What is the Source of Antisemitism in Islam?

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Arab protococols_egypt_1976What is the source of antisemitism in Islam? What is the cause of Muslim antisemitism? Why have Arab countries and the Palestinians been so adamantly against accepting and acknowledging the Jewish narrative, the continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land, and the Jewish state of Israel? Professor Mordechai Kedar, explains this very well:

This was one of a series of talks on antisemitism sponsored by  ISGAP – Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism at McGill University in January 2015.

Prof. Kedar explains that Mohammad borrowed extensively from the scriptures of the Jews and the Christians but when Jews and Christians refused to accept his doctrines, he systematically attacked their communities with his mercenaries for the denial of his message. Islam makes the claim that only the Islamic version of G-d is permissible anywhere in the world: That all messages of Jews and Christians are deceptive and invalid: That Islam is the one and only true religion i.e. the true version of reality. This very conveniently self serving doctrine has been followed up by Mohammad and his successors by the murder of Jews and Christians. This has been the source of Islamic precepts of Jew hatred and animosity towards Jews and Christians and Pagans throughout the centuries.

As Professor Kedar pointed out Muslims have a different view of history, and different values than those that have developed in the western democracies. Their concept of peace is “the peace of Sharia”, and Sharia can brook no compromise with other religions or cultures. For Westerners this is a hard lesson to accept: but it has to be faced if we are to understand the current state of conflict in the middle East between between Islam and the West, and between Islam and Israel, and between Islam and Jews.

In addition to the Islamic precepts demeaning Jews and infidels, European/Nazi ideas of Jew hatred have also permeated the Arab world via the Mufti of Jerusalem, an ally and friend of Hitler.

A living monument to European anti-Jewish hatred and misunderstanding is enshrined in the many publications of the forged Russian document: “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion“. Prof. Kedar pointed out that this document is being widely published and disseminated all over the Arab world and has been published widely there since the 1920’s. Apparently, no one has told the Arabs of the Middle East that this was and is a forged antisemitic document published by the Russians. The Egyptians have been misguided to the point that when they opened the New Library of Alexandria in Egypt, The Protocols of the Elders was chosen as one of the two most important books representative of Jews and Judaism. It was only removed when the Israeli ambassador, who was present at the opening advised them about the origins of this book which never had any reality connection whatsoever to any living Jews in the world or to Judaism.

If you have never heard of the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, I quote below from wikipedia.

“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion or The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion is an antisemitic hoax purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination.[1] It was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century. The Protocols purports to document the minutes of a late 19th-century meeting of Jewish leaders discussing their goal of global Jewish hegemony by subverting the morals of Gentiles, and by controlling the press and the world’s economies.

Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the US in the 1920s. Adolf Hitler was a major proponent. It was studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after the Nazis came to power in 1933,[2] despite having been exposed as fraudulent by The Times of London in 1921. It is still widely available today in numerous languages, in print and on the Internet, and continues to be presented by some proponents as a genuine document.”

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other similar books such as Mein Kampf, written by Hitler himself formalized the rampant antisemitism of Europe in the 19th century and made it sound rational and authoritative. These two works formed the basis of the irrational Jew hatred (otherwise known as antisemitism) in Europe and Russia of the 20th century. These books disseminated irrational notions about “The Jews”  which lead directly to the acceptance of the genocidal murder of at least six million “Jews” identified as such by the third Reich. Publication of both texts has been banned in many countries due to their libelous and destructive nature.

This fraudulent book, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”  is considered to be G-d’s truth in the Arab World as evidenced by the many publications and republications in the last several years. Some of the covers of these publications are reproduced here:

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Even if you do not read Arabic, the cover pictures associating Jews and Judaism with snakes and worse is clear.

Alongside antisemitic publications, one can find hundreds if not thousands of videos on you-tube espousing these ideas.

As unpleasant as this is, it has to be faced if anyone wants to understand the sources of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment in the Muslim world, and also in the ranks of the non-Muslim, European, anti-Jewish, antisemitic ranks. This virulent antisemitism, finds its voice amplified and easily spread on the internet.

