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These Quranic Verses Do Not Call For the Killing and Kidnapping of Jews

Ouissal Harize Ouissal Harize
Spirituality & Religion
19th February 2024
These Quranic Verses Do Not Call For the Killing and Kidnapping of Jews
The verses recited by the Imam are not hostile to Jews (X)

The Claim

A Muslim scholar recently recited Quranic verses calling for the killing and kidnapping of Jews in Brussels' parliament. 

Emerging story

A recently shared video allegedly shows a Muslim scholar reciting verses calling for the killing and kidnapping of Jews in Brussels' parliament. 

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating clip and found the claim to be misleading. The Quranic verses recited by the Muslim scholar were wrongly translated. The correct translation of the verses can be seen below. 

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The Background of Surah Al-Ahzab

Contrary to the circulating claim, the Surah is bound to a historical context, which specifically refers to a time during which the Muslim community was under multiples threats and attacks from different groups. 

The Surah's revelation period is determined by three key events: the Battle of the Trench in Shawwal, A.H. 5, the raid on Bani Quraizah, and the marriage of the Holy Prophet to Zainab, both in Dhil-Qa'dah, A.H. 5. These events mark significant moments in Islamic history, particularly the Battle of the Trench, which showcased the unity and resilience of the Muslim community against external threats.

The historical backdrop is set against the aftermath of the Battle of Uhud in A.H. 3, where a tactical error led to a significant setback for the Muslims. This emboldened their adversaries, including Arab pagans, Jews, and hypocrites within Medina, fostering a hostile environment aimed at Islam's eradication. Several incidents illustrate this hostility, such as the planned raids by the tribe of Bani Asad, the betrayal and murder of Muslim emissaries at Raji and Bir Maunah, and the treachery of the Jewish tribe of Bani an-Nadir.

This period was marked by continuous conflict but ultimately led to the consolidation of Islam's presence and the strengthening of the Muslim community in Medina.

An Islamophobic Outcry in Brussels as Imam Recites Quran in Parliament

The controversy in Brussels stems from an incident where an imam was seen quoting verses from the Quran in the Brussels Parliament. This event has sparked outrage, particularly among certain political groups and figures, due to concerns about the neutrality of the state. Many liberals have expressed their disapproval, arguing that such actions do not align with Belgium's fundamental principle of state neutrality. They have called for the establishment of a commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the imam's presence in parliament, including who invited him and the nature of his visit.

The incident occurred on January 13, when Hasan Koyuncu, the vice-president of the Brussels Parliament from the Francophone socialist party (PS), reportedly invited a delegation from the "Friends of Brussels" association to the parliament. This delegation included Pakistani imam Muhammad Ansar, who was part of an award ceremony receiving the "Brussels community award."

Criticism has been particularly vocal from figures like Theo Francken, who found it unacceptable for Quranic verses to be recited in the parliament, emphasizing the importance of separating state and religion. The MR party echoed these sentiments, stressing their long-standing commitment to state neutrality and demanding actions to address the issue, including revoking any honors given to the imam and investigating his potential government subsidies.

Rachid Madrane, the President of the Brussels parliament, has also responded by emphasizing the importance of maintaining the parliament as a neutral space for democracy and is seeking to ensure that respect for neutrality is explicitly stated in the parliament's rules.

The controversy appears to be rooted Islamophobia, as the reaction is specifically to the Islamic content of the imam's speech. 

The term "Islamophobia" refers to prejudice against, hatred towards, or fear of Islam or Muslims. In this context, the controversy could be seen as an example of Islamophobia since the backlash is disproportionately severe and stems from stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam. 

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