Monday, March 9, 2009

Islam -Religion of Peace

Wall Street Journal reports:

by Tawfik Hamid (a former member of an Egyptian Islamist terroristgroup, is an Islamic reformer and senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.)

The film "Fitna" by Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders has created an uproar around the world because it links violence committed by Islamists to Islam.

Many commentators and politicians -- including the British government, which denied him entry to the country last month -- reflexively accused Mr. Wilders of inciting hatred. The question, however, is whether the blame is with Mr. Wilders, who simply exposed Islamic radicalism, or with those who promote and engage in this religious extremism. In other words, shall we fault Mr. Wilders for raising issues like the stoning of women, or shall we fault those who actually promote and practice this crime?

Many Muslims seem to believe that it is acceptable to teach hatred and violence in the name of their religion -- while at the same time expecting the world to respect Islam as a religion of peace, love and harmony.

Scholars in the most prestigious Islamic institutes and universities continue to teach things like Jews are "pigs and monkeys," that women and men must be stoned to death for adultery, or that Muslims must fight the world to spread their religion. Isn't, then, Mr. Wilders's criticism appropriate? Instead of blaming him, we must blame the leading Islamic scholars for having failed to produce an authoritative book on Islamic jurisprudence that is accepted in the Islamic world and unambiguously rejects these violent teachings.[...[

So, Islamic scholars and clerics, it is up to you to produce a Shariah book that will be accepted in the Islamic world and that teaches that Jews are not pigs and monkeys, that declaring war to spread Islam is unacceptable, and that killing apostates is a crime. Such a book would prove that Islam is a religion of peace.


  1. Tawfik Hamid was raised in a secular family.

    Mr. Hamid's story should be familiar to those of us who have known people who became Baalei Teshuva, got in with extremist sects that have little or nothing to do with traditional Judaism and then who become turned off and end up indicting the whole observant Jewish world.

    What is especially pernicious about Hamid’s characterization of Islam as all evil and other religions as all good is the ahistoricity of this notion. While Islam has produced some of the most noxious religious radicals of the recent past, history is replete with butchers from a variety of religions who killed for their G-d.

    During the Crusades thousands of Jews were killed as the Crusaders made their way to Jerusalem and a warrior’s salvation. Think of the Auto De Fe torturing resisting Jews during the Spanish Inquisition.

    More recently there is Meir Kahane’s race hatred which inspired a number of his followers in the U.S. and Israel to murder Arabs and even a prime minister.

    In northern Ireland, the Rev. Ian Paisley thundered against Catholics while his co-religionists murdered them.

    Christians and Jews have more than enough religious fanatics and blame for them to go around, thank you. Speaking as if Islam is the only or worst representative of such hatred and killing is a historical fallacy.

    When asked the question "Are you religious now?" Hamid answers:

    "Not much. I believe in God, the Creator. If I am asked what is my religion I say I am Muslim by birth, Christian by spirit, Jew by heart and above all I am a human being."

    Hamid claims he has no religion, yet he’s willing to be trotted around the country like a show pony by Christian Zionist groups. Either he has converted to evangelical Christianity (like Walid Shoebat) and is lying; or he likes the money he’s being offered by them.

    Perhaps 10% of what Hamid says is valid criticism of Islam; many of the incidents he mentions did happen. There is no doubt that certain elements within Islam do embrace such hatred of non-Muslims. But Hamid makes the astounding and preposterous claim that the entire religion of Islam, 1.5 billion people embraces these views. Any reasonable person should see through such distortion and overstatement that a person who resorts to such exaggeration is not seriously credible.

  2. Set aside Mr. Hamid's personal history. His claim that Islam teaches

    a. the Jews descend from pigs and monkeys

    b. that Islam can be spread by the sword

    c. apostates must be killed

    is true according to all major branches of Islam.

    Further, they teach that the tradition is immutable.

    How, then, do we all coexist peacefully?

  3. Curious:

    Mr Hamid is plain old wrong in saying

    "a. the Jews descend from pigs and monkeys

    b. that Islam can be spread by the sword"


    c. apostates must be killed

    JUDAISM holds that way too. Are you saying there is a problem with Jewish law that makes us unable to coexist with others?

    Judaism also teaches that our traditions are immutable.

    Islam, like Judaism, has a death penalty for many offenses. Like Jewish authorities, Muslim leaders rule based on what is practical for their people and society they live in.

    This is why apostate Muslims aren't executed in Chicago, but might be in Riyadh.

    If we Jews established a nation based on Jewish law, we would reinstate the Sanhedrin and again have a death penalty for certain religious crimes.

    Are you saying that the actual practice of Judaism would disqualify us from peaceful coexiostence with other religions?

  4. Islam does not teach that Jews descend from pigs and monkeys but rather states:

    Quran Sura 2.122 - O children of Israel, call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.

    Forced conversions are forbidden by Islam, the following Surah is frequently cited:

    "Let there be no compulsion in religion"Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256

    "Allah says: “If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?” [Sûrah Yûnus: 99]

    "Allah says: “So if they dispute with you, say ‘I have submitted my whole self to Allah, and so have those who follow me.’ And say to the People of the Scripture and to the unlearned: ‘Do you also submit yourselves?’ If they do, then they are on right guidance. But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message. And in Allah’s sight are all of His servants.” [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 20]

    Allah says: “The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim the Message.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 99]

    If we Jews know nothing but hateful evangelical Christian propaganda about Islam, the religion most like Judaism with 1.5 billion adherents, how CAN we ever hope to peacefully co-exist??

    If you have any questions about the above cited verses, I will translate them word for word from the Arabic upon request.

  5. Qur’an 7:163-166 and 2:65: What “Pigs And Monkeys”?

    Dr. Hesham Hassaballa

    The acquittal of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, former University of South Florida professor, on terrorism charges has brought back an issue that I feel I need to be addressed. The government had over 20,000 hours of conversations between Al-Arian and others taped, and prosecutors used these conversations as evidence. Among the many, many things he said was that the “sons of Israel” are “monkeys and pigs.”

    According to a Tampa Tribune article, Dr. Al-Arian has said that “When he referred to “the sons of Israel” as “monkeys and pigs,” he said, he was quoting from a passage in the Koran about those who earn the wrath of God.”

    That is very interesting. To which passage of the Qur’an does he refer? I can tell you that there is no statement in the Qur’an that says Jews are “monkeys and pigs.” None. I can tell you that there is also no passage in the Qur’an that says those that earn the wrath of God are “pigs and monkeys.” None.

    Sure, there are verses in the Qur’an that speak about pigs:

    “He has forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine...” (2:173)

    “Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, and the flesh of swine...” (5:3)

    “Say [O Muhammad]: ‘I find not in the message received by me by inspiration any (meat) forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be dead meat, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine...” (6:145)

    “He has only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine...” (16:115)

    Not one of them, however, has anything to do with Jews. They are no where to be found in these verses. So, about what passage was Dr. Al-Arian speaking?

    Now, I must admit, there are two verses that speak of Jews and monkeys in the same sentence. But, before you yell “Gotcha!” at the computer screen, read the verses:

    “And well you knew those among you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. We said to them ‘Be ye apes, despised and rejected.’” (2:65)

    “And ask them about that town which stood by the sea: how its people would profane the Sabbath whenever their fish came to them, breaking the water’s surface, on a day on which they ought to have kept Sabbath - because they would not come to them on other than Sabbath-days!...And then, when they disdainfully persisted in doing what they had been forbidden to do, We said unto them: ‘Be as apes despicable!’’’ (7:163-166)

    What was the story of the Sabbath-breakers? Muhammad Asad explained:

    “Under Mosaic Law, they were obliged to refrain from all work - and, therefore, also from fishing - on Sabbath-days, with the result that the fish were more plentiful and would come closer to the shore on those days: and the inhabitants of the town took this as an excuse to break the Sabbath-law.”

    Despite being warned against transgressing against the Sabbath law, they fished on the Sabbath anyway, and thus God decreed that they become “apes despicable.”

    Whatever the case may be, the point remains: the Qur’an does not call Jews “pigs and monkeys.” It was talking about a specific ancient town in which Jews lived, and among them were people who broke the Sabbath law. And it was these specific people, after being repeatedly warned by God, who “became as apes despised.” Let me say it again: there is no verse in the Qur’an that says Jews are “pigs and monkeys.” Period.

    Now, there are Muslims who say so and claim the Qur’an as their authority, but this does not make it the truth. It is the same as those who claimed slavery was authorized by the Bible: their saying so did not make it the truth.

    Yet, this rhetoric saddens me deeply. Muslims and Jews were never meant to be enemies. In fact, the Prophet made us one nation under God. It is the conflict in the Holy Land, however, hat has clouded and strained the relationship between Muslims and Jews. The conflict has to end, and I pray it does.

    Nevertheless, we can never allow the terrible tragedy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict move us to put words in God’s mouth. He never said Jews are “pigs and monkeys.” What right do we have to say otherwise?

  6. Houda Nonoo, a Jewish woman, is Bahrain's ambassador to the US.

    The King of Morocco's mother is a Jewish woman named Ben Hamu. Andre Azoulay, a Jewish man is royal counselor to the King of Morocco.

    In the last elections, fall of 2007, no fewer than five of the candidates in Moroccan elections were Jewish. Susan Abittan, Susan Cohen, Joseph Levy, Solange Cohen and Maguy Kakon all ran in Casablanca, where most of Morocco's Jewish community lives.

    The current Jewish population of Iran is estimated by most sources to be 25,000,though there are estimates as l as high as 40,000[. Notable population centers include Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution.Iran hosts the largest Jewish population of any Muslim-majority country.After Israel, it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.

    Maurice Motamed was elected in 2000 and again in 2004 as a Jewish member of the Iranian Parliament representing the Jewish community which has by Iran's constitution retained a reserved seat since the Persian Constitution of 1906.

  7. Evangelical etc.,

    Where have you been hiding? The majority of terrorism happening in the world today is from Islam. Visit Jihad Watch to get a taste of the non religion of peace and how the Koran leads to violence all over the world on a constant basis.

    The Christians were definitely quite cruel and vicious throughout the ages. Take the Crusades, Tach v'tat, Cossacks, the Inquisition etc. as examples.

    However, the Rambam says that the Jews suffered the most from the Muslims and the mizmor tehillim about Oholei Kaidar refers to suffering from them as the worst.

    Your statement about Jewish extremists is outrageous and doesn't even rate as fantasy.

    The Muslims and Aisav are joining up for the final chapter before Moshiach according to many maamarei chazal. That is the phenomenon that we are witnessing today. (I am not a Lubavitcher).

    We can't discount Muslim violence and have to pray to Hashem and do teshuva to be saved from them.

    May we learn from Purim and be zoche to sholom and yeshuas Hashem.

  8. Jihad Watch is very biased to say the least.

    You state:

    " The majority of terrorism happening in the world today is from Islam."

    And yet this is simply not true.

    For example, consider the following CHRISTIAN terrorist groups whose membership exceeds the total number of Muslims in the world. You can look each one up individually and perhaps learn something about the majority of terrorism and violence in the world.

    Too many people have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call.
    Too many people have lied in the name of Christ that I can’t believe at all.

    —Crosby, Stills, and Nash
    "Cathedral," 1977

    Canada -The Sons of Freedom, a sect of Doukhobor anarchists, have blown up power pylons, railroad bridges, and set fire to homes.

    India -The National Liberation Front of Tripura, a rebel group operating in Tripura, North-East India classified by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism as one of the ten most active terrorist groups in the world, has been forcefully converting people to Christianity.

    The Nagaland Rebels of Nagaland, North-East India is a coalition of rebel groups including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah, has been involved in an ethnic conflict that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths since the Indian Declaration of Independence.

    Ireland- there is constant religious violence and terror between Catholics and Protestants.
    Consider the Provisional Irish Republican Army,Pastor Alan Campbell, Padraic Pearse, Brian O'Higgins, The Orange Volunteers.

    Romania - the Iron Guard and Lancieri are Christian terrorist organizations.

    Russia - Russian National Unity, an Orthodox Christian militant group has been responsible for several terrorist attacks including the bombing of a US Consulate.

    Uganda - Lord's Resistance Army, a Christian guerilla army has committed an armed rebellion against the Ugandan gov't using child soldier and committed massacres, abductions, torture, rape and held sex slaves.