Sadly few Western pundits or journalists have faced this dark truth about Islam when discussing Israel or the Middle East.

Sir Rabbi Jonathon Sacks, essay “The Face of Evil” sheds some light on analyzing irrational hatreds and the most virulent power of irrational hatreds such as antisemitism. I quote,

When hate depends on a specific cause, it ends once the cause disappears. Causeless, baseless hate, – irrational hate – can last forever.”

After 9/11, when the horror and trauma had subsided, Americans found themselves asking what had happened and why. Was it a disaster? A tragedy? A crime? An act of war? It did not seem to fit the pre-existing paradigms. And why had it happened? The question most often asked about Al Qaeda was, ‘Why do they hate us?

Just like the surprised Americans who woke up the day after the 9/11 tragedies asking “Why do they hate us?” Jews have asked the same question – “Why do they hate us?”. Antisemitism, the hate unjustly directed at Jews can and has morphed to meet the political needs of various regimes and religious groups. It has become a cutting edge tool to advance aspirations for power and dominance. In the middle ages it was used as a tool by the Catholic Church: In Russia: It was used as a tool by the Russian Czar: in Nazi Germany, Hitler used it to advance his ideology, and Islam has also used it, since its beginnings to assert dominance. None of these tyrants knew or understood anything about Jews  or Judaism. They were all spinning their Jew-baiting tales as a means to an end.

As Ruth Wisse has so ably pointed out, “antisemitism has nothing to do with Jews: it has everything to do with the antisemites. Antisemitism has very little to do with the realities of Jews or of Israel. It has everything to do with the power of irrational hatred as a self aggrandizing tool, and as an instrument for political dominance. Ruth Wisse, below analyzes very well, antisemitism and its effects not only on Jews but also on how it affects those who practice antisemitism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GDDJrTuWos

 

 

 

Exposing IAW and BDS on campus

bdsI have been attending the IAW Israel/apartheid week and BDS  lectures and and observing their behavior in Montreal for at least five years.

The Palestinian Mafia on campus systematically takes over student union positions, something not too difficult to do since most students are totally uninterested in student government issues, preferring to focus on study and grades and getting that degree. The student union fees are automatically deducted from students’ fees.
The “student union” in Montreal is not part of the university and does not come under the jurisdiction of the university. It comes under the labor law and the jurisdiction of labor unions. They become therefor untouchable unless students wake up to where their funds are going.

I know this because of personal experience.
In Montreal, and I can see that IAW and BDS uses the same tactic everywhere.  On campuses all over North America the same speakers and programs are offered. It is clear that they are a well organized franchise having very little to do with student leadership.

Their most recent pretty boy is Steven Salaita, the professor who was declined for a tenure position at the University of Illinois for his poor scholarship and egregious tweets regarding the recent war in Gaza.
I attended his talk here in Montreal last week and recorded it.
 The hall was full of those and only those who are already convinced of the “cause”. They tried to dissuade me from attending. They wanted to know “why I was there”. I was the only one in the room not clapping and not adulating the speaker.

The other modus operandi of BDS and IAW is to infiltrate left wing student organizations, and student media. Check out the student run media In Montreal, CUTV, a tv lab run by student union funds, and the student run radio station, CKUT 90.3fm, that is totally infiltrated by professional Palestinian activist students. In addition the students infiltrate left wing student causes and organizations, convincing them that they are in the same boat as the Palestinians. They prey on underdog issues, aboriginal causes, feminism, queer issues, sexual harrassment, infiltrating these student organizations and comparing Israel and the Palestine issues to South Africa and its apartheid era. (Any scholar can differentiate between these two but these people thrive on the innocence and ignorance of students seducing them to these “social justice” causes by false information and a false narrative: ie, that the Israelis are Jewish “colonizers” who have stolen Arab lands. That the Israelis are committing “genocide” vis a vis the Palestinians. The BDS mafia has no respect for history or numbers. Very few students are in a position to check them. In addition to bringing false information about the Israel/Palestine situation, by bringing rogue Israeli soldiers and “professors” Jewish, and otherwise, in this way they wage a psychological campaign for the hearts and minds of college students.
And sadly I have seen even legitimate tenured college professors supporting them. Because the left wing rhetoric can be compelling. I used to have an uncle who while not being a leftie himself was wont to pronounce, “the world is veering to the left”…that was before the fall of Communism.

