Jewish Myths on Islam: The Patterns of Zionist Propaganda

The Forgotten Truth about the Balfour Declaration
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In fact Jews under Islam were better off than their Christian neighbours, and much better off than their Jewish brethren under Christianity. A similar pattern of relations has developed over the last several decades between Muslim nations and the Jewish state of Israel: hostility and violence, mostly by Muslim Arabs, but also dialogue and cooperation by and with many other Muslims. Ideas and suggestions are put forward to improve Muslim—Jewish relations — the theme of which was first conceived at an international conference organized by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Divinity School, Harvard University.

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Judaism is a very universalistic religion, contrary to the stereotypes, just universalistic in a different way than Christianity and Islam her daughter religions. Not Ishmael though the father was Abraham the mother was Hagar. There have been no suicide bombings, no terrorist attacks against Christian populations in Christian countries or Muslim populations in Muslim countries, over all that time. An interesting side effect of this social arrangement is that it actually gave rulers a practical reason to tolerate Jews, as the Jewish bankers would understandably not loan money or do business with those who persecuted them. Perhaps most indicative of the change in mood was the claim that the Prophet Muhammad had tethered his horse to the western wall of the Temple Mount. The Jewish daily prayers, recited unchanged over the past two thousand years or more, underline this. The accusation of Jewish distortions of the Qur'an are a common theme in Muslim polemics.

Scham The Contributors Index. Following an introduction by the editor, it is divided into four parts and fifteen papers; notes and an index are included. In the 7th century A.

Rebel Rabbis: Anti-Zionist Jews Against Israel

This is when the important Muslim shrines, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque , were intentionally built on the site of the destroyed biblical Jewish temples—a time-honored practice to physically signal the predominance of Islam. With the demise of the Umayyad dynasty and the shift of the caliphate to Baghdad, Jerusalem fell into a long decline, scarcely interrupted by occasional bursts of Muslim interest in the city during the Crusader period and the Ottoman conquest.

Jerusalem did, however, become a Jewish-majority city during the 19th century. Jerusalem meant so little to the Ottomans that, during World War I, they let it fall into British hands without a fight and even contemplated entirely destroying the city before pulling out. When did Jerusalem become a passionate Islamic issue? Central to this process of reform was the Tanzimat, a series of Ottoman reforms whose chief goals were the preservation of the Ottoman state through modernization and centralization and the creation of a new imperial civic identity.

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In Iraq, for example, a Jewish delegate represented Baghdad in the Ottoman parliament founded in In Egypt, this began with the reforms initiated by Muhammad Ali Mehmet Ali , ruler since and founder of the khedival dynasty. Full civil equality came in Moses Montefiore, the Anglo-Jewish leader and tireless advocate for Jewish rights, was able through his efforts and with the backing of the British government to obtain decrees that promised to ensure that Jews would be treated with justice.

Despite the uneven process of reforms throughout the Middle East and North Africa in the nineteenth century, brought about by both foreign pressure and the internal impetus for change, everywhere it was apparent that a new climate of Muslim relations with its religious minorities was developing with far-reaching implications. The changing status of religious minorities brought about by reform, even in its most modest forms, enabled, on the one hand, new kinds of relations to develop in the public sphere.

On the other hand, reactions to these changes were sometimes ambivalent if not hostile. While some Muslim ulama and intellectuals supported the reforms that granted religious minorities civil rights, others were opposed to changes, especially recognizing that the reforms came, in part, at the behest of the foreign powers and signaled the decline of Muslim sovereignty.

Our Abraham, Not Theirs

Despite the many obstacles, the movement to reform set in motion a process that would transform Muslim-Jewish relations in many ways. The introduction and spread of modern schools during the era of reforms had important consequences for Middle Eastern and North African Jews and changed their relations with their Muslim neighbors.

In the nineteenth century, modern schools began to be introduced across the Middle East and North Africa. More organized religious instruction was provided in modern yeshivot , which began to be established in the mid-nineteenth century in the Levant. Jewish religious education, however, ceased to be the only educational option for Jews, as modern and secular studies were introduced by Christian missionary, foreign, European Jewish, and Ottoman state schools.

Initially the opening of schools was met with some resistance by the local Jewish communities, 14 but it became a popular institution in the years that followed. The language of instruction was French; but it also taught Hebrew and, depending on time and place, offered courses in Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, and English. By the late nineteenth century, classes in math, history, geography, physics, biology, and chemistry were being offered as well. More radically, the Alliance also offered education to girls, a move that was met with much resistance from conservative Jewish figures. The system in general upped the socioeconomic position of each Jewish community and enabled Jews to obtain jobs in the modern sectors of the economy.

In certain provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Muslims attended these schools because of the high level of education that was offered and befriended Jewish students and teachers. In Iraq, for example, Jews who were admitted to these schools came to play important roles in the life of this Ottoman province after Modern schooling helped Jews to integrate more effectively in international trading and commercial networks, operating from the major cities and commercial hubs of the Mediterranean and beyond.