    UK- Evangelical Alliance, a London-based organization which represents 1.2 million Christians in the United Kingdom, released a report which stated: "If, as most Christians accept, they should be politically involved in democratic processes, many believe this may, where necessary, take the form of active resistance to the state. This may encompass disobedience to law, civil disobedience, involving selective, non-violent resistance or, ultimately, violent revolution.".

    US -Ku Klux Klan members in the Southern United States have engaged in arson, beatings, cross burning, destruction of property, lynching, murder, rape, tar-and-feathering, and whipping against African Americans and other social or ethnic minorities.

    Members of extremist groups such as the Army of God began executing attacks against abortion clinics and doctors across the United States. A number of terrorist attacks, including the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics was carried out by individuals and groups with ties to the Christian Identity and Christian Patriot movements; including the Aryan Nations and the Lambs of Christ. A group called Concerned Christians unsuccessfully planned to to attack holy sites in Jerusalem at the end of 1999, believing that their deaths would "lead them to heaven."

    This is just Christian terrorist organizations whose membership exceeds the total number of Muslims worldwide.

    These are only current Christian terrorist organizations. I have not included historical Christian violence and terror such as the Crusades, the Auto de Fe, the Holocaust or the pogroms.

    I have also not touched upon political or other sectarian terrorism, this is only currently active CHRISTIAN terrorist organizations.

    I hope that this will inspire you to read and learn more about the roots of terrorism and violence in the world.

  9. Tzorba, have you read about Baptist backed terrorist organizations in Northeast India?

    Here is more on Christian terrorist violence in India:

    But this should not be surprising even in the context of Christian terrorism and violence in American history:

    Christians have always used terrorism to force their beliefs on everyone else.

    Today some people call it the “Culture Wars” but what it really boils down to is Christians terrorizing minorities.

    Christians terrorize the gay community, women seeking abortions, Muslims, Jews, Asians and anyone else who does not subscribe to their beliefs.

    Christians fought againstcivil rights and used terrorism to keep mixed racial couples from marrying in America.

    Christians used terrorism to keep woman from voting and to keep Prohibition.

    Christians used terrorism and war to keep the institution of slavery in place.

    Christians used terrorism late into the 1800’s to win converts.

    Christians were the first to use biological warfare in the United States. they intentionally laced blankets with deadly diseases and gave them to the American Indians.

    Christians killed as many American Indians as they could and when that didn’t wipe them out quick enough they turned to biological warfare then drove what was left over to the most inhospitable parts of American. The entire time they justified all of this with the bible.

    And by the way, do you know WHY Christian settlers massacred the American Indians and justified it??

    It was because they believed they were Jews who deserved to die because they rejected Jesus.

  10. In my previous comment I described the UK based Christian terrorist organization Evangelical Alliance with its 1.2 million members as having more membership than all of the Muslims in the world.

    This is not correct and I apologize. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and my statement was not correct in the context written.

    I consider the Catholic Church with its 1.1 billion members world wide to be a terrorist organization and included the world's Catholics in my numbers.

    Catholics recite in their prayers "that Jews live in “blindness” and “darkness” and ask God to “remove the veil from their hearts, that they will accept Jesus as Lord”

    and this is what I was thinking when I wrote that.

    Catholics like all Christians believe that violence toward Jews and other non believers is justified in that it will make converts to Christianity and therefore save their immortal souls.

    The Pope has been quite frank about his opinions regarding this.

    Meanwhile I am sorry for a statement that was out of context and therefore not statistically accurate.

  11. FYI-

    Top Ten Terrorist Countries in the World

    1 India
    2 China
    3 Russia
    4 Israel
    5 Philippines
    6 Armenia
    7 Tamil tigers
    8 Serbia
    9 Croatia
    10 North Korea

    Terrorism in India:

    The State has witnessed many massacres by caste groups and retaliatory action by other groups. The main victims of the violence by these groups are women, elderly and children who are killed in caste massacres.

    The state police is ill equipped to take on the AK-47, AK-56 of the militants with their vintage 303 rifles. The militants have used landmines to kill ambush police parties as well.

    The root cause of the militant activities in the state is huge disparity among different caste groups. Communist groups like CPI-ML, MCC and People's War took advantage of this and instigated the low caste people to take up arms. They started taking up lands of rich by force killing the high caste people.

    During 1970s, the Indian Green Revolution brought increased economic prosperity for the Sikh community in Punjab. This propensity kindled an age old fear in the Sikh community - that of being absorbed into the Hindu fold and led to the rise of Sikh militants.

    The insurgency intensified during 1980s when the movement turned violent and the name Khalistan resurfaced and sought independence from the Indian Union.

    Northeastern India consists 7 states (also known as the seven sisters): Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland. Tensions exists between these states and the central government as well as amongst the tribal people, who are natives of these states, and migrant peoples from other parts of India.

    There is a rise of insurgent activities and regional movements in the northeast, especially in the states of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura. Most of these organizations demand independent state status or increased regional autonomy and sovereignty.

    Many of these are said to be China sponsored. North Eastern region tension have eased off-late with Indian and state government's concerted effort to raise the living standards of the people in these regions. However, militancy still exists in this region of India supported by external sources.

  12. Tzoorba says

    "Rambam says that the Jews suffered the most from the Muslims."

    Where exactly does the Rambam say this? As far I know, Rambam fled Christian persecution to live in peace amongst Muslims. I've never read anything in his hand that claims that Muslims are worse than Christians, so I cannot believe your statement is the truth unless you can please show me chapter and verse.

  13. Press Release: World's First Cross-Denominational Statement from Muslims to Jews in Modern Times

    Religious scholars and Muslim leaders from around the world are to issue a statement to the world's Jewish Community at the Centre for the Study of Muslim - Jewish Relations in Cambridge on Monday 25 February (2008)

    This demonstrates a genuine desire within the Muslim community to reach out to Jews. The letter describes itself as 'a call for positive and constructive action that aims to improve Muslim -- Jewish relations'.

    The initiative behind the statement comes from the Muslim scholars of the Centre for the Study of Muslim -- Jewish Relations (CMJR), Cambridge, UK, Dr Amineh Hoti (Director) and Sheikh Michael Mumisa (Lecturer). It will be formally announced following the Centre's annual Stone -- Ashdown lecture which will be given by world-leading Muslim scholar Professor Tariq Ramadan on Monday 25 February.

    The signatories of the letter include:

    Professor Akbar S Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University Washington, DC

    Dr Seyed Amir Akrami Secretary for Inter Religious Dialogue at the Organisation for Islamic Culture and Communication, Tehran

    Professor Bunyamin Duran, Vice-Rector: Islamic University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Ambassador Mahmud A. Durrani, Embassy of Pakistan, Washington D.C.

    Dr Shaykh Suhaib Hasan Secretary General of the Islamic Sharia Council, London

    Sayyed Nadeem Kazmi, Director of International Affairs at the Al-Khoei Foundation (the largest Shia Institute in the UK)

    His Excellency Shaykh Mustafa Ceric, The Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Office of Raisu-l-Ulama

    Lord Khalid Hameed, High Sheriff of Greater London, UK

    Dr Musharraf Hussain, Chief Imam and Director of Karimia Institute, UK

    Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Muslim Council of Britain

    Professor Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al Quds University, Beit Hanina – Jerusalem

    Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada, Founder and Principal of Jamia Al-Karam, Eaton Hall, Retford, UK

    Professor Tariq Ramadan, Senior Research Fellow, St Antony's College, University of Oxford, UK;

    Dr Ataullah Saddiqui, Director of Markfield Institute of Higher Education.

    A response from the Jewish community is expected in the days following the announcement. This will also be released by the Centre for the Study of Muslim -- Jewish Relations.

    AN OPEN LETTER: A Call to Peace, Dialogue and Understanding between Muslims and Jews

    Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim

    In the name of God the Beneficent, the Merciful

    Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve (Qur’an 2:62).


    Assalam alaykum,

    This letter is intended as a gesture of goodwill towards rabbinic leaders and the wider Jewish communities of the world. Our aim is to build upon existing relations in order to improve mutual understanding in places where required to further the positive work in building bridges between Muslims and Jews. In the face of the negative and destructive tensions in the Middle East, this letter is a call to positive and constructive action that aims to improve Muslim—Jewish relations.

    Many Jews and Muslims today stand apart from each other due to feelings of anger, which in some parts of the world, translate into violence. It is our contention that we are faced today not with ‘a clash of civilizations’ but with ‘a clash of ill-informed misunderstandings’. Deep-seated stereotypes and prejudices have resulted in a distancing of the communities and even a dehumanizing of the ‘Other’. We urgently need to address this situation. We must strive towards turning ignorance into knowledge, intolerance into understanding, and pain into courage and sensitivity for the ‘Other’.

    For many centuries our communities co-existed and worked together fruitfully and peacefully such as in the Iberian Peninsula. As Muslims and Jews we share core doctrinal beliefs, the most important of which is strict monotheism. We both share a common patriarch, Ibrahim/Abraham, other Biblical prophets, laws and jurisprudence, many significant values and even dietary restrictions. There is more in common between our religions and peoples than is known to each of us. It is precisely due to the urgent need to address such political problems as well as acknowledge our shared values that the establishment of an inter-religious dialogue between Jews and Muslims in our time is extremely important. Failure to do so will be a missed opportunity. Memories of positive historical encounters will dim and the current problems will lead to an increasing rift and more common misunderstandings between us.

    This Letter is important for non-Muslims and Muslims because it illustrates that the Muslim world has diversity of opinion and that Muslims are willing to engage in a conversation with Jews, a conversation that is not wholly dominated by the conflict in Israel-Palestine. Although many Muslims and non-Muslims only know of Muslim-Jewish relations through the prism of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there needs to be an awareness of other positive encounters at different stages of our history as well as the pioneering work of inter-religious dialogue being undertaken by contemporary Muslims and Jews outside of the Middle East.

    What are the commonalities and differences between us?

    Judaism and Islam are both monotheistic religions whose followers believe in the absolute unity of the One and Only God as emphasized by Muslims in the Shahada, Qur’an 112:1-4, and by Jews in the Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4; as well as Ibrahim/Abraham, they share other common patriarchs such as Nuh/Noah; and Jews and Muslims, as well as Christians, are regarded, by Muslims, as ‘People of the Book’. All Muslims, regardless of their theological persuasion (Sunnis and Shi’as) believe, as an article of their faith, in all Biblical Prophets.

    Say [O Muslims!]: “We believe in God”, in that which has been revealed to us; in that which was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendents; in that which was given to Moses and Jesus; and in that which was given to the Prophets from their Lord; we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him we are Muslimun (those who submit to his will)” (Qur’an 2:136).

    As a pillar of our faith (Iman), we (Muslims) are expected to believe that the author of the Torah (Tawrat) and the Qur’an is the same one God:

    It was We (God) who revealed the Torah (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed to God’s will, by the Rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of God’s book, and they were witnesses thereto…(Qur’an 5:44).

    Thus, for us as Muslims the message of the Prophet Muhammad is an extension and continuation of the message brought from God by Moses, and other Prophets:

    The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers; they all believe in God, His angels, His Books, and His Messengers; [they say] we make no distinction between any of His Messengers; and they say: “We hear and obey (God’s commandments); grant us your forgiveness, our Lord. And to you is the eventual course” (Qur’an 2:285).

    Jews and Muslims both have elaborate and comparable codes of conduct, laws and jurisprudence, covering all aspects of life (the Sharia in Islam and the Halacha in Judaism). The importance of charity (sadaka, tsedaka) is pertinent to the value system of each tradition. Even the dietary procedures (halal and kashrut/kosher) are comparable. Jews and Muslims have contributed to a highly sophisticated form of art and architecture. Indeed, Islamic art has influenced the architecture of many synagogues and, in parts of the Muslim world where coexistence was once prevalent, Jewish symbols still decorate Islamic buildings.

    Prejudice and bigotry towards each other have been perpetuated by our lack of knowledge about the other and yet the pursuit of knowledge is at the core of both our religious traditions. Indeed, the facts that the term “Torah” means “teaching” and “Qur’an” means “reading” should instil in us the desire to read, understand and teach about each other.

