I was reading a book [in Spanish so I won’t post extracts] about the history of Jews in Spain, which essentially confirmed what I had already written about (here, here and here), namely Jewish collaboration with Muslim invaders in the post-Roman era. This fact is of central importance to the history of Europe’s confrontation with Islam. Yet all of the supposed “Counterjihad” sites, although they regularly feature pieces about the Crusades, 1683, the Battle of Lepanto and so forth, resolutely refuse to mention it. This exposes the Counterjihad movement’s essentially fraudulent nature. These people are not primarily interested in resisting Islam. Their goal is to promote the interests of Jewry. Resisting Islam is simply a means of doing that, as they perceive it, and, at best, a secondary objective.
The book made reference to another book I had never heard of: “The Jew as Ally of the Muslim”. Like many books that expose critical truths about Jews, it is not easily available. I will now order an expensive copy from an antiquarian bookshop in the USA. I did, however, find an old (1987) review of it from Daniel Pipes, the Jew who funds Fjordman and could loosely be considered part of the Counterjihad movement today.
As the title of this study suggests, Allan and Helen Cutler believe that the tendency of medieval Christians to see the Jew as an ally of the Muslim was the decisive factor in the development of anti-Semitism. In making their case, the Cutlers challenge conventional wisdom, which holds that anti-Semitism originated in the charge of deicide (that Jews killed Jesus) and the Jews’ anomalous socio-economic status in Europe. Although the Cutlers’ study is poorly written and far too lengthy, it offers an intriguing and ultimately convincing argument.
The logic of their case can be reduced to a syllogism: (1) Medieval Christians feared and hated Muslims. (2) Medieval Christians saw Jews as the allies of Muslims. (3) Therefore, medieval Christians feared and hated Jews.
On the first point, the Cutlers are correct to note the presence of a pervasive fear of Muslims among medieval Christians. That fear began with the emergence of Islam and lasted until the 19th century. In 634, just two years after Muhammad the Prophet’s death, for example, the patriarch of Jerusalem referred to the Muslims as “the slime of the godless Saracens [which] threatens slaughter and destruction.” This early view was later echoed many times over; for centuries, the role of arch-enemy, in myth and literature, was filled by Muslims.
This is understandable, for Muslims, who inhabited a belt of territories extending from Morocco to Egypt to Turkey to Siberia, physically surrounded medieval Christendom. Muslims were also the most constant enemy: with only one exception (the Mongols), every serious military threat against Christian Europe after the 10th century was launched by them. The Muslim danger continued to preoccupy the Christians of Europe for more than a millennium, until after the second siege of Vienna in 1683.
Muslims also differed from the other invaders – Germans, Bulgars, and Hungarians – in presenting a religious and cultural danger as well as a military one. Hungarians would eventually accept European culture and convert to Christianity, but Muslims brought with them a rival civilization which not only withstood Christianity but even seduced Christians from their faith. For all these reasons, Muslims were the outstanding enemy of Christendom.
Second – and this is the heart of the Cutlers’ study – Jews were seen as close associates of Muslims. There was some justice to this view: the Hebrew language shares much with Arabic, and Judaism shares much with Islam; on the most abstract level, both are religions of law, while Christianity is a religion of faith. More specifically, they share many features such as circumcision, dietary regulations, and similar sexual codes. Further, because the Muslims were preeminent in the medieval centuries, “Jews themselves associated Jew with Muslim.” When this became known among the Christians, it much harmed the Jews’ position. Most damaging of all, Jews on occasion helped Muslim troops against Christians (as in the initial Arab conquest of Spain) and some Jews held prominent positions in Muslim governments at war with the Christians. Even when they did not actually take part in the fighting, “Jews usually rejoiced when Christian territory fell into Islamic hands.”
The Cutlers marshall a variety of textual and pictoral proof to make their case that medieval Christians saw a deep connection between Jew and Muslim. To take one of each: An influential twelfth-century Christian text includes the bizarre statement that “A Jew is not a Jew until he converts to Islam.” The woodcut in a book of religious disputation published in 1508 pictures a Jewish and a Muslim figure: while the Jewish figure carries a banner with the name “Machometus” (Muhammad), the Muslim’s banner depicts a Jew’s hat.
