The Muslim Obsession with Jews
In their daily conversations, Muslims around the world blame a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ being responsible for all their internal and external conflicts. It is unfortunate that these conspiracy theorists include even the educated Muslims.
Muslim media, especially the media in Arab countries, routinely declare Jews as their enemies. People believing in some Jewish conspiracy, also propagate that the only solution of Palestinian conflict is the destruction of Israel. They argue, Israelis have no right to live in the land of Palestine.
Those Muslim who deny Israelis the right to live in Palestine, forget the injunctions of The Quran (5:20-21), where God specifically ordered Moses and the ‘children of Israel’ to enter the ‘Holy Land’ and settle there. When the Jews resisted because of their fear of the rulers of those lands at that time, God admonished them. Finally, the ‘bani Israel’ conquered Palestine under Joshua.
Nearly all the modern experts of Quranic exegesis including, Syed Maudoodi, Yusuf Ali, and Waheeduddin Khan agree that the ‘Holy Land’ mentioned in Quran for the Jews is what is today roughly the State of Israel. This proves that the Israelis have the divine right to live in the Holy lands. Any Muslim believer, who denies the right of Israelis in what was once Biblical Palestine, does in fact refute the command of Allah.
Some extremist Muslims maintain that according to Quranic teachings, God later withdrew the privileges granted to Jews and therefore they lost their rights to live in the environs of Jerusalem. However, the Quran is silent about such revocation, and it will always be a debatable issue in Islam. Jews by definition do not have to accept any Quranic injunctions and instead they will always rely upon The Old Testament to interpret their perceived divine rights.
Muslims who perceive Jewish conspiracies either willfully or naively ignore the objective history of the Jewish people. They base their perception of conspiracies upon the Jewish ascendancy in the matters of finance, sciences, learning, and other fields of industry, including their influence on the global spheres of power. Such perceptions have also strengthened due to Muslims’ own decline and the establishment of Israel.
An objective review of Jewish history clearly informs us that the Jews have been in the Diaspora from about 600 BC until the creation of the State of Israel under the Zionist movement. During this period they have been severely persecuted by Babylonians, Pagans, Romans, and Christians. They were periodically uprooted and their temples were destroyed including the Temple of Solomon, the site of Bait al Maqdis (Dome of the Rock), the Muslim Holy Site, in Jerusalem.
During their various exiles, a large number of Jews settled in various European countries where they faced extreme anti-Semitism that led to The Holocaust, the worst genocide of Jews in human history. The Holocaust as a crime against humanity is universally accepted; though anti-Semites deny it and some Muslim extremists also adopt this denial. Even those Jews who settled in the US faced persecution and anti Semitism, which still exists in various forms.
To overcome their persecution, and to survive, Jews worked hard to excel in the fields of learning, sciences, medicine, trade, financial businesses including banking, and other material fields.
Despite their excellence in various fields of knowledge, Jews have been stereo-typically labelled as bloodthirsty usurers. Such stereotypes emanate from biblical stories of Jesus throwing out the money lenders from the temple, as well as through literature like Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.
Due to their dedication to excellence in various fields, Jews have been able to influence the ruling classes and establishments in various countries, in order to insure their own survival and existence.
They have also established charitable institutions including hospitals, centres of education, and other fields of learning. They have also strived to promote the development of laws protecting Universal Human Rights that benefit all minorities, including Muslims. These laws include the laws protecting Freedom of Expression based on the principles of US constitution, and UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Their difficulties with Muslims began due to their conflict with the Prophet of Islam and they were exiled from Medina. In the later Muslim empires Jews had an ambivalent relationship with the Muslim rulers where they enjoyed privilege as well as suffered persecution, and biases, under various extremist Muslim rulers whether in Baghdad, in Spain, or under the Ottoman rulers. In the Muslim empires Jews were employed in the centres of learning in Baghdad and Spain and contributed in transfer and preservation of knowledge.
It is an established fact that Muslims and their rulers benefit from all the excellent medical facilities in the West. No one has ever complained that Jews have prescribed harmful medicines or injection for Muslims under some vicious schemes. They have also not denied Muslims admissions to various institutes of higher learning.
Jewish promotion of knowledge, charitable work, their work in the human rights, and their promotion of freedom of expression, further strengthens their influence in the West and elsewhere.
It is this influence that Muslims deem as The Jewish Conspiracy.
They also criticize the West and the US for their support of Freedom of Expression– that allows ordinary citizens to insult Islam and its Holy personalities — and for their support of declaring the denial of Holocaust as a crime in various countries.
The fact is that under the US Constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights, it is not a crime to deny the Holocaust. Muslim anti-Semites also ignore that Holocaust Denial is a crime in many European countries because this is where the Jews suffered the worst atrocities in human history. There is always a fear in these countries that due to various strains of antisemitism, some atrocities may again arise and these should be preempted.
The real problem between Jews and Muslims is the issue of Palestine. The creation of Israel has affected the lives of Palestinians who gave been living there for at least a thousand years under various Muslim rules.
After the end of World War II, British Palestine was divided by the UN into constitute two states–one Arab and the other Jewish with the Jerusalem under UN control. This led to the war of 1948 between Israel and its Arab neighbours. The Arab league joined the conflict that resulted in the occupation of the West Bank by Jordan and the Gaza Strip by Egypt. Israel got the rest of the land that was granted to it under the UN mandate.
It is this conflict that continues till today and the West’s support of Israel’s right of existence further strengthens the perception of a Jewish Conspiracy in naïve Muslim minds. A real two-state solution is not on the horizon, and both Muslims and Israel blame each other for this impasse.
Muslims will be better off if they strive for excellence in all the fields that Jews have excelled in and seriously work for a two-state solution of the Palestinian conflict. They need to banish the idea of some Jewish Conspiracy from their minds, and forget any notions of the destruction of Israel.
At the same time Israel should also show seriousness about a two-state solution, and stop building new settlements in the Palestinian areas. Only this will insure mutual coexistence and world peace.