    Yes, there are texts in both our religious traditions which, when interpreted literally outside of their specific contexts can damage relations and stifle attempts to engage in solidarity and inter-religious dialogue. For the majority of Muslims, such texts reflect the political discourse and shifts in relations between Muslims and the religious ‘Other’ in 7th century Arabia. The Qur’an constantly reminds Muslims that ‘among’ the People of the Book are those who believe and do righteous deeds.

    Among the People of the Book there is a staunch and just community who recite the revelations of God in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him). They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. And whatever good they do, they will not be denied the reward thereof. For God knows well those that do right (Qur’an 3: 113-115; see also 3:199).

    The word ‘among’ is an important modifier that has been forgotten and is often overlooked by many readers of the Qur’an today, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Yet, in today’s world, it is easy to label Jews, Muslims or Christians with one sweeping brush stroke; but a careful and thoughtful reading of the Qur’an or Torah reveals a far more sophisticated approach of seeing, acknowledging and appreciating the diversity of the human family.

    O mankind, truly We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may recognize one another (Qur’an 49:13).

    This, to us as Muslims and Jews, enforces the will of our Creator who urges us to read, understand and teach – can there be a more noble way in which to uphold this core message of the Creator than to learn more about each other? In this way, we will replace prejudice, ignorance and intolerance by knowing, understanding and being sensitive to the ‘Other’, who becomes our ‘brother’ and ‘sister’.

    Jews and Muslims as One Umma: Reflecting briefly on early Muslim—Jewish encounters:

    In the spirit of Islam’s emphasis on compassion and respect for all humanity, one vignette from the Prophet’s life reveals how a Jewish funeral procession passed before the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him), at which he stood up as a sign of respect. His Companions asked him, why he stood up for a Jewish funeral ? The Prophet dismissed this exclusivist attitude and rising above these polarities responded on a humanitarian level, “is he not a human being!” (as recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari, a collection of statements and traditions by and about the Prophet Muhammad in the Book on Funeral Procession, Section on “Standing up in respect of a Jewish Funeral”).

    In the year of 622, when the Prophet was exiled from Mecca his city of birth, he migrated to Yathrib (Medina). Upon his arrival in the city, the Prophet declared in the now famous Medina Charter that the Jewish tribes of Medina constituted the new one umma (nation) together with the Muslims.

    “This is a document from Muhammad the Prophet, governing relations between the Believers i.e. Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib and those who followed them and worked hard with them. They form one nation—ummah.

    “No Jew will be wronged for being a Jew.”

    “The enemies of the Jews who follow us will not be helped.”

    “Those Jews who live peacefully with the Believers will be helped and will be treated with equality.”

    “The Jews of the tribe of Bani Awf will be treated as one ummah with the Believers.”

    Thus, the document refers to the Jews and Muslims as ummatun wahidatun (“one nation”), a term that recurs in the Qur’an a number of times to denote a people united by common values and beliefs. Therefore, Muslim—Jewish encounters have had their moment of friendship as well as tension.

    When the Prophet died his shield was mortgaged with a Jew to show that Muslims are permitted to trade with Jews. More significantly, the Prophet’s married daughter Hazrat Fatima, who was very close to her father, used to work for a Jew – she would spin for him in return for grain. Moreover, the Prophet’s wife, Sofia, was a Jewish woman who was considered by God as ‘a mother of the believers’.

    When, out of human jealousy, the Prophet’s other wives mocked Sofia by calling her “a Jew” in a derogatory manner, Sofia who was clearly upset by their mocking would complain to her husband Prophet Muhammad. He would say to her respond to them by saying: “my father was a Prophet (Moses) and my uncle was a Prophet (Aron) and I am the wife of a Prophet!”

    Historically, Muslims and Jews have shared a common intellectual history: from the dissemination of the Isra’iliyyat (authenticated Jewish sources employed by early classical Muslim historians and commentators of the Qur’an), to the philosophical exchanges between Ibn Rushd (Averroes, 1126-1198) and Moses Maimonides (Musa ibn Maymun al-Qurtubi, 1135-1204) in Medieval Spain.

    Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, on the inauguration of the world’s first Centre for the Study of Muslim—Jewish Relations (in Cambridge), emphasized the importance of learning from each other. He said “Islam's strength of faith is remarkable. We can all learn from Islam this strength of faith. And that is something immensely positive. If I wanted to suggest what Muslims can learn from Jews today, I would say how to survive as a minority in a culture that does not share your values. We have to learn from one another.”

    It was the intellectual world of Islam that brought to Europe in particular, and to the modern world in general, the lost tradition of the Greek Philosophers (for example, the works and ideas of Plato and Aristotle). Indeed, their teachings were first revived by Muslim scholars such as Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd and others, who went on to influence the ideas and writings of many Jewish and Christian scholars including Maimonides. In this intellectually thriving environment the passing of the flame of knowledge between religious scholars eventually influenced the development of secular Humanism and contemporary sciences. In the example of Maimonides, who held the position of physician to the great Sultan Salah-ud-din, and Averroes, we observe a fruitful intellectual conversation and exchange between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

    Combating estrangements and negative perceptions of the ‘Other’

    European Jews and Muslims today share experiences as minority groups. With the increasing anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Jews and Muslims need to develop joint strategies to tackle discrimination. They could also come together to support each other’s efforts to maintain their identities in an age that promotes and expects conformity to the dominant culture. It is, therefore, in the spirit of both religious and geo-political compulsions that we emphasise the process of bridge-building between the two communities. This process must go beyond dialogue and move towards genuine understanding and encounters, such as visiting each other’s places of worship.

    It is important to be honest about the level of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim/anti-Arab sentiment that translates into conflict within and between the two communities. The need today is for us to see each other’s history and appreciate each other’s cultures with a genuine attempt at understanding.

    At this moment, there is no challenge more pressing than the need to bring to a closure some of the historical and long lasting estrangements between the Jews and Muslims. Because of the increasing polarisation, many feel forced to choose between dialogue and violence as a response. At the core of the Muslim—Jewish tension lies the Israeli—Palestinian conflict. The loss of every single life is a loss to humanity and a bloody stain on the tapestry of history. We call for a peaceful resolution that will assure mutual respect, prosperity and security to both Palestinians and Israelis, while allowing the Palestinian people their rights to self-determination.

    Most Muslims would hope that the sufferings Jews have experienced over many centuries would make them more sensitive to the sufferings of others, especially the Palestinian people. In the Hebrew Bible Jews read how they are commanded to love the stranger because they themselves were strangers in the land of Egypt (this is mentioned 36 times in the Torah).

    A Call for Dialogue Between People of all Faiths

    While the purpose of this letter is to generate dialogue and understanding between Jews and Muslims, it reflects the need for a wider dialogue between all faiths and communities, including the non-Abrahamic ones. We must keep talking—especially when we do not agree.

    This is, therefore, an appeal and a hand held out, based on the teachings of both the Qur’an and the Hebrew Bible, in a genuine desire for dialogue and mutual respect:

    Turn from Evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Tehilim/Psalms 34:14).

    And the servants of the Infinitely Compassionate are those who walk on the earth in humility and when the ignorant accost them, they only reply with "Peace!" (Qur’an 25:65).

    May the peace and blessing of God Almighty be upon you. And may this letter be accepted as a small step towards opening doors to genuine dialogue and understanding. May it also lead the way towards concrete outcomes in Muslim—Jewish relations in different parts of our shared world.

    Muslim scholars from The Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations, part of The Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths, Cambridge, have facilitated this Letter with the support of Muslims scholars throughout the world.

    Notes for Editors

    About the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths, the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (CJCR) and the Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations (CMJR)

    CJCR and CMJR are members of an independent educational charity, the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths based in Cambridge UK. Through teaching, research and dialogue they are dedicated to the academic study of Jewish-Christian relations and Muslim-Jewish relations respectively.

    Under the auspices of the Woolf Institute, they aim to overcome prejudice and intolerance between Jews, Christians and Muslims, and to establish a more positive basis for relations.

    CJCR was founded in 1998 by Dr Edward Kessler of St Edmund's College, Cambridge. Its flagship educational programme is the University of Cambridge Master of Studies (MSt) in the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, which it offers in conjunction with the University's Faculty of Divinity and the Institute of Continuing Education. The first and only course of its kind, the MSt can be studied in Cambridge or predominantly via e-learning. CJCR also offers a range of other educational programmes and since 1998 has taught over 1000 students, many of whom have gone onto take positions of leadership. CJCR is also an Associate Member of the Cambridge Theological Federation (, which provides the Centre with teaching resources and accommodation.

    CMJR was founded in 2006 by Dr Edward Kessler and Dr Amineh Hoti as a sister organisation to CJCR and is built on the same core principles of Teaching, Research and Dialogue. CMJR is pleased to work with the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education whose Certificate programme in Islam, Judaism and Muslim-Jewish Relations is offered at the CMJR this academic year. CMJR also offers a menu of e-learning courses. The Centre published its Teacher's Guide, Valuing Diversity in February 2008 and aims to prepare A Dictionary of Jewish-Muslim Relations, to sit alongside A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations (Cambridge University Press:2005)

    The CJCR and CMJR offices are located in the heart of Cambridge where they are hosted by Methodist Theological College, Wesley House.

    The CMJR's annual Stone -- Ashdown Lecture is named in honour of the Stone -- Ashdown Trust who last year donated £1 million to the Institute.

    For more information contact Esther Haworth on 01223-741048, or visit

    For further information, see

  14. Wow, it's certainly been Purim in these comments.

    On the topics:

    a. pigs and apes

    Both explain the tradition, with copious pointers to the Islamic literature. Memri also demonstrates the popularity of this theme amongst leading contemporary Islamic clerics.

    b. spreading Islam by the sword
    tracks Islamic terrorist attacks since 9/11 -- 12,863 attacks, as I write this comment.

    More importantly, these are not simply attacks by Muslims, but rather attacks that are committed in the name of Islam, justified by the Islamic doctrine of Jihad -- a doctrine with no counterpart in any other major religion.

    c. apostates must be killed

    The trend in Judaism has been to limit the application of this law. No religious court has the authority to enforce it, and doctrines like "tinok shenishba" restrict the law's applicability.

    The Islamic trend has been the opposite. See the cites in:

  15. "Bernie said...

    Tzoorba says

    "Rambam says that the Jews suffered the most from the Muslims."

    Where exactly does the Rambam say this?"

    He said it in Igeres Taimon page 34.

    He is speaking about Yishmael.

    As for Jersey Girl,

    I can't understand your advocacy of the Islamists in light of the obvious hatred addressed to us from them.

    Just a cursory evaluation of the statements of Hamas, Hizbulla, Nasralla and all the people reported on in Memri etc.

    I haven't found 1 credible denunciation of the 9/11 attacks by the mythical moderate Muslims.

    They at most condemn terrorism and when you drill down you find out that they define terrorism as any resistance to their world domination efforts.

    They call the homicide bombings of children justified resistance.

    They never condemn the 9/11 terrorists as Muslim. If they condemn the 9/11 terrorists they say that they were Israelis.

    All your lists of Christian terrorist groups are worthless. I haven't heard 1 of them mentioned in any recent terrorist event.

    If you review any list of terrorist events in the world, the vast majority by far were committed by Islamic terrorists. Even though the number of official terrorist groups doesn't matter as much as the actual number of terrorist atrocities, I'm sure that one could quickly compile a list of Islamic Muhehaddin and other terror groups to far outnumber the bogus xtian list.

    What is the purpose of your denial? Shouldn't we know who to pray for protection from?

  16. Dear Observer,

    MEMRI is linked to conservative evangelical Christian organizations which provide MEMRI with 2.5 million (2004) per year in financial.

    Yigal Carmon, MEMRI's founder has been accused of presenting false testimony to Congress when he misrepresented a Gallup poll.

    Carmon has also been accused of deceptive translation practices for MEMRI (which I can personally attest to!!) and of using the organization to advance a political agenda.

    Carmon responded to these charges by describing them as "quibbles" .

    Responding to the charge of having an agenda, Carmon wrote "You are right: we do have an agenda."

    MEMRI's work has been attacked on three grounds: that their work is biased; that they choose articles to translate selectively so as to give an unrepresentative view of the media they are reporting on; and that their translations are sometimes inaccurate.

