The alleged comments made by Lord Nazir Ahmed about a Jewish Conspiracy to explain his dangerous driving conviction are made in an atmosphere of paranoia. It is a paranoia that has gripped the psyche of some within the Muslim community and allowed those in positions of authority to justify their own incompetence and lack of understanding of the modern world.
In such a world-view the refusal of a job application or even a dangerous driving conviction alongside terrorist atrocities, global conflicts and the worldwide recession all are placed at the lap of the Jew.
Hoax literature and castigating of the contemporary and historical positions of Jewish intellectuals, financiers and organisations are held up as indisputable evidence of a Jewish imprint upon all things evil.
The effect of this has been to arrest many a young and inquiring intellect into considering irrelevant the course of history, the ways of justice and democracy, the impact of globalization and the nuances of different human experiences in shaping any given event or era.
As far as this school of thought or perhaps lack of it is concerned every occurrence in the modern world is a carefully orchestrated plot by Jews to achieve global dominance.
Living with such a mindset is self defeating for Muslims. It has created a generation of people unable to formulate an intelligent and evidence based response to explain any occurrence among current or historical affairs.
Furthermore the vacuum in intellectual thought that has been created is easily infiltrated by deviant ideologies propagated by pseudo religious scholars and community leaders who seek to further their own particular causes.
Whilst some of the results of this can be an extreme response as seen around the world in the recent past a more immediate prelude is disenfranchised and inactive citizens who give little in terms of resource or time to their communities or wider society. Any illegal or morally reprehensible activity that might be carried out is justified by the idea that they operate outside of the Jewish designed system.
As seen in the alleged case of Lord Nazir such ideas also downplay the sense of self responsibility for any action where perpetrator suddenly becomes a victim. In the current climate of increasing Islamophobia such a position is problematic in so much as Mehdi Hasan's twitter response to the news of Lord Nazir's suspension, "we Muslims can't complain about Islamophobia if we indulge in equally unacceptable Anti-Semitism."
It may be that Lord Nazir is innocent of such charges as some have suggested that the word Zionist as opposed to Jewish may have been used. This may be the case yet the culture of suspicion in which these remarks were made can not be ignored here.
Suspicion of Jews is not exclusive amongst Muslims but its presence within this community is tragic given for two major reasons.
Firstly many exist in the hopelessness and the shadow of such thoughts. A way of life that is contradictory to Islamic teachings of having a positive outlook on life in the belief that all is in the control of God.
Secondly there is a great disconnect for many Muslims with their own history and traditions in that Anti Semitism as a historical phenomenon is a uniquely European concept. That is not to say that Jews and Muslims have never had troubled relations. However the mass hysteria and paranoia about Jews that was a hallmark of European civilisation for centuries leading up to the Holocaust was never a major issue in the Muslim world.
So much so that persecuted Jewish populations sought safety and achieved great feats among the Muslim empires of Spain and the Ottomans in particular. Yet it follows that when the minds are closed to such fields of inquiry then such facts are easily ignored.Suggest a correction