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Alarming Surge: Antisemitism's Unchecked Rise in Pakistan

Given the current global climate, it might seem convenient, albeit simplistic, to assume inherent discord between Muslims and Jews, to view their relationship through a lens of antagonism.


Yet, history offers an alternative narrative, one perhaps overlooked or insufficiently explored by mainstream media. It highlights a deep sense of mutual empathy between Indian Muslims and European Jews, rooted in their shared experiences as persecuted minorities. 


Mr. Jinnah, a prominent Indian Muslim leader, successfully established a separate nation-state, Pakistan, for his community. He backed the British war effort by contributing courageous Muslim soldiers willing to battle for the cause of freedom against Nazi aggression. 


As World War II escalated, with Hitler's forces spreading terror, the leadership in London, including Churchill and Amery, sought Indian support, raising Mr. Jinnah's influence in political circles. Amidst this turmoil, Gandhi's heartfelt plea for peace, proposing to negotiate with Hitler himself, was regrettably dismissed by the British Viceroy. Mr. Jinnah, representing India's Muslims, earnestly supported the British without causing any hindrance, expressing grave concerns over the Nazi threat to freedom worldwide.

Gandhi's emotional appeal to the British, advocating for non-violence against Nazis and readiness to face the worst without yielding, resonated deeply, though his offers and strategies, including a potential fast unto death and civil disobedience, were not adopted. Nehru's opposition to a fast and subsequent imprisonment highlighted the internal struggle for India's stance in the war, reflecting a period marked by passionate appeals for peace and the complex dynamics of colonial resistance.


Jinnah cautiously supported the war, wary of British motives, stating, "Viceroy Linlithgow and his official coterie at Simla merely want our support on the assurance that we shall be remembered as loyal servants after the war and will even be given a baksheesh! Hindu Leaders of the Mahasabha wanted to treat the Muslims like Jews in Germany."


Throughout much of European history, Jews stood out as a prominent minority among Christian populations, with Europe being a central stage for historical antisemitism. The Muslim minority in India felt a profound sense of sorrow and empathy, deeply disturbed by the inhumane persecution of Jews and the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust. Indian Muslims, resonating with the Jewish quest for a safe haven, deeply felt the need for their own homeland where they could live with dignity and self-determination.

Warsaw Ghetto

A group of Jews, including a small boy, is escorted from the Warsaw Ghetto by German soldiers in this April 19, 1943 photo. The picture formed part of a report from SS Gen. Stroop to his Commanding Officer, and was introduced as evidence to the War Crimes trials in Nuremberg in 1945.

Muslim Man Beaten to death

"It's like they are trying to erase us — erase all of my people," says Jaibuna, the widow of Pehlu Khan in India. The 55-year-old Muslim man was beaten to death in 2017 by Hindu men who objected to his transporting cows.

The Rise of Anti-semitism in Pakistan  

In Pakistan, political groups have misused antisemitic rhetoric to sway the less informed. After the October 7, 2023, Hamas-Israel conflict, antisemitic sentiments against Mr. Imran Khan surged, falsely branding him as a "Jewish agent", working against Islam and Pakistan. This extremely divisive and harmful propaganda is spread by national and political entities.


Jinnah's Pakistan has directly witnessed a rise in anti-semitic remarks on our social media platforms. Below are some examples:

Screen Shot 2024-03-06 at 2.51.32 AM.png

An image of Mr. Imran Khan winning the cricket world-cup and a small glimpse of antisemitic comments below:


This comment implies that the Cricket World Cup victory was presented to Imran Khan as a favor by the Jewish community.

This user has Pakistan Army as it's main profile picture and claims World Cup victory to be a Jewish Conspiracy


Niazi is the name of the ancestral tribe that Imran Khan hails from


Yahoodi means Jewish in Urdu


Translation: Jewish Dog


Translation: Jewish Trash


Translation: Confirmed Jewish Agent

The examples provided merely hint at the vast quantity of antisemitic remarks directed at Imran Khan, so extensive that they could fill an entire book.

Antisemitism Has Many Forms

Antisemitism has repeatedly evolved in history, maintaining old stereotypes while developing new ones to fit current contexts. It mirrors the prevailing ideological concerns, portraying Jews as embodying the most criticized aspects of the society at that time. Antisemitism is largely based on misconceptions rather than reality. It's not bound by facts, allowing it to morph with society's changing anxieties and moral views. This ability to adapt while maintaining its core character is what makes antisemitism so persistently reinventive. 


In Pakistan, antisemitism manifests by undermining the country's most admired leader and spreading hate, leveraging the growing wave of antisemitism fueled by Israel's unchecked attacks on civilian populations, actions that exceed the bounds of self-defense.


