“As to Islam itself, intolerance is woven into its very fabric….The Qur’an’s strong message is that Allah loves Muslims and hates everyone else. If you don’t believe this, just read the Qur’an.”(1)
It is past time to separate the wheat from the chaff. The Qur’an says:
We believe in God, and in that which has been revealed to us, which is that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Jacob and the tribes [of Israel], as well as that which the Lord revealed to Moses and to Jesus and to all the other Prophets. We make no distinction between any of them; we submit ourselves to God. (Aal `Imran 3:84)
Further, the Qur’an addresses itself to the whole of mankind, and does not limit or restrict its message to Muslims of the Islamic faith:
There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; so whosoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Al-Baqarah 2:256)
In fact, anyone who “submits” to the Will of God (Allah) is a Muslim by definition. In the Qur’an, Adam and Eve are referred to as the first Muslims, as well as Prophet Abraham (peace be upon them all):
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim. (Aal `Imran 3:67)
The concept that enmity between Jews and Muslims is a religious tenet in Islam is fraudulent and debases the Qur’an, as well as the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). However, the concept is a common misconception among many Muslims, Jews and others. Religious extremists and political demagogues select Qur’anic verses taken out of context to support their anti-Semitic views, while ignoring the fundamental precepts of the Qur’an, as well as the Hadith.
This series of articles proposes to refute the anti-Semitic doctrines propounded by religious and political extremists, and to examine the Qur’anic references which are cited in support of these pernicious interpretations. Further, this series will document the abundance of laudatory references to Israelites, Jews, Hebrew prophets, and the Torah found throughout the Qur’an which inform and illuminate Islamic history and teachings.
The history of Muslim-Jewish relations will be explored, including examination of the social, political and religious dynamics in Medina which circumscribed Muslim-Jewish relations when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers migrated there from Mecca in 622 c.e. In particular, this series will probe criticisms of Jews found in secular commentaries in the Qur’an pertaining to three wars that occurred in the 7th century between Medina’s Muslim, Arab and Jewish tribes.
Islamic and Judaic Shared Beliefs and Practices
This is the first part of the series. The author outlines the Islamic and Judaic beliefs and practices
This is the second part of the series. The author focuses here on the Jewish-Muslim history, Muslim Jurists and the Rules of Protected Minorities, and The Qur’an’s Portrayal of the Jews.
This is the third part of the series. The author focuses here on the situation in Medina during the time of the Prophet.
This is the fourth part of the series. The author focuses here on Islam’s golden age and its effect on the Jewish-Muslim relations. He also highlights the relation between political Islam and anti-Semitism.
This is the fifth and the last part of the series. The author explains whether the Qur’an abrogates the Scriptures and teachings of the Religions of the Book – Judaism and Christianity.
M. Carlos, Naming the Darkness: Religious Roots of the Middle East Conflict, www.peacewithrealism.org, August 26, 2011.