In recent weeks, the Arab world has claimed that the Israeli Mossad planned the September 11 attacks as part of a Jewish conspiracy.
A Lebanese public opinion poll showed that more respondents thought Israel was behind the hijackings, than thought Osama bin Laden was responsible.
The canard has taken hold even among Arab officials, and last week Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass blamed the WTC attacks on Israel, telling a British military delegation that the Mossad had given thousands of Jewish employees advance warning not to go to work that day.
Muslim leaders in American are repeating the slander as well. The New York Times reports that Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, said of the September 11 attacks: "I think we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list."
In Cleveland, the prominent Muslim cleric Imam Fawaz Damra apologized to the city a few weeks ago after local television stations broadcast a 10-year-old tape in which he called for the death of Jews as the enemies of the Islamic nation.
(Read The New York Times' report of anti-Jewish sentiment in the American Muslim community:
Another Muslim leader, Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Al-Gamei'a, the Al-Azhar University representative in the U.S. and Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City, was interviewed for the website lilatalqadr.com, on October 4, 2001. We present excerpts from the interview (online at http://www.lailatalqadr.com/stories/p5041001/shtml), which offers a window into the vicious anti-Jewish propaganda currently spreading throughout the Arab world.
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Q: What was the situation of the Muslims [in America] before the [September 11] incident, and what are the negative ramifications for Muslims?
Sheik Gamei'a: Before the incident, the situation of Muslims was normal. The [U.S.] federal government treated them normally... But after the incident, things deteriorated. All [commercial] activity with anyone found to be a Muslim or an Arab was immediately halted, and the federal bureaus stopped matters. Furthermore, [each Muslim] was thoroughly investigated, and asked: "Why did you come to America? What is your connection to Osama bin Laden? What do you know about the [Islamic] Jihad, Hamas, and Hizbullah organizations?" Therefore, the Muslim feels imprisoned...
Muslims do not feel safe even going to the hospitals, because Jewish doctors poisoned sick Muslim children, who then died.
Following the incident, Muslims and Arabs stopped feeling that it was safe to leave [their homes]... They stopped feeling it was safe to send their wives to the market or their children to the schools. Muslims do not feel safe even going to the hospitals, because some Jewish doctors in one of the hospitals poisoned sick Muslim children, who then died.
Q: The media has reported firing on mosques and harassment of Muslim women, and the situation has gotten so bad that Arabs are murdered in the streets. What about harassment you and your family have suffered?
Sheik Gamei'a: It's true. The Muslims are being persecuted by the people and the [U.S.] federal government. This is the result of the bad image of Muslims created by the Zionist media, and of their presenting Islam as a religion of terrorism. That is why the Americans have linked the recent incidents to Islam. I personally have suffered; my home was attacked and my daughters were harassed.
Q: What did you do about this harassment?
Sheik Gamei'a: When a group of people attacked my home, I went out to them and asked why they were doing this. They said that because we were Muslims we were linked to terrorism. I explained to them that what they were doing was uncivilized and was, in effect, a two-fold crime: You let the criminals go free and attack innocents. This does not suit a modern state and a modern people, and is opposed to human values.
Although the Americans suspect that the Zionists are behind the terrorist act, none has the courage to talk about it in public.
During my conversations with this group, it became clear to me that they knew very well that the Jews were behind these ugly acts, while we, the Arabs, were innocent, and that someone from among their people was disseminating corruption in the land. Although the Americans suspect that the Zionists are behind the act, none has the courage to talk about it in public.
Q: Why can't they talk about it? It's their country, and the Jews are a minority.
Sheik Gamei'a: When I asked them whether they had the courage to talk about it openly, they said: "We can't." I asked why, and they said: "You know very well that the Zionists control everything and that they also control political decision-making, the big media organizations, and the financial and economic institutions. Anyone daring to say a word is considered an anti-Semite."
Q: Does this mean that the Jewish element played a role in igniting the flame of fitna (internal strife)?