    MEMRI is closely associated with the Israeli intelligence organizations. Now, in an article in Haaretz, we find that the Israeli Army has sought to plant stories about "terrorism" in the press, and

    "Psychological warfare officers were in touch with Israeli journalists covering the Arab world, gave them translated articles from Arab papers (which were planted by the [Israel Defense Forces] IDF) and pressed the Israeli reporters to publish the same news here." --Amos Harel, IDF reviving psychological warfare unit, Haaretz, January 25, 2005.

    This should raise a question or two about the reliability and veracity of the stories peddled by MEMRI.

    This is what Prof. Juan Cole (American scholar and historian of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. As a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, he has appeared in print and on television, and testified before the United States Senate. He has published several peer-reviewed books on the modern Middle East and is a translator of both Arabic and Persian) had to say about this:

    "So is MEMRI, which translates articles from the Arabic press into English for thousands of US subscribers, in any way involved in all this? Its director formerly served in… Israeli military intelligence. How much of what we "know" from "Arab sources" about "Hizbullah terrorism" was simply made up by this fantasy factory in Tel Aviv? "

    As a Torah observant Jewish native Arabic speaker (albeit on a child's level), I could not agree more. MEMRI's translations are usually out of context and fraught with grammatical and other errors that distort the context of what is being said.

    Just for comparison's sake, imagine a TV clip about a childrens' Purim celebration in a local yeshiva being presented as a "hatefest party against Iran and its leadership". This is equal to the distortion with which MEMRI regularly portrays events in the Middle East.

  17. Tzorba- Igerot Teiman is written in Judeo-Arabic (Maimonides wrote this Letter to the Jewish Community of Yemen almost 1,000 years ago)

    It seems you are interpreting this contextually differently than is traditional among Judeo Arabic scholars (also see Rabbi Prof Alan Corre):

    "Famed response from Maimonides (Rambam) to the Jews of Yemen. Abd al-Nabi ibn Mahdi, the Shiite Arab ruler of Yemen, instituted a religious persecution, giving the Jews the choice of conversion to Islam or death. Not only did many succumb, but there arose among those Jews a pseudo-Messiah, or a forerunner of the Messiah who, seeing in these events the darkness before the dawn, preached the imminent advent of the Messianic Age. In despair the Jews of Yemen turned to Maimonides, who in c. 1172 answered their request with the Iggeret Teiman (al-Risala al-Yamaniyya). Iggeret Teiman is addressed to R. Jacob ben Nethanel al-Fayyumi, who had raised several questions, such as what was the significance of the community’s suffering; how should they respond to the convert who had become a missionary for Islam, the false messiah, and could the date of the Messiah’s coming be calculated. Maimonides responded to R. Jacob’s inquiry, eloquently but also simply. He requested that copies be sent to every community in Yemen. Deliberately couched in simple terms so, “that men, women, and children could read it easily,” he points out that the subtle attack of Christianity and Islam which preached a new revelation was more dangerous than the sword and than the attractions of Hellenism. As for the pseudo-Messiah, active in Yemen at the time, he was unbalanced and to be rejected. These trials were sent to prove the Jews. The effect of the letter was tremendous. In gratitude for the message of hope, combined with the fact that Maimonides also used his influence at court to obtain a lessening of the heavy burden of taxation on the Jews of Yemen, the Jews of Yemen introduced into the Kaddish a prayer for “the life of our teacher Moses ben Maimon.”

    See also:

    Rambam was close with the King of Egypt whom he persuaded to bring about a reversal of the conversion degree in Yemen. The Jews of Yemen were so grateful to Maimonides that they added to their kaddish prayer the words "In their lives and their days and in the life of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon".

    Rambam took refuge at the end of his life in Muslim Cairo (Maimonides served as physician to the sultan of Egypt)

    Abderrahmane Badawi, a Muslim professor from Kuwait University, declared: “I regard him first and foremost as an Arab thinker.” This sentiment was echoed by Saudi Arabian professor Huseyin Atay, who claimed that “if you didn't know he was Jewish, you might easily make the mistake of saying that a Muslim was writing.” Maimonides scholar Shlomo Pines delivered perhaps the most accurate assessment at the conference: “Maimonides is the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, and quite possibly of all time” (Time magazine, December 23, 1985). As a popular Jewish expression of the Middle Ages declares: “From Moses [of the Torah] to Moses [Maimonides] there was none like Moses.”

  18. Tzorba -

    "I can't understand your advocacy of the Islamists in light of the obvious hatred addressed to us from them. "

    I read the Arabic press daily, I do business with a number of Muslims throughout the Middle East who ALL know that I am an observant Jewess and I sincerely and honestly do not know WHAT you are talking about.

    I am always treated with the utmost respect and dignity by the many many Muslims I regularly do business with.

    This has not been the case with many of our Christian business associates who have chosen not to do business with us upon finding out that we are Orthodox Jews.

    When you state:

    "I haven't found 1 credible denunciation of the 9/11 attacks by the mythical moderate Muslims."

    Do you read or understand Arabic??

    How would you know WHAT is being said in the Middle East??

    You only know what MEMRI and other Western propaganda machines wants you to believe.

    "Shouldn't we know who to pray for protection from?"

    We should pray to Hashem for protection and an end to our bitter galut, which includes ALL of the nations of the world.

  19. Jersey Girl,

    "This is what Prof. Juan Cole (American scholar and historian of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. As a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, he has appeared in print and on television, and testified before the United States Senate. He has published several peer-reviewed books on the modern Middle East and is a translator of both Arabic and Persian) had to say about this:"

    If these are your sources, then everything else you say is suspect. Juan Cole is a notorious anti Semite and anti Israel Leftist professor who makes his living by spreading falsehood about Jews and Israel.

    Your whole polemic about the Igerres Taimon is not to the point. I pointed to a direct quotation from the Rambam that you did not deal with in any way. The Rambam was one of the greatest Rishonim and his words are Toras Emes and were written for the doros not for some contemporaneous temporary need alone. All the context information is totally irrelevant.

    Name one prominent Moslim condemnation of 9/11 that is a clear and unequivocal denunciation of the attack. The Leftists in America would love to tout such statements but they haven't found a single bona fide example.

    As you say, Eisav sonei lyaakov and not just Yishmael. However, it is famous in Chazal that at the end of days Yishmael and Eisav will join up against us. Yishmael's involvement is obvious and should not be ignored.

  20. What makes Prof. Juan Cole an anti Semite???

    Is it because he protests MEMRI's propaganda machine??

    Then I guess that I and all of the other Jewish native Arabic speakers I know are also anti Semities under this definition.

    In the aftermath of the violence and horror of 9/11, criticisms were made that Muslim leaders and organizations were not outspoken enough in denouncing acts of terrorism. Muslims are constantly perplexed by this accusation, as there were nothing but unequivocal and unified condemnations by the leaders of the Muslim community, both in the United States and worldwide.

    For the record, the inhuman attacks of September 11 were condemned in the strongest terms by virtually all Islamic leaders, organizations, and countries. TheGrand Mufti of Saudi Arabia summarized that, "...hijacking planes, terrorizing innocent people and shedding blood, constitute a form of injustice that cannot be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts."

    Then there is this:

    Scholars of Islam speak out against terrorism; clarify position of Islam

    Monday, September 17, 2001

    Dozens of scholars of Islam issued a statement today, condemning the violent attacks of September 11th.

    “We are grief-stricken at these horrifying events,” they wrote; “the murder of innocents can never be justified and must not be tolerated.”
    In a lengthy statement, professors from major colleges and universities throughout the country expressed their compassion for grieving family members while also decrying the increase in violence against American Muslims this past week. “Anger and frustration are completely understandable and shared by us all,” they wrote “yet that anger must not be directed at individuals utterly innocent of these terrible crimes.”

    In recent days, verbal and physical attacks against Muslims (and people who were thought to be Muslims) have been reported from California to Vermont. Muslims have been warned to stay home or to avoid wearing traditional dress. “Particularly distressing is the fact that many American Muslims have fled to the United States, seeking a haven from intolerant regimes in Kosovo, Afghanistan or Iraq. For them now to face intolerance and violence here is an abuse of our Nation’s most deeply cherished beliefs” they said.

    The co-signers of the statement are members of many scholarly societies in the United States and Canada. They include:

    Professor Asma Afsaruddin, of Notre Dame University
    Professor Vivienne Sm. Angeles, La Salle University
    Professor Ghazala Anwar of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand
    Professor Jonathan Brockopp, Director of the Religion Program at Bard College
    Professor Patrice C. Brodeur of Connecticut College
    Professor Arthur Buehler of Louisiana State University
    Professor Amila Buturovic of York University
    Professor Juan E. Campo of the University of California, Santa Barbara
    Professor Vincent J. Cornell of University of Arkansas
    Professor Frederick M. Denny Chair of Islamic Studies and the History of Religions, University of Colorado
    Professor Abdullahi Gallab of Hiram College
    Professor Behrooz Ghamari of Georgia State University
    Professor Alan Godlas of University of Georgia
    Professor Hugh Talat Halman, of University of Arkansas
    Professor Pieternella (Nelly) Harder Vandoorn,, of Valparaiso University
    Professor Marcia Hermansen of Loyola University, Chicago
    Professor Valerie J. Hoffman, of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Professor Qamar ul-Huda, of Boston College
    Professor Aaron Hughes of the University of Calgary
    Professor Amir Hussain of California State University, Northridge
    Professor John Iskander of Georgia State Univeristy
    Professor Ahmet Karamustafa of Washington University in St. Louis
    Professor Tazim Kassam of Syracuse University
    Professor Zayn Kassam of Pomona College
    Professor Ruqayya Khan of University of California at Santa Barbara
    Professor Kathryn Kueny, of Lawrence College
    Professor Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Dean of the College, Georgetown University
    Professor Richard C. Martin, Emory University
    Professor J.W. Morris, Chair of Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter
    Professor Gordon D. Newby, Executive Director, Institute for Comparative and International Studies at Emory University
    Professor James Pavlin of Rutgers University
    Professor Jack Renard of St. Louis University
    Professor Omid Safi of Colgate University
    Professor Walid Saleh of Middlebury College
    Professor Zeki Saritoprak of Berry College
    Professor Michael Sells, Haverford College
    Professor Laury Silvers-Alario of Holy Cross University
    Professor Alfons Teipen of Furman University

    and this:

    Statement from the steering committee and members,
    Section for the Study of Islam

    Statement from scholars of the Islamic religion

    We are grief-stricken at the horrifying events of this past week. Yet as scholars of the Islamic religion, we must take time from our grief, and the counseling of our students, to help prevent the continuing persecution of Muslims on American soil. The attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center are nothing short of murder. Those office workers did nothing wrong, nothing to deserve such a terrible fate, and the murder of innocents can never be justified and must not be tolerated. Anger and frustration at the death of these men and women are completely understandable and shared by us all, yet that anger must not be directed at individuals utterly innocent of these terrible crimes.

    We have heard and witnessed many reports of verbal and physical attacks against Muslims (and people who were thought to be Muslims) throughout the U.S., and Muslims have been warned to stay home or to avoid wearing traditional dress. Our own Muslim students, many of whom come from South Asia, Africa or the Middle East, are fearful of what may happen to them in the days to come. Particularly distressing is the fact that many American Muslims have fled to the United States, seeking a haven from intolerant regimes in Kosovo, Afghanistan or Iraq. For them now to face intolerance and violence here is an abuse of our Nation’s most deeply cherished beliefs. Likewise, many of our Muslim students have only just arrived in this country, seeking here new hope and solutions for the poverty and violence they face at home.

    Statements of hate or racial slurs are not a part of the American way, and we join President Bush and others calling on all Americans to respect the rights of Muslim Americans. Further, we urge people of good faith everywhere to reach out to Muslim neighbors. Churches, synagogues and temples should hold interfaith services of mourning, arrange for pot luck dinners together and work to heal the rifts that recent events have caused. Muslims from overseas should be invited to tell their stories. We should learn about the poverty and authoritarian regimes that they have fled, not to increase our pride in the United States, but to learn ways we can help alleviate the social and political diseases that cause disaffected young men to see Muslim extremists as leaders. We believe that education is the antidote to further violence on both sides.

    American Muslims are good neighbors, devoted to their families and to following God’s commands to do good works. There are now some eight million Muslims in the United States, and mosques are to be found in most every major city. The overwhelming majority are peace-loving human beings who share the shock and despair of all Americans. They know that terrorist acts in the name of Islam are a perversion of their most sacred beliefs, and the actions of a few should not characterize the whole.

