June 21, 2024
June 21, 2024

Though they share similar values, guidelines, and principles, Islam and Judaism have a long, complicated relationship that has led to tension recorded within the Quran and other Islamic texts. As a result of what’s been written, along with reactions to the longstanding Israel-Palestinian conflict, some have called Islam an inherently antisemitic religion. Those who agree point out that certain Quranic verses, when taken literally or interpreted negatively, foster antisemitic sentiments within education systems and in the culture, which are used to justify negative stereotypes or hostility towards Jews. Yet other religious scholars argue that this is not the case.  They say that many Quranic references to Jews are typically misinterpreted and must be understood in their historical and textual contexts. They also emphasize that there have been historical periods and modern examples where Muslim-majority countries have hosted thriving Jewish communities and reflect a more accurate representation of Islamic attitudes towards Jews.

With this context, we debate the question: Is Islam Antisemitic?

  • 00:00:02

    John Donvan
    This is Open to Debate. I’m Jon Donvan. Hi, everybody. There are a lot of arguments swirling around right now about what’s happening in the Middle East. There is a lot of blame being passed around. There are a lot of accusations being made, a lot of assumptions being made, right or wrong. One of those is the topic of the debate we’re about to hear. It is the claim that Islam is antisemitic. It’s not a new claim, but it has gained renewed attention as people argue over the history of the conflict that we’re now seeing unfold and because of the tendency shown to assign right or wrong to one side or the other. At Open to Debate, we believe in testing ideas by putting them up against each other and encouraging the use of evidence in the form of facts and reason in the form of logic, and dialogue in a framework of civility, no matter how hot the passions may get. And so we debate, with the participation of two religious scholars, who disagree with each other about this, this question, is Islam antisemitic? So please let me introduce our debaters.

    Answering yes to the question, is Islam antisemitic. I want to welcome Tim Dieppe. Tim is a religious scholar. He is the head of public policy at Christian Concern. That is a UK based religious organization. He is also their resident expert in Islam affairs. He earned his master’s in theology from Westminster Theological Center. And he also has a degree in mathematics from Oxford. He is coauthor of the book, Questions to Ask Your Muslim Friends. Tim, thanks so much for joining us at Open to Debate. Welcome to the program.

  • 00:01:26

    Tim Dieppe
    Thank you.

  • 00:01:27

    John Donvan
    And here to answer no to the question, Is Islam Antisemitic? I want to welcome Reza Aslan. Reza is a writer with eight books under his belt, including Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Which was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for quite a while. His first book was called No God But God, The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam. He’s a noted religious scholar. He’s a sought after commentator, an award-winning TV producer, and recently released a book that’s called A Kid’s Book About Israel and Palestine. So a man who wears many hats. Reza, welcome back. You’ve debated with us before, so it’s great to have you back on the program.

  • 00:01:59

    Reza Aslan
    Thanks for having me back.

  • 00:02:00

    John Donvan
    Before we get started, I want to talk about the term that we’re using, antisemitism. We feel that we need to have a working definition that everyone agrees to, and everyone has agreed to this definition, which has been formulated by the Anti Defamation League. I’m going to be read- reading it now verbatim. It goes like this. What is antisemitism? It’s the belief and behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish. It may take the form of religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate, oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views. And with that, I want to get to our opening statements. We’re going to ask each of you to take a few minutes to explain why you’re answering yes or no to the question we’re asking, which again is Islam antisemitic. Tim, you are up first. You are answering yes to the question. Here’s your chance, please, to tell us why.

  • 00:02:51

    Tim Dieppe
    Thank you, John. The question is, is Islam antisemitic? The question is not about Muslims, whether they are antisemitic. It’s about Islam, and Islam should be judged according to its texts, which are the Quran, the Hadith, and the Surah, or the Biographies of Muhammad. So I intend to demonstrate that Islam, as defined by its texts, is antisemitic. So let’s get straight into it. Here are some verses from the Quran. Let’s start with Surah 5, verse 51. O ye who believe, take not Jews and Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other, and he amongst you that turns to them for friendship is of them.

    Verily, Ada- Allah guardeth not a people unjust. There is a clear instruction, a command even, not to take Jews or Christians for friends, um, in the Quran. There we go. Um, moving on, the same Surah, Surah 564, says this of the Jews. We have cast among them animosity and hatred until the day of resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war against you, Allah extinguished it, and they strived throughout the land, causing corruption, and Allah does not like corruption. Notice this verse says, until the day of resurrection, animosity and hatred until the day of resurrection. That obviously includes today as well. Um, Su- Surah 582 says this, “You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity towards the believers to be the Jews, and those who associate others with Allah, and the newest of every faction to be the Christians.”

    Notice the future tense there, you will surely find, carrying on till today. Three times in the Quran the Jews are cursed as apes or pigs. Here’s one of those examples from Surah 7, 166 to 167. So when they were insolent about that which when they had been forbidden, we said to them, be apes despised. I mention, when your Lord declared that he would surely continue to send upon them, until the day of resurrection, those who would afflict them with the worst torment. Notice there, until the day of resurrection, people to be sent on them, to afflict them with torment, until the day of resurrection continues till today. So, 929 says, fight against those who do not believe in Allah or the last day, and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and his messenger have made lawful, made unlawful.

    And who do not adopt the religion of truth, that is Islam, from those who are given the scripture. Fight until it gives you jizya, willingly until they’re humbled. So those who are given the scripture there is Jews and Christians. You’re meant to fight against them until they pay the jizya tax, the subjugation tax, until they’re humbled. Um, so 60 verse 4, um, again talk about the Jews who have denied you, and there’s a peer between us and you, animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone. And I want to see the hatred forever again. Moving on to the Hadith, the famous apocalyptic hath- Hadith says this, Allah’s messenger, that’s, uh, Muhammad said, the hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, “Oh, Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. So kill him.”

    This Hadith is cited in Hamas’s founding charter, Article 7, to justify its antisemitism. A 2011 poll found that 73% of Palestinians agreed with this Hadith. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mufti Mohammed Hussain, expressed his own agreement with this Hadith in 2012. Moving to the Surah of the Barak 3 of Mohammed. Muhammad personally ordered the beheading of 600 plus Jewish men who had surrendered to him. This is effectively religious ethnic cleansing. Muhammad also said kill any Jew that falls into your power and I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian peninsula and not leave any but Muslim.