The nineteenth century turned into an era of social mobility in which more Jews met and traded with Muslims and competed, often with their Christian neighbors or foreign merchants, for positions of influence in global markets. Jews became involved in the global economy because of the spread of European economic influence, imperialism and colonial rule, yet their new ascendancy in the modern economy facilitated greater integration into the socioeconomic life of Muslim societies. Kinship connections throughout the Mediterranean basin, and participation in local societies, enabled Jewish businessmen to function as commercial intermediaries between Europe and the Ottoman, Iranian, and Moroccan empires, often obtaining foreign citizenship in the process.

This role as intermediaries and entrepreneurs in the global economy continued under British colonial rule in the Middle East and French North Africa, enabling a new generation of Jewish families to thrive. During the nineteenth and continuing in the twentieth century, Jews, like their Christian and Muslim peers, moved to a variety of locations across the globe and to cities and towns in the Middle East; Syrian and Lebanese Jews joined the migration waves to Europe and the Americas; Iraqi Jews established satellite communities in Bombay, Calcutta, Shanghai, Rangoon, and Hong Kong; and Moroccan Jews migrated to Brazil and the Peruvian Amazon.

Affluent families from the satellite communities supported various synagogues and schools in the Middle East and improved the welfare of their brethren in communities such as Aleppo, Baghdad, Damascus, and Jerusalem. The growth of ports of trade and commercial centers in the modern Middle East and North Africa facilitated new types of relations between Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

Jews were among the entrepreneurs in the new commercial sectors of banks, department stores, and other businesses. Urban culture in cities such as Teheran, Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Tunis developed, and with the rise of mixed neighborhoods in these cities, connections between Jews, Muslims, and Christians grew closer: Jewish musicians, or mixed Muslim and Jewish ensembles, which performed for multi-religious crowds in shared venues, 20 trained professionals in the liberal professions who accepted clients of all religions, and membership in occupational, cultural, political, and patriotic associations where both Muslims and Jews met, sharing similar ideas about statehood, modernity, and progress.

New modes of interaction between religious and ethnic groups were a development that affected not only the upper classes of society. These changes in the era of reforms caused Muslims, Christians, and Jews to construct new identities and, in some cases, share a common language of political discourse.

The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem

With the Ottoman loss of its Middle Eastern and North African territories mainly to the expanding French and British empires and the emergence of independent nation states in formerly Ottoman provinces in Europe, the Ottoman state endeavored to strengthen its control of its provinces and impose direct control of its peripheries, establishing direct rule in Tripolitania and putting an end to the semi-autonomous Qaramanli state, expanding its hegemony in the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen, 22 and promoting the idea of imperial citizenship to instill greater loyalty among its multi-ethnic and multi-religious population.

The results of these political changes, though uneven, were the construction of new identities in which Muslims, Jews, and Christians began to imagine themselves as part of a larger community, in which the notion of nationalism or the nation state occupied the center stage. Jews came to define themselves as belonging to the countries or empires in which they lived as Moroccans, Egyptians, Ottomans, identifying with the national culture of the colonial power British, French, Spanish , or with the emerging ethnic nationalisms of the late nineteenth century Arab and Zionist.

While seemingly contradictory, Jews often identified with several ideologies simultaneously, for example, being Zionist, Arab, and Ottoman at the same time. Iran — and the Ottoman Empire witnessed constitutional revolutions that changed Muslim-Jewish relations. In the Ottoman Empire, the periods following the first constitution and the second constitutional era after the Young Turk Revolution of were particularly important in the formation of new identities, notions of imperial citizenship or civic Ottomanism shared between different ethno-religious groups.

Ottomanism, in other words, opened up new possibilities for thinking about citizenship, patriotic brotherhood that was not based on religion but on equality, and justice within a larger imperial setting that gave equal constitutional rights to all its members. Jews in particular embraced the new ideology of Ottomanism, expressing their patriotism to the Ottoman state.

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The constitutional revolutions also inspired enthusiasm among other religious and ethnic minorities who hoped that a new era of progress and enlightenment was dawning. However, this all-inclusive civic Ottomanism, supported by members of the Christian millets, was fraught with tension, and as foreign intervention increased and nation states were emerging out of the fragmentation of the Ottoman Empire, conflict worsened between the Ottoman state and Christian ethno-religious communities.

Amid these tensions with the Christian population, Jews expressed solidarity with Ottoman Muslims, even articulating an identification with Islamic Ottomanism, to emphasize their patriotism to the Ottoman state by trying to show that they were more loyal than Christian millets. The identification of Jews with the Ottoman state continued to develop at the turn of the twentieth century and until World War I. The Revolution, which introduced parliamentary rule and restored liberties that had been abolished under the previous regime, greatly accelerated the integration process of Jews as imperial citizens.