    With over 1 billion adherents, Islam is the second-largest religion in the world after Christianity. Like Christians and Jews, Muslims believe in one God who has sent a series of prophets into the world “to command the good and forbid the evil.” Jesus is revered in the Qur’an, the scripture of Islam, as are Abraham, Moses and the virgin Mary. According to Muslims, the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad some 600 years after Jesus’ birth. It was written in Arabic, and Arabic is still the religious language of Islam. But only 20% of all Muslims are Arabs (and about 50% of all Arab-Americans are Christian). Most are from the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia or Africa.

    Although many Muslims might differ with Israeli policy, Muslims do not hate Jews; rather Muslims honor Jews and Christians as fellow recipients of “the book”, God’s revelation to all humankind. In fact, the Qur’an commands all Muslims “If they incline toward peace, then you should too!” Suicide is utterly forbidden in Islam, and war must be declared by the State, not by individuals. These injunctions explain clear statements by the governments of Syria, Saudi Arabia and Libya denouncing Tuesday’s attacks. Radical groups like Hamas have also denounced it, along with the Palestinian leadership. Such political statements must be taken seriously as they are backed up by all major religious authorities, from the Rector of al-Azhar University to the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, who forbid suicide missions, especially terrorist attacks against civilians. Just this past Friday, Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed al-Tantawi of Al-Azhar, the highest institution in Sunni Islam, denounced the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In his weekly sermon to thousands of worshippers in Cairo, he said: "Attacking innocent people is not courageous; it is stupid and will be punished on the day of judgment." Sheikh Tantawi added "It's not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom, it is courageous to defend oneself and not to attack.” Likewise, President Mohammad Khatami of Iran in an official statement said: "On behalf of the Iranian government and the nation, I condemn the hijacking attempts and terrorist attacks on public centers in American cities which have killed a large number ofinnocent people."

    As scholars of religious traditions, we observe that religious symbols are used for political motives all over the world in Hindu, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. However, we must critically distinguish between politically motivated deployment of religious symbols and the highest ideals that these traditions embody. Just as most would regard bombers of abortion clinics to be outside the pale of Christianity, so the actions of these terrorists should not be accepted as representing Islam in any way.

    As Tuesday’s events gradually shift into the past, the horror of what has occurred becomes even clearer. Many of us have been hit personally by these attacks; we grieve, we cry and we search for answers. Let us now join together as Americans and respond to this act of hatred with compassion and understanding, reaching out to our Muslim neighbors and stopping the cycle of violence.

    and all of these!!

    Islamic Statements Against Terrorism

    Mustafa Mashhur, General Guide, Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt; Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Ameer, Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, Pakistan; Muti Rahman Nizami, Ameer, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Bangladesh; Shaykh Ahmad Yassin, Founder, Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Palestine; Rashid Ghannoushi, President, Nahda Renaissance Movement, Tunisia; Fazil Nour, President, PAS - Parti Islam SeMalaysia, Malaysia; and 40 other Muslim scholars and politicians:
    “The undersigned, leaders of Islamic movements, are horrified by the events of Tuesday 11 September 2001 in the United States which resulted in massive killing, destruction and attack on innocent lives. We express our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human and Islamic norms. This is grounded in the Noble Laws of Islam which forbid all forms of attacks on innocents. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur'an: 'No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another' (Surah al-Isra 17:15).”
    MSANews, September 14, 2001,;
    Arabic original in al-Quds al-Arabi (London), September 14, 2001, p. 2,

    Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi, Qatar; Tariq Bishri, Egypt; Muhammad S. Awwa, Egypt; Fahmi Huwaydi, Egypt; Haytham Khayyat, Syria; Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Alwani, U.S.:
    “All Muslims ought to be united against all those who terrorize the innocents, and those who permit the killing of non-combatants without a justifiable reason. Islam has declared the spilling of blood and the destruction of property as absolute prohibitions until the Day of Judgment. ... [It is] necessary to apprehend the true perpetrators of these crimes, as well as those who aid and abet them through incitement, financing or other support. They must be brought to justice in an impartial court of law and [punished] appropriately. ... [It is] a duty of Muslims to participate in this effort with all possible means.”
    Statement of September 27, 2001. The Washington Post, October 11, 2001,
    Full text of this fatwa in English and Arabic.

    Shaykh Muhammed Sayyid al-Tantawi, imam of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, Egypt:
    “Attacking innocent people is not courageous, it is stupid and will be punished on the day of judgement. ... It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom, it is courageous to defend oneself and not to attack.”
    Agence France Presse, September 14, 2001

    Abdel-Mo'tei Bayyoumi, al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy, Cairo, Egypt:
    “There is no terrorism or a threat to civilians in jihad [religious struggle].”
    Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 20 - 26 September 2001,

    Muslim Brotherhood, an opposition Islamist group in Egypt, said it was “horrified” by the attack and expressed “condolences and sadness”:
    “[We] strongly condemn such activities that are against all humanist and Islamic morals. ... [We] condemn and oppose all aggression on human life, freedom and dignity anywhere in the world.”
    Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 13 - 19 September 2001,

    Shaykh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, spiritual guide of Shi‘i Muslim radicals in Lebanon, said he was “horrified” by these “barbaric ... crimes”:
    “Beside the fact that they are forbidden by Islam, these acts do not serve those who carried them out but their victims, who will reap the sympathy of the whole world. ... Islamists who live according to the human values of Islam could not commit such crimes.”
    Agence France Presse, September 14, 2001

    ‘Abdulaziz bin ‘Abdallah Al-Ashaykh, chief mufti of Saudi Arabia:
    “Firstly: the recent developments in the United States including hijacking planes, terrorizing innocent people and shedding blood, constitute a form of injustice that cannot be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts. Secondly: any Muslim who is aware of the teachings of his religion and who adheres to the directives of the Holy Qur'an and the sunnah (the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad) will never involve himself in such acts, because they will invoke the anger of God Almighty and lead to harm and corruption on earth.”
    Statement of September 15, 2001,

    ‘Abdulaziz bin ‘Abdallah Al-Ashaykh, chief mufti of Saudi Arabia:
    "You must know Islam’s firm position against all these terrible crimes. The world must know that Islam is a religion of peace and mercy and goodness; it is a religion of justice and guidance…Islam has forbidden violence in all its forms. It forbids the hijacking airplanes, ships and other means of transport, and it forbids all acts that undermine the security of the innocent."
    Hajj sermon of February 2, 2004, in "Public Statements by Senior Saudi Officials Condemning Extremism and Promoting Moderation," May 2004,, page 10

    Shaikh Saleh Al-Luheidan, Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Saudi Arabia:
    "As a human community we must be vigilant and careful to oppose these pernicious and shameless evils, which are not justified by any sane logic, nor by the religion of Islam."
    Statement of September 14, 2001, in "Public Statements by Senior Saudi Officials Condemning Extremism and Promoting Moderation," May 2004,, page 6

    Shaikh Saleh Al-Luheidan, Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Saudi Arabia:
    "And I repeat once again: that this act that the United states was afflicted with, with this vulgarity and barbarism, and which is even more barbaric than terrorist acts, I say that these acts are from the depths of depravity and the worst of evils."
    Televised statement of September 2001, in Muhammad ibn Hussin Al-Qahtani, editor, The Position of Saudi Muslim Scholars Regarding Terrorism in the Name of Islam (Saudi Arabia, 2004), pages 27-28.

    Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Abdallah al-Sabil, member of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars, Saudi Arabia:
    “Any attack on innocent people is unlawful and contrary to shari'a (Islamic law). ... Muslims must safeguard the lives, honor and property of Christians and Jews. Attacking them contradicts shari'a.”
    Agence France Presse, December 4, 2001

    Council of Saudi ‘Ulama', fatwa of February 2003:
    "What is happening in some countries from the shedding of the innocent blood and the bombing of buildings and ships and the destruction of public and private installations is a criminal act against Islam. ... Those who carry out such acts have the deviant beliefs and misleading ideologies and are responsible for the crime. Islam and Muslims should not be held responsible for such actions."
    The Dawn newspaper, Karachi, Pakistan, February 8, 2003,; also in "Public Statements by Senior Saudi Officials Condemning Extremism and Promoting Moderation," May 2004,, page 10

    Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the Sunna and Sira Council, Qatar:
    "Our hearts bleed for the attacks that has targeted the World Trade Center [WTC], as well as other institutions in the United States despite our strong oppositions to the American biased policy towards Israel on the military, political and economic fronts. Islam, the religion of tolerance, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack against innocent human beings a grave sin, this is backed by the Qur’anic verse which reads: ‘Who so ever kills a human being [as punishment] for [crimes] other than manslaughter or [sowing] corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and who so ever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind’ (Al-Ma’idah:32)."
    Statement of September 13, 2001. Arabic original at

    Tahirul Qadri, head of the Awami Tehrik Party, Pakistan:
    "Bombing embassies or destroying non-military installations like the World Trade Center is no jihad. ... "[T]hose who launched the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks not only killed thousands of innocent people in the United States but also put the lives of millions of Muslims across the world at risk. ... Bin Laden is not a prophet that we should put thousands of lives at risk for."
    United Press International, October 18, 2001,

    Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i, supreme jurist-ruler of Iran:
    “Killing of people, in any place and with any kind of weapons, including atomic bombs, long-range missiles, biological or chemical weopons, passenger or war planes, carried out by any organization, country or individuals is condemned. ... It makes no difference whether such massacres happen in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Qana, Sabra, Shatila, Deir Yassin, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq or in New York and Washington.”
    Islamic Republic News Agency, September 16, 2001,

    President Muhammad Khatami of Iran:
    “[T]he September 11 terrorist blasts in America can only be the job of a group that have voluntarily severed their own ears and tongues, so that the only language with which they could communicate would be destroying and spreading death.”
    Address to the United Nations General Assembly, November 9, 2001,

    League of Arab States:
    “The General-Secretariat of the League of Arab States shares with the people and government of the United States of America the feelings of revulsion, horror and shock over the terrorist attacks that ripped through the World Trade Centre and Pentagon, inflicting heavy damage and killing and wounding thousands of many nationalities. These terrorist crimes have been viewed by the League as inadmissible and deserving all condemnation. Divergence of views between the Arabs and the United States over the latter’s foreign policy on the Middle East crisis does in no way adversely affect the common Arab attitude of compassion with the people and government of the United States at such moments of facing the menace and ruthlessness of international terrorism. In more than one statement released since the horrendous attacks, the League has also expressed deep sympathy with the families of the victims. In remarks to newsmen immediately following the tragic events, Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa described the feelings of the Arab world as demonstrably sympathetic with the American people, particularly with families and individuals who lost their loved ones. “It is indeed tormenting that any country or people or city anywhere in the world be the scene of such disastrous attacks,” he added. While convinced that it is both inconceivable and lamentable that such a large-scale, organised terrorist campaign take place anywhere, anytime, the League believes that the dreadful attacks against WTC and the Pentagon unveil, time and again, that the cancer of terrorism can be extensively damaging if left unchecked. It follows that there is a pressing and urgent need to combat world terrorism. In this context, an earlier call by [Egyptian] President Hosni Mubarak for convening an international conference to draw up universal accord on ways and means to eradicate this phenomenon and demonstrate international solidarity is worthy of active consideration. The Arabs have walked a large distancein the fight against cross-border terrorism by concluding in April 1998 the Arab Agreement on Combating Terrorism.”
    September 17, 2001,

    Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference:
    “Following the bloody attacks against major buildings and installations in the United States yesterday, Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), stated that he was shocked and deeply saddened when he heard of those attacks which led to the death and injury of a very large number of innocent American citizens. Dr. Belkeziz said he was denouncing and condemning those criminal and brutal acts that ran counter to all covenants, humanitarian values and divine religions foremost among which was Islam.”
    Press Release, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, September 12, 2001,

    Organization of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers:
    “The Conference strongly condemned the brutal terror acts that befell the United States, caused huge losses in human lives from various nationalities and wreaked tremendous destruction and damage in New York and Washington. It further reaffirmed that these terror acts ran counter to the teachings of the divine religions as well as ethical and human values, stressed the necessity of tracking down the perpetrators of these acts in the light of the results of investigations and bringing them to justice to inflict on them the penalty they deserve, and underscored its support of this effort. In this respect, the Conference expressed its condolences to and sympathy with the people and government of the United States and the families of the victims in these mournful and tragic circumstances.”
    Final Communique of the Ninth Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, October 10, 2001,

