Antisemitism in Pakistan

Antisemitism in Pakistan refers to the hostility or discrimination against Jews in Pakistan. There are general stereotypes against Jews in Pakistan, most of which overlap and are related to the common antisemitic views prevalent in the Muslim world.

Jews are regarded as miserly.[1] The Magain Shalome Synagogue in Karachi was attacked, as were individual Jews. The persecution of Jews resulted in their exodus via India to Israel (see Pakistanis in Israel), the UK, Canada and other countries. The Peshawar Jewish community ceased to exist[2] although a small community reportedly still exists in Karachi.

Pakistani cricket icon and politician Imran Khan's marriage to Jemima Goldsmith, an Englishwoman of Jewish origin, in 1996 caused furor in Pakistan and Khan was accused of acting as an agent of the Jewish Lobby. Egyptian newspapers in Pakistan made other antisemitic accusations against Khan. After Khan complained, the stories were retracted.[2]

Arch rival India's establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 have given rise to antisemitism in Pakistani media, usually combined with anti-Zionist rhetoric. India has been referred to as a "Zionist Threat".[3]

Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Toiba have also expressed antisemitic views. They have declared the Jews to be "Enemies of Islam", Israel to be the "Enemy of Pakistan".[4]

Military leaflets have been dropped over Waziristan to urge the tribesmen to beware of foreigners and their local supporters who had allied themselves with the "Yahood Aur Hanood". Tribesmen who read the leaflets were wondering over the use of the word "Yahood Aur Hanood" to describe the enemy in the leaflets. Most thought it meant the Jews worldwide and the dominant Hindus of India.[5]

The U.S. State Department's first Report on Global Anti-Semitism finds an increase in antisemitism in Pakistan.[6] In Pakistan, a country without Jewish communities, antisemitic sentiment fanned by antisemitic articles in the press is widespread.[7] Pakistan refuses to recognize Israel as a legitimate state[8] on account of their sympathies with the Arabs in the Arab–Israeli conflict.

A substantial number of people in Pakistan believe that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York were a secret Jewish conspiracy organized by Israel's Mossad, as were the 7 July 2005 London bombings, allegedly perpetrated by Jews in order to discredit Muslims. Pakistani political commentator Zaid Hamid claimed that Indian Jews perpetrated the 2008 Mumbai attacks.[9][10] Such allegations echo traditional antisemitic theories.[11][12] The Jewish religious movement of Chabad Lubavich had a mission house in Mumbai, India that was attacked in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, perpetrated by militants connected to Pakistan led by Ajmal Kasab.[13][14] Antisemitic intents were evident from the testimonies of Kasab following his arrest and trial.[15]


  1. ^ Why are the Jews ‘kanjoos’? —Khaled Ahmed’s Review of the Urdu press,Daily times (Pakistan)
  2. ^ a b Jewish Virtual Library: Pakistan Accessed October 8, 2006
  3. ^ Pakistan Archived 2012-10-05 at the Wayback Machine Accessed October 8, 2006
  4. ^ Lashkar-e-Toiba: Spreading the jehad Archived 2007-12-26 at the Wayback Machine Accessed October 8, 2006
  5. ^ "Military drops leaflets in Waziristan". The News International. Pakistan. March 24, 2006. Archived from the original on August 17, 2007.
  6. ^ Global Antisemitism Report - 01.05.2005 Archived February 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Accessed October 8, 2006
  7. ^ Report on Global Anti-Semitism Accessed October 8, 2006
  8. ^ Musharraf says Pakistan not to recognize Israel Accessed October 8, 2006
  9. ^ Ludovica Iaccino (1 July 2015). "Saudi Arabia: Pakistan's controversial Zaid Hamid faces 1,000 lashes and 8 years in jail for criticising kingdom". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  10. ^ Sengupta, Nandita (2 December 2008). "Pak TV channel says 26/11 hatched by Hindu Zionists - The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  11. ^ Pakistan and Israel - new friends?, BBC News.
  12. ^ Pakistan: In the Land of Conspiracy Theories,
  13. ^ "Gunman in Mumbai Siege a Pakistani", New York Times, 7 January 2009
  14. ^ "Surviving gunman's identity established as Pakistani". Dawn. 7 January 2009. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  15. ^ Rubenstein, Richard L. (16 May 2011). Jihad and Genocide. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 181–182. ISBN 978-0-7425-6203-5. Retrieved 8 January 2012.