    Again, religious ethnic cleansing. So I’ve quoted to you several Islamic texts there. I think we can clearly see just from reading them, this material is antisemitic. Therefore, I submit to you that Islam, according to its text, is antisemitic.

  • 00:06:38

    John Donvan
    Thank you very much, Tim. Um, Reza, it is your turn now. Again, to remind people you are answering no in answer to the question, is Islam antisemitic? You have your turn now. Please tell us why you are saying no.

  • 00:06:49

    Reza Aslan
    Well, first of all, as a scholar of world religions, I do think it’s important to begin by stating that no religion is inherently anything. Religions are man-made institutions that provide a language made up of symbols and metaphors to, uh, help people communicate the ineffable experience of faith, and as with any metaphor, the meaning lies in the user. So, simply put, a religion is whatever a member of that religion says it is, which is why the world’s religions, and especially Islam, a religion of 1.7 billion people, come in an infinite variety of interpretations because there are an infinite variety of religious people. I think one thing that’s important to understand is that (laughs) uh, uh, the first thing that you learn when you study Islam religion is that we do not necessarily derive our values from our scriptures.

    We insert our values into our scriptures. So if you are a racist, your Islam, your Christianity, your Judaism is going to be racist. If you are a pluralist, your religion will be pluralistic. If you are violent, your religion will be violent. If you’re peaceful, your religion will be peaceful. So it is crucial to make that differentiation. Now, by the ADL definition of, uh, that we just used, for Islam to be inherently antisemitic would require that its theology be predicated on hostility to the Jews for being Jewish. And that is certainly not the case. For every single verse that Tim, uh, cited, uh, stating some animosity toward Jews, I can state a verse that states the exact opposite.

    In fact, Surah 262 states that, indeed, those who believe in those who are Jews or Christians or Sabians, those who believe in God in the last days and do righteousness will have their reward with their Lord and will have no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. I want to indicate something very important that there is no other religion in the world whose scripture affirms the theological equality of other religions. The same is true with the Hadith. For every negative Hadith, I can show you a positive Hadith. Prophet Muha- Muhammad said, anyone who, uh, acts violently against Jews or Christians will have me as their accuser at the end of days. Look, it’s very important to understand that, you know, the, obviously there are polemical differences and conflicts that existed between Muhammad and the Jews of his time, but these were about political alliances and economic ties, as every historian who has studied it will tell you.

    The fact of the matter is, is that Jews have thrived under Muslim rule throughout history, and especially after Islam expanded into Christian lands, where Jews were routinely mergered, persecuted, forced to convert under penalty of death. That’s precisely why Jews found refuge under Islamic law, which, whether in Spain or the Holy Land or anywhere else, declared them to be protected peoples because of Muhammad’s conception of the Jews and Christians as forming a single ummah, a single monotheistic community, uh, with the Muslims, which is why he aligned his community with the Jews while he was alive making Jerusalem the original, uh, uh, p- uh, position of prayer, uh, forcing a fast upon his people on Yom Kippur, um, uh, encouraging his members to marry Jews as he himself did, uh, uh, you know, a- adopting Jewish dietary laws and practices, et cetera.

    There is a reason why the Jewish documents written during the period of the medieval times referred to Islam as quote, an act of God’s mercy. Now, obviously there is, uh, Antisemitism amongst Muslim majority communities. Antisemitism is a very real, very toxic global phenomenon, but I do think that it’s as numerous scholars have pointed out largely emerging from the, the 20th century and cannot be conflated with Islamic doctrine. Um, and if we are going to conflate it with doctrine and scripture, then we have to call Christianity antisemitic too. After all, Christianity’s founding principle is that the Jews were the killers of Christ. That’s been used to persecute Jews under Christian, uh, rule for 2,000 years.

  • 00:10:57

    John Donvan
    Reza, I’m sorry your time is up, but thank you very much. Um, you can continue your thoughts if you had more to say in our discussion session that comes up. We’re going to come up to take a break. But before we do, I just want to check in with you on one question, uh, that I’d like each of you to answer. Um, I’ll go, I’ll go to you with a Tim first. Tim, if, if the premise of this debate were instead of, is Islam antisemitic, uh, if it were, is Islam ambivalent about the Jews? Would you say, yeah, it is? Or would you say, no, that’s just not the case?

  • 00:11:23

    Reza Aslan
    No.

  • 00:11:24

    John Donvan
    Clear no for you.

  • 00:11:24

    Reza Aslan
    Yeah.

  • 00:11:25

    John Donvan
    And, and you can be, you can elaborate on that just a little bit.

  • 00:11:28

    Reza Aslan
    Well, uh, you know, I’ve just read the various texts in my opening statement there. They are absolutely clear. And, um, I, I regard them as antisemitic texts and there they are in the scriptures and the Hadith and so on. And so I don’t think you can say it’s ambivalent, no.

  • 00:11:41

    John Donvan
    Thank you. And, uh, Reza, same question to you. Would you say that it’s, it’s fair to say that Islam is ambivalent about the Jews?

  • 00:11:47

    Reza Aslan
    No, Islam isn’t ambivalent about the Jews. It’s remarkably, uh, positive about Judaism as a religion. It sees itself as part of the Jewish Abrahamic tradition. And to this point, if what we are going to do is say that if we can find instances of anti-Jewish sentiment in the Qur’an, then therefore the entire Qur’an is antisemitic, then we have to say that if we find instances of pro-Jewish sentiment in the Qur’an, then the entire Qur’an is pro-Jewish. You can’t have one without the other.

  • 00:12:18

    John Donvan
    I’d like to go more deeply into that particular disagreement that we’ve just discovered there. When we come back from the break, I’m John Donvan, this is Open to Debate, and we’ll be right back.

    Welcome back to Open to Debate. I’m Jon Donvan and we are taking on this question, is Islam antisemitic? I’m here with debaters Tim Dieppe, who’s the head of public policy at Christian Concern, and Reza Aslan, a writer and religious scholar. I just want to say, uh, what, what I think I’m hearing from each of you in terms of the dividing lines here, Tim I’m hearing you argue that it’s just, it’s just there. It’s written down, it’s in black and white. The uh, the animosity, the hostility that um, that Islamic writings show towards, uh, towards the Jews and you are also making the case fundamentally that if you want to know what a faith is about, look to the text, look to its scripture.

    You um, you, you quoted, um, several parts of the Hadith and, uh, in the Quran. Reza, I hear you saying, yes, of course there is antisemitism in the Muslim world, but that cannot be blamed on the faith of Islam itself. Um, you’re saying that if anything, um, Islam has, uh, is exceptional in its, uh, in its acceptance of, of other faiths. That you make the point further that, um, just because something is in a text does not mean that that’s how it’s lived by most of the people. It’s not necessarily what they believe. You do not derive meaning from the scriptures, but you insert meaning into the scriptures in the way that you live. And so your argument is that, um, that, uh, that what, what Antisemitism there may be cannot be blamed fundamentally on the tenets of the faith itself.

    Tim, I’d like you to address Reza’s critique of, of your point that the scripture really is the place to go for the answer to the question of whether Islam is antisemitic or not.

  • 00:14:04

    Tim Dieppe
    Yes, um, if you don’t go to the scripture, where do you go to find out what the religion teaches? I’m a Christian myself, so in my beliefs I try and let the Bible govern my beliefs and say I believe what the Bible says. And the same would be true of many Muslims today. They would say the Qur’an is inspired, it’s, it’s, um, dictated and, um, and eternal. And, um, without error, and that’s actually what we believe, and that’s what we’re guided by, and that’s what we live by. And so that is what most Muslims would say. So Reza is kind of an exception in this case, or, you know, maybe even unorthodox in his sense of not really saying that beli- that his beliefs are guided by the Qur’an. He’s, he’s finding his beliefs from somewhere else.

  • 00:14:40

    John Donvan
    So, by Tim’s definition, then, he is an antisemite.

  • 00:14:43

    Tim Dieppe
    Uh, in the, the New Testament, there are numerous cases of profound anti-Jewish sentiment. When Pilate, uh, is about to crucify Jesus, uh, the crowd of Jews say, “May his blood be on our heads and our children’s heads,” a verse that Tim very well knows has been used to promote Christian antisemitism, the persecution and slaughter of Jews throughout history in Christian lands, going all the way up to the Holocaust, and even today is still fueling Christian antisemitism to the point of, well, our values, our ideas, our interpretation of our religion comes necessarily from scripture. That is a, frankly, fairly unsophisticated view of the relationship between a believer and a scripture. By that view, it would mean that every Christian in the world interprets the scripture in the exact same way. Every Muslim interprets scripture exactly the same way. And that is demonstrably false.

  • 00:15:40

    Reza Aslan
    So you, you’ve just accused me of being antisemitic. Let me just, respond to that.

  • 00:15:44

    Tim Dieppe
    To be clear, I didn’t accuse you of being antisemitic. I said by your definition.

  • 00:15:47

    Reza Aslan
    Okay, fine. I said I believe the Bible and you say therefore I’m antisemitic. Okay, so the Bible says there quite right that those particular people in that circumstance said his blood be on our, on our, on us and on our children. That’s what it says. I think that happened as a historical fact. That’s not all Jews by any means at all. It’s not because they’re Jews either. Many other people are blamed for the J- crucifixion of Jesus, including indeed according to Christian theology myself, and everyone here, um, is blamed. You know, we all contributed to the death of Jesus in that sense. So Jews are not singled out. There’s nothing that singles out Jews in particular as Jews, because they’re Jews in the Bible. Um, so I don’t agree with you that the Bible promotes antisemitism or has any single verse at all that is antisemitic in it. Jesus is obviously the Jewish Messiah. He claimed to fulfill Jewish scriptures and, um, and the Bible is written entirely by Jews. And largely about Jews and for Jews and so on. Um, it’s a very Jewish book, um, and it has no antisemitism in it. Whereas the Qur’an does have antisemitism in it.

  • 00:16:44

    Tim Dieppe
    Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not. But lie behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and learn that I have loved you. The issue isn’t, can I find antisemitism in the New Testament? Absolutely, I can find antisemitism in the writings of Paul, in the writings of the epistle of the Hebrews. But that’s not even the important point, because I would never say that because there are negative verses in the Bible, then therefore the Bible is negative.

  • 00:17:13

    Reza Aslan
    You know, your strategy here is to accuse the Bible of being antisemitic.

  • 00:17:17

    Tim Dieppe
    No.

  • 00:17:17

    Reza Aslan
    Rather than to defend the Qur’an.

  • 00:17:17

    Tim Dieppe
    Well, just to be clear, I’m not, I’m just trying to make a, a larger point.

  • 00:17:19

    John Donvan
    Well, let me, let me, let me, let me j- let me step in as, I’m going to step in the moderator here, because as I understand what you’re saying, Reza, is you’re, you’re, you’re citing the example of the Christian Bible, having phrases that you’re, you’re saying is antisemitic as a way to say that, that you don’t feel that the text of the Quran any more than the text of the Christian Bible should be used to tar the whole faith as, uh, being antisemitic.

  • 00:17:45

    Reza Aslan
    It’s not even about the, the C- the Christian scriptures or the Jewish scriptures or the Muslim scriptures. It’s about what scripture actually is. The same Torah that says do unto others as you would have them do unto you also says slay every non believer man, woman, and child. The same New Testament.

  • 00:18:03

    John Donvan
    I think you’ve made that point. And, and we understand why you’re making it. And I want to build on that to come back to Tim with this question, Tim, that kind of comes out of Reza’s opening argument and also is supported by what he’s saying now. He cited lines from the Quran and the Hadith, which he says are, look quite favorably upon the Jewish people. And you did not cite those, those were not part of, of your catalog, and he’s pushing back to say that the scripture itself is not a wholesale condemnation or, or, uh, indication of hatred or des- despising of the Jewish people because those positive lines are there. So what about that?

  • 00:18:36

    Tim Dieppe
    Yes. So, um, I, you know, here’s one thing, right? First of all, I do, my claim is not that every text of the Qur’an, every Islamic text is antisemitic, right? My claim is that there are antisemitic texts in the Qur’an that are very clear and blunt and straightforward and go right through to eternity and all that kind of stuff. Then when you’re going to say there are philo-Semitic texts in the Qur’an, well, he cited one that he claimed as philo-Semitic from Surah 2, verse 62.

  • 00:19:00

    John Donvan
    I, I just want to, I just want to, I just want to pause because you’re using a term of art which may not be familiar to a lot of people, which is philo-Semitic, which is, let’s say the opposite of antisemitism comes from the Greek word phylos, which means love or appreciation. It’s v- very, very positive word. So please go, go on, just, I didn’t want people to get lost on that.

  • 00:19:16

    Tim Dieppe
    Um, Surah 262, um, which he claims is philo-Semitic. Many Muslims believe that the, that verse is abrogated by 385 and 319. 385 says, “And whoever desires other than Islam as religion, never will it be accepted from him, and he and the hereafter will be among losers.” And Surah 319 says this, “Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who are given the scripture do not differ, except after knowledge had come to them out of jealo- jealousy and animosity between themselves. Those who have given the scriptures, of course, Jews and Christians. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed Allah is swift in taking to account.” Even if you don’t think that they are abrogated by those set verses there, it’s still, you know, most Muslims would take these verses and say, among them, among the Jews and Christians, who believe in Allah and the last day. And Muhammad seems to have the idea here that you can be a Christian or a Jew and be a Muslim.

    And, um, and that’s really what it’s saying here. Uh, those who are Jews and Christians who have accepted Allah and the last day and, and did righteousness according to Allah, according to the Qur’an, they will be the ones that will have their reward and so on. And so it’s not a blanket philo-Semitic verse at all. It’s actually, you know, in line with the rest of the teaching of the Qur’an.

  • 00:20:24

    Reza Aslan
    Allah is the Arabic word for God. It’s exactly what Jews called God. Jews called Allah in the Arabian Peninsula. Christians called God Allah in the Arabian Peninsula because they were Arabs who spoke Arabic. And abrogation, by the way, is a made up word to make sense of the fact that there are contradictory verses in the, in the Qur’an. Just like there are contradictory verses in the Torah, there are contradictory verses in the New Testament. The fact of the matter is, is that if you want to use scripture in order to make a judgment on the totality of the scripture, then you’re required to ignore the many, many verses that say the exact opposite, which is precisely why scholars don’t believe that scripture is just some program that human beings are sort of, you know, uh, computers that we, that the, the program enters the computer and then we just spout whatever the scripture tells us to believe.

    If again, that were true, then all religious people would have the exact same relationship to their scriptures. And that is demonstrably false. You keep saying most Muslims believe X, most Muslims believe that, even if that were true. The argument isn’t whether most Muslims are antisemitic, it’s whether under the definition of the ADL, that the I- Islam as a religion is predicated on the inferiority of the Jews as a people, and through historical examples, through scriptural examples, through the examples of the Prophet Muhammad himself that has been indicated to be not true.

  • 00:22:00

    John Donvan
    I want to focus a little bit, coming off of Reza’s point just there, to the notion that any faith has a foundational scripture, but to describe that faith, one would almost always go beyond what’s in between the covers of the book, that a faith has a culture, it has a practice, it has traditions, it has word of mouth handed down from time to time. And you look at Islam, it’s, it’s had 14 centuries now of, of religious teaching, of of sermons, of interactions among people, of different kinds of social arrangements. And does that body of experience support, also, the point that you’re making, that Islam is antisemitic? Or, or in other words, is everything that you’re saying is echoed through, through the rest of that history and through the rest of that experience?

  • 00:22:43

    Tim Dieppe
    Um, yes it is, yeah. I could cite theologian after theologian throughout Islamic history, um, and antisemitic statements um, made by them. And you go right back to, like, Al Tabari, Ibn Kathir, Al Malgil. Yeah, here’s one. This, this chap said, uh, Love of prophet requires hatred of the Jews. Ibn Kathir, um, says that, um, this text from Surah 261 indicates the children of Israel were plagued with humiliation and even going back to, like, the decree of Caliph Mutawakkil. Um, in 850, 850 AD, which is a dhimmi decree where he says that-

  • 00:23:17

    John Donvan
    Can you define the word dhimmi, please, for us? That’s another term of art.

  • 00:23:20

    Tim Dieppe
    Sorry, yes, that’s the subjugation that, um, uh, Jews and Christians have a subjugation status under Islamic rule, where they’re called dhimmi and they have to pay this jizya tax, which was referred to in, um, Surah 9, 29. And they have to dress differently, and they are not allowed, they don’t have legal rights, and the Jizya tax is an extortionate subjugation tax, um, imposed on them. And this, this goes throughout Islamic history, that they had to pay this tax, and they are quite often hit on the back of their head when they pay it and regarded as, as second class citizens.

  • 00:23:53

    John Donvan
    Okay, so you’re a strong yes that, let’s say, lived Islam for 14 centuries, has supported your argument that the faith is antisemitic. Reza, what’s your response to that?

  • 00:24:01

    Reza Aslan
    Well, let me begin by saying that is a profound mischaracterization of what dhimmi means. Dhimmi means protected people, and this was promulgated-

  • 00:24:08

    Tim Dieppe
    Protected from who?

  • 00:24:09

    Reza Aslan
    … at a time. Pro- protected from Christians! This is a pr- a time in which Jews were literally being murdered, massacred in genocidal acts specifically because the church was calling them Christ killers and they were fleeing to Muslim lands where they were protected in exchange for an extra tax, a protection tax. And there’s a reason why Jews flooded into these lands where you were saying that they were being subjugated because they didn’t want to live under Christian lands where they were being slaughtered.

    If the point of a religion being antisemitic is, are there moments of antisemitism throughout history, or are there prominent religious people who have espoused antisemitism? Then yeah. Then that would make Islam antisemitic. It would make Christianity antisemitic. It would make probably most religions that have had imperial expansion, antisemitic in one way or another. But that is not the way that we decide whether something is inherently antisemitic.

  • 00:25:06

    Tim Dieppe
    Well, so, so, but, but I think I would agree with you, Reza, um, that, you know, there’s been plenty of antisemitism in Christian history. Um, what I’m saying in response to John’s question there is that there’s been plenty of antis- antisemitism in Islamic history as well, appealing to the Qur’an for its justification.