    Organization of the Islamic Conference, Summit Conference:
    "We are determined to fight terrorism in all its forms. ... Islam is the religion of moderation. It rejects extremism and isolation. There is a need to confront deviant ideology where it appears, including in school curricula. Islam is the religion of diversity and tolerance."
    Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon), December 9, 2005,

    Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, Head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs of Turkey:
    “Any human being, regardless of his ethnic and religious origin, will never think of carrying out such a violent, evil attack. Whatever its purpose is, this action cannot be justified and tolerated.”
    Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, “A Message on Ragaib Night and Terrorism,” September 21, 2001,

    Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar), Turkish author:
    “Islam does not encourage any kind of terrorism; in fact, it denounces it. Those who use terrorism in the name of Islam, in fact, have no other faculty except ignorance and hatred.”
    Harun Yahya, “Islam Denounces Terrorism,”

    Shaikh Muhammad Yusuf Islahi, Pakistani-American Muslim leader:
    “The sudden barbaric attack on innocent citizens living in peace is extremely distressing and deplorable. Every gentle human heart goes out to the victims of this attack and as humans we are ashamed at the barbarism perpetrated by a few people. Islam, which is a religion of peace and tolerance, condemns this act and sees this is as a wounding scar on the face of humanity. I appeal to Muslims to strongly condemn this act, express unity with the victims' relatives, donate blood, money and do whatever it takes to help the affected people.”
    “Messages From Shaikh Muhammad Yusuf Islahi,”

    Abdal-Hakim Murad, British Muslim author:
    “Targeting civilians is a negation of every possible school of Sunni Islam. Suicide bombing is so foreign to the Quranic ethos that the Prophet Samson is entirely absent from our scriptures.”
    “The Hijackers Were Not Muslims After All: Recapturing Islam From the Terrorists,”

    Syed Mumtaz Ali, President of the Canadian Society of Muslims:
    “We condemn in the strongest terms possible what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Canadians in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.”
    Canadian Society of Muslims, Media Release, September 12, 2001,

    15 American Muslim organizations:
    “We reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of the crime committed on September 11, 2001 and join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of up to 6000 innocent civilians.”
    Muslim American Society (MAS), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), Muslim Student Association (MSA), Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), Solidarity International, American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice (AMGPJ), American Muslim Alliance (AMA), United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA), Islamic Media Foundation (IMF), American Muslim Foundation (AMF), Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO), American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ), Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA), October 22, 2001,

    57 leaders of North American Islamic organizations, 77 intellectuals, and dozens of concerned citizens:
    “As American Muslims and scholars of Islam, we wish to restate our conviction that peace and justice constitute the basic principles of the Muslim faith. We wish again to state unequivocally that neither the al-Qaeda organization nor Usama bin Laden represents Islam or reflects Muslim beliefs and practice. Rather, groups like al-Qaeda have misused and abused Islam in order to fit their own radical and indeed anti-Islamic agenda. Usama bin Laden and al-Qaeda's actions are criminal, misguided and counter to the true teachings of Islam.”
    Statement Rejecting Terrorism, September 9, 2002,

    American Muslim Political Coordination Council:
    “American Muslims utterly condemn what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.”

    Dr. Agha Saeed, National Chair of the American Muslim Alliance:
    “These attacks are against both divine and human laws and we condemn them in the strongest terms. The Muslim Americans join the nation in calling for swift apprehension and stiff punishment of the perpetrators, and offer our sympathies to the victims and their families.”

    Hamza Yusuf, American Muslim leader:
    “Religious zealots of any creed are defeated people who lash out in desperation, and they often do horrific things. And if these people [who committed murder on September 11] indeed are Arabs, Muslims, they're obviously very sick people and I can't even look at it in religious terms. It's politics, tragic politics. There's no Islamic justification for any of it. ... You can't kill innocent people. There's no Islamic declaration of war against the United States. I think every Muslim country except Afghanistan has an embassy in this country. And in Islam, a country where you have embassies is not considered a belligerent country. In Islam, the only wars that are permitted are between armies and they should engage on battlefields and engage nobly. The Prophet Muhammad said, ``Do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people,'' and he mentioned priests, nuns and rabbis. And he said, ``Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees and do not poison the wells of your enemies.'' The Hadith, the sayings of the Prophet, say that no one can punish with fire except the lord of fire. It's prohibited to burn anyone in Islam as a punishment. No one can grant these attackers any legitimacy. It was evil.”
    San Jose Mercury News, September 15, 2001,

    Nuh Ha Mim Keller, American Muslim author:
    “Muslims have nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to hide, and should simply tell people what their scholars and religious leaders have always said: first, that the Wahhabi sect has nothing to do with orthodox Islam, for its lack of tolerance is a perversion of traditional values; and second, that killing civilians is wrong and immoral.”
    “Making the World Safe for Terrorism,” September 30, 2001,

    Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), prominent British Muslim:
    "I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: the Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims at this sorrowful moment."
    [On singing an a cappella version of "Peace Train" for the Concert for New York City:] "After the tragedy, my heart was heavy with sadness and shock, and I was determined to help in some way. Organizers asked me to take part in a message for tolerance and sing 'Peace Train.' Of course, I agreed. ... As a Muslim from the West, it is important to me to let people know that these acts of mass murder have nothing to do with Islam and the beliefs of Muslims."
    Press release of September 13, 2001, and PR Newswire, October 22, 2001, both at

    Muslims Against Terrorism, a U.S.-based organization:
    “As Muslims, we condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Ours is a religion of peace. We are sick and tired of extremists dictating the public face of Islam.” This statement has been replaced by a new statement in favor of peace by the group's successor organization, Muslim Voices for Peace,

    Abdulaziz Sachedina, professor of religious studies, University of Virginia:
    “New York was grieving. Sorrow covered the horizons. The pain of separation and of missing family members, neighbors, citizens, humans could be felt in every corner of the country. That day was my personal day of “jihad” (“struggle”) - jihad with my pride and my identity as a Muslim. This is the true meaning of jihad – “struggle with one’s own ego and false pride.” I don’t ever recall that I had prayed so earnestly to God to spare attribution of such madness that was unleashed upon New York and Washington to the Muslims. I felt the pain and, perhaps for the first time in my entire life, I felt embarrassed at the thought that it could very well be my fellow Muslims who had committed this horrendous act of terrorism. How could these terrorists invoke God’s mercifulness and compassion when they had, through their evil act, put to shame the entire history of this great religion and its culture of toleration?”
    “Where Was God on September 11?,"

    Ali Khan, professor of law, Washburn University School of Law:
    “To the most learned in the text of the Quran, these verses must be read in the context of many other verses that stipulate the Islamic law of war---a war that the Islamic leader must declare after due consultation with advisers. For the less learned, however, these verses may provide the motivation and even the plot for a merciless strike against a self-chosen enemy.”
    “Attack on America: An Islamic Perspective, September 17, 2001,

    Muqtedar Khan, assistant professor of political science, Adrian College, Michigan, USA:
    “What happened on September 11th in New York and Washington DC will forever remain a horrible scar on the history of Islam and humanity. No matter how much we condemn it, and point to the Quran and the Sunnah to argue that Islam forbids the killing of innocent people, the fact remains that the perpetrators of this crime against humanity have indicated that their actions are sanctioned by Islamic values. The fact that even now several Muslim scholars and thousands of Muslims defend the accused is indicative that not all Muslims believe that the attacks are unIslamic. This is truly sad. ... If anywhere in your hearts there is any sympathy or understanding with those who committed this act, I invite you to ask yourself this question, would Muhammad (pbuh) sanction such an act? While encouraging Muslims to struggle against injustice (Al Quran 4:135), Allah also imposes strict rules of engagement. He says in unequivocal terms that to kill an innocent being is like killing entire humanity (Al Quran 5:32). He also encourages Muslims to forgive Jews and Christians if they have committed injustices against us (Al Quran 2:109, 3:159, 5:85).”
    “Memo to American Muslims,” October 5, 2001,

    Dr. Alaa Al-Yousuf, Bahraini economist and political activist:
    “On Friday, 14 September [the first Friday prayers after 11 September], almost the whole world expressed its condemnation of the crime and its grief for the bereaved families of the victims. Those who abstained or, even worse, rejoiced, will have joined the terrorists, not in the murder, but in adding to the incalculable damage on the other victims of the atrocity, namely, Islam as a faith, Muslims and Arabs as peoples, and possibly the Palestinian cause. The terrorists and their apologists managed to sully Islam as a faith both in the eyes of many Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
    Interview with the International Forum for Islamic Dialogue, London,

    Dr. S. Parvez Manzoor, Swedish-based Muslim author:
    “If these acts of terror indeed have been perpetrated by Muslim radicals or fundamentalists, they have reaped nothing but eternal damnation, shame and ignominy. For nothing, absolutely nothing, could remotely be advanced as an excuse for these barbaric acts. They represent a total negation of Islamic values, an utter disregard of our fiqhi tradition, and a slap in the face of the Ummah. They are in total contrast to what Islamic reason, compassion and faith stand for. Even from the more mundane criteria of common good, the maslaha of the jurists, these acts are treasonous and suicidal. Islamic faith has been so callously and casually sacrificed at the altar of politics, a home-grown politics of parochial causes, primeval passions, self-endorsing piety and messianic terror.”
    Interview with the International Forum for Islamic Dialogue, London,

    Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian Islamic activist and former deputy prime minister:
    “Never in Islam's entire history has the action of so few of its followers caused the religion and its community of believers to be such an abomination in the eyes of others. Millions of Muslims who fled to North America and Europe to escape poverty and persecution at home have become the object of hatred and are now profiled as potential terrorists. And the nascent democratic movements in Muslim countries will regress for a few decades as ruling autocrats use their participation in the global war against terrorism to terrorize their critics and dissenters. This is what Mohammed Atta and his fellow terrorists and sponsors have done to Islam and its community worldwide by their murder of innocents at the World Trade Center in New York and the Defense Depart-ment in Washington. The attack must be condemned, and the condemnation must be without reservation.”
    Anwar Ibrahim, “Growth of Democracy Is the Answer to Terrorism,” International Herald Tribune, October 11, 2001,

    Ziauddin Sardar, British Muslim author:
    “The failure of Islamic movements is their inability to come to terms with modernity, to give modernity a sustainable home-grown expression. Instead of engaging with the abundant problems that bedevil Muslim lives, the Islamic prescription consists of blind following of narrow pieties and slavish submission to inept obscurantists. Instead of engagement with the wider world, they have made Islam into an ethic of separation, separate under-development, and negation of the rest of the world.”
    Ziauddin Sardar, “Islam has become its own enemy,” The Observer, October 21, 2001,,1373,577942,00.html

    Khaled Abou El Fadl, Kuwaiti-Egyptian-American legal scholar:
    “It would be disingenuous to deny that the Qur'an and other Islamic sources offer possibilities of intolerant interpretation. Clearly these possibilities are exploited by the contemporary puritans and supremacists. But the text does not command such intolerant readings. Historically, Islamic civilization has displayed a remarkable ability to recognize possibilities of tolerance, and to act upon these possibilities.”
    Khaled Abou El Fadl, “The Place of Tolerance in Islam: On Reading the Qur'an -- and Misreading It,” Boston Review, December 2001/January 2002,

    Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Hanooti, Palestinian-American mufti and member of the North American Fiqh Council:
    “The people who attacked the WTC and Pentagon and hijacked the forth plane that crashed in Pennsylvania are criminal who deserve the severest punishment as the Quran elaborates. They are murderers and terrorists. If there were any person who felt happy for that incident we would not be able to equate them with those criminals, but we can say no one with faith and ethics would accept anything of that murder and targeting of innocent people.”
    Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Hanooti, "Fatwa Session on Latest Tragic Events," IslamOnline, September 20, 2001,

