Paris and Buenos Aires, 25 February 2023
A letter to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, from Drs Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, Directors for International Relations and of Latin America respectively
We are aware that Brazil strictly condemns antisemitism, and as such, our findings below are an explicit violation of the law.
According to the Brazilian penal code, it is illegal to write, edit, publish, or sell literature that promotes antisemitism or racism. The law provides penalties of up to five years in prison for crimes of racism or religious intolerance and enables courts to fine or imprison for two to five years anyone who displays, distributes, or broadcasts antisemitic or racist material.
We are certain that this case is an exact example of the Brazilian penal code.
Lebanese “journalist” based in Brazil, Youssef H. Mousmar, has published an article titled “Arabs of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islam) and their Sons became Judaized and Christians of the West and their heirs become Zionized” published in the Lebanese daily Al-Binaa newspaper.
In the article, he referred to “these Arab Muslims” as “ignoramuses” who have replaced the “ethical message of prophet Muhammed” with the “Jewish Zionist culture of fitna (sedition) and referred to “these Christians in Europe and the US” who have been “injected with the Jewish Zionist psyche” as gullible and corrupt, failing to witness “the reality of the Jews who persecuted Jesus and considered him a dajjal (false messiah) even to this day!! refusing his noble teachings, while waiting for another messiah who will satisfy their despicable desires and who conforms to their depraved tendencies.”
He continues on to write that “these Muslims and Christians who don’t care that Jesus was crucified and Mohammed was poisoned by the Jews... who are human scum.”
The article continues: They (these Christians and Muslims) “have inherited the psyche, nature and culture of the Jews, who to this day have not recognized Jesus but rather are awaiting another Messiah who will obey their desires and will teach what they instil in him, from lessons on strife, deceit, misleading, lying, and carrying out what they command of corruption, evil deeds, and bad behaviour.”
Youssef H. Mousmar was born in Lebanon Beirut in 1943. In 1969, he escaped from the Lebanese authorities due to his secret work for the Syrian Social Nationalist Party where he had a four-year prison sentence, issued against him in absentia.
- Arriving in Brazil, in 1970, he co-founded the Arab-Brazilian Studies Association in Curitiba, Brazil.
- He participated in the founding meeting of the Federation of Arab American Associations (FIARAB) in São Paulo, Brazil.
- He took part in the founding of the Diaspora Arab Literature League in Brazil and was its media director. He supervised editing the league’s literary page in the newspaper Al-Binaa and cultural director of the Syrian/Brazilian Cultural Association.
We believe that this is only the tip of Syrian media in Brazil and as such is an incitement to an even more dangerous antisemitism and other bigotry in your beautiful country.
We urge you to take immediate measures into this and other such cases.
Indeed, Mr. President, Brazil was an Observer in Stockholm, at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) where your country expressed that it “will go all the way to become a full member of this global definition of Antisemitism.”
Allowing the case is hardly compatible.
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