I find it a bit hard to believe these so-called “Islamic scholars” are completely ignorant of their own history. If they we being honest about it they would have to include in their narrative that the cultural accomplishments of the first Caliphate that arose in the 8th and 9th centuries would not have been possible without those same Jews that they now so despise. Or is it perhaps this fact that has them so twisted in lies and hatred? So first then let’s explore a little of the historical background.
What these modern protagonists of a new Caliphate don’t want their followers and recruits to know is something that the West has long forgotten, and the Islamists certainly hope it doesn’t remember. As Islam spread in the 8th and 9th centuries into those areas that had been former parts of the Greek and Roman Empires they quite naturally came across large amounts of documents of those periods (works that at the time were all but completely lost in Europe) and were also quite naturally curious about what these documents were and what they said. So just what group of people within the Islamic empire do you think still retained the educational levels and the linguistic skills needed to translate this vast library of knowledge that was about to become infused into the new Islamic empire? Well I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.
The Jews were quickly set to task to translate the Greek and Latin texts into Arabic (and Hebrew). It was thus that much of the elite, including the Jews, of the empire became Hellenized. For the Jews the process had been ongoing, and often resisted since the time of Alexander the Great. For the Arabs, the transformation was openly embraced. Jewish culture flourished in the Islamic empire. Jews and Arabs both quickly build upon the established grounds in the fields of architecture, astronomy, mathematics and philosophy. It may have taken another 500 years but these translated works eventually found their way back to Europe and gave birth to the Renaissance in the 14th century. Again it was the Jews living in the Islamic empire and in Europe who re-translated back into Latin and into the European vernaculars what had been previously translated into Arabic and Hebrew.
With such a history for the Islamic Caliphate, and given that the Arab people are no different than any others in that they are a product of their history, how then do these “scholars” get to a position of advocacy for the genocide of a people who are so much a part of what the Arab and Islamic world was and is?
Their codification into the Koran aside, Muhammad’s proscriptions against the Jews were little more than a political and military expediency that should be viewed within the context of their time. They were a reaction to the Jews of Medina (a city the Jews had founded) rejecting his request that they join him in his new vision of the Abrahamic God. It didn’t help either that he cast a jealous eye upon the wealth of that city that he may well have coveted to finance his growing armies.
After the death of Muhammad many of the political restrictions against the Jews (Pact of Omar 637 A.D.) simply were no longer enforced. The Arabs may have held them as suspect for their refusal to convert but they continued to respect them for their strong beliefs in education and family cohesion. In fact the Arabs were as much if not more tolerant than the Romans had been of religious differences. Jews rose to high rank in Islamic armies and served in the courts of Caliphs and Sultans as Doctors, financiers, and even religious advisors.
Hasdai ibn Shaprut (http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/112514/jewish/Hasdai-Ibn-Shaprut.htm) was advisor to the Caliph of Cordoba in the mid-10th century, and was in essence his foreign minister.
Samuel Ha-Nagid (http://www.cyberiosity.com/zadok/nagid.htm) was the Grand Vizier and architect to the 11th century sultans in Grenada.
As an example, look at what happened when Israel decided to withdraw all presence and settlers from the Gaza Strip. When they departed they left behind the infrastructure of a thriving agricultural industry, irrigation systems and hothouses for growing vegetables etc. Did the Palestinians take over these businesses and operate them for their own benefit? No. They were openly encouraged by their political leaders to destroy them, and destroy them they did. And now that same leadership bemoans to the world that the Israelis deliberately restrict the amount of food that can be imported through the check points into Gaza. Hypocrisy in the extreme, but as long as Israel is the target of the excuse; no one wants to examine the cause of hunger in Gaza as a self-inflicted condition.
What a great tragedy it is that such an immoral disservice is being perpetrated upon the Islamic world and especially the Palestinian Arabs. The old adage about catching more flies with honey than vinegar would seem to apply here. But the Imams and the “scholars” don’t want cooperation and progress; they want domination and the maintenance of their own positions of power. They don’t want to become part of a global civil society; they want to be masters of the world. For them the evil and corruption of Nazism and genocidal rhetoric are but the trap with which they ensnare and keep ignorant not only their own people but any and all who would tend to politically lean against the existence of Israel for whatever reasons of their own.
The exploitation of the weak and ignorant for political gain has been going since the first tribe waged war against its neighbors. That much of the Islamic world remains tribal in nature just makes it all the easier for them, and all the more dangerous for the rest of the world.