Guest Blogger on Morsi, Jews, Pigs and Apes

By | Jan 18, 2013


By Aylin Kocaman

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s new head of state., called the Jews in 2010  “sons of apes and pigs”

Morsi addresses Jews in this way in a video clip that has recently appeared in the press, together with an even worse expression. Morsi, who has been trying to create an impression of a peaceable attitude to the Jews since taking over in Egypt, who promised that the Jews would be guaranteed freedom of worship under the new constitution and who declared that he was not responsible for his adviser’s words who said to the Jews that “There won’t be a thing called Israel anymore; so occupiers (Jews) will have to return their homelands”, said those words in 2010. Is that really what he thought? Does he still think like that? And I wonder if Morsi, who has placed the Jews under protection now, has elected to behave tactically instead of explicitly setting out his ideas? Have his ideas changed, or his tactics?

It is not easy to speak on Morsi’s behalf. He comes, after all, from a background closely entwined and associated with radicalism. He took over from a dictatorship. The popular uprising in Egypt was certainly justified, but it is difficult to govern a people in rebellion. Tired of dictatorship and the impositions of socialist nationalism, the public were hopeful of the new arrival, but also suspicious. The possibility of a new dictator terrified the Egyptian people, and that fear rose before Morsi with every step he took. It is not easy to take over in such a country. But what such a country needs, rather than politicians who hide their true faces and act in the light of expectations rather than what is right, is politicians who defend the truth and right.

So which of these reflects Morsi’s true thinking? Understanding this is the key to understanding Morsi, in my opinion. Because if Morsi still bears the marks of his radical past, then he will have much to hate, and it goes without saying that Jews come at the top of the radicals’ hate list. But if his efforts to protect Jews and guarantee their right to worship are sincere, then we can allow ourselves some guarded optimism for Egypt.

Let us now look at Morsi’s statement from 2010. The insulting words “descendants of apes and pigs,” aimed at Jews reflects the logic of radicals who claim to represent Islam (our Jewish brothers/sisters are beyond that). But how do these fundamentalists draw such an interpretation from the Koran?

The Koran speaks of a community that God makes apes and pigs: This community is one that has emerged from those who have been given a Book, in other words, from Christians and Jews (5:60–
7: 166). Another verse (2:65) speaks of “…those who broke the Sabbath,” who are told to “Be apes.” It appears from this that the community in question emerges from among the Jews. These communities that are despised in those verses have one very important characteristic: They are deniers and aggressive. The rebellious nature of this community is described in the previous verses as their mocking believers’ faith and acts of worship and their making problems for believers. One verse reads:

You who have faith! do not take as guardians any of those given the Book before you or the disbelievers who make a mockery and a game out of your religion. (5: 57)

The words “…who make a mockery and a game out of your faith” require closer inspection: Only those of the people from the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) who mock religion being elevated as rulers and administrators is condemned in the Koran. But what about those who don’t mock religion?

A couple of verses after the above verse, the position of those people is described:

Those who have faith and those who are Jews and the Sabaeans and the Christians, all who have faith in God and the Last Day and act rightly will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (5: 69)

The same verse is repeated in verse 2:62, just before verse 65, which speaks of “apes.”

In this verse, God imparts glad tidings to Jews who believe in God and do good deeds (and also to Christians). They are freed from fear in this world and the hereafter and they are rewarded. This is the glad news of paradise. In other words, God loves them. How can a Muslim not love those whom God loves?

Finally, just before verse 7:166, in which God says “Be apes”, He praises good Jews in these terms:

Among the people of Moses there is a group who guide by the truth and act justly in accordance with it. (7: 159)

In these sections of these verses, it is unbelieving Jews who mock religion, that are aggressive and make difficulties for believers who are despised, while honest and pure Jews are praised and rewarded. Just like Muslims who mock religion, are aggressive and make things difficult for believers are despised in the Koran, while pure and honest Muslims are praised…

Numerous verses that praise Jews and Christians are rejected in the polluted world of the fundamentalists; many are totally unaware of these verses. Others have described Jews in these terms. They cannot know that it is aggressive mockers who are described as apes, not immaculate Jews. There is no Koran in these people’s lives. They live isolated from the outside world in tiny ghettos, and they are surrounded by a fundamentalist worldview pervaded by hatred. Their religion is not Islam, though they think it is. For that reason, the greatest scourge in the world is radicalism, a scourge on all religions and ideas, and the main source of this is ignorance.

