In an article titled “Are the Jews Truly the Descendants of Apes and Pigs?” in his regular column on the liberal website elaph.com, Kurdish-Iraqi writer Mehdi Majid ‘Abdallah urged the Arabs and Muslims to stop referring to Jews as ‘the descendants of apes and pigs,’ because this term is based on a false story in Islamic tradition. ‘Abdallah added that the Arabs invent stories slandering the Jews in order to compensate for their inability to compete with them and surpass them.
Below are translated excerpts from the article. Mehdi Majid ‘Abdallah
The Jews, More Than Any Other People, Have Unjustly Suffered From Slanderous Claims Regarding Their Origin
“During their age-old history, the Jews have suffered from slander regarding their lineage and origins more than any other people in the world. The reason for this slander [in the Arab world], which came to the point of curses, insults and vilification, is the Arab Islamic peoples’ jealousy and hatred, and their inability to compete with the Jews and surpass them. Therefore, they resorted to the tools of the helpless: fabrication and inventing tales.
“The Arab Muslims rely on a tale of dubious credibility from their tradition, purporting that some Israelites rebelled against God and He transformed them into apes and pigs for three days and then exterminated them, without these creatures ever producing any offspring. The Arabs claim that Allah never acts without consideration. I burrowed deeply but could not find any consideration that could motivate Allah to transform the Jews [into apes and pigs] and then exterminate them. Why didn’t He exterminate them immediately, without [first] degrading them and insulting their dignity? [Even if] we assume that there is substance to the story, it applies to [only] some of the Jews and it is connected to a specific incident and time. So why do we apply it to all Jews, at all times?
“Moreover, we can say that the Arab Muslims are blinded by racism and contempt for the other, because, out of their [entire] history and tradition, they [choose to] see only this story, while ignoring dozens of other stories in the Koran and the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad. [These tales] describe the Jews as the descendants and children of the prophet Jacob, also called Israel, of Joseph the Righteous, and of other illustrious prophets, whom Islam calls to respect. [In fact, according to Islam,] disbelieving in [these prophets] or insulting them are [acts of] apostasy and deviation from the correct path.
“Furthermore, why is it only the Jews who were transformed into beasts? Is it reasonable that Allah transformed his creatures into beasts just because they rebelled against him? If so, he should have transformed all people into beasts, because they have sinned and continue to commit terrible crimes that are a hundred times [worse] than what the Jews did. According to the false story in Islamic tradition, the Jews were turned into beasts because they fished on the Sabbath, and this is a small sin in comparison to sins such as sodomy, adultery, beheading people like sheep, taking women captive and selling them on the slave market, [and] raping minors…”
The Jews Should Be Called ‘The Descendants Of The Prophets’ Instead Of ‘The Descendants Of Apes And Pigs’
“People who draw inferences from the past to the present and future, and therefore describe the Jews as the descendants of apes and pigs, should call themselves ‘the descendants of homosexuals’ and ‘the descendants of red flag women’ (in the pre-Islamic era, prostitutes in the Arabian Peninsula would fly red flags to signal that they were available for sexual pleasure). [That’s what they should do] if they apply to themselves the same standard they apply to others.
“The terrible tragedy is that, when Jews are angry at those who describe them in this way, and refuse to communicate with them or befriend them, they are accused of being racist and arrogant and of holding others in contempt. The Jews are [apparently] expected to agree to be apes and pigs, and to smile at those who call them by this name, and hug and kiss them.
“In sum, the time has come for Arabs and Muslims to [discard] the epithet ‘descendants of apes and pigs’ when describing the Jews, and replace it with the epithet ‘descendants of the prophet Jacob, the prophet Joseph and the prophet Moses.’ This would be a most respectful, peace-loving and dignified thing to do… Are there any ears receptive [to my call]?”
 Elaph.com, September 13, 2014. It should be mentioned that an article with a similar thrust was published by Dr. Yousuf Al-Hadhiri, a columnist for the Yemeni daily Aden Al-Ghad. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 5581, Yemeni Columnist Denounces Custom Of Calling Jews ‘Descendants Of Apes And Pigs’, December 30, 2013. On how Muslim clerics exploit the epithet “apes and pigs,” see MEMRI Special Report No. 11, Based on Koranic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals, November 1, 2002.
 The story appears in Koran 7:163-167.