Guardian downplays antisemitism of British Muslim charity official

On July 24th, the Guardian published an article based on an exclusive by The Times that revealed antisemitic Facebook posts by a trustee of Britain’s largest Muslim charity, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW).  Though the Guardian piece, by their Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes, was largely unproblematic, the wording in the second paragraph caught our eye:

In Facebook posts published in 2014 and 2015, the trustee, Heshmat Khalifa, called Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a “pimp son of the Jews” and labelled Israeli authorities as “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs”.

The Guardian claim that the Arabic Facebook post by Khalifa – who resigned from IRW after The Times’ revelations – merely referred to “Israeli authorities” as “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs” differs from the translation by The Times, and nearly every media outlet which covered the story.  These outlets reported that the IRW trustee labelled “Jews” as “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs”, not merely “Israeli authorities”.

The only outlet other than the Guardian to translate it as “Israeli authorities” that we found was 5 Pillars – the Islamist news site whose editors have repeatedly legitimised extremism and engaged in antisemitism.

So, we obtained a screen shot of the original Facebook post by Khalifa to check for ourselves.

A colleague at CAMERA Arabic provided us with the following translation:

“for the first time in modern history, prayer in the al-Aqsa mosque banned, as the descendants of monkeys and pigs close it with the blessing of the pimp in Egypt”.

“Descendants of monkeys and pigs” is a phrase based on a Quranic tradition widely understood as a derogatory way to refer to Jews.  As Palestinian Media Watch has explained, there are three instances where the Quran tells of Allah turning Jews into apes and/or pigs.

Sura 2:65 “And you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the sabbath, and We said to them, ‘Be apes, despised.’”

Sura 7:166 “So when they were insolent about that which they had been forbidden, We said to them, ‘Be apes, despised.’”

Sura 5:60 “Say, ‘Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah? [It is that of] those (i.e., the Jews) whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.’”

Khalifa wasn’t expressing hate towards Israelis due to their nationality, but due to their religion.  The Guardian’s misleading translation softens Khalifa’s words, rendering them far less offensive.

We’ve contacted editors asking for a correction.

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  1. says: Neil C

    The Guardian yet another mouthpiece of Iran being propped up by Iranian money. R.I.P. Guardian your lies and propaganda are ignored by most people with a modicum of intelligence

  2. says: cammo99

    In another article, from JNS “KAREN BEKKER
    The fatal logical flaw in Peter Beinart’s argument for Utopia
    Beyond the many points made about his proposal is an overlooked inherent contradiction: His underlying premise negates his own conclusion.” The proposal suggests that Jews and “Palestinians” can live together, but not really. But I see the same problem everywhere. We refer to Israelis as Jews, a word that had religious, cultural and racial significance. Palestinians are not treated the same, as if they are all secular Marxists and Hamas is some sort of aberration. In fact, the real problem is cultural, religious and racial. It is chic to discriminate against Jews and Westerners even though a near majority of Israel’s original population were exiled or fled Arab nations and in fact Arab themselves hence Semitic.
    Hence, while Jews are characterized by prejudicial stereotypes based on race and religion, Palestinians are characterized as an ideological peoples in line with global socialist movements. It is the worse sort of racism, and bigotry to disparage “Jews” and ignore the genuine Islamist influences on Palestinians as decisive differences and possibly incompatible to the same degree as race science in the Third Reich.

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