Students and the public are beginning to understand this situation. This year 2014/2015, the McGill student union brought two motions for the university to boycott and divest from Israeli enterprises. They were defeated in the autumn term because students made a concerted effort to invite students who never attend student GA’s to come out and vote “No”. The student leaders then put it on the agenda again in the spring term close to exams. This time in addition to student mobilization, Justin Trudeau himself, an alum of McGill showed up to denounce the motion and it was defeated 267 – 217.
Ryan Bellrose, a Metis from Calgary, has personally waged a one man campaign to show how the aboriginal situation in Canada is more like the Israeli position than the Palestinian position.

But how many people can involve themselves in a serious way in this ugly battle.
In addition to the blogs that I have published on my own site (www.askabigailProductions.com)  and the blogs that Ryan Bellrose has published (http://www.cuwi.ca/ryan-bellerose.html), I am aware of several organizations that have stepped up to the plate to expose this situation. SPME, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East), CIJR (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research), ISGAP (Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism).

I would love to hear from you on this issue.

Abigail Hirsch, CSW
CEO askabigail Productions
March 18, 2015

Anti-semitism? in the middle east?

Anti-semitism is a very unsexy subject. No one wants to be considered an anti-semite, a Jew hater; especially in the West. It is as unsexy as racism – taboo. So why has ISGAP, the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism, presented over 100 speakers on this subject and posted all of them to Vimeo?

To really understand the deep seated anti-semitism of the current leadership in the middle east I suggest that you watch one of the ISGAP speakers, Edwin Black’s recent talk for ISGAP speaking about his book: The Farhud: The Arab/Nazi alliance and its lasting effects.

He points out that the Arab Jew-hatred did not start with World War II, but preceded it, and the Farhud, the Arab governing organization of the time, allied with Hitler, whose need for oil coincided with the Nazi and Arab Arab desire to eliminate the Jews. Few people are aware that Palestinian Arabs fought alongside Hitler all over Europe and in the Middle East: while England pandering to the Arab presence blocked any Jewish immigration to the area then known as Palestine, now known as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as the area currently known as the West Bank and Gaza. Edwin Black removes the veil of ignorance about a nasty and unpleasant topic, the anti-semitism of the Arab world from 1850 to the present, which we ignore at our peril. He has researched a book on the subject and here lectures about it to a University audience. After listening to this talk, you will never again be able to close your eyes to the anti-semitism that pervades the middle east today and you will understand why there is no peace there now, nor will there be peace in the near future as long as the current Islamic leadership persists in their anti-semitic, anti-Jewish beliefs that have been inculcated for years:

And this is not to say that Jews and Islam have never been able to co-exist or that all Muslims hate Jews just that the road to peace between Israel and its neighbors needs to address these issues head on and so do the do-gooders in the West.

Has Anti-semitism Become Politically Correct?

bds bigotry double standards -bigotry “Anti-semitism”, has it become politically correct? Over the weekend I had the opportunity to speak about anti-semitism, BDS, Jews and Israel at the  Freedom Talk Conference in Edmonton.

Here is what I said:

I am a Hungarian born Jew who was born into the post Holocaust world.  I did not grow up with any overt anti-semitism in Montreal. Many of us thought that sharing what had happened in Europe during World War ll, would immunize  well meaning persons everywhere against the scourge of anti-Semitism, indiscriminate attacks against Jews for the sole reason that they were Jews or desendants of Jews. However, reports from all quarters of the world includng Canada report that antisemitism – prejudice and gratuitous assaults against Jews because they are Jews has returned with a vengeance. Here is a link to a report on antisemitic resurgence in Europe from an EU committee that has prepared data on this subject.

