The pro-Iranian Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto earlier this month served, like in previous years, as a platform for reiterating the unwavering Islamic commitment to “liberate Palestine.” The speakers expressed their virulent hatred of “Zionism” and “Zionists” while repeatedly explaining that they differentiate between the detested “Zionism” to Judaism.
The four Neturei Karta ”Rabbis” alongside Ken Stone, a representative of the radical leftist Independent Jewish Voices, who attended the rally, were presented as a proof for their “sympathetic” approach towards Judaism. Do these most radical Jewish “fig leaves” can make anti Zionism/antisemitism kosher? In order to examine this issue it is worthwhile to listen attentively to the speeches of the two senior Shiite Imams who lead al-Quds Day rally.
Zafar Bangash, the Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), and president of the Islamic Society of York Region, said among other things the following: “Zionism is racism, the Zionist ideology is anti human, the Zionists are against humanity… their end is coming near.”
Zionism was portrayed as an ideology that stands in opposition to humanity. These are not empty words, but a very serious accusation. Bangash implicitly regards anyone who is affiliated in some way with Zionism as an enemy of humanity. The Zionists are enemies not only because they chose to settle in Palestine, but due to their belief that Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) is the homeland of the Jewish people.
His argument implies that the Canadian Jews who support the right of Israel to exist fall in fact under the definition of “Zionists” and therefore according to this logic become “enemies of humanity.” Such a statement made by a senior Shiite Muslim Canadian cleric has great significance, and it may be interpreted by some as an Islamic ruling permitting the targeting of Zionists, including Canadian Jews, in order to save humanity of their evil.
The Canadian Shiite cleric of Al-Mahdi Centre, Syed Asad Jafri, portrayed Zionism as the cause of all evils in the world. “We’re obsessed with ISIS, we’re obsessed with ISIL, we’re obsessed with Taliban, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, al-Nusra, al-Shabab so on and so forth. We consumed our energy towards the branches of the tree, while we don’t realize that every other branch is going down to the root, and the root of any act of injustice in this world is Zionism,” he said.
“If you want to uproot the oppression in the world, leave ISIS alone, leave al-Qaida alone, leave a-Nusra alone, leave Boko Haram alone, follow the path to that institution, that ideology that breeds this group, that feeds this group, that plump this group up with all sort of military weapons and medical treatment. Conquer that point and everything else will begin to fall all by itself. We’re consuming branches. I ask you now to uproot the tree of Zionism today. Down with Zionism.”
Jafri explained that Zionists are “enemies of humanity” because Zionism is the ideological source of ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), al-Qaeda, and all evils on earth. Meaning the “Zionists” everywhere - including most of the Canadian Jewish community - are responsible directly or indirectly of all injustices and horrific atrocities committed by ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups.
Imam Jafre refrained from denouncing or even mentioning the Shiite terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, because of his affiliation with Shiite Iran, which wages merciless jihad against the enemies of Islam, including by indiscriminate mass killing as it is being demonstrated in its own turf, in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The Iranian jihad and armed struggle against the “Zionists” in Palestine is carried out by proxies (Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups) with full Iranian support in arms, training and funds.
Those who are loyal to the Iranian jihad and espouse the belief that the “Zionists” are the “enemies of humanity” may find it reasonable to justify executing the religious duty of jihad against all Zionists no matter where they located. Aside from issues relevant to the security of the Jewish community in Canada other questions arise: “Isn’t it antisemitism? Isn’t it a hate crime? Isn’t is an act of dehumanization of the majority of Canadian Jews?
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