These political changes, and the new, often contested identities that emerged as a result, were also reflected in the cultural realm of Muslim-Jewish relations. In Middle Eastern cities such as Cairo, Beirut, and Damascus, new Arab public spheres, with their Arabic newspapers, societies, public events, and coffeehouses, began to take root.

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Leading Arab journals protested the persecution of Jews in Eastern and Western Europe; reported on pogroms and anti-Jewish activities, especially in Russia and the Balkans; and evoked the image of the Jew as an individual forced to exist under perpetual persecution. Muslim intellectuals, moreover, supported Jewish emancipation in Europe and recognized the domains in which this emancipation had fallen short. Likewise, many Arabic journals celebrated the harmony between Muslims, Jews, and Christians under Islamic rule, citing in particular the case of Muslim Spain.

It focused on Iliya, a devoted Christian living in Byzantine Jerusalem, who fell in love with a Jewish girl.


This book discusses the myths Jews have about Islam. The patterns of Zionist propaganda and the development of such behavior. Here, we will dispell these. Jewish Myths on Islam: The Patterns of Zionist Propaganda eBook: Mohamed Ghounem: Kindle Store.

This novel presented the Muslims as heroic conquerors, who were able to provide equality to both Jews and Christians. Modern and Western education affected the reading habits and modes of communication of modern Jews and their relationships to fellow Muslims. The Jewish world at this period was multilingual; Jews used languages unique to Jewish communities, such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian, and Ladino, and many spoke and some also wrote and read in Arabic, Turkish, and Persian.

Within this context, Judeo-Arabic and Ladino were vehicles in which modernity was discussed, as modest, albeit influential, Judeo-Arabic and Ladino print industries and print markets produced books, newspapers, and journals. In addition, Jews all over the Middle East and North Africa read Hebrew journals produced in Europe and Ottoman Palestine and participated in the modern Hebrew enlightenment by publishing in Haskalah newspapers in Europe.

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Jews used the international Hebrew press to communicate with European Jewry and ask for their protection against Muslim states at times of persecution, especially in Iran; at the same time, their writings convey a great deal of pride in the changes that occurred in the Middle East and a new horizon of expectations that assumed that modern Muslim states should treat their subjects equally and justly, regardless of religious differences. In colonial societies, European languages were important cultural capital, and often served as a lingua franca for the educated elite and as a mode of communication through newspapers and books, forums for debate and the exchange of ideas in new public spaces.

In Baghdad, Jewish intellectuals established, together with Muslim partners, three newspapers in both Arabic and Turkish after the Revolution. As Muslim thinkers were concerned for the welfare of Muslims throughout the world and in Europe most notably Russia , discussing the discrimination against Jews in these countries fit well into the general critique of Europe.

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The greatest scholar of Islamic theology and law at the time, Jewish intellectual Ignaz Goldziher d. The fact that Middle Eastern and North African Jewish thought was conceptualized — in a context where ideas about the need to reform Islamic practices, laws, and discourses in light of modern realities took shape — meant that Middle Eastern Jewish thinkers were engaged with similar questions relating to the relationship between revelation, reform, science, religious stagnation, and modernity.

Both Muslims and Jews in this period had to deal with similar phenomena related to modernity, which included the challenges presented by American, European, and Europeanized systems of education; the penetration of Western cultural habits and norms into everyday life; improved modes of transportation; technological advances; the establishing of communities of Middle Eastern Jewish and Muslim migrants in England, France, the Americas, and India; and the rise of new practices related to urban leisure.

Jews and Orthodox Christians were particularly ambivalent about Catholic and Protestant missionary education. Like Muslim reformers at the time and in contrast to Europe, where an opposition between rabbis and reformers was often evoked , they saw no contradiction between reason and revelation and showed great openness to new scientific innovations. Rabbi Somekh sent his own grandson to the Alliance school because he was convinced of the virtues of modern education, and his rulings encouraged Jews to put their trust in the Ottoman state. No one will cast libel upon us Becoming one with the people of the State would be transformed, in the twentieth century, into new notions of citizenship and patriotism, as nation states emerged in the region.

World War I brought an end to the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of new nation states in the Middle East, which accelerated change in Muslim-Jewish relationships. Jewish men were drafted into the Ottoman Army; some served, while others managed to escape from the Ottoman authorities without serving in the military. Women, children, and elderly were left behind as men went to the battlefields; some perished from hunger and disease.

These changes complicated ties between Muslim and Jewish communities and created new hierarchies and new identities, which affected the lives of even the most reluctant participants in these historical processes. In the Maghrib after World War I, the European powers attempted to tighten their grip and increase the number of settlers.

The Italians in Libya, and the French and Spanish in Morocco, met with considerable resistance to military occupation and colonial rule. Nationalism and, eventually, anti-colonial struggle ensued in Algeria and in the protectorates of Tunisia and Morocco.