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Maidens and Warriors

By Israel Shamir


It is not much fun to be a Muslim in the West today. Not even to be taken
for one. I felt it on my own skin while flying into the US. A Mediterranean
man with mustachio complete, I was asked by the US customs officer whether I
read Koran a lot. A chewing gum wrapping paper with a comic strip suggested
to the officer an instruction to pray on board the plane, probably to call
Allahu Akbar and attack the crew. ‘You are up to no good’, he concluded. I
was taken aback. Our Palestinian brothers and we Israelis are facially quite
similar; I was often taken for a Palestinian by both sides, but I did not
expect the US immigration to copycat Israeli Border Police.

Should I say plainly, ‘I am not a Muslim’, occurred to me. It did not seem
fair. In occupied Denmark of 1940, Germans ordered the Jews to wear the
yellow Star of David. The king of Danes wore such a star as a sign of his
solidarity with his Jewish subjects. Would I fail this test of common
humanity and proclaim my non-Muslim kosher origin? It would feel like
sacrificing a Muslim in my stead. I tried to compromise: ‘I do not read
Koran a lot’, said I. The officer Gomez, a big dark man, did not relent.
‘But you read Koran?’ ‘Occasionally’, I tried again. This pusillanimous
response was a beginning of my undoing. I was searched, verbally abused;
every piece of my luggage was checked and double-checked.

The personal affront did not matter. In 1812, a French soldier on the
streets of occupied Moscow turned back Pierre Bezuchov, a Russian nobleman
in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. ‘The soldier had stopped my immortal soul’,
thought Bezuchov, and laughed. St Francis of Assisi found even more joy at
being refused entry to a monastery one cold and rainy night. A go of
humiliation is good for the soul, he explained to his sidekick St Bernard.

It was more upsetting to see Islam as the accused in Judeo-American culture.
In the US newspapers and on the Internet, theological debates are back in
vogue with vengeance after an eight hundred years lull, as subtle as ever.
Even good friends of Muslims began to hesitate, as the powerful brainwashing
machine began to produce its hateful output. Islam is accused of being the
faith of Jihad, the permanent war with infidels, of intolerance and cruelty,
of providing theological basis for terrorism. The allegations do not stop at

The semi-literate Crusaders of 12th century accused the Muslims of having
orgies in front of their divinity, Baphomet (probably corrupted name of the
Prophet). The latest frontal attack on Islam in the American public opinion
also has amusing sexual overtones. An appeal to bomb the hell out of
Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine usually contains a weighty
disapproval of the Prophet’s sexual mores and of alleged Muslim ill
treatment of their womenfolk.


Love of the Prophet to his youngest wife, Aisha, causes much consternation
in America; almost fifty years after the US Supreme Court removed the ban of
that ode to underage love, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. For the prude
accusers, it does not matter that Muhammad, peace upon him, was in love with
the girl, as she with him. They know better what is good for everybody. If
the Prophet would choose a boy of Aisha’s age, one feels that fear of
homophobia would soften the blows. But the Prophet was a man of Catholic

A modest Talmudic scholar from Jaffa, I would rise to his defence in the
name of our Jewish tradition. Far from being a sinner, Muhammad (peace upon
him) acted according to the letter and spirit of our holy faith. Biblical
Jacob fell in love with Rachel, 7, and brought forth a line of saints
including Mary, mother of Christ.

Talmud stipulates the permitted age of marriage for girls at three years and
one day. It brings us a dialogue worthy of Boccacio that took place in
Sephoris of Galilee. A Roman princess Justine, daughter of Emperor Sever son
of Anthony asked Rabbi Judah the Prince, the greatest spiritual and legal
authority of Jews in post-Biblical period, what is the permitted age of
marriage and cohabitation.

-         Three years and one day, - replied the Rabbi.

-         What is the age for childbearing, - persisted the Princess.

-         Nine years[i], - he replied.