Was Morsi caught up in this ignorance? Maybe. But hearing this from a Muslim head of state, albeit in the past, shows the dimensions of this ignorance. Is it really so hard to understand the Koran? No. But the problem is they don’t know Koran. And people who do not know the Koran cannot know their faith. That has to be established first. And that cannot be done with bombs and aggression and rage. Upstanding people like us must come together and make use of our greatest weapons, love and patience. We must be teachers who wipe away their hatred. We must know we are dealing with ignorance, not with an enemy. Those who disagree and favor war must not forget that if the problem is ignorance, then guns, rockets, war, rage and hatred are of no use. They just encourage the ignorant to be more hateful.


The writer is a commetator and religious and political analyst on Turkish TV and also a peace activist. She is a host on the Building Bridges Show (  She writes as an op-ed columnist for the Jerusalem Post, the Washington Post and several online newspapers in Turkey.




22 thoughts on “Guest Blogger on Morsi, Jews, Pigs and Apes

  1. Ceren Ataman says:

    Good article. Thanks for your views.

  2. Yazid says:

    She is friends of the zionist.

    Qur’an (5:51) – “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”

    Bismillah ALrahman alraheem. If i meet you ever, i swear in the name of Allah, that i will stop you, from spreading lies about Islam and twisting it into a zionist religion that is anti islam and pro secularism. You zionist. I spit on you.

    1. Gulfreen says:

      AsalamoAlkum Bro Yazid We Muslims must stop misrepresenting our religion Islam means Peace among all faiths and humanity. I agree with Sis Aylin she has thrown great enlightenment and explained the Quranic Verse with true meanings these Verses are warnings for us all from Allah telling us whoever breaks His covenants what happens to them and vengeance is not for us to take and no one should uses such Verses of the Quran to hurt Jews or others. Allah doesn’t like fitnah among Mankind We must stop hatred in the World . You have quoted above Verse 5-51 and If Allah forbids friendship with Jews and Christian then why Allah has allowed Muslims in the Quran this “This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith – his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers”. Surah Al Maidah…. Allah bless n unite us all.

    2. Görkem Erdoğan says:

      You got it wrong, because from what I am reading I can see that she is a devoted servant of Allah as she is speaking the truth about the Koran and Allah’s commands as to how our relations should be like with the people of the book. I advise you take the Prophet (saas) as an example; if you do you will see that he was very just and fair towards the people of the book and he was a true protector for them and treated everyone with love and respect because this is the noble attitude commanded by Allah in the Koran.

    3. Yazid, if I meet you ever, I swear in the name of Allah that I will eradicate your dirty, filthy, bigoted mentality. And I will watch you embracing the Jews and Christians with full compassion and love. This is a big swear. and I swear it again and again, in the name of Allah.

    4. James says:

      Yazid — I think you are an extremely racist and vile person. It’s because of people like you that Islamophobia is on the rise all over the world. It’s because of people like you that Islam and Muslims get a bad name.

      Please, STOP what you’re doing, and take your hate elsewhere. Good Muslims like Aylin are trying to build bridges between Jews and Muslims, and people like you want to ruin her hardwork.

      STOP IT! Because of racists like you, other innocent Muslims get a bad name. Shame on you for insulting Aylin.

      was convened to condemn the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

    5. Edin Limani says:


      You should be apologizing to sister Aylin, regret deeply your dirty statements and filthy way of thinking. Firstly, ask for forgiveness to Allah, for twisting the verses of the holy Quran. The verse you refer to, according to the true meaning of the words from Arabic, they mean, not to take Christians or Jews or any other for leaders, as leaders. And of course, we can not. We abide by the Quran and the words of Allah are pure and always emphasize love and tolerance. As for threats, I swear to you, as a former soldier of Kosovo and soldier of Allah, you will not be able to touch one hair her, nevertheless spit.

      I too swear by the name of Allah and all His beautiful names that you’r twisted, filthy way of thinking and expressing your self will be stopped and washed and cleansed out of this planet, inshaAllah.

  3. Naema Mohamed says:

    Well said

  4. Abdellah says:

    plz how can you say that even you don’t wear hijab .how can you break a heart of the leader of a muslim country

    1. Gulfreen says:

      AsalamoAlkum Sis Abdellah Sis Aylia been excellent has put enlightenment on the Verses of the Quran and made clear true meanings of it which should not be used by anyone to hurt others that misrepresents Islam religion. Doesn’t mean Muslim don’t make mistakes and apologize If Muslim leader said it then perhaps he would like to make clear he didn’t mean it that would be very nice of him after all we are humans and make errors in our judgments. By the way Hajab its not the Law should be enforced but choice in the Quran for ladies, InShaAllah. Allah bless you.

  5. magdy Ali says:

    that is very disgusting. shame on him! as a Muslim I was taught by Qura’an, to respect every one from different religions. I am so sorry for such expression!

