when it comes to anti-Semitism masquerading as “legitimate” anti-Israel criticism. The commitment to left-wing politics over religion and history is so deeply embedded in many Jews (and, sadly, their rabbis) that they unabashedly re-write Islamic history to accommodate their politics.
Mr. Schlicht reminded us of the historic Islamic practice of dhimmitude, about which most Jews are silent, as Muslims and the world marshal their “Israel is an apartheid state” propaganda machine. He also touched briefly on the historic spread of Islam by military conquest, starting with the attack on Khaybar.
From the political left, Jews who endlessly rail against “western” militarism and imperialism never rail against Islamic expansion, which spread through both. We are constantly reminded of the Christian Crusades, but never are reminded that the Holy Land was seized through Islamic imperialism. After 9/11, we endured the spectacle of George W. Bush whitewashing Islam and proclaiming to the world, “Islam is a peaceful religion.” To speak truth about Islam is to be branded an “Islamophobe.” But there is no “phobia” in speaking facts. The only “phobia” is fearing those facts.
Barry Kriegel, Atlanta