-         I was married at six, and gave birth at seven, - she reflected
with great regret, - so I wasted in vain three excellent years of my young

Muhammad’s wife, Aisha, wasted six years of her young life, as she was wed
at nine. Thus, the Prophet demonstrated great prudence, also in full
accordance with our Jewish teachings. Our holy Rabbis permitted very early
marriage, but they were not absolutely sure that three-year old girls are
sufficiently ripe. They taught: proselytes and paedophiles delay the Coming
of Messiah and Kingdom of Heaven.

Who are the paedophiles in this context, asked the Talmud. They have to be
persons of legitimate but objectionable behaviour, and therefore, not the
sodomites (as they deserve death by stoning) nor masturbators (they merit
watery grave). It is those who marry girls before the nubile age of nine.
Thus, the Prophet is above suspicion according to our Jewish law.

He had a few wives, continue the accusers. Well, the Jewish law permits us
to have as many wives as we can get. Nowadays, a Muslim has to limit himself
to four wives in this world, but we Jews have no such constrictions.

The presumed barbarous Muslim custom of veiling women and keeping them away
from a stranger’s lusty eye annoys the accusers. An avid reader of
Washington Post would assume that the US attacked Afghans just to bomb the
veil away. As the first fruit of American victory in Afghanistan, CNN
presented sale of smut in smitten Kabul.

Here again, our Jewish law firmly stands on the side of the Talibs. A
Talmudic sage, Rabbi Isaac taught: if one gazes at the little finger of a
woman, it is as if he gazed at her you-know-what! (Do not confuse it with
You-Know-Who of Harry Potter) Rabbi  Hisda wistfully said: a woman's leg is
also quite an incitement. Rabbi Sheshet improved on him, reminding that a
woman's hair is a sexual incitement. That is why pious Jewish women don the
wig. And the master of oneupmanship, Samuel, upstaged him saying, a woman's
voice is a sexual incitement, as the Holy Writ quoth, ‘sweet is thy voice’.
The conclusion of the debate was the rule kvod bat ha-melech pnima, meaning
a good Jewish woman should stay indoors.


Enemies of Islam would not dare to attack our Jewish faith though all
features of Islam they profess to dislike could be found in Judaism. It
concerns not only sexual matters. Jihad is but an Arab translation of the
Jewish concept of Milhemet Mitzva, the Commanded (or Preordained) War.
Though in jihad, one is not allowed to kill civilians, while in milhemet
mitzvah, one is commanded to do so. Look up your Pentateuch and you will
find it there, without an effort. The Messenger, peace upon him, softened
his Message.

If you think Islam is intolerant, let me quote you the story written by ‘the
perfect sage and excellent doctor of medicine R. Samuel Sholem in
Constantinople, capital of the great King, our ruler, mighty Sultan Suleiman
’ about Rabbi Gaon Isaac Campanton (d. 1463), the chief rabbi of the
Castilian community, the most enlightened Jewish community of all times. He
writes, ‘the great Rabbi, his honorable R. Isaac Campanton burned Rabbi
Samuel Sarsa at the stake. Once, Rabbis gathered to announce a marriage
contract. They read “such and such year since the Creation of the world”,
and this Sarsa fellow placed his hand on his beard and alluded to the world’
s existence since time immemorial. The Rabbi Campanton rose to his feet and
exclaimed, ‘Why the bush isn’t consumed?[1] Let the bush burn!’ They
sentenced him to death by burning because he denied Creation of the World
5000 years ago, and burned him at the stake’.

If you believe Islam is the reason for Muslim terrorism, probably Judaism is
the reason for Jewish terrorism. Until now, Muslims succeeded to assassinate
one Israeli minister. When Jews dealt with private (as opposed to state)
terror, my saintly ancestors assassinated two Russian tsars and a whole row
of government ministers, officials, ambassadors and statesmen of Britain,
Germany, Sweden, Russia and Arab countries. Until nowadays, the records of
terror established by Jews were not beaten, and as a proud Jew, I reject the
futile efforts to pass this crowning achievement to Muslims or anybody else.

