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April 1, 2014 6

Anti-Semitic Television Series Khaiber Wins Golden Award

Update — April 7, 2014: Khaiber also won the Golden award at Cairo’s Arab Drama Fes­ti­val on April 6. More than 60 TV shows were fea­tured in the festival.

The anti-Semitic tele­vi­sion series Khaiber, which dra­ma­tized the sub­ju­ga­tion of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th cen­tury, was rec­og­nized with a “Golden Award” at the 13th annual Gulf Radio and Tele­vi­sion Fes­ti­val hosted in Bahrain last week.khaiber-khaybar-golden-award-bahrain

Dr. Samira Ebrahim Bin Rajab, Bahrain’s Min­is­ter of State for Media Affairs, pre­sented the first place award to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Echo Media Qatar, the com­pany that pro­duced Khaiber. The award was for best show pro­duced by a pri­vate pro­duc­tion company.

315 films, tele­vi­sion and radio pro­grams pro­duced in the Arab states of the Per­sian Gulf were sub­mit­ted to the fes­ti­val. The slo­gan for this year’s fes­ti­val was “Youth are the future of our media.” The fes­ti­val is orga­nized annu­ally by the Per­sian Gulf Arab states to pro­mote media coop­er­a­tion and collaboration.

ADL first raised con­cern about Khaiber and its anti-Jewish themes in Feb­ru­ary 2013, imme­di­ately after reports from Qatar revealed the inten­tion of Echo Media to pro­duce the series and con­tract Yusri Al-Jindy to write the script for the series. Al-Jindy is known for his his­tory of anti-Semitic writ­ings. The show, which aired on sev­eral Arab tele­vi­sion sta­tions last sum­mer, con­firmed ADL’s con­cern by pro­mot­ing var­i­ous anti-Semitic themes.

By award­ing one of the more high pro­file anti-Semitic pro­duc­tions last year, the fes­ti­val and its hosts are send­ing a mes­sage that hatred is not only accept­able, but also wor­thy of recognition.

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February 27, 2014 1

Major Arab Newspaper Publishes “Anti-Jewish Slogans Are Not Islamic”

The deci­sion to re-publish a cri­tique of anti-Semitism by Al Quds Al Arabi, the third largest cir­cu­lated off­shore pan-Arab news­pa­per accord­ing to the Carnegie Endow­ment for Inter­na­tional Peace, could sig­nal a move toward greater plu­ral­ism and diver­sity of views in the Arab press, which is often dom­i­nated by anti-Jewish and anti-Israel narratives.al-quds-al-arabi-sinem-tezyaparin-jew

Arab jour­nal­ism has been a major plat­form for impor­tant debate and dis­cus­sion about the ques­tion of reli­gious intol­er­ance in con­nec­tion with dis­crim­i­na­tion against Mus­lims and the defama­tion of Islam. So far, how­ever, it has been ret­i­cent to address the prob­lem of reli­gious intol­er­ance more broadly, includ­ing anti-Semitism.

The arti­cle, writ­ten by Turk­ish jour­nal­ist Sinem Tezya­par in Sep­tem­ber 2013 and titled “Anti-Jewish Slo­gans Are Not Islamic,” appeared on the London-based Arabic-language Al Quds Al Arabi web­site on Feb­ru­ary 24.

Al Quds Al Arabi, pre­vi­ously known for its hos­tile posi­tions toward Israel, report­edly changed its own­er­ship last year and replaced its edi­tor. These changes may explain the deci­sion to repub­lish the article.

In her arti­cle, Tezya­par argues that anti-Jewish nar­ra­tives con­tra­dict Qur’anic teach­ings and that Mus­lims are obliged to take a stronger posi­tion against anti-Jewish state­ments. “Jews are the descen­dants of Prophets like Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon (peace be upon them all),” she writes. “A Mus­lim can­not be silent in the face of those who try to anni­hi­late the descen­dants of Prophets.”

