Melanie Phillips: Liar or Ignoramus?
Mel comments on the King Fahad Academy controversy, in which a sacked former teacher accuses the school of teaching from a textbook which makes some unflattering references to non-Muslims. Referring to the appearance by the school’s spokeswoman, Dr Sumaya Alyusuf, on Newsnight on Tuesday, she alleges:
Furthermore, anyone familiar with the verse in the Koran that describes Jews and Christians as monkeys and pigs, and who knows with what sickening frequency this incitement to hatred is preached in the Muslim world, would instantly recognise Dr Alyusuf’s protestations of ‘mistranslation’ as pure humbug. As this report [from MEMRI] shows in detail, the ‘apes and pigs’ insult is standard Islamist discourse. The idea that this is a ‘mistranslation’ is simply ludicrous.
Anyone who has really read the passages Mel is talking about knows that they do not “describe Jews and Christians as monkeys and pigs”, but mention that a group of Jews (and not Christians) centuries ago were turned into such creatures. While “sons of apes and pigs” is a common Arab insult against Jews, the passage in question does not in any way demonstrate that those particular Jews are the ancestors of today’s Jews. (See this comment for a classical opinion on this.)
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