The student accused of shouting "slaughter the Jews" at the Oxford Union, while Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, was speaking, has denied the charge. Let's take a look:
Mr Rashid claimed that he had in fact shouted “Khaybar ya Yahod”, a classic Arabic battle cry referring to a seventh-century attack by Mohammed on the Jewish community in Khaybar where the Jews were conquered and made to pay half of their income to the Muslim population.
They were finally expelled by a successive Muslim ruler, Caliph Omar.
Mr Rashid said: “My version went: ‘Khaybar, O Jews, we will win’. This is in classical, Koranic Arabic and I doubt that apart from picking up on the word ‘Jew’, that even the Arabic speakers in the room would have understood the phrase.
“As you can see, I made no reference to killing Jews. It carries absolutely no derogatory or secondary meanings.”
Giving him the benefit of the doubt, it is, in fact, entirely possible that the audience misheard. But since the Oxford Union has threatened disciplinary proceedings against the hecklers, there is also a certain interest in downplaying events. We may never know.
As for 'Khaybar, O Jews', having "no derogatory or secondary meanings" - there is no need to resort to secondary meanings. The primary meaning is offensive and derogatory enough. It is a call for Jews to be subdued (in violent battle) and fall under Muslim control, and to assume inferior dhimmi status.
Mr Rashid said he believed the words ‘Jew’ and ‘Israeli’ were interchangeable terms.
Hard to believe a bright Oxford student could really think this. Also, the implication that screaming 'Khaybar, O Israelis' would be acceptable is simply false.
He added that it was possible he could have been misunderstood by the crowd, saying: “There was a great deal of confusion and several people were shouting at the same time.
“I do acknowledge that people may have misheard me and assume that I uttered something else - namely to ‘slaughter the Jews’ which is something that I do not believe.
“I express the deepest regret if my remarks were misunderstood or misheard to mean anything that even comes close to encouraging the slaughter of innocents. I will be writing letters to all my Jewish friends to express my sincere apologies, and also to clarify my remarks.”
And to ask for half their income?