The Cutlers conclude:
Since the rise of Islam, the primary (though by no means the only) factors in the history of anti-Semitism have been the following: the association of Jew with Muslim, the longstanding European tendency to equate the Jew, of Middle Eastern origin, with the Muslim, also of Middle Eastern origin; the intensely held Christian feeling that the Jew was an ally of, and in league with, his ethnoreligious cousin the Muslim against the West; the deep-seated Christian apprehension that the Jew, the internal Semitic alien, was working hand in hand with the Muslim, the external Semitic enemy, to bring about the eventual destruction of Indo-European Christendom.
Third, Christian fear of Muslims affected the view of Jews. In order to prove this thesis, the Cutlers must show that Christian anti-Semitism varied in response to Christian-Muslim relations. The status of Jews had to decline as Christian animosity toward Muslims increased; conversely, Jews had to be better off when wars against Muslims ceased.
The authors do establish this point in a broad-brush sort of way, more by assertion than through a close look at the record. They argue that far fewer anti-Semitic outbreaks occurred in 700-1000, when Muslims were still a distant concern, than in 1000-1300, when they had become the victims of intense hostility. The Cutlers date the transition to about 1010, when rumors spread through France that the Jews had helped the Fatimid rulers of Egypt destroy the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. In retaliation, the Jews of Orleans were made to pay with their lives.
As I have noted before, the Jews have constructed a narrative of “antisemitism” that is nothing but a preposterous fable. This narrative claims that antagonism to Jews either has no reason whatsoever and/or has ludicrous mythical or psychological explanations, such as the belief that Jews killed Jesus. In reality, antagonism to Jews is provoked by Jewish behaviour. My own present feelings towards Jews were provoked, first of all, by the sight of prominent Jews constantly pushing immigration, diversity, multiculturalism and pro-Islam sentiments while playing the Hitler card against anyone who disagreed; and, perhaps even more importantly, by the reaction of other Jews when these facts were pointed out, one of unreasoning hostility and an absolute inability to admit fault, exactly like Muslims when confronted with their iniquities, in other words. My present suspicion of Jews is rooted, not in fantasy, but in Jewish behaviour.
Similarly, as this book makes clear, the hostility our ancestors felt towards Jews had a similar explanation: they were perceived as a fifth column of traitors collaborating with hostile Muslims threatening to overwhelm our civilisation. (And, as the book points out, and as I have pointed out, there were many instances where this collaboration did undoubtedly occur.) As Muslims largely ceased to be threatening to Europe after the 17th century, so hostility to Jews faded.
Now Muslims are threatening Europe again. Again we see Jews playing the collaborative or facilitating role for their incursions into our lands. And, tragically, almost the entirety of the resistance movement to this invasion is in Jewish hands. Even the Counterjihadists in Europe who aren’t themselves Jewish are so utterly under their thumb that they’re afraid to say anything bad about them or even link to a site that does! Poor Europe.
Note the authors of the book apparently end it with some bizarre political advice for the present day. They demand that, rather than end Jewish-Muslim collaboration, it should, in effect be intensified.
American and world Jewry should be ready and willing to put much more of its community-relations time, money, energy, and imagination into urging Christians and Muslims to enter into genuine dialogue and reconciliation.
They also demand that the Pope should, in effect, stop being a Catholic and instead become a kind of rainbow figurehead for all.
[the Pope should] …transform his office and mission from a more narrowly Christian into a broadly Abrahamic one . . . to create a new spiritual and institutional unity between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
For more on this topic, see the following posts, including my ongoing series of posts about Jewish collaboration during the Muslim invasion of Spain. Jewish collaboration with Muslims during the Muslim invasion of Spain (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), (Part 4), (Part 5), (Part 6)
Shlomo Sand’s book “The Invention of the Jewish People” casts much interesting light on the close historical connection between Jews and Muslims.
In this article, I quote some extracts illustrating the supportive role Jews played in the emergence of Islam and in its early triumphs over Christian Byzantine forces.
This post explores the history of European iconography, showing that the similarity between Jews and Muslims is an idea of long standing, one deeply embedded in the history of our visual art.
In his book The Story of the Jews, Jewish historian Simon Schama admitted that Islam emerged within a Jewish milieu and that “Muhammad’s core doctrines are essentially Judaic”.
At critical moments, when under siege by Muslims, Christians have often felt the sting of Jewish betrayal.