Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the current Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, in a talk he recently gave at the Foreign Policy Institute in Stockholm, Sweden dismissed the concept of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.
“Muslims by definition can not be anti-Semites. We see Moses as a prophet, like Jesus. Arabs are also Semites too,” he said, according Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter cited by anonymous pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon.
Here’s what the Swedish journalist who reported the comments had to say (translation courtesy Elder of Ziyon):
“Of course the Secretary General of the OIC is fully aware of the antisemitism currently rampant in school books, the media and political rhetoric in so many parts of the Arab world. For example, when Egyptian President Morsi speaks of “Zionists” as descendants of apes and pigs his statement is part of a recurring anti-Jewish discourse, as well as the recurring approaches to deny or trivialize the Holocaust.
That Morsi tried to explain away his three-year-old vitriol as being directed not against Jews but rather Israeli policy shows a different trend in today’s Middle East, allowing anti-Semitic attacks anytime and excusing them with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The same excuse has been used in attacks against Jews throughout the world, for example in Malmö.
Few forums are as useful as the OIC to combat the anti-Semitism that plagues parts of the Muslim community. It is bad if the Secretary does not take responsibility.”