Some Muslims are raising money to help the Pittsburgh shooting victims.   Some Muslim governments are condemning the massacre.   Others in the Muslim world are utilizing the massacre in order to promote an anti-Israel agenda.  

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

 

Last Shabbat, 11 Jewish worshipers were massacred in a Pittsburgh synagogue by Robert Bowens, an anti-Semitic fanatic who believed that all of the Jews in the Tree of Life Synagogue should die.  The question remains, how has the Muslim world reacted to this great tragedy?   Did they glorify it like Hamas usually does whenever Jews are attacked in Israel?   Were they silent?  Or did they speak up and condemn this despicable act of violence?

As world renowned anti-Semitism scholar Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld proclaimed, “America has now entered the world of major attacks on Jews.  The largest postwar attack on Jews was in Buenos Aires in 1994 on the AMIA building, killing 85. In Europe, the biggest attack was in 1982 on the Goldenberg restaurant in Paris with 6 killed. In Israel, there are the regular terror attacks.”

However, Gerstenfeld noted that the Pittsburgh synagogue attack is unlike any of the other previous mass shootings of Jews in recent years: “The difference is that in Buenos Aires, Paris and Israel, the murderers came out of Muslim communities.  In Pittsburgh, the killer is a right wing white extremist. A fact which is not liked by many is that there have always been people who were violent against others who did not belong and were different from their own community. We see this now also in France, Germany and Sweden.  It is not an isolated issue. In the U.S, we all remember Charlottesville.”

The fact that the perpetrator was a white non-Muslim male and that the terror attack did not take place in Israel has led to an increasing number of voices from the Muslim world speaking out against the Pittsburgh terror attack.  In fact, according to a report in the Forward, there are even Muslims who are crowdfunding for the Jewish victims, raising thousands of dollars in the process.

A casket is carried out of Rodef Shalom Congregation after the funeral services for brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal in Pittsburgh.
A casket is carried out of Rodef Shalom Congregation after the funeral services for brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal in Pittsburgh.

 

Palestinian Media Watch reported that the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who in recent years has ideologically promoted the idea of waging an Islamist war in order to kill off the Jews when speaking in Arabic, issued a statement in English condemning the Pittsburgh terror attack, proclaiming: “The Palestinian ministry also condemned the harming of the houses of worship by the same terrorists with an inherent and decayed fascist ideology, which is based on the supremacy of the white race and its hegemony.”

According to the Times of Israel, Hamas terrorist Basem Naim followed suite: “As Palestinians and victims of the terror of the Israeli occupation, we know the meaning of terror and its horrific outcomes.  This heinous attack, especially in a place of worship, proves that terror has no religion or nationality.”  Interestingly, when a Palestinian terrorist attacked a Jerusalem synagogue, murdering 4 worshippers and one Druze police officer, Hamas glorified the act of terror.  Hamas also cheered when a Palestinian terrorist murdered 2 in a Tel Aviv prayer space.

Similarly, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar all condemned the recent terror attack in a Pittsburgh Synagogue, the Jerusalem Post reported.   One questions if they would have said anything had the terror attack occurred inside of Israel.  However, there are independent voices within the Muslim world who also spoke out against the recent terror attack in Pittsburgh and likewise would have been equally critical had the terror attack occurred inside of Israel.

Saudi journalist Abdulateef Al-Mulhim declared, “I want to express my deepest sympathy and condolences not only to the Jewish communities but to all around the world.  What happened in Pittsburgh is sad and a coward act of terrorism and beyond anything that I can imagine.  Very, very sad to see innocent lives lost in a place of worship.”

Dr. Widad Akreya, president and co-founder of Defend International, who is of Kurdish ancestry, proclaimed: “It is heartbreaking to hear about the horrific Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and their friends.  I am grieving with you and hoping for a speedy recovery of the wounded.  May our love surround and comfort all of you.”

he Tree of Life Synagogue where a shooter opened fire Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018

Bangladeshi human rights activist Shipan Kumer Basu, who heads the World Hindu Struggle Committee and is outspokenly pro-Israel, doing everything in his power to promote strong relations between Bangladesh and Israel, added: “I strongly condemn the terror attack in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and convey condolences to the family of the deceased.  We demand strong punishment for the shooter.”

However, even though it was more acceptable in Muslim circles to condemn a white supremacist for murdering Jews at prayer than it is to condemn a Palestinian for doing the same thing, not everyone in the Muslim world was sympathetic towards the Jewish victims in Pittsburgh.  One Iranian twitter user named Lafsaneh Lomanzadeh, who identifies herself as an economist on the Tehran Stock Exchange, declared: “All good Muslims from Iran hate murder but love anti-Semitism when it flourishes to combat the vile lies of Zionists like Netanyahu. What crap: He condemns Pittsburgh synagogue shooting by Robert Bowers when he murders Gaza Arabs non-stop.  Trump, dump the Jews.”

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Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in Middle East (under formation) and is a political analyst at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara's former chief of staff. In addition, she is a counter-terror analyst at the Islamic Theology on Counter-Terrorism, a think tank run by British Pakistani dissident Noor Dahri. For over 6 years, she is a Middle East based journalist, covering radical Islam, terrorism, human rights abuses in the Muslim world, minority rights abuses in the Muslim world, women's rights issues in the Muslim world, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jewish Diaspora, anti-Semitism, international affairs and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground breaking book that was endorsed by former Israel Consul General Dr. Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara.