Blood libel in paradise

This is a cross post by Dave Rich from the CST Blog

The contemporary blood libel about Israelis or Jews stealing the body parts of non-Jews, which was unleashed in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in August last year, shows no signs of abating. We have written before on this blog about its promotion in the UK by the Iranian state broadcaster Press TV; and by the Muslim Association of Britain, recently described in Parliament by a Foreign & Commonwealth Office minister as “the [Muslim] Brotherhood’s representative in the UK”. The myth has so far spread to encompass Israel/Palestine, Algeria, Haiti and Ukraine, and is examined in depth on pages 43 – 47 of CST’s Antisemitic Discourse Report for 2009 (pdf).

Now this blood libel myth has emerged in the Maldives, which a team of Israeli doctors is visiting to hold a series of free eye clinics for Maldivians. In response, theIslamic Foundation of the Maldives warned last month:

Maldivians are not impressed with the news that a team of seven doctors from the Jewish state of Israel visiting this country to conduct eye surgeries at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Malé. The Israeli doctors and surgeons have become notorious for illegally harvesting organs from non-Jews around the world.

Not long after the news of the horrible earthquake that struck Haiti, Israeli medical teams jumped on the scene to harvest organs from dead or injured Haitians. There have been various reports of allegations on the news media about Israeli medical teams working in disaster zones secretly stealing organs from fresh corpses.

Thousands of bodies, including people known to have been alive were transferred to Abu Kabir Forensic Institute near Tel Aviv, Israel’s only autopsy facility notorious for organ trafficking. Its chief pathologist, Dr Yehuda Hiss admitted stealing human organs but was never held accountable. (emphasis added)

According to the Maldivian news website Minivan News, the President of the Islamic Foundation Ibrahim Fauzy said that “it is also against our religion to have relationships with Jews.”

This week more Maldivian organisations have weighed in, with one, Jamiyyathusalaf, advising Maldivians to arm themselves to defend their country from their Jewish visitors:

Religious NGO Jamiyyathusalaf has called on the government to “provide military training to all Muslim Maldivians and familiarise citizens with the use of modern weaponry” before “Jews take over the country”, days before a controversial visit by a team of Isreali (sic) surgeons to offer free-of-charge eye camps in Male’, Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo and Addu Atoll Hithadhoo.

A statement on Salaf’s website claims that “Maldivians would not accept under any circumstances extremist Jewish organisations from Israel, which ignores UN resolutions in brutalising Muslims, exerting influence in the Maldives.”


The religious conservation Adaalath party, coalition partner of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) which controls the Islamic Ministry, meanwhile issued a press release yesterday claiming that it has learned “from reliable sources” that the camp is funded by the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

“Doctors who are coming for this eye camp are from a Zionist organisation called ‘Eyes from Zion’,” reads the Adhaalath statement. “Don’t think that these are doctors from a normal hospital! We have learned that a group from the Israeli Foreign Ministry will be coming with them.”

It adds that while the party has welcomed medical teams from countries such as Germany, America and India in the past, the Israeli delegation was a different matter.


The statement adds that “Zionists wishing to freely assist a 100 percent Muslim country defies logic” since it is “as clear as the afternoon sun that Jews would not wish well for Muslims”, cautioning that help from Israel would only come with “a hidden agenda”.

“Today it’s a team of doctors. Tomorrow it will be Israeli flights. Then will follow Israeli teachers, technicians and advisors,” it reads, adding that Adhaalath has voiced concern with the government’s efforts “to dim the role of Islamic studies” ever since it began pursuing relations with the Jewish state.


However, Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari told Minivan News today that the ministry has neither raised concerns with the government nor urged the authorities not to go ahead with the camp.

Bari insisted that the Adhaalath press release did not reflect the views of the Islamic Ministry.

Some 739 people in Male’ and 879 in Addu and Fuvahmulah have registered for treatment at the eye camp on December 9.

Just as striking as the allegations of organ theft from living people, and the hysteria about Jewish infiltration and subversion of Maldivian society, is the assumption that it is impossible for Muslims and Jews to have good relations, or to want to. According to the US State Department International Religious Freedom Report 2010, the Maldives is a country in which religious freedom “is restricted significantly”: all citizens must be Muslims; no non-Muslim places of worship can be built; non-Muslims do not have the vote (in contravention of several international conventions signed by the country); the President, cabinet minister and members of Parliament must be not just Muslims, but Sunni Muslims.

The presence of antisemitism, it is often said, is an indicator of wider problems in a society: in this case, a complete hostility to the very idea of religious freedom and diversity. It is also said that antisemitism does not need the presence of Jews to exist, and here is more evidence of the phenomenon.