The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the well-being of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); they fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); they claim that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); they love to listen to lies (5:41); they disobey Allah and never observe his commands (5:13). They are disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more. They are under Allah’s curse (9:30), and Muslims should wage war against them and subjugate them under Islamic hegemony (9:29).
ORANIENBURG, Germany — He walked across the bleak expanse of what was once the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, toward the gas chamber that had been stocked with liquid Zyklon B, and posed the question that still strains the conscience of modern German society.
“How was it possible?” Osman Jamo asked.
Yet he also wondered why the site, where barbed wire and guard towers stood dark against the brilliant sunshine of a summer afternoon in this town north of Berlin, had been preserved at all.
“Maybe the Jews want to keep these places going so they can be seen as victims forever,” he said of Sachsenhausen, which was mainly used for political prisoners but by the beginning of 1945 held 11,100 Jews.
Jamo’s response is not the usual reaction toEurope’s [sic] postwar conversion of concentration camps into memorials and museums, places of atonement and civic education that ask visitors never to forget the Nazi past.
But this was not a typical tour — nor was Jamo a typical visitor. This was an effort to sensitize Muslim migrants to the dark history of the country that today offers them asylum. Two years ago, Jamo, 38, fled to Germany from Kobane, a Syrian city occupied by Islamic State militants in late 2014. His ambivalent response to the suffering of Jews at Sachsenhausen speaks to centuries-old religious strife as well as to the political conflict that has torn the Middle East since Israel’s founding after World War II.
At the same time, the refugee’s views reflect the moral quandaries posed by mass migration for a nation rebuilt after the Holocaust on a set of bedrock principles that includes responsibility to the Jewish people.
“There is an expectation that people coming to Germany will assume that sense of historical duty,” said Fatih Uenal, a German-Turkish political psychologist who is founding a vocational training program for refugees in Frankfurt. “That makes the higher incidence of anti-Semitic views among Muslims hard to talk about, and so we haven’t found a good way of engaging different sorts of people about the violence that went on here.”…
The spectacle of brutality on display at Sachsenhausen did not awe Jamo, a former photographer who had known daily violence in Syria. No matter the direct perpetrator of the violence Jamo had witnessed, the greatest cause of conflict in the region, he said, was Israel.
“Israeli aggression is the most basic problem,” he said….
The history that binds Germany to Israel is interpreted differently by many in the Arab world, Jamo said: “The Arabs think what Hitler did was a good thing, because he freed them from the Jews.”
He spoke bluntly before a video camera that followed him around the site of the former camp. His remarks will appear in a documentary film about how refugees in Germany understand the mass murder of Jews.
Jamo was one of only two refugees involved in R.future-TV who agreed to participate in the film project on Holocaust history. Germany’s treatment of Jews has been a difficult topic of debate, said Alkomi, a Christian whose family escaped to Germany from Syria when he was 9. At a meeting of the group last month, one man admitted, “In some ways, we think of the Jews just like the Nazis did.”…
“A lot of Muslim refugees,” said Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany “grew up in countries where hatred of Jews and of Israel is normal.” Many know little about the Holocaust, he said, “and some even admire Hitler.”…
In Iraq, anti-Semitic influences are pervasive, said Mohammed Kareem, the other refugee who had agreed to participate in the film. But Kareem, 34, who had been a police officer in Baghdad, spoke with his back to the camera, worried for his family still in Iraq if he were to be identified as “a friend of the Jews.”
“Everywhere — whether on the TV, from Imams or at school — we hear, ‘Jews are not good,’ and we don’t know any Jews to see them differently,” Kareem said. Since arriving in Germany in 2015, he has encountered several Jews who volunteer at a Berlin church that works with refugees. And now he is asking himself, “‘Why does my country say Jews are not good?’ Their armies — that’s different.”…
“If Germany paid reparations to Israel, then Americans should pay for what they did in Iraq,” Kareem said. By the end of the day, Jamo was firm on one point: “We are definitely still against the Zionists.”…