  • 00:25:20

    John Donvan
    Tim, I, I wanted you to respond to the first part of Reza’s comment a moment ago, that in fact, Jews were protected under Islamic overlords and that they were protected from Christians and that that wouldn’t be happening if Islam, presumably, would not be happening if Islam were antisemitic.

  • 00:25:38

    Tim Dieppe
    Yes, so what Surah 929 says is both Jews and Christians have dhimmi status. They’re being protected from Muslims, from Islam, who would otherwise kill them. You know, in other words, they, they have three choices as a non-Muslim in an Islamic state. One is to convert to Islam, fair enough, then you’re, then you’re fine. One is to die, because you will not accept it. And the other is to accept dimitude status, where you pay the subjugation tax and have a kind of apartheid discriminatory system for you under that system.

  • 00:26:07

    Reza Aslan
    Well, what you call apartheid and subjugation, the Jews at the time called a cultural renaissance, which is exactly what happened to Judaism, uh, certainly in the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule. These are the Jews who were fleeing the Inquisition in Christianity. And far from experiencing a oppressed second class citizenship that didn’t allow them to live out their Jewish spirituality, which they did. What we saw instead is an absolute flowering of Jewish philosophy, Jewish science, Jewish literature. Figures like Maimonides, one of the most preeminent Jewish philosophers in the world, thrived in, in, in Muslim levels.

  • 00:26:47

    Tim Dieppe
    Can I quote from Maimonides? Uh, he wrote his letter to the epistle to the Jews of Yemen. He said, um, remember my co-religionists that on account of the vast number of our sins, God has hurled us in the midst of this people, the Arabs who have persecuted us severely passed, painful and discriminate to legislation against us as scriptures forewarned us, our enemies, themselves to judge us. Never did a nation molest degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.

  • 00:27:11

    Reza Aslan
    The reason you have ever heard of Maimonides is because he wasn’t slaughtered in the Inquisition and instead was given the time and the energy and the place to write down his philosophical works, uh, under Muslim rule. And he wasn’t the only one. We are talking about centuries of what every historian refers to as a Jewish renaissance in the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule.

  • 00:27:36

    John Donvan
    When we see Hamas citing the Hadith that Tim mentioned earlier about every rock is hiding a Jew and kill him and let the rocks call out, here’s a Jew, kill the Jew, and Hamas or, or any, let’s say, jihadist group is citing the Qur’an or the hadiths to make its case, to justify what it’s doing. Is that antisemitism?

  • 00:27:57

    Reza Aslan
    Of course that action is Antisemitism. The question then is, is the, is the antisemitism inherent in the Qur’an? So if Hamas says, uh, we’re going to use the Qur’an and use this anti-Jewish statement in order to promote antisemitism, and another Palestinian says, well, I’m going to use the Qur’an and the verses that talk about Jews as being part of the larger ummah, I’m going to, I’m going to quote the Hadith that says anyone who harms a Jew has me as their accuser at the end of time. Which one of them is right? Which one of them is wrong? Is the one that, that uses the anti-Jewish sentiment, he’s, that, that’s the true Islam, but the other one is the false Islam? That’s the problem with religion, as all scholars know.

  • 00:28:42

    John Donvan
    Excellent question that I’d like to take to Tim in this forum. Tim, if there, if there is a Muslim individual who’s citing the language that Reza just used, that is, let’s say, philo-Semitic, um, that supports Jews. If that individual says to you, I’m a Muslim and I don’t hate Jews. I’m a Muslim and I’m not antisemitic. What do you make of that Muslim? Is that Muslim not following the faith in your view?

  • 00:29:02

    Tim Dieppe
    I think great, you know, well done to that Muslim. Um, and I would be interested to know what they made of these texts I’ve just cited earlier on and how they managed to disregard all of them, you know, but um, but there are many Muslims who aren’t antisemitic definitely and and I’ve met lots of them and um, many Muslims are lovely and gentle and kind people, but the Muslims who take the Qur’an seriously I’ve got to really wrestle with these texts and, and, and take the Hadith seriously as well and take the example of Muhammad seriously as well.

    You know, Muhammad did fight against Jews and so on and instructed people to kill them and all of that kind of thing. And you’ve got to deal with that and you’ve got to wrestle with it. You’ve got to work out what it means.

  • 00:29:36

    Reza Aslan
    I would imagine those Muslims would respond to their scripture the same way you responded to the antisemitism in the New Testament by just simply saying, well, the blood libel thing, that was a historical aspect. It does not count for now, et cetera. That’s how people respond to their scriptures, which is why I began this entire thing, by saying we insert our values in it.

  • 00:29:58

    Tim Dieppe
    Great, but you can’t respond that way to a text that says something like animosity and hatred forever, until the day of resurrection stirring up trouble for you. This is not something you just say, oh that’s just those Jews then, right? It says it’s eschatological, it carries on right through till today. Do not take Jews and Christians as your friends and so on. you know, clear, absolute commands there, you cannot respond in the same way I responded, because you don’t have texts like that in the Bible that, that curse you forever.

  • 00:30:23

    Reza Aslan
    So, again, just to be clear, what you are indicating here is that there are some verses in the Bible that have a limit, a time limit to them that don’t count anymore, and some that do, and you decide which one does and doesn’t based on your own values. That’s my entire point. You insert your values into your scripture, you don’t derive them from them.

  • 00:30:42

    Tim Dieppe
    No, I, I know. Everyone agrees that the Old Testament has been abrogated or superseded by the New Testament.

  • 00:30:47

    Reza Aslan
    Someone would say that’s pretty antisemitic right there. That the Old Testament, the scripture of Jesus, was abrogated by Paul’s reading of the, of the Old Testament.

  • 00:30:57

    Tim Dieppe
    By our definition of antisemitism, that’s not antisemitic.

  • 00:31:00

    John Donvan
    So, I have to jump in because we’re hitting a time break here. Um, we’re going to continue our conversation when we come back. Again, we’re taking on the question, is Islam antisemitic? And when we return, I want to bring into the conversation three more people who are here to ask questions based on their expertise and their insights as people who’ve been thinking and writing about this topic for a very, very long time. So, please stay with us. We’ll be right back after the break. This is Open to Debate. I’m John Donvan.

