The Corner

Re: Islam & Anti-Semitism

The chief point of Dr. Bostom’s The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism (reviewed here and here) is the same as his earlier Legacy of Jihad book — the problematic aspects of Islam, namely the sacralization of jihad war and of Jew-hatred, are not modern alien viruses but instead are integral to the faith. It’s true that both these phenomena have adopted certain modern forms — totalitarian motifs for jihad, and European-inspired racial theories of anti-Semitism — but both of these cases are not discontinuities with the past, but rather simply the reaction of traditional Islam to modern conditions. In other words, Islamism, to the extent the concept has meaning, is merely the modern expression of historical Islam, the way that characteristics of the pre-modern faith (which are exhaustively detailed by Bostom) react to the challenge of modernity.

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