    Syed Shahabuddin, Indian Muslim author:
    “Islam prohibits terrorism as well as suicide. Jihad is neither and has no place for taking innocent lives or one’s own life. No cause, howsoever noble or just, can justify terrorism. So while one may sympathize with the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and support their claim to a state of their own, while one may appreciate the democratic awakening among the people of many Muslim states and uphold their demand for withdrawal of foreign presence from their soil and support their struggle for revision of the terms of trade for their natural resources, no thinking Muslim can go along with the use of terrorism for securing political goals.”
    Syed Shahabuddin, "Global war against terrorism – the Islamic dimension," Milli Gazette newspaper, New Delhi, India, November 1, 2001,

    Dr. M. A. Zaki Badawi, principal of the Muslim College, London, England:
    “Neither the law of Islam nor its ethical system justify such a crime.”
    Dr. M. A. Zaki Badawi, "Terrorism has no place in Islam," Arab News, Jiddah-Riyadh-Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, September 28, 2001,

    Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, head mufti at Jamiat-ul-Uloom-ul-Islamia seminary, Binori Town, Pakistan and a leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party, Pakistan:
    “It's wrong to kill innocent people. ... It's also wrong to praise those who kill innocent people.”
    The New York Times, September 28, 2001, p. B3

    Shaykh Omar Bakri, leader of al-Muhajirun, a radical Islamist movement based in London, England:
    “If Islamists did it -- and most likely it is Islamists, because of the nature of what happened -- then they have fully misunderstood the teachings of Islam. ... Even the most radical of us have condemned this. I am always considered to be a radical in the Islamic world and even I condemn it.”
    The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), September 13, 2001, p. B6

    Zuhair Qudah, a preacher at al-Lawzieen mosque, Amman, Jordan:
    "We stand by our Palestinian brothers in their struggle to end the occupation, but we don't condone violence, ugly crimes and the killing of innocent people."
    Associated Press, September 14, 2001
    Salih bin Muhammad Lahidan, chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Saudi Arabia:
    “Killing the weak, infants, women, and the elderly, and destroying property, are considered serious crimes in Islam. . . . Viewing on the TV networks what happened to the twin towers . . . was like watching doomsday. Those who commit such crimes are the worst of people. Anyone who thinks that any Islamic scholar will condone such acts is totally wrong. . . . This barbaric act is not justified by any sane mind-set. . . . This act is pernicious and shameless and evil in the extreme.”
    The Washington Post, October 13, 2001, p. B9

    Shaykh Rached Ghannouchi, chairman of Tunisia's an-Nahda Movement, in exile in London, England:
    “Such destruction can only be condemned by any Muslim, however resentful one may be of America's biased policies supporting occupation in Palestine, as an unacceptable attack on thousands of innocent people having no relation to American policies. Anyone familiar with Islam has no doubt about its rejection of collective punishment, based on the well-known Quranic principle that 'no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another.'”
    The Washington Post, October 13, 2001, p. B9

    Shaykh Salih al-Suhaymi, religious scholar, Saudi Arabia:
    “Based upon what has preceded, then we say that that which we believe and hold as our religion concerning what happened to the World Trade Centre in America – and in Allaah lies success – that the terrorist attacks that took place and what occurred of general (mass) killing, then it is not permissible and Islaam does not allow it in any form whatsoever.”
    "Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee speaks about current affairs...," October 18, 2001, translated by Abu 'Iyaad,

    Dr. Sayed G. Safavi, Iranian religious scholar and director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, London, England:
    “The targeting of innocent persons cannot be allowed. Islam is against any form of terrorism, whether it be carried out by an individual, a group or a state. ... For Muslims to kill civilians unconnected with any attack on them is a crime. The principal law of Islam is: don't attack civilians. This includes civilians of any faith, whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian. According to Islam, all people are the family of God. The target of religion is peace.”
    Letter to the Editor, The Daily Telegraph, London, England, June 30, 2003,

    Iqbal Siddiqui, editor of Crescent International, London, England:
    “History also teaches us that the only effective way of challenging oppression and the only effective way of fighting injustice is through force; that is simply the way of the world. Pacifism is all too often a weapon of the status quo.... When Islamic movements in the world do need to resort to the use of force, that force must be used morally. When extreme fringes of those movements are pushed to use force indiscriminately, immorally, wrongly against illegitimate targets, and using illegitimate weapons (such [as] hijacked jumbo jets), those are crimes for which the people who share their cause, who share their view of the world, their understanding of the need to use force, must also criticise them, turn against them, isolate them. Our standards must be higher than those of the people whom we are fighting, because if we descend to their standards then there is no difference between us.”
    Iqbal Siddiqui, "Terrorism and political violence in contemporary history," Conference on Terrorism, Institute of Islamic Studies, London, England, November 13, 2001, published in Muslimedia International, February 16-28, 2002, Earlier version on-line at

    Islamway website:
    "In light of these and other Islamic texts, the act of inciting terror in the hearts of defenseless civilians, the wholesale destruction of buildings and properties, the bombing and maiming of innocent men, women, and children are all forbidden and detestable acts according to Islam and the Muslims."
    "What Does Islam Say About Terrorism?"

    Islamic Commission of Spain:
    "Muslims, therefore, are not only forbidden from committing crimes against innocent people, but are responsible before God to stop those people who have the intention to do so, since these people 'are planting the seeds of corruption on Earth'.... The perpetration of terrorist acts supposes a rupture of such magnitude with Islamic teaching that it allows to affirm that the individuals or groups who have perpetrated them have stopped being Muslim and have put themselves outside the sphere of Islam."
    "Text of the Fatwa Declared Against Osama Bin Laden by the Islamic Commission of Spain," March 17, 2005,; original Spanish version: "La Comisión Islámica de España emite una fatua condenando el terrorismo y al grupo Al Qaida," March 10, 2005,

    Fatwa signed by more than 500 British Muslim scholars, clerics, and imams:
    "Islam strictly, strongly and severely condemns the use of violence and the destruction of innocent lives. There is neither place nor justification in Islam for extremism, fanaticism or terrorism. Suicide bombings, which killed and injured innocent people in London, are HARAAM - vehemently prohibited in Islam, and those who committed these barbaric acts in London [on July 7, 2005] are criminals not martyrs. Such acts, as perpetrated in London, are crimes against all of humanity and contrary to the teachings of Islam. ... The Holy Quran declares: 'Whoever kills a human being… then it is as though he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a human life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.' (Quran, Surah al-Maidah (5), verse 32) Islam’s position is clear and unequivocal: Murder of one soul is the murder of the whole of humanity; he who shows no respect for human life is an enemy of humanity."
    British Muslim Forum, press release of July 18, 2005,

    Fiqh Council of North America, an association of 18 Muslim legal scholars, fatwa endorsed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and more than 130 Muslim organizations, mosques and leaders in the United States:
    "We have consistently condemned terrorism and extremism in all forms and under all circumstances, and we reiterate this unequivocal position. Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram - prohibited in Islam - and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not 'martyrs.'"
    "Fatwa by U.S. Muslims Against Religious Extremism," July 25, 2005,

    Islamic Society of North America, Anti-Terrrorism Anti-Extremism Committee:
    "Humanity lives today in an interdependent and interconnected world where peaceful and fair interaction, including interfaith and intra-faith dialogue, is imperative. A grave threat to all of us nowadays is the scourge of religious and political extremism that manifests itself in various forms of violence, including terrorism. In the absence of a universally agreed upon definition of terrorism, it may be defined as any act of indiscriminate violence that targets innocent people, whether committed by individuals, groups or states. As Muslims, we must face up to our responsibility to clarify and advocate a faith-based, righteous and moral position with regard to this problem, especially when terrorist acts are perpetrated in the name of Islam. The purpose of this brochure is to clarify a few key issues relating to this topic, not because of external pressures or for the sake of “political correctness”, but out of our sincere conviction of what Islam stands for."
    Islamic Society of North America, "Against Terrorism and Religious Extremism: Muslim Position and Responsibilities," 2005,

    Shaykh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh, chief mufti of Saudi Arabia:
    The London attacks, "targeting peaceful people, are not condoned by Islam, and are indeed prohibited by our religion. ... Attributing to Islam acts of individual or collective killings, bombings, destruction of properties and the terrorizing of peaceful people is unfair, because they are alien to the divine religion."
    Fatwa-Online, July 9, 2005,

    Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab al-'Aqeel, professor of creed ('aqeedah) at the College of Proselytising (da'wah), Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia:
    "Terrorism is the terror that is caused by those groups or individuals who resort to killing and wreaking havoc and destruction. Terrorism is therefore, according to the contemporary compilers of modern Arabic dictionaries, killing akin to the riotous killing that is mentioned within the texts of Shar'eeah. As the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) mentioned with regards to the signs of the end of time, the spread of 'al-Harj' (riotous killing). The meaning of 'al-Harj' is killing and the increase of the spilling blood, which is all from the signs of the end of time. To the extent that the one killing will not know why he is killing and the one that was killed will not know why he/she was killed. Islam is free from this riotous killing, free from this terrorism and free from this kind of corruption. Terrorism is established upon destruction of properties such as factories, farms, places of worship, train stations, airports and the likes; Islam is clearly free from such actions that are based upon corruption and not upon rectification. Terrorists usually say that they are going against the state in which they are based within. This is like the mafia or other criminal organisations that are based on killing people, causing fear and taking their monies. Such criminal organisations have leaders, deputies and individuals that are responsible for establishing regulations for the organisation and individuals responsible for carrying out attacks, and all of them are terrorists causing corruption on the earth. However the ugliest face of terrorism is that which is established in the name of religion, all of the religions from the Prophets (peace be upon them) are free from such terrorism, even if some of the followers of the Prophets participated in such terrorist activities, but the Prophets are free from such corruptions."
    Lecture on "The Evils of Terrorism," August 20, 2005, translated in Islam Against Terrorism - v1.20, September 17, 2005,

    Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, Malaysian Muslim scholar and research fellow in Islamic philosophy and theology, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, U.K.:
    "If you still insist that your [religious or civil] authority should declare war with the non-Muslim state upon which you wish war to be declared, then the most you could do in this capacity is to lobby your authority for it. However, if your anger is so unrestrained that its fire brings out the worst in you to the point that your disagreement with your Muslim authority leads you to declare war on those you want your authority to declare war on, and you end up resorting to violence, then know with certainty that you have violated our own religious Laws. For then you will have taken the Shari'a into your own hands."
    Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians, Germany: Warda Publications, and United Kingdom: Aqsa Press, 2005, p.49,

    Abd al-Hakim Murad, British Muslim scholar:
    "This is a decadence that is profound. And that it happens in the holy land is particularly worrying. Near the muqadsāt, where we are particularly required to conform entirely to the adāb of the Shari’ah. This is a deep subversion. And as for those who think that for reasons of masfahah that the door can be opened there, but somehow that door will remain closed elsewhere in the world, that this door can be opened because the Palestinians are so oppressed and somehow it’s going to help them, but of course we keep it closed in Chechnya and Kahsmir and certainly in London, that logic doesn’t seem to have worked too well. That rage, that desire to self annihilation, to lash out and the men, women and children, whoever in the vicinity, is now becoming a global epidemic. And the ‘ulama who opened the little door now see these legions rushing through it in every place don’t know what to do about it. That door has to be closed. Islam is too good for such practices, for such baseness, for such wild expression of futility and despair and vindictiveness."
    Interview, December 16-18, 2005, London-Leeds-Manchester,

    Islamic Society of North America:
    "The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) condemns in the strongest terms the recent acts of terrorism in Glasgow, London and Yemen. We reaffirm our long-standing, unqualified condemnation of all acts of terrorism and all acts of violence committed against the innocent, and our denunciation of religious extremism and particularly the use of Islam to justify terrorism in any of its forms*. We sympathize with the victims of these senseless attacks and offer our heart-felt condolences to the families who have lost their dear ones."
    Islamic Society of North America Statement in Response to Recent Bombings, July 10, 2007,

    Maulana Marghubur Rahman, organizer of "Anti-Terrorism Convention" and rector of the Dar ul-Ulum Deoband madrasa, India:
    "We condemn all forms of terrorism ... and in this we make no distinction. Terrorism is completely wrong, no matter who engages in it, and no matter what religion he follows or community he belongs to."
    February 2008, translated by Yoginder Sikand,

    See also:

    Bernard Haykel, assistant professor of Islamic law at New York University:
    "According to Islamic law there are at least six reasons why Bin Laden's barbaric violence cannot fall under the rubric of jihad: 1) Individuals and organizations cannot declare a jihad, only states can; 2) One cannot kill innocent women and children when conducting a jihad; 3) One cannot kill Muslims in a jihad; 4) One cannot fight a jihad against a country in which Muslims can freely practise their religion and proselytize Islam; 5) Prominent Muslim jurists around the world have condemned these attacks and their condemnation forms a juristic consensus (ijma') against Bin Laden's actions (This consensus renders his actions un-Islamic); 6) The welfare and interest of the Muslim community (maslaha) is being harmed by Bin Laden's actions and this equally makes them un-Islamic."
    The Dawn newspaper, Karachi, Pakistan, October 8, 2001,

    See other collections of statements:

    Sheila Musaji, "Muslims Denounce Terrorism: Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism,"

    Omid Safi, "Scholars of Islam & the Tragedy of Sept. 11th,"

    Tim Lubin, Washington and Lee University, "Islamic Responses to the Sept. 11 Attack,"

    The Becket Fund, "Osama Bin Laden Hijacked Four Airplanes and a Religion," October 17, 2001,

    Islam for Today, "Muslims Against Terrorism,”, "Aftermath of the 9-11 Terrorist Attack: Voices of Moderate Muslims,"

    Al-Muhajabah's Islamic Pages, "Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks,"

    Islamic Stand on Terrorism: An International Conference, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 20-22 April 2004,

    I can post more if you wish.