    Welcome back to Open to Debate where we’re taking on the question, is Islam antisemitic? I’m John Donvan, and I’m joined by our two debaters, Tim Dieppe, who is head of public policy at Christian Concern, and Reza Aslan, who’s a writer and religious scholar. So we want to bring in some other voices, people who, uh, have been following the conversation that you’ve been hearing as well. But they also all of the time are thinking and writing about these topics and giving some thought to them. And the first person I’d like to welcome in is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Uh, Rabbi Shmuley is a rabbi and an author and a media host and has long been a, a leading voice in the Jewish community. Rabbi Shmuley, welcome. Thanks very much for joining us on Open to Debate. It’s great to have you.

  • 00:32:16

    Rabbi Shmuley
    First of all, thank you very much for such an important discussion. Uh, Reza, I agree with many of the points that you made. I’ll return to that in a moment, but may I just say, because this is an era of misunderstanding, defamation against the Jews, there is nothing in our Torah that ever says that any non-believer should be put to death. But let’s just go straight to your, to, to some of your points. I agree with you. My father’s from an Islamic land. He was born in Iran. He did pay the jizya. There was no Holocaust in Islamic lands. Is it not true? And let me say this to Tim and, and Reza, that it’s not what a particular Bible says, whether it’s the New Testament of the Quran or indeed the Torah, it’s how it is interpreted in every age.

    So Reza, while I completely agree with you that the Jews of Spain and Portugal were granted sanctuary by the Ottoman Turks, for which we remain eternally grateful. And amidst the quotation from Maimonides in the, um, about, uh, Yemen, in the Yemenite letter, it is also true that he was treated with great respect by the greatest Islamic Commander and conqueror of all time, Sultan Saladin. He was his personal physician. The issue, however, is that I feel that both of you are not addressing modern times, how Islam is being interpreted today. Christianity was once the most antisemitic of all religions. Today, evangelical Christians are the most pro-Israel group in the United States. Pope Francis, who I’ve met, Pope Benedict, who I’ve met, are phenomenally pro-Israel.

    The problem we see is that 70 to 80%, according to polls of Muslims, support the attacks of October 7th and 8th. They’re not the Muslims that I meet in Abu Dhabi and Dubai who are extremely tolerant of the Abraham Accords. The question is, Reza, are you not concerned with how few Islamic scholars and leaders today are condemning the overt antisemitism that seems to be the voice of the majority?

  • 00:33:53

    Reza Aslan
    Well, I think I would probably disagree with that notion that there are no sort of Islamic scholars or leaders out there condemning antisemitism. Antisemitism is a very real, very toxic poison that is running through Muslim majority communities all around the world. Some of it is just flat out racism. A lot of it, as you well know, is politically motivated and tied to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I do think that it is somewhat concerning to say that most evangelical Christians are not antisemitic because they are pro-Israel, because I don’t think those two things are necessarily connected, and indeed, when it comes to evangelical views of Israel, I remind you that these are apocalyptic views that are predicated on the idea that Israel’s eventual takeover of Eretz Israel will lead to Jesus coming back and eventually slaughtering all non-believers, including Jews.

    So we don’t disagree that there is antisemitism amongst Muslims. The question here however, is according to the ADL definition, is Islam inherently antisemitic? And I would say no to that simply because of the fact that there are a number of, uh, what we’re calling philo-Semitic versus in the Qur’an and in the Hadith. And as importantly, for every historical example of violence towards Jews among Muslim communities, we can find examples of not just protection of Jews, but communion with Jews.

  • 00:35:23

    John Donvan
    I’d like to, to take the question to Tim also, because Tim, in your opening, you only briefly mentioned a present day poll regarding attitudes towards Jews and but the th- the thrust of your argument was about the text.

  • 00:35:35

    Tim Dieppe
    And the grand mufti of, um, Jerusalem as well, I think.

  • 00:35:38

    John Donvan
    Yeah, but to Rabbi Shmuley’s point, as the Muslim community lives today, does, is it exhibiting antisemitic views or not?

  • 00:35:46

    Rabbi Shmuley
    First of all, according to polls, yes, there’s high levels of antisemitism amongst, um, Muslims. So, I think the ADL survey found, um, 49% of Muslims harbor antisemitic attitudes compared to 26% of the global population. So, there’s that. Um, in terms of, you know, what’s happening today, I can quote you from a sermon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last month, where the imam said this, according to the Qur’an, who are those with whom Allah is upset or angry? The Jews, followed by whom, the misguided ones, who are who, they’re the Christians, and so on.

    Another sermon in Connecticut mosque in, in, uh, November 2023, the Imam said Muslims recite the first chapter of the Qur’an 17 times every day and always be reminded of Allah’s anger towards the Jews. And I could quote you, you know, many other people as well in modern times. Sheikh, um, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who’s president of the European Council of Fatwa Research and appointed trustee of the Oxford Center of Islamic Studies, tweeted in 2017, the Qur’an does not devote as much space to the Persians and Romans as it does the Jews, whose crimes and depraved deeds it exposes. They are the greatest of liars when they speak, the greatest of villains when they quarrel, and the most treacherous of people when they make pacts. So both of those cases they cited the Qur’an. The imam in Fort Lauderdale said according to the Qur’an, this is what it says, and, uh, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi said the Qur’an does not give us as much space as it does the Jews.

  • 00:37:05

    John Donvan
    Thank you, Tim. And thanks, Rabbi, very much for your question. I want to now bring in Sahar Aziz. Um, Sahar is at Rutgers, um, a distinguished Professor of Law, Chancellor, Social Justice, uh, scholar and founding director of Rutgers Center for Security, Race, and Rights. She’s the author of a book that’s considered groundbreaking, The Racial Muslim, When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom, and co author with Mitchell Plitnick of the report, Presumptively Antisemitic, Islamophobic Trobes in the Palestine Israel Conflict. Sahar, thanks very much for joining us on Open to Debate, and please come in with your question.

  • 00:37:34

    Sahar Aziz
    It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for being, for inviting me, and I just want to state the obvious, that it is delightful, and refreshing to see people who disagree debate civilly, uh, and with respect, which unfortunately has been-

  • 00:37:49

    John Donvan
    Isn’t it though. That’s-

  • 00:37:49

    Sahar Aziz
    … has been lacking in American society in the last few decades. (laughs)

  • 00:37:53

    John Donvan
    That’s what we aim for. I, I already want to thank our two debaters for how they’re doing this and I’ll do it again at the end and I thank you for doing that.

