Thursday, 6 May 2010

Ethnically cleansing the Jews? Yes, I think you'll find that's antisemitic.

Today I lost a little faith in the police.

Remember the story about Noor Rashid? He was the student accused of shouting 'slay the Jews' at the Oxford Union some months ago. (see here).

Well according to today's Oxford Student, after watching a video of his outburst the police had concluded that they 'could not find any evidence' of hate speech.

Strange really, since they - and he - agree that while he never actually said 'slay the Jews', what he did say was a remark in Arabic that translates as 'Khaybar Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammed will return'.

You're probably wondering what 'Khaybar' means. I'll tell you - and then you'll understand why what he said, on any reasonable account, qualifies as hate speech.

Khaybar was an oasis not far from medina that was inhabited by Jews before being conquered by Muhammed in the 7th century. It's Jewish inhabitants were later expelled by the Caliph Umar.

So the chant Noor Rashid shouted refers to the attacking, conquering, and subsequent ethnic cleansing of Jews. Anti-Semitic? I think so. I just wonder: why do the police seem to think otherwise?

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