  21. Racism is not condoned by the Torah

  22. Jersey Girl,

    The vast majority of your sources and quotes suffer from the criticism that I leveled before.

    They either generically condemn terrorism by which they mean any resistance to Islam. Qaradawi, who is one of those you quoted, has explicitly defended homicide attacks against Jewish children as self defense and not terrorism. Their barbaric murders are not terrorism but simple self defense.

    The other condemn terrorism but never name the religion or the perpetrators of 9/11. When you press them they admit that they are protesting the violence of the Israelis that they claim destroyed the world trade centers.

    Only 1 or 2 of the myriad statements that you quoted are true condemnations and many of the people quoted are famous Jihadists and terrorist supporters.

    Just another Jew,

    Hating a religion that is dedicated to your destruction is not racism. In any case, how do you understand the Torah's command to wipe out the 7 Canaanite nations? Obviously the Torah understands racism differently than you do.

  23. "The other condemn terrorism but never name the religion or the perpetrators of 9/11."

    What does the religion of the criminals have to do with the crime??

    There are 1.5 BILLION Muslims in the world. Are you saying that they are all criminals and terrorists just because they are Muslims???

    That is the stance of most Christians, that is that anyone who does not accept Jesus is a criminal and is damned. But that includes Jews too.

    I am a Sephardic Jew who was raised in the Jersey Shore Syrian community. My parents' Rabbis were Rabbi Kassin and Rabbi Abadi. These are the Rabbis our extended family follows.


    Hating a religion that is dedicated to your destruction is not racism. "

    Islam is not dedicated to the destruction of Judaism. Jews are a protected people under Islam.

    Catholics all over the world (1.1 billion) pray the following:

    "Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that our God and Lord may remove the veil from their hearts; that they also may acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray. Almighty and Eternal God, Who dost not exclude from Thy mercy even the faithless Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of Thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, through all endless ages. Amen."

    But somehow this does not bother you.

    In any case, how do you understand the Torah's command to wipe out the 7 Canaanite nations? Obviously the Torah understands racism differently than you do"

    The Canaanite nations were idolators who practiced a multitude of sexual perversions including child sacrifices.

    At the time monotheism was a minority movement and the Jewish people were warned to expel or destroy the Canaanite nations for fear that they would follow in their ways. Had the Hebrews continued to reside among the sexually perverse, child sacrificing Canaanite culture, monotheism would have died.

    People mistakenly think that the Torah's directive was to wipe out the Canaanites indiscriminately, in a cruel fashion. In truth, the Jews would have preferred that the nations never deserved punishment. That’s why the Canaanites were given many chances to accept peace terms. Even though abominable inhuman practice had been indoctrinated into the Canaanite psyche, the hope was that they’d change and accept the Seven Universal laws of humanity.

    There is no question that Muslims accept the Seven Noahide laws and MORE and that Islam is the religion that most closely resembles Judaism.

    I sincerely hope that you will take an opportunity to learn more about the faith of 1.5 billion people. If anything, Jews should be encouraging to Muslims because unlike all other religions of the world except for the Sikhs, Islam is NOT idolatry.

    Additionally Muslims follow much of the same laws as we do (ie, dietary laws, humane slaughter, modesty, family purity, prompt burial, forbid charging interest, give tzedakkah, separation of sexes during prayers, civil marriage, and many many more).

    Hashem put the Jewish people on this earth to be a light unto the world so that the nations of the world would want to follow us and worship the One and True G-d. In Islam we have 1.5 billion people who are doing just that.

    And yet, you Tzoorba declare them to be the enemies of those who worship the One and True G-d.

    Only Christians subscribe to the ideology that monotheists (ie Jews and Muslims) are the enemy. Unfortunately too many Jews have been influenced to the beliefs of Christianity, against our Torah.

  24. > What makes Prof. Juan Cole an anti Semite???

    His defense of the genocidal Ahmedinejad, for starters.

    > Is it because he protests MEMRI's propaganda machine??

    So MEMRI somehows tricks all those Arabs into making all those antisemitic statements, and then sneaks the video onto Arab television?

    As tzoorba commented, the self-serving definitions of "terrorism" and "innocents" that many Islamic spokesmen employ have made all their statements irrelevant, unless they specifically identify the people and actions they're supporting and condemning.

    Additionally, there's the problem of speakers offering contradictory statements to Western and Arab audiences.

    Here's Tantawi doing the twist:

  25. @ Jersey Girl,

    "The other condemn terrorism but never name the religion or the perpetrators of 9/11."

    @JG What does the religion of the criminals have to do with the crime??

    Nothing except that all the condemnations that you quote are meant against non Muslims as I pointed out with Qaradawi's 2 faced takkiya. They never condemn Muslim terror because to them it is never terror. It's always self defense even if the terror is against infants.

    When they do condemn the terrorists of 9/11 they mean the Israelis that they claim did it.

    None of them are really condemning the Saudi Muslim terrorist who committed this crime against humanity.

    @JG There are 1.5 BILLION Muslims in the world. Are you saying that they are all criminals and terrorists just because they are Muslims???

    I am saying all the evidence that I've seen of Muslim statements such as those of Hamas on their childrens' shows, publicized statements of Bin Ladin, etc. all base their attacks on Islam. Very few Muslims have come out and said that they are distorting Islam directly. They don't say Bin Ladin is distorting Islam but they say terrorism is a distortion of Islam by which they mean the self defense that Israel does is terror but the holy Jihad warriors that kill innocent civilians all over the world are only defending Islam.

    @JG That is the stance of most Christians, that is that anyone who does not accept Jesus is a criminal and is damned. But that includes Jews too.

    I never condoned hatred for Jews from any other source. The crusaders and Chmielniki and all other cursed monsters and those that sympathize with them are also worthy of destruction. However, I know of no non Muslim group actively perpetrating murders of Jews actively in the world today.

    @JG I am a Sephardic Jew who was raised in the Jersey Shore Syrian community. My parents' Rabbis were Rabbi Kassin and Rabbi Abadi. These are the Rabbis our extended family follows.

    I know Rabbi Abadi from Lakewood. These are wonderful people and worthy of following.

    I believe that you are an honest and well meaning observant person. I hope that you will never allow your opinion of the Muslims to cause you to let down your guard in dealing with them. May Hashem protect you and your family and all who are close to you from all harm.

    "Hating a religion that is dedicated to your destruction is not racism. "

    @JG Islam is not dedicated to the destruction of Judaism. Jews are a protected people under Islam.

    The Mumbai massacres and the statements shown in Fitna and the chants of the pro Palestinian marchers where they refer to Kaibar contradict this position.

    @JG Catholics all over the world (1.1 billion) pray the following:

    @JG "Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that our God and Lord may remove the veil from their hearts; that they also may acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray. Almighty and Eternal God, Who dost not exclude from Thy mercy even the faithless Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of Thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, through all endless ages. Amen."

    @JG But somehow this does not bother you.

    You didn't read what I said in my other posts that I don't pardon non Muslims for their hatred of us.

    @Tzoorba In any case, how do you understand the Torah's command to wipe out the 7 Canaanite nations? Obviously the Torah understands racism differently than you do"

    @JG The Canaanite nations were idolators who practiced a multitude of sexual perversions including child sacrifices.

    @JG At the time monotheism was a minority movement and the Jewish people were warned to expel or destroy the Canaanite nations for fear that they would follow in their ways. Had the Hebrews continued to reside among the sexually perverse, child sacrificing Canaanite culture, monotheism would have died.

    @JG People mistakenly think that the Torah's directive was to wipe out the Canaanites indiscriminately, in a cruel fashion. In truth, the Jews would have preferred that the nations never deserved punishment. That’s why the Canaanites were given many chances to accept peace terms. Even though abominable inhuman practice had been indoctrinated into the Canaanite psyche, the hope was that they’d change and accept the Seven Universal laws of humanity.

    All this is not true and a distortion of Torah. They were offered 1 chance to make peace and if they didn't accept, they were wiped out totally with mercy to them being a crime similar to mercy to Amalek.

    @JG There is no question that Muslims accept the Seven Noahide laws and MORE and that Islam is the religion that most closely resembles Judaism.

    They are not bnei Noach because the Brisker Rav says that they must accept the 7 mitzvos because Hashem commanded it at Sinai. Additionally, they don't fulfill shfichas domim when they kill Jews for nothing.

    @JG I sincerely hope that you will take an opportunity to learn more about the faith of 1.5 billion people. If anything, Jews should be encouraging to Muslims because unlike all other religions of the world except for the Sikhs, Islam is NOT idolatry.

    The rishonim disagree with you.

    @JG Additionally Muslims follow much of the same laws as we do (ie, dietary laws, humane slaughter, modesty, family purity, prompt burial, forbid charging interest, give tzedakkah, separation of sexes during prayers, civil marriage, and many many more).

    This is purely a surface similarity and any Jew that abandoned Judaism to adopt these practices would be guilty of Avoda Zara. Their religion is closer to Judaism than paganism to prepare them for the coming of Moshiach when it will be apparent that Klal Yisroel is the true people of Hashem.

    @JG Hashem put the Jewish people on this earth to be a light unto the world so that the nations of the world would want to follow us and worship the One and True G-d. In Islam we have 1.5 billion people who are doing just that.

    As long as they hate and attack G-d's chosen people, they are very far from any closeness to Hashem and deserving of destruction.

    Most of the evidence that I see today sees the major danger to our people coming from the Muslims. There may be many among them that are well intentioned. However, I have seen scant evidence that a significant number of them reject this approach. Safety calls for watching out from them and assuming that they are dangerous until proven otherwise.

  26. It's a pity to see how much the religion can lead to divide humanity... Fortunately people like Jersey Girl have had a real knowledge of true Islam, and not only media propaganda, Don't you ever asked yourself a simple question : Why US always have a clear and defined enemy ? yesterday it was communists now it's muslims... Now Concerning Israel vs Palestine it's obvious that Goliath is now Jew, David can only throw stones against the tanks... Meditate this ! Even the U.N. condemned the illegal Israelian colonies so what would you do if tomorow Russians or Chinese would invade USA and overthrow the US army ?? You would make resistance networks, you would make bomb attack... And if your all familly was brutally murdered in front of you, let me bet you could easily become a suicide bomber... Religion has nothing to do with extremism, but when mixed with complete despair and hate it makes a dangerous potion...

    I Hope you understand I don't consider ignorance like faith, So I don't consider you (Tzoorba) like religious but no more no less like a stupid supporter of the so-called best team in the so-called religious match.

    Religion should be about tolerance since the three great monotheist religions are whorshipping the same God...

    Now I've seen a list of the main terrorist countries, and I'm surprised not to see USA in it, make some research and you should learn about all the secret wars and covered operations US army has always backed to fight their oponent (maybe it's not called terrorism when you got a huge budget to cover the dirty work up...) ANGOLA, SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, IRAK, NICARAGUA, ... It should makes you think about the notions of "barbarism" "civilization" "humanism"...

    Sorry if some sentences are not correct. I'm not an english native speaker...



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