Of course, it’s impossible to have a conversation  in the present time about anti-semitism without mentioning Israel, and the Israel/Palestine conflict which has always been also an Arab/Jewish conflict.I would agree that  it is hardly anti-semitic to criticize policies between Israel and the Palestinians, or even to pressure the Israelis. However It becomes anti-semitic, when facts are distorted, problems elsewhere are simply ignored, and Israel alone is singled out to be chastised.

The record of the United Nations vis-a-vis Israel amply demonstrates this disparate and disproportional criticism. About 3/4 of all the resolutions taken up by the general assembly have condemned Israel. in spite of many other and more serious human rights violators such as China, Korea, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and the list goes on and on.

UN Watch was created to monitor this anti-Jewish, anti-Israel bias and below is  a link to the latest example posted by UN Watch.

http://www.unwatch.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=bdKKISNqEmG&b=1317489&ct=13398889

Moreover, It was a  UN UNESCO conference  in Durban 2001, on human rights, that singled out Israel and Israel alone for human rights violations, and coined the term “zionism is racism”. This goes along with calling Israel a genocidal entity, picturing Israel as a greedy Jew with a hooked nose in cartoons gobbling up Palestinians as was noted recently in “The Economist”.

You may have also heard about the BDS movement, – Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions – proposed against Israeli by Palestinians and  supported by left wing academics, human rights NGOs like Oxfam,  some churches and now the  European Union which really should know better. The BDS movement proposes that “since Israel Is an “apartheid” state practicing “racist” policies the whole world should boycott Israeli academics, Israeli artists and  Israeli industry. Anyone aware of history could easily expose that Israel does not practice apartheid as it was spelled out in South Africa and that Israel is not and has never been racist.  But how do you defend yourself against these “wifebeating” charges?

Every year in the guise of a “conference” the pro Palestinian factions organize a one week BDS conference on campuses all over the US and Canada, espousing their one sided narratives demonizing Israel as an apartheid state and promoting the BDS (Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel. I have attended  these conferences where those opposing these ideas are booed and hissed. Even when these resolutions fail to pass, as they usually do, the battle itself counts as a success for Israel’s enemies, as the Jewish state assumes a cumulatively negative image in the public mind. The influence-makers of tomorrow on campuses today are likely to graduate with the idea that Israel is a rogue, or at least quasi-rogue, nation. Students must actively seek out objective information if they wish to approach Israel with an open mind.

Recently Oxfam was “appalled” that Scarlett Johannsen who has been one of their ambassadors, became a spokesman  for Soda Stream, a successful Israeli enterprise on the West Bank that actually provides jobs to Palestinians. She chose to resign rather than withdraw from her support of Israel and Soda Stream. You can see here  to what degree Oxfam assumes that their attitudes toward Israel is the only true one  and the one which has beome “politically correct”.

We can also see the extent to which anti-Israel feeling has become politically correct in the responses to Harper’s visit to Israel in Canada in the left wing Canadian media. Many were “shocked and disappointed” by Harper’s support of Israel asking whether his stance was “balanced”. Steven Harper  is the only world leader who has grasped the insidious nature of the Arab hatred of Jews, and how that hatred and demonization is what is actually maintaining a state of war between Israel and the Arab population: a hostility that Israel has been contending with since its inception during the war of 1948 and 1967 and which is a threat which continues to manifest in Iran’s nuclear ambitions expressly “to wipe Israel off the map”. In addition, Hamas and Hezbollah, fuelled by Islamic fundamentalists,  refuse to recognize any Jewish connection to the Holy land, threaten Israel’s very existence, and continue to be supported by the left wing human rights mafia.

Fortunately the academic left leaning world is an ivory tower and Israel enjoys amazing support across the board from average Americans and Canadians like yourself who understand her plight and are not taken in by this perfidious and increasingly “politically correct” propaganda machine.

Israel, Jewish organizations, Jews and non-Jews, have taken up the challenge to expose and educate regarding this new antisemitism. I refer you to several organizations that you can access over the internet that were created to expose the bias of the UN, left wing academia, and the antisemitism that has infected the dialogue regarding Israel in the Middle East.