  • 00:37:59

    Sahar Aziz
    So let me just provide the question holistically similar to the, the rabbi’s approach. Uh, the Qur’an, as we know, is a collection of all revelations from God to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel over the course of 22 years from 610 AD to 632 AD. And the vast majority of the verses were directly related to the spiritual tribulations and political challenges facing the Prophet and the Muslim community at that specific moment in time when the revelation happened. And so, for that reason, Muslims study the circumstances when the verse is revealed, the relationship between the text, the Qur’an, and, you know, and the Hadith, or what we call the sayings of the Prophet, to understand the complexity of the revelations of the Qur’an, uh, as well as the various judicial interpretations by the ulama or the Islamic jurists over centuries.

    So my question to both speakers is, can you explain what specifically was happening at the time of each verse that Tim selectively read out of context to support the claim that Islam, the religion, is antisemitic? I would like to know what that context is, um, in which Tim just selectively took things out.

  • 00:39:03

    John Donvan
    So, Hal, can I understand that the thrust of your question is getting at the idea that the statements in the Qur’an that certainly to modern ears sound antisemitic is actually not that but that historically there were political conflicts happening and that they were referring to their enemies of the moment in that specific period of time as opposed to eternally finding something really negative about Jews. Am I understanding that that’s the thrust of your question?

  • 00:39:30

    Sahar Aziz
    Yes, but just to clarify that the verses in the Qur’an were revelations. They came down at a specific time to address either-

  • 00:39:40

    John Donvan
    Okay.

  • 00:39:40

    Sahar Aziz
    … broad spiritual questions or to assist the Prophet in dealing with the very serious and systematic persecution of Muslims in that place and at that time by various stakeholders, by various groups.

  • 00:39:54

    John Donvan
    Okay, let me let Reza take that first and then Tim, you, you get your crack at it.

  • 00:39:58

    Reza Aslan
    Yeah, well, I think that’s true of all scriptures. You don’t know the context through which our scriptures have been, uh, delivered, then you don’t really understand the meaning behind it. This true of all scriptures. I think specifically, probably what Sahar is referring to is the conflict between the, um, Muslim community under Muhammad and the Banu Qurayza, which Tim mentioned, you know, the execution of the Jews. But it’s important to understand that neither the Banu Qurayza nor their, their, uh, associates, the Banu Nadir, were executed for being Jews. They were executed for taking the side of the Banu Quraysh against Muhammad in the middle of a war. Uh, and in fact, Michael Lecker, a scholar, has demonstrated that a significant number of the Banu Qilub, who were Arabs, who were aligned with the Banu Qurayza, were also executed at the end of that war.

    And of course, thousands of Jews continued to live in the Arabian Peninsula alongside Muslims amicably for many, many years after the execution, uh, of the Qurayza. So I, I just think it’s a historical fallacy to say that that was a, an antisemitic act. It was a war between two different tribal groups.

  • 00:41:12

    John Donvan
    Mm-hmm. Tim, your answer to that question?

  • 00:41:14

    Tim Dieppe
    Yeah, so, um, Muhammad moved into Medina, um, I think that was in 622, and, uh, then started fighting battles against various people, including the Quraysh tribe, and there were three tribes of Jews in, um, the area of Medina. Um, Medina was about when he moved in there, about 50% Jewish or so. He expelled the first tribe, the Banu Qanuka, um, on the pretext that they’d violated agreement, although he actually threatened them first, so I think he’d broken the agreement first. He then expelled the next tribe, the Banat al Nadir, on the pretext of treachery. In fact, Muhammad claimed that in a dream it’d been revealed to him they were plotting to drop a rock from a roof on his head, so that was his pretext for going to war.

    I think people would say that’s not a good pretext for going to war. Um, and then the Banat Qurayza, um, after being accused of conspiring with the Meccans and Gabriel, apparently, speaking to Muhammad saying, Muhammad comm- commands you to go and fight them. Um, he thought, well, they surrendered. I mean, there wasn’t even a battle. They surrendered. And then he just killed every man there. So, yes, I, you know, these texts, yes, I agree we should look at them in context, definitely. But I think, you know, it’s fair enough the way I quoted them in the opening statement.

  • 00:42:23

    John Donvan
    Okay, thank you very, very much for your question Sahar. We really appreciate it. And, uh, finally, I want to bring in Mustafa Akyol, he’s a senior fellow on Islam and modernity at the Cato Institute. He’s the author of Islam Without Extremes, a Muslim Case for Liberty, and he’s got a book about to come out, The Islamic Moses, How the Prophet Inspired Jews and Muslims to Flourish Together and Change the World, which sounds like a very, very optimistic scenario. Mustafa, welcome. Thank you very much for, uh, for joining us on Open to Debate and please come in with your question.

  • 00:42:51

    Mustafa Akyol
    Sure. Thanks for having me. I have a question to Tim. Uh, there’s a good book by Israeli scholar, Meir Bar Asher, titled Jews and the Qur’an. And I have the chance to write a foreword for it. There, uh, Tim, he doesn’t agree with you. He doesn’t say the Qur’an is antisemitic. He says the Qur’an is ambiguous about Jews. There are lots of positive texts. There are some negative ones. And he says, you know, you can read this in different ways. But he says, in the modern period, fundamentalists, militant groups like Hamas, emphasize the negative parts. So, don’t you fear that by you also highlighting only the negative parts, would you be helping those groups that their, their view that Islam is antisemitic? They, they are antisemitic and they love that and you seem to justify or I mean support what they’re saying.

  • 00:43:40

    Tim Dieppe
    No, I don’t absolutely do not support what they’re saying. Thank you for having me to clarify that. (laughs)

  • 00:43:46

    Mustafa Akyol
    I mean support in the sense that you kind of empower what they’re saying. Yes, you’re saying yeah, you’re right. I mean there have been after 911 there were people who were saying yeah, Bin Laden is the best Muslim, he’s right. They said this because they hated Islam because they wanted to believe that Bin Laden is the ideal Muslim, whereas lots of other Muslims like myself or Reza and billions around the, a billion people around the world would say, no, no, that’s not right. Islam is not about killing innocent people. So I would look into Israeli scholars, like Meir Ben Ashari, who says, no, it’s not that black and white. And I think history is not black and white either.