Historical antisemitism took the form of discrimination, expulsion, and massacre. Labeling Imran Khan's party as a "Jewish conspiracy" has played a role in empowering the military to detain 10,000 of Khan's political supporters, subject women to torture, and even result in the deaths of children.


Antisemitism targeting Imran Khan is linked to his marriage into the Goldsmith family, a lineage of German Jewish origin from Frankfurt am Main, notable for their achievements in banking and finance.

Imran and Jemima

Imran Khan alongside his then-wife, Jemima Goldsmith.

Writing in The Independent, Ms Goldsmith describes how her Jewish background and Muslim marriage has led to her family being targeted by both antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“My Jewishness was used as a baton to beat my politician ex-husband Imran Khan, in Pakistan, where Zionist conspiracy theories about me were fabricated and fervor was whipped up by opposition politicians & by a partisan media. This led to decades of death threats and threats of rape and violence towards me and my children, which continue to this day. After the attack, the would-be assassin declared in his confessional video that the motive for the shooting was Imran’s acceptance of Israel.”


Rising Antisemitism Against Imran Khan 

In Pakistan, there's a troubling trend of antisemitism becoming normalized in mainstream politics. A prominent PML-N party member and former Member of the National Assembly (MNA) has notably used brazen antisemitic rhetoric to incite hatred against Imran Khan, dubbing him "Israel's son-in-law".


It's particularly alarming to observe this former MNA, known for making these antisemitic remarks, having ties to President Biden's 2020 campaign.


Hina Parvez Butt, formerly an MNA and a key leader within the PML-N, known for making brazen antisemitic remarks against Imran Khan, was present at a Biden Campaign Rally.

The habit of directing societal fears and hostilities towards Jews stems from the instinct to identify a proximate group as the Other. Once Jews were established as the customary scapegoats for social problems, the practice persisted. In Pakistan, the antisemitism aimed at Imran Khan includes a series of reprehensible remarks and deeds by the PDM, endorsed by the military, and met with silence or implicit consent from Washington.


Mathew Miller, Spokesperson for the United States Department of State since 2023

Recently, Maryam Nawaz assumed the role of Chief Minister of Punjab, a notable development given her party did not secure a majority. She previously made controversial remarks about Imran Khan's sons, suggesting they were “raised in the lap of the Jews”. Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the US State Department, hailed her appointment as Punjab's first female chief minister as a landmark event in Pakistan's political landscape, without addressing the contentious circumstances of her election or her previous statements that are clearly antisemitic.


The American Role in Curbing Anti-Semitism

The dynamics of international politics are often intricate and multifaceted. The instance where the PDM government, which came to power through a vote-of-no-confidence that ousted Imran Khan, and was perceived to have the backing of the United States' Bureau of Central Asian Affairs, brings us to a reflective point. It's essential to recognize that while we engage with nations worldwide, we in America must remain vigilant against the undercurrents of intolerance and prejudice, such as antisemitism, that may be supported, even inadvertently. It's our responsibility to foster an environment of understanding and to ensure that our actions consistently reflect our values of inclusivity and respect for all people, regardless of their background or beliefs. 


To establish facts and political realities, we must cast an unyielding scrutiny upon the parade of a most reprehensible exhibition of antisemitism against Imran Khan, stirring the cauldron of discord and malcontent in Pakistan. 

PPP: The Bhutto-Zardari Party 


Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman of PPP meeting US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken 

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon of PPP raised allegations of Imran Khan’s financial links with Israeli groups, using Israel's critique of Pakistan's human rights as proof. He pointed to Imran Khan's support for a Jewish relative in a London election as evidence of PTI's covert alliances against Pakistan. Memon was particularly concerned about Israel's vocal interest in Pakistan's affairs, interpreting it as exposure of Imran Khan’s true intentions.

In America, it's imperative that we advocate for the denouncement of antisemitism in Pakistan. Amid economic and social turmoil, there are those who falsely portray Jews as puppeteers of the world's affairs. This unfounded belief, rooted in instability and fear of a skewed global power dynamic, suggests a covert Jewish dominion. Such baseless prejudices have been grotesquely and unjustly leveraged against Imran Khan, contributing to a deeply troubling narrative. 


Pakistani-Americans say this from the heart: We call upon Secretary Blinken with the deepest sense of urgency to stand against every shade of antisemitism, including when it's unjustly directed at Muslim leaders. This isn't just about policy—it's about the very essence of our shared humanity and the dream of a future where people of all faiths can coexist in peace. This transcends geopolitics; it's about building a world grounded in understanding and respect.