Sheik Gamei'a: The Jewish element is as Allah described it when he said: "They disseminate corruption in the land." We know that they have always broken agreements, unjustly murdered the prophets, and betrayed the faith. Can they be expected to live up to their contracts with us? These people murdered the prophets; do you think they will stop spilling our blood? No.
You see these people [the Jews] all the time, everywhere, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs. [Because of them] there are strip clubs, homosexuals, and lesbians everywhere. They do this to impose their hegemony and colonialism on the world.
Now, they are riding on the back of the world powers. These people always seek out the superpower of the generation and develop coexistence with it. Before this, they rode on the back of England and on the back of the French empire. After that, they rode on the back of Germany. But Hitler annihilated them because they betrayed him and violated their contract with him.
Hitler annihilated them because they betrayed him and violated their contract with him.
We saw these Zionists, just one hour after the event, broadcasting on the BBC, the biggest media channel, that the Arabs, and particularly the Palestinians, were celebrating and rejoicing over the American deaths. [To do this] they broadcast a video from 1991, [filmed] during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. But Allah thwarted them when a professor from a Brazilian university stated that the video was a forgery, because she had a copy of it. These people have a script prepared in advance, and they have the ability to fabricate events in their favor.
(editor's note: The Brazilian professor later admitted her mistake; see the CNN report at http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/09/20/cnn.statement)
Q: What was the reaction of the American people?
Sheik Gamei'a: Unfortunately, this incident made the American people hate everyone who is Muslim or Arab. What can you expect when you think, first off, that 5,000 have died and the Arabs are celebrating? How would you feel as an American? Of course you'd want revenge. This is what the Jews plotted and planned. They used the Arabs to carry it out.
Q: What proof could incriminate the Jews of involvement in this incident?
Sheik Gamei'a: All the signs indicate that the Jews have the most to gain from an explosion like that. They are the only ones capable of planning such acts. First of all, it was found that the automatic pilot was neutralized a few minutes before the flight, and the automatic pilot cannot be neutralized if you don't have command of the control tower.
All signs indicate that the Jews have the most to gain [from the terror]. They are the only ones capable of planning such acts.
Second, the black boxes were found to contain no information; you cannot erase the information from these boxes if you do not plan it ahead of time on the plane. Third, America has the most powerful intelligence apparatuses, the FBI and the CIA... How did [the perpetrators] manage to infiltrate America without their knowledge?
Fourth, Jews control decision-making in the airports and in the sensitive centers in the White House and the Pentagon. Fifth, to date America has presented no proof incriminating Osama bin Laden and Al-Qa'ida.
If we take these things into account and look closely at the incident, we will find that only the Jews are capable of planning such an incident, because it was planned with great precision of which Osama bin Laden or any other Islamic organization or intelligence apparatus is incapable...
I told the American officials that the American people cannot, at this critical stage, know the real enemy who struck at its heart if it does not awaken from its slumber and stop blaming the Arabs and the Muslims...
Q: What about the American president's declarations that the war the U.S. is waging is a crusade?
Sheik Gamei'a: Herein lies the danger. As President Bush said, this is a crusade against Islam and against Muslims, but the American people are innocent in this matter, because the war was planned falsely...
On the news in the U.S. it was said that 4,000 Jews did not come to work at the World Trade Center on the day of the incident, and that the police arrested a group of Jews rejoicing in the streets at the time of the incident... This news item was hushed up immediately after it was broadcast... The Jews who control the media acted to hush it up so that the American people would not know. If it became known to the American people, they would have done to the Jews what Hitler did!...
Q: What is the future of Muslims in America following these incidents?
Sheik Gamei'a: In every trouble there is some good. That's what I always say. This incident urges people to come to know Islam, now that it has been proven to the Americans that they were deceived by the Jews... Allah has foiled [the plot of] the Jews, who set a trap to try to distort the image of the Muslims, and has proved to the American people what the truth is. Therefore, I believe that the future of the Muslims in the U.S. will be glorious.
(translation courtesy of Memri.org)