An Iraqi cleric recently praised the Jewish people for having emerged from the Holocaust following World War II and managed to win the “respect of the world through science,” while Muslims are seen as having become “the world’s headache.”
In a sermon posted to YouTube last month titled “Don’t Be Mad. Strong Words. Imitate the Jews in This,” and translated this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Shiite cleric Salam Al-Askari said that after suffering in Europe during the Holocaust, where “Nazis killed and burned them” and they were “killed in droves,” the Jews, he said, “put their greatest minds into science” and “made the entire world kneel before them, and accept and respect the Jewish nation.”
In a departure from much of the content translated from Arabic by MEMRI, rife with statements from religious officials and others attacking Jews and Israel, and accusing them of being behind a host of disasters, the sermon shows the cleric listing what he describes as Jewish achievements, including the invention of acetone and nuclear power, and describing how the Jews “won over” Europe.
“The Jews suffered,” he said. “The Nazis killed and burned them. They were brought in groups to special places, where they were gassed and they suffocated and died. The Jews were killed in droves. They wanted to emigrate but some European countries banned the Jews from entering. ‘We will not accept them,’ they said. They were tormented in Germany… Today, when our countries suffer, the youth emigrate to Europe. But back then, Europe shut its doors to the Jews.”
Al-Askari continued, later in the sermon: “What tipped the balance in WWII in favor of the Allies were the two bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. You’ve all heard about this, right? This bomb that terrified the world was manufactured by Jewish minds. It was designed by the minds of Jewish physicists. Europe declared officially: ‘We need the Jewish nation,’” he said, according to the MEMRI translation.
Turning to the Muslim nation, the cleric referred to an article he said was published by a European writer questioning what would happen should Muslims “be removed from the face of the earth.”
The conclusion of the article, al-Askari said, “was that if Muslims were removed from the face of the Earth, there would be no more headaches in the world – no bombings, no bribery, no plundering, and no kidnapping.”
“We are two billion Muslims in the world. How many Jews are there worldwide? 17 million. 17 million… There are more people in central and southern Iraq. That is the number of the Jews in the whole world,” he went on.
“How many Nobel prizes in the field of science have they won, and how many have we won, in the last century?” he asked.
“We, with almost two billion Muslims, have won 10 Nobel prizes in a hundred years. They number 17 million, and how many prizes have they won in the past hundred years? 200. They have won 200 prizes, 50-60 of them in physics alone. In other words, if we were to say that the physics of the 20th century is Jewish, nobody could call it an exaggeration.”