Sure, the horrific series of terror attacks that rocked France last week could have been carried out by Islamist terrorists. But, if you are at least one member of Paris’s French-Algerian community, it could have been the work of “magical shape-shifting Jews.”
A Daily Beast reporter told MSNBC that she had received that explanation while surveying people about the attacks that left 17 people dead, including four Jewish men, in Paris’s immigrant sections.
Many people, Dana Kennedy said, were of the opinion that Jews had staged the series of deadly terror incidents to make Muslims look bad, though one went even further with his explanation.
“One person told me that they weren’t just regular Jews that were doing this but in fact but a race of magical shape-shifting Jews that were master manipulators that could be everywhere at the same time,” Kennedy said.
Islamic extremist brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine on January 7, killing 10 employees and two policemen. They declared the shooting was in revenge for the weekly having published cartoons featuring depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
Amedy Coulibaly, who killed a policewoman and the four Jewish shoppers in separate incidents over the following two days, was a self-proclaimed member of the Islamic Jihad group and said he had specifically targeted Jews.
On Wednesday, the head of al-Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, saying he had ordered it in “vengeance for the prophet.” The paper had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an insult in Islam.
Kennedy also reported that the housing projects where many Muslim immigrants live, and that are often described as being so downtrodden they provoke desperate acts by residents, appear to be much better than poor housing projects in other places around the world, including the US.
“It was shocking to see these young Muslims with so much hatred towards the Jews and also to America, and they are also in areas that are portrayed as being these desperate areas but in fact they don’t look really so terrible,” Kennedy said.
The belief that Jews have supernatural abilities to carry out their wicked plans is not uncommon in the Middle East.
In 2013 during a speech to religious students, Mehdi Taeb, who headed a think tank and was considered close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Jews are powerful sorcerers who have used their abilities to attack Iran. He noted that while “the Jews” had yet to unleash their full powers, their abilities were negated after they tried to use magic to interfere with the Iranian elections of 2008 and 2009.
The conspiracy theorists could have been inspired by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s spoof portrayal of anti-Semitic Kazakh journalist Borat, who in a 2006 film reported on “shape-shifting Jews” who had trapped him in their “nest.”