CIJR Canadian Institute for Jewish Studies
ISGAP Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy
SPME Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
MEMRI Middle East Media Research Institute

As well as individual journalists, scholars, and observors, who have spoken out, like the Winnipeg  born scholar Catherine Chatterley, the historian Andrew Roberts, The Washington Post journalist, Bret StephensRobert Wistrich, Jonathon Goldhagen, David Nirenberg, and  even some of my own blogs which have focused on exposing these trends.

Footnote:  3/8/2014
Today I discovered on the internet a study by University of Warsaw regarding the current state of antisemitism in Ploand: Anti-semitism, The Indelible Stain. It bears out the notion I discovered in two recent books about antisemitism that antisemitism has very little to do with Jews and that it can exist even more virulently in places where there are no Jews: Poland since World War ll is virtually Judenrein or Jew-free.

However the best analysis of antisemitism that I have seen is by Ruth Wisse 

Podcast: Ruth Wisse on the Nature and Functions of Anti-Semitism

 Author: Abigail Hirsch, MSW, filmmaker, blogger, journalist, citizen of the world

 

 

 

Spring Newsletter: AskAbigail Productions

Dear friends,

“The voice of the turtle is heard in the land” – “Song of Songs”

Happy Passover, Happy Easter, and Happy Spring to all.
As many of you are aware, Passover – the celebration of freedom and the seminal holiday of Jewish continuity – invites us to reflect on the past and present. In that spirit, I would like to share with what I have been working on in the last few months.

Since I last wrote to you, my documentary, “Yiddish: a tale of survival” has been completed, and is now in the process of being launched. So far we have had one private press screening at McGill University. It was reviewed by Janice Arnold of the Canadian Jewish news and I was also interviewed by Pierre Landry of the CBC on International Human Rights Day. I have to admit that not only does the film tell a great story, it is also great entertainment. In the next few weeks, I will be sending the DVD’s to those of you who have supported this project on IndieGogo. Without your support it would not have been possible. I am also sending the film to festivals around the world, including US, Australia, Europe, Israel, and even Asia, and I am in contact with university professionals, and distributors. We have so far had some nibbles from PBS and Australia. I am also offering the film to charitable institutions: It would make a fabulous fundraiser.

If you would be interested in organizing a private screening of the film for groups, associations or academic purposes please contact me and I would be glad to work something out.

In other news, AskAbigail Productions has been hired to videotape and post the McGill talks for ISGAP, (Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism). Every month they have guests of international calibre, such as David Matas, a well known Canadian lawyer, who makes the case for anti-semitism being behind the failure of the Israel/Palestine peace talks. Jonathon Speyer, research fellow of the Gloria Centre who bases his research on actual visits to Middle Eastern Countries including many recent visits to Syria, Yigal Carmon of Memri, a Middlle East media watch organization, and Shalem Coulibaly,  Professor of Philosophy and Secretary General, Université de Ouagadougou
(Burkina Faso). All have been among the ISGAP speakers. As Shalem Coulibaly, said in his talk, musing about anti-semitism in Sub-Saharan Africa, a place that has few Jews and yet is vulnerable to this virus: “I am interested in Sub Saharan Africa in particular because if we do not fight and engage against anti-Semitism and anti-zionism, then we are responsible for tomorrow’s destruction of our own societies. Hence, it is a question of responsibility for ourselves and not just for others,” All of the lectures can be seen on the ISGAP/vimeo website.

AskAbigail Productions has continued to support the efforts of CIJR (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research) and I continue to serve on their board.

As I review my blogs for the past year, it turns out I have written 12 pieces about anti-semitism. I am sad to say that this has been due to the enormous resurgence of anti-semitism http://www.askabigailproductions.com/anti-semitism that has become apparent to me and the general public in the past 2 years, in movies, Confessions of a Self-Hating Jew, Defamation: The Movie, at the academy awards, Purim, Jews, and the Academy Awards,news reports, and conferences,  Highlights of the CIJR conference Combatting the Delegitimation of Israel.

And here is my latest blog about Passover which also riffs on the theme of freedom and its connection to the slavery of thought and anti-semitism in the Middle East.  http://www.askabigailproductions.com/passover-and-the-arab-spring

The other day, as I was chatting with my Iranian emigre taxi driver friend, he said to me, “If I could only see peace in the Middle East in my lifetime, I would die a happy man.”

