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Anti-Semitism Watch: Turkey

A set of new anti-Semitic Turkish textbooks is raising the alarm that some among the ruling Islamists are taking the country in a dangerous new direction. The Financial Times has the story:

A book on Albert Einstein describes the physicist as “filthy and slovenly”. Immediately after saying that he ate soap, it adds: “The sad part is during that time the Gestapo was putting Jews into ovens and making them into soap.”

The book on Darwin says the proponent of natural selection “had two problems: first he was a Jew; second, he hated his prominent forehead, big nose and misshapen teeth.” It adds that he threw nuts to monkeys at the zoo rather than go to school. Darwin was not Jewish.

The sad thing is that Turkey is among the Islamic world’s best educated and most forward looking countries, and Turkey’s Islamists have taken some very interesting and thoughtful positions. This is no doubt the action of a wing of a large and diverse movement and shouldn’t be necessarily taken as representative of the whole.

But if even Turks can be silly enough to fall for this kind of claptrap, it’s pretty clear that the region as a whole has some ugly times ahead.

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