The arti­cle rejects attempts to mis­use some Qur’anic verses to pro­mote anti-Jewish nar­ra­tives and expresses clear sup­port for, “The Jew­ish right to live in the Holy Land,” indi­cat­ing that such a right “is granted in the Qur’an by God. God says; ‘And there­after We said to the Chil­dren of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land.’”

“It is against the right con­science, and more impor­tantly, it is against the Qur’an to tell Jews to go some­where else,” she writes. In verse after verse, Tezya­par pro­motes a pos­i­tive mes­sage to con­vey that “Mus­lims and Jews can live side by side in peace.”

Hope­fully the deci­sion by Al Quds Al Arabi to pub­lish Tezyapar’s arti­cle is a sign that Arab media will find more oppor­tu­ni­ties to fea­ture coura­geous and hon­est voices against all forms of reli­gious hatred, includ­ing anti-Semitism.

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July 16, 2013 0

Latest Khaiber Episodes Establish Anti-Jewish Narrative

The first five episodes of Khaiber, the mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar tele­vi­sion series that dra­ma­tizes the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th cen­tury, have aired across the Arab world.khaiber-episodes-3-4-5

The first two episodes revealed the degree to which clas­si­cal anti-Semitic nar­ra­tives are being pro­moted in the pro­gram. The lat­est three episodes, described below, are a con­tin­u­a­tion of those themes.

ADL first raised con­cern about Khaiber and its anti-Jewish con­tent in Feb­ru­ary 2013. In addi­tion, ADL has exposed the program’s Egypt­ian writer, Yusri Al-Jindy, who has had pre­vi­ously depicted Israelis and Jews as blood­thirsty sav­ages, and the expres­sions of anti-Semitism by var­i­ous peo­ple asso­ci­ated with the production.

Episode 3

In this episode, sev­eral Rab­bis are shown respond­ing with anger to the news that a new prophet appeared in Mecca. One of the Rab­bis, Al-Harith says, “We will reject him as we rejected Christ.”

The Rab­bis then dis­cuss test­ing Mohammed with a series of ques­tions in order to ver­ify his sta­tus as a prophet. How­ever, most agree that even if Mohammed answers the ques­tions cor­rectly, they will not rec­og­nize him. “If we declare him a prophet, it would be against the inter­est of the Jews… can you guar­an­tee that he will be of ben­e­fit to us, where is our inter­est in this?” Ben Akhtab, the Grand Rabbi asks. He then explains that it is in the inter­est of the Jews to cre­ate an alliance with the Mec­cans because the Jews require their power and money.

In addi­tion, a blind Rabbi named Shas, who wears a large Star of David neck­lace, is depicted as a vicious per­son who is more con­cerned about money than reli­gion. He reveals his hatred to Mohammed by say­ing that he is an “imposter and a liar.”

Episode 4

In this episode, Ben Akhtab con­spires to kill the one “good” Rabbi in the show, who believes that Muham­mad is a real Prophet (the Rabbi sur­vives the assas­si­na­tion attempt). Ben Akhtab, also decides to make a deal with one of his Arab pris­on­ers — in return for killing Mohammed, the pris­oner will be granted his free­dom (the pris­oner escapes and avoids hav­ing to take part in the plot).

Episode 5

In this episode, the Jews cre­ate an alliance with Ibn Aubay, a promi­nent Arab leader whose ambi­tion is to be the king of Yathrib and con­trol the two rival Arab tribes who live there; the Al-Aws and Al-Khazra tribes.

When fight­ing erupts between the Arab tribes, Rabbi Shas tells Rabbi Ben Akhtab, “Let them kill each other until ter­mi­na­tion.” Ben Akhtab responds, “This is against our inter­ests…. No for let­ting them ter­mi­nate each other; Yes to cre­at­ing an alliance with Ibn Aubay in order to become their masters.”

Ben Akhtab also claims, “The solu­tion is in the papers of Jew­ish schol­ars; with any king or tyrant we must appease him, con­tain him, and con­nect our inter­ests with his interests.”

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