Anti-Semitic Response to Health Text

by Nathan Hamm on 9/29/2004 · 5 comments

A health book recommended by Kyrgyzstan’s education ministry is being protested because the author is Jewish.

…students of Islamic departments in several Bishkek universities recently held a protest outside the ministry’s buildings. The protest featured anti-Semitic slogans, calls to punish Shapiro, and threats to organize a public book burning. Parliament held hearings on the book, featuring local writers and intellectuals who presented arguments such as: “The Jews are specifically, on the orders of the West, perverting our youth”; “If the author wasn’t a Jew, he wouldn’t have written such lies about our people”; and “This book was published by a Jew with Jewish money, it should be banned!” Nobody in the parliament reproached the speakers for their anti-Semitic slanders, according to AEN, leaving “the Jewish community in shock.”

The book reportedly deals with AIDS. My guess is that what Shapiro wrote probably was unwelcome truth–something sorely needed in Central Asia when it comes to HIV/AIDS.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Laurence September 30, 2004 at 7:11 am

Nathan, this is an interesting story. Perhaps the protests were organized by extremeist groups with other even more frightening aims, and people may be afraid of being killed if they oppose them. One can contrast this Kyrgyz story with Uzbekistan’s choice of Fainberg as “People’s Poet,” as an example of which country is pursuing a more effective course in combatting extremists.

Ilja Fedoruk September 30, 2004 at 7:48 am

Comment deleted for blatant violation of the comments policy.

Tatyana September 30, 2004 at 12:34 pm

Sadly, Laurence, but I think you’re mistaken that people participated in anti-Semitic demonstrations out of fear of being killed.
I don’t remember the case in world history Anti-Semites had to be thus encouraged, they gladly doing it by their own will.
Jews are a sure deal when somebody needs a scapegoat, if anything, this is an axiome that needs no proof.

Laurence September 30, 2004 at 1:18 pm

Tatyana, Actually I was referring to the report, which said members of Parliament didn’t speak out against the attacks. They might be afraid to do so. Actually, I do believe inter-ethnic violence is often encouraged by different factions, for different reasons. We had riots in Los Angeles during the 1992 elections, where there were racial outrages against Koreans, stoked by politicians and gangsters…

Tatyana September 30, 2004 at 2:48 pm

I think members of Parliament needed a red herring, and Jews as always and everywhere come handy a bit too conviniently. isn’t the world already went thru universal Jewish evil (and subsiquent solution to Jewish problem” during Hitler reign? Look at contemporary Poland – there are virtually no Jews there (35,000 out of 9 mlns left), and still, Polish population agrees Jews are the root of all evil.

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