  • 00:44:18

    Tim Dieppe
    Listen, uh, you know, great to have the debate, you know, I’d love to talk to you perhaps a bit longer about it because not many father Semitic texts have been cited here today, and I’ve rebutted the one that was cited, and I think all the philo-Semitic texts I’ve found, you know, in the context, they go on to curse the Jews or say something else about the Jews and, and um, criticize the Jews, and the texts that I’ve cited in my opening statement are, like I said, open-ended, till the day of resurrection, animosity and hatred forever, and so on.
    And so I think that these texts do demonstrate that, that antisemitism, um, can be found in the Qur’an, in Islamic texts, and so on, and that, um, therefore, you know, uh, I’m not surprised to see, um, Muslim groups, modern day Muslim groups, appearing to these texts to justify their antisemitism. And, um, I don’t know if that’s answered your question or not. I mean, I’d love to delve into all the other texts as well if we had time. But I don’t think we have quite enough time.

  • 00:45:08

    John Donvan
    No, we don’t because we’re just about, we’re just about out of time. And thank you, Mustafa. And now we are going to move into the third round of this debate. And that is where each of the debater gets to bring it home with a closing remark. Tim, you have the first shot at this. You have one more chance to give us your case for why Islam is antisemitic. The floor is yours.

  • 00:45:26

    Tim Dieppe
    Thank you. Um, Reza Aslan says in his book, no, God, but God that the Al-Azhar Mosque University is the closest thing, quote, the closest thing in the Muslim world to a Vatican. Um, Mohammed Sayyid Tantawy was the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque until he died in 2010. Arguably then one of the closest things to a pope in the Islamic world. Here’s what, uh, Sheik Tantawy said about the Jews. He said this, “The Qur’an describes the Jews as their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of God, corrupting his word by putting them in the wrong places, consuming people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness. The Almighty Allah’s word from 582 you will surely find the most intense people and animosity towards the believers to be the Jews, is a statement that serves in, in continuation to reinforce other verses that precede it, verses that documented the many despicable characteristics and crooked and cunning ways of the Jews.”

    I just want to quote that statement and note how he justifies these blatantly antisemitic statements by reference to the Qur’an. Tantawy has studied the Qur’an far more than I have and far more than Reza has, arguably, and he used the Qur’an there to justify his antisemitism. I submit to you that Tantawy, and I could quote many other scholars as well, was right. Islam, as defined by its text, is antisemitic.

  • 00:46:42

    John Donvan
    Thank you, Tim. And now Reza, you get the final word here in our debate. One more time, you are answering no to the question, is Islam antisemitic? Your last chance to tell us why.

  • 00:46:50

    Reza Aslan
    Um, in our debate, which I very much en- enjoyed, uh, Maimonides was brought up, and it reminded me of a man by the name of Abraham Ben Jacob, who was this Jewish scholar, lived in 12th century Christian Spain, who fled persecution and forced conversion in violet pogroms to seek safety in, um, Muslim lands. The persecution that he fled was deliberately, uh, promulgated by Pope, uh, Urban, uh, and the Vatican, which isn’t like the Vatican, it is actually the Vatican, which labeled all Jews as Christ killers, and hence the blood, uh, libel. Uh, Abraham settled in Egypt which was an incredibly, uh, toler- tolerant and, uh, place and encouraged intellectual pursuits.

    And there he was able to actually pursue his scholarly work, um, and his philosophical works with regard to the Jewish community. And it was there that Abraham first came into context, uh, c- contact with, um, the Guide for the Perplexed by Maimonides himself, which of course was written in Arabic, which was the language of learning during Maimonides’ time. And it was Abraham who, under the encouragement of the Muslim rulers there, translated that incredible text from Arabic into Hebrew and in fact did a, a lot more translations as well, allowing Maimonides to have the lasting impact on Jewish thought that he does today. And that to me is a clear example of why it’s very dangerous to sort of label Islam as a religion as inherently antisemitic. In its core teachings, it recognizes Jews as part of a shared Abrahamic tradition. The historical evidence shows periods of peaceful coexistence and cultural flourishing, and again, it’s in Christianity that has trafficked most antisemitism. But we wouldn’t call Christianity inherently antisemitic. I don’t know why we would call Islam such.

  • 00:48:51

    John Donvan
    Thank you very much, um, Reza, and uh, that’s a wrap on this debate. So I want to thank our two debaters, Tim Dieppe and Reza Aslan. You really did something we see rarely happen these days, which is to have two people who disagree on something very powerful and in some ways personal and disagree passionately about it, to have a conversation with us and to do so civilly and with respect for one another. And you both did that superbly well. I want to thank you both for the way that you handled yourselves in this conversation for us.

  • 00:49:18

    Reza Aslan
    Our pleasure. Thank you very much.

  • 00:49:20

    Tim Dieppe
    Thank you. Thank you for hosting it. Appreciate the discussion.

  • 00:49:22

    John Donvan
    And I also want to thank those who joined the conversation as well for bringing in questions that moved us to even more interesting places, Rabbi Shmuley, Sahar Aziz, and Mustafa Akyol. And finally, a big thank you to all of you, the audience, for tuning into this episode of Open to Debate. As I think many of you now know, uh, we are a non-profit working to combat extreme polarization through civil debate, and our work is made possible by listeners like you, and also by the Rosenkranz Foundation and by supporters of Open to Debate.

    Robert Rosenkranz is our chairman, our CEO is Clea Conner, Lia Matthow is our chief content officer, Elizabeth Kitzenberg is our chief advancement officer. The episode was produced by Alexis Pancrazi and Marlette Sandoval. Editorial and research by Gabriella Mayer and Andrew Foote. Andrew Lipson and Max Fulton provided production support. Millie Shaw is director of audience development. The Open to Debate team also includes Gabrielle Iannucelli, Rachel Kemp, Linda Lee. Damon Whittemore mixed this episode. Our theme music is by Alex Clement. And I’m John Donvan. We’ll see you next time on Open to Debate.

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