In America, Jews can’t do wrong, and whoever thinks otherwise, is branded an
anti-Semite. By proving the Jewish origin of the alleged faults of Islam, we
therefore proved that the Islam-bashers are anti-Semites and probably hidden
Holocaust deniers. Whoever doubted it, may look up the Washington Post of
November 27. The co-ed by the ex-CIA chief James Woolsey illuminates a
much-retouched hysterical close-up picture of the bestial and demonic
Semite, dark-skinned and full-lipped cruel savage. Der Sturmer, the Nazi
newspaper, would like it[ii]. The contents of the article are also eminently
suitable for Der Sturmer. Woolsey, in an Orwellian-named article, Objective:
Democracy, calls to ‘take out Iraqi air defences and hit Iraqi ground forces
’ as ‘we did to Afghanistan’.

The great Russian playwright, Anton (‘The Seagull’) Chekhov, established the
law of scene: if there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it
will fire in the third act. Life imitates theatre, or, as Shakespeare put
it, this world is but a stage. The gun of anti-Semitism fired as expected,
but it shot at real Semites, the Arabs. Paradoxically, among new
anti-Semites, there are many persons with Jewish names, or known by their
sympathy to Jews. How could it be?

It brings us back to the adage of our sages, regarding paedophiles and
proselytes. Jewish faith is extremely suspicious of proselytes. They are
like scab on the head of Israel, taught Rabbi Helbo, and modern practice
supports his learned opinion. Judaism is too complicated to receive in
mature age. People born and raised as religious Jews got used to be the
Chosen folk, and take it easy, but neophytes go dizzy at the thought.

It is not strange. The true English aristocrat Tony Benn supports the rights
of ordinary folk, while freshly created parvenu Conrad Black promotes the
oppression of Europeans and Muslims alike in his numerous newspapers. Some
of the worst racists in Hebron, this frontline of Israeli apartheid are
actually proselytes who took literally some risky Biblical ideas. Witness
the converted American Gentile Nazi who took the name of Eli Hazeev (the
Wolf) and was slain by Palestinian guerrillas, or this scourge of
cyberspace, Dr Andrew Mathis who converted and began to defend his version
of Judaism on various Internet localities.

A reader sent me a disturbing letter: ‘my sister who converted to Judaism
years ago (although we're WASPs) has gone over the edge.  Last night when I
asked her to interrupt her niggerization of Arabs long enough to cite just
one example...anytime in history...when Israel did
something...anything...wrong (pointing out that peace cannot possibly be
attained when one party thinks itself totally OK, and thinks the other party
is completely at fault), the best she could do was "collateral" damage – id
the unintentional bombing of civilians when a "legitimate" target was the
intent. My sister is quite active in the Jewish community in St. Louis, and
perhaps in a position to do a fair amount of damage to whatever chances
remain for world peace’.

Yes, Rabbi Helbo had a good reason for his suspicion. Real Jews knew they
live in real world, and left their fantasies for Sabbath. They remained
humble, studied Talmud and did not try to find a modern equivalent of Amalek
or the Red Heifer, to retake the Holy Land by force or stealth, or preach
hate of Gentile. They knew: these concepts should be left untouched as
hidden files in the Windows operational system. They are there for an
historic reason and one should not meddle with them. Neophytes lack this

It is not a question of race: neophytes, whether of Jewish or Gentile
extraction, are equally blind to reason. That is why the ferocious Neo-Cons
of America, Gentile Israel-firsters like Jeanne Kirkpatrick and secular Jews
like infamous Podgoretz, her mentor from Commentary, relentlessly push for
destruction of the Islamic world and poison the minds of Americans.

Islam is a form of Christianity particularly close to the Jews. While
Eastern Orthodox Church was influenced by Greek culture, and Catholics
partook of Roman world, Islam returned the ideas of Christianity into the
Semitic milieu. The Prophet, peace upon him, upheld the Jewish concepts of
strict monotheism, of fear of graven images, of protectiveness towards women
and integrated them with the universal message of Christ and apostles. The
cowardly enemies of Islam besmirch it, as they fear its unbroken spirit,
courage of its warriors and chastity of its maidens.

Israel Shamir is an Israeli writer living in Jaffa. His other writings can
be found on his site www.israelshamir.com, his email:

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