  6. Didem Rahvancı says:

    Thanks sister Aylin for this nice article. We believe in the same and one and only Allah with Jews and Christians and we are all brothers and sisters.

  7. beyza says:

    Muslim world needs such sincerity. And radicals should be educated that way. thank you for this beautiful article.

  8. Asli Sume says:

    Thank you dear Aylin for this wise article of yours

  9. abraham roy says:

    Satisfactory explanation. thanks…

  10. Görkem Erdoğan says:

    Very good article clarifying a crucial point Aylin thanks a lot for your sincere effort to bring people of faiths together around the circle of love and respect.

  11. Stefan says:

    When I read the various comments here, especially those of Yazid, I cannot see how can Islam claim to be the religion of peace and Concorde, when there are such graphic and vast differences in the interpretation of Qur’an and its verses or teachings.

    Aylin speaks of peace, love and respect for all religions while Yazid advocates inveterate hostility and hatred based on a Qur’an verse. One thing history has proven and taught all of us over and over is that respect begets respect, kindness begets kindness, hatred begets hatred and bloodshed returns bloodshed. If we can for once put aside all animosities and try to coexist peacefully while agreeing to respectfully disagree with one another, this world will be a better place for followers of all religions.

    Aylin is not a “friend of Zionists”, she a defender of the truth. When I see that in an Israeli Kindergarten, children sing of life, kindness and friendship whereas in a Palestinian Kindergarten small children wield toy Kalashnikovs and talk of martyrdom and killing; it becomes quite clear to me that the their parents want to keep the hatred and distrust alive in the hearts of their small children and those children will grow with bloodshed, anger and hatred on their minds and become suicide murderers instead of becoming doctors, scientists, teachers, etc. to serve their communities.

    Just my thoughts, as a Christian. Peace be with all people of all religions and faiths.

  12. For those who want to know the explanation of the verse that Yazid quoted:

    Qur’an (5:51) – “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”

    On the original text there is no word of “friends” in the verse whatsoever. the original word here is “veli” which means protectors, guardians, administrators. since there are some rules special for Muslims in the Quran and since a Jew or Christians administer cannot follow those commands naturally, it is difficult for a Muslim to be under the the administration of a Jew or Christian.

    In the verse 5/5 in the Quran, God give permission to Muslims to marry Christian and Jew women. he spends his life with her together and they become lovers, they have offsprings. so how can a Muslim cannot be friends with them? A Muslim can be and should be friends with Christians and Jews, they can eat their meals (5/5) and they can marry them.

  13. Stephen Walsh says:

    Defending truth and right is always the course to take. We find our way by the compass that always points to true North. There is a stark contrast between Ms. Kocaman’s reasoned and moral approach to important issues and those represented by Yazid who is blinded by hatred and can only make threats and disrespectful comments to one who disagrees. We need many more Muslims like Ms. Kocaman.

  14. Edin Limani says:

    Aylin’s way of speaking the truth and standing for what is morally right and ethically correct is not always appreciated by the bigots and/or the radicals who are far, far away from the religion and the word of God.

    While reading objectively the matters she has argumented and by studying the verses of the Holy Quran, one can easily see the truth and the correct way of interpretation she has made. People, with weak iman (faith), usually have a tendency to not only misinterpret the verses and thus shade so much confusion, hate and bigotry, but they always seek ways to feed their own personal egos, their benefits and worldly interests. These people, often the leaders of our nations, tribes, groups, continents, you name it, have brought us to the position and situation we are at today.
    The hate that is being fed out, the hate and the destructive behavior that is being poured out, is far more dangerous than any other “outer” threat.
    This comes from miseducation, lack of understanding, and unwillingness to compromise. This fundamentally comes from WEAK faith.

    What is more beautiful, than love, compassion, wise and encouraging words and humane deeds? What is more admirable than the hand of the peace reaching out to all human beings out there, regardless of faith, background, ethnicity, gender and/or color? What is more closer to God than self-sacrifice in order to spread truth, unconditional love and understanding with mutual respect?
    All the mentioned above attributes, are the clothes of sister Aylin, the clothes she wears im her every day struggle to teach and spread wisdom.

    So people like you the ones who will put the curse straight for this planet, and light will be brought to the faces in darkness. I too, love and protect every Jew and Christian out there without hesitation, just as my grandfathers and mothers did by saving every Jew in Albania/Kosovo and actually increase the number of the Jewish population during the WWII.

    That is what it means to be a Muslim Yazid, to offer your own life and luxury in order to for someone else to find peace, that is what Islam is about. You have a long way to go, but don’t you ever threat my sister again …

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