Insh’Allah, may it be so….

The Passover story is one that embraces hope. As Rabbi Steinmetz points out, the challenge of asking the question is the beginning of awareness, which is the beginning of the path to freedom. May all our questions end in true freedom and redemption for all mankind.

I welcome your feedback and comments and look forward to working towards freedom and peace together with you in the new year.

Abigail Hirsch
AskAbigail Productions.

Jonathan Spyer: Anti-Semitism in Islam and the West

Jonathan Spyer

Prof. Jonathan Spyer is a Journalist and academic currently working out of Jerusalem. He recently made 2 trips into Syria and survived to tell the tale. Last week, he was in Montreal speaking at McGill University for the ISGAP (Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy) lecture series, Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective. His talk was about Antisemitism in the Middle East (here is the full lecture Video), historically and in the present.

He reviewed the two theories re Islamic anti-semitism, the “modernist” and the “perennial” theories. The modernist theory, espousing the idea that Middle Eastern anti-semitism is imported from the West and related to the rise of Israel as a state. The perennial theory of Islamic anti-semitism that traces its origins to the beginnings of Islam in the 6th. century. In reviewing these theories he points out how they interweave to create the current ideas and attitudes in the Middle East and also how they compare with Western anti-semitic ideology.

Interestingly, the Jew could survive in Arab lands only if he was a defeated and weak figure of ridicule and contempt. It is for this reason that the rise of contemporary Israel is such an affront to Islamic ideology. It is also in this context, we can understand the terrible current affront to Islam when Jews, who are supposed to be weak, inferior, and ridiculous (monkeys etc.) are in possession of Jerusalem, a seminal Islamic holy site.

By contrast, the Jew, historically in western Christian mythology is a dangerous, powerful, and treacherous, figure who nevertheless must not be killed because his presence attests to the historical Jesus, and the second coming of Jesus is dependent on the conversion of all Jews to Christianity. With the relaxation of Christian ideology in the 19th century and the rise of secularism and science, 20th century western style antisemitism was born based on 19th century “scientific theories of race”. Here the picture of the “Jew as a treacherous, moneygrubbing figure” became etched in biology, leaving absolutely no exit for Jews living under Nazi ideology and sovereignty.

Spyer had an interesting response to the question of whether anti-zionism is the same as antisemitism. “Zionism” was a movement to advance the creation of a Jewish state and there were groups debating pro and con. However, once Israel was created, one can only speak about being for or against the abolishment of the existing State of Israel. Therefore, anti-zionism is not about criticizing the state of Israel but is a screen for the Arab wish to destroy the state of Israel.

Spyer also answered a question about his recent trips to Syria and in a few words conceptualized Obama’s Middle East foreign policy. He states that although Obama’s intentions regarding relations in the middle east were well meaning, they have unbalanced relationships that have held for years. Resulting in a situation that makes the US appear weak towards their enemies and endangers the countries with whom the States have typically been allies.

Spyer is able to concisely summarize Obama’s missteps in the Middle East.

He states that “Obama appears to have thought that by expressing Empathy and understanding of Middle Eastern cultures via his Cairo speech in 2009, he could open dialogue and repair the damage that he perceived had been caused to the American image in the Middle East by the Bush policies. He then proceeded to not back long standing allies of the US, Tunisia and Egypt and Libya, and also not to confront long standing enemies of the US in the Middle East, Iran and Syria. In this way he degraded the US strategic coin in the era. Those who had relied on the US are now dead or in jail and those who had relied on other patrons, were glad that they chose the “right” side – witness Bashar Al Assad who has waged a war against his own people with the support of Russia and China for over a year, and no interference from the US or Western Allies. And this is exactly the opposite of what is needed to have a voice in the Middle East, i.e. one must show that one’ allies can rely on you and that your enemies must fear you.  This is how Israel has managed to maintain some semblance of peace in a very dangerous area of the world. And this is how Obama has seriously devalued the American Strategic coin in the region.” (emphasis mine)

I invite your comments.