A 'racist' jihad?

Recently, during the night, four young Muslim migrants from Morocco appeared out of the darkness and surrounded a 30-year-old woman in northern Spain.  "Let's see how we destroy that beautiful face," they cried, before punching her several times in the face, wounding and ultimately hospitalizing her.

According to the report, the young woman was returning home alone and observed that she was being followed by several young people from whom she tried to distance herself.  After blocking her way and beating her, the four assailants fled without stealing any of her personal belongings.

By both their words ("let's ... destroy that beautiful face") and deeds (including not robbing her), theirs was a hate crime, pure and simple.

Perhaps what's most interesting about this story is that hating and/or being envious of a person because she has a "beautiful face" — and attacking her for it — fits a well documented pattern.  One can offer many examples, but to demonstrate consistency and continuity, let us focus on one that deals with the same peoples, Moroccans and Spaniards — from over 1,300 years ago.

While discussing relations between the Berbers of Morocco and the Christians of Spain before the former invaded and conquered that European peninsula, Muslim historian Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Maqqari (b. 1578) offered the following:

Whenever some of the scattered tribes of Berbers inhabiting along the northern coast of Africa happened to approach the sea shore, the fears and consternation of the Greeks [i.e., Spaniards] would increase, they would fly in all directions for fear of the threatened invasion, and their dread of the Berbers waxed so greatly. ... [In response] the Berbers ... hated and envied them the more.

This would seem to be an accurate description of how those four Moroccans felt when the "pretty white girl" tried to avoid them.

Al-Maqqari continues that, due to this, "even a long time afterwards a Berber could scarcely be found who did not most cordially hate [a Spaniard.]"  This is an understatement: after the Berbers and their Arab leaders — in a word, Muslims — invaded Spain in 711 and conquered it, their "cordial hate" manifested itself in atrocity after atrocity (including turning Cordoba into the Muslim world's slave emporium with Spanish and other European women) over the course of centuries, until Spain finally expelled Islam in the sixteenth century.

Image: Delivering Christian captives in Algiers (1683).  Public domain. 

At any rate, al-Maqqari's main point — that Spanish/European aversion to the savage North Africans and their "threatened invasions" prompted the latter to "hate and envy them the more" — has, it would seem, been another one of those lesser known or spoken factors behind Muslim hostility for Europe, past and present.

Were I to play psychologist, I might opine that it hints at something of an inferiority complex, a gnawing envy that compels one to "avenge" himself on those whom he thinks have a (rightful?) aversion to him — as those four Moroccan men recently did to that "beautiful face[d]" Spanish woman, and as hordes of Moroccans did 1,300 years earlier.

The little known and lamentable fact is that not a few people from North Africa and the Middle East — indeed, not a few people from all around the non-Western world — harbor racist tendencies — that is, they see the world through a hierarchy of skin color and racial features.

Again, although one can offer several examples, let us stay consistent with our present theme and pattern.  Less than two weeks after the attack in Spain, according to a November 8, 2021 report, another Moroccan migrant just across the border in neighboring France was arrested for screaming "racist insults" at and apparently trying to murder a group of black people with a knife.

Nor is this phenomenon limited to Islam; one need only look to India for the starkest example of non-white racism.  Based on that nation's caste system, those who are fairer are instinctively and openly treated as "superior"; those who are darker are instinctively and openly treated as "inferior."  It's just how things go, and everyone accepts it.

From here, one begins to understand the dilemma: if a brown-skinned person believes that it is right and proper to look down upon a black-skinned person, this same brown-skinned racist will naturally feel looked down upon when surrounded by people fairer than him — irrespective of how they actually see and treat him.  This, it would seem, engenders anger and resentment, or, in al-Maqqari's apt words, "hate and envy."

Raymond Ibrahim, author of Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

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