National Institution: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)


In our quest for transparency and fairness, it's important to examine the scrutiny faced by Imran Khan's party, the PTI, by the Election Commission of Pakistan. The PTI stands out for its transparent fundraising efforts, drawing support from a global network of donors, in stark contrast to other parties, which are often marred by allegations of financial improprieties and murky dealings.

Yet, in a turn that raises eyebrows, the ECP suggested that PTI's funding had ties to American Jewish groups, casting a complex light on Imran Khan's political narrative—from being tagged as anti-American to now, paradoxically, a pro-American Jewish agent. This shift not only stirs the political pot but also, regrettably, fuels the fires of antisemitism in Pakistan.

As Americans, while we may initially seem distant observers, our values compel us to confront such injustices. Yes, our nation's response might not always be swift, but history has shown that when we act, we do so decisively, championing the cause of justice and integrity on the global stage.

PML-N: The Sharif Party

In an unexpected twist, Shehbaz Sharif has ascended to the Prime Ministership of Pakistan, notwithstanding the electoral triumph of Imran Khan in recent elections in 2024. Attaullah Tarar, a figure of legal and political repute, has served as special assistant to Prime Minister Sharif, concerning himself with matters of interior and legal import.


Attaullah Tarar with PM Shebaz Sharif

Mr. Tarar has ventured an assertion, suggesting that Israel's disapproval of Pakistan's human rights record serves as incontrovertible proof of the Jewish state's covert backing of Imran Khan. This insinuation draws upon a deeply ingrained narrative, one that unjustly portrays the Jewish people not as a group with a long history of persecution seeking autonomy but as puppeteers orchestrating global affairs, even to the extent of manipulating leadership in Muslim nations. Such a viewpoint, regrettably, overlooks the complexity of human history and the multifaceted nature of power.

Shaukat Khanum

Shaukat Khanum, established by Imran Khan in memory of his mother, stands as Pakistan's inaugural and the world's unique cancer hospital, providing over 70% of its underprivileged patients with complimentary care, sustained entirely by the generous contributions of Pakistanis.

Princess Diana

Princess Diana at Shaukat Khanum Hospital, endorsing this noble cause

Khawaja Asif, former Defense Minister, a prominent figure within the PML-N party and a trusted ally of Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif, has made the outlandish claim that the Shaukat Khanum Hospital was bestowed upon Imran Khan by a Jewish lobby as a means to enhance his stature. This assertion not only stretches the bounds of credibility but also underscores the deeply troubling nature of antisemitism embedded within such statements. The baseless suggestion serves as a stark reminder of the harmful stereotypes and prejudices that continue to persist, casting a shadow over rational discourse and undermining the genuine humanitarian efforts behind the establishment of such an institution.


Khwaja Asif on his official visit in America

For over two decades, the shadow of antisemitism has pursued Imran Khan, swelling with alarming alacrity since Oct 7th. What we delineate here are but the broadest strokes of a concerted campaign, a wholesale organized effort of anti-Jewish prejudice, marshaled not just by political factions but by the very sinews of our national institutions and the military's might. Let it be unequivocally declared: antisemitism, that vile blight upon the conscience of humanity, knows no borders, respects no creed. It is incumbent upon us both in America and Pakistan to stand resolute in its condemnation, to ensure that this pernicious venom of antisemitism finds no fertile ground to fester.


To the esteemed patrons of Pakistan from across the seas, in the hallowed halls of America and the storied lands of Britain, a grave inquiry beckons: How long shall the will of the people be stifled, the democratic voice of 250 million souls silenced, when they have cast their lot with Imran Khan? If the sacrosanct tenets of democracy are to be cast aside, can we then, in good conscience, align with those who sow the seeds of anti-Jewish animosity among the masses of a nuclear-armed Muslim nation? Does this not pose a dire threat to the very fabric of global peace and security? 


Let us not be found wanting in our duty to uphold the principles that are the bedrock of civilized society.

 A United Appeal for Justice and Equality

In the spirit of the values we hold dear, we reach out with a deep sense of responsibility to our esteemed members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. The shadow of antisemitism, a scourge as ancient as it is abhorrent, casts a long and troubling silhouette across Pakistan. Yet, we know in our hearts that the tide of such baseless hatred can be turned. The journey toward healing begins with introspection—questioning our narratives about power, rectifying the stories we tell of injustice, and scrutinizing the beliefs we hold.

In the face of the stark antisemitism directed at Imran Khan, our moral compass points to one just course: to call for his liberation from the chains of unfounded and illegitimate legal entanglements. Let us unite in the belief that he represents not just a figure of leadership in Pakistan, but the embodiment of the people's will and their aspirations for a future filled with promise and light. This is our call, not just to action, but to rise to the higher ground of our shared humanity and ideals.

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