Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Jews as apes and swines

Ali Eteraz, on his blog, tried to reconsile the following statements that are in the Qu'ran, with his own notions of acceptance and religious pluralism: 5:60
Say: “Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!”
2:65
And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.”
7:166
When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions, We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.”
Eteraz goes on to justify this with the following:
I started with verse 5:60 in his translation. Say: “Shall I tell you who, in the sight of God, deserves a yet worse retribution than these? They whom God has rejected and whom He has condemned, and whom He has turned into apes and swine because they worshipped the powers of evil:” these are yet worse in station, and farther astray from the right path [than the mockers]. The first thing I noted, that I had missed the first time around when looking at this verse, was the fact that there was no mention of Jews. “They whom God has rejected and whom He has condemned” were the ones turned into apes and swine “because they worshipped the powers of evil.” Of course, that did not mean this verse didn’t refer to Jews; oh no, it did refer to them. Except, it turned out, that this verse not only referred to Jews, but also to Christians. A subsequent pharse refers to “Men of God” and “Rabbis” - with the Men of God being a reference to Christians (especially in light of the fact that in verse 66 the Gospel is mentioned explicitly). My headache wasn’t gone, but I felt a little better. A book that did not discriminate in its epithets seemed a lot more palatable than a book that seemed to single out the most persecuted group in the history of mankind. Of course, it was not exactly a relief because now I was confronted with the fact that even more people were being referred to as descendants of apes and swine! The other two ape and swine verses were limited to Jews, but thankfully they offered a way of resolving the issue. Here is how Asad had rendered the two verses: 7:166
and then, when they disdainfully persisted in doing what they had been forbidden to do, We said unto them: “Be as apes despicable!”
2:65
for you are well aware of those from among you who profaned the Sabbath, whereupon We said unto them, “Be as apes despicable!”
That “as” I knew quite well: “So am I as the rich, whose blessed key can bring him to his sweet locked up treasure” said Shakespeare. It was the “as” — the blessed “as” — of metaphor! I rejoiced a hundred times over. A metaphor means that the finality of language is absent. Being “as” something is not the same as being something. Could it be that the Quran was engaged in metaphor-making? If references to apes and swines were metaphors, it meant that the people being referred to had expressed the qualities of an “ape” and the qualities of a “pig.” Given the fact that in classical Arabic an ape was someone impulsive and a pig was someone stubborn, the metaphors seemed almost innocous (Especially since in all languages animals are used as referrants for certain qualities. Once we could learn what qualities classical Arabic invoked when referring to those animals, we could understand what the metaphor was referring to. Before I got too excited I wanted to be certain this “as” was not a mere blip on the radar. I had too many feelings hurt to risk hurting them again. So I went and consulted another translation, this one by Shakir. 7:166
Therefore when they revoltingly persisted in what they had been forbidden, We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated.
2:65
And certainly you have known those among you who exceeded the limits of the Sabbath, so We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated.
Granted that the other two famous English translations (Yusuf Ali and Pickthall), did not have the metaphorical “as” in them the presence of the “as” in two of the more famous translations was enough to get my mind churning, and this time I was not reliant upon any authority except that of my God given reason. Suddenly I started to see patterns in the Quran that further cast light on these questionable (and certainly questionably used) verses. First, I noticed that 2:65 was part of a flashback sequence beginning at 2:47 where the Quran was addressing the Jewish and Christian communities in the time of Muhammad and asking them to revisit their own theological histories and their relationship with God. In other words, the addressees were the Jews and Christians of that time (those alive in the life of Muhammad). This is an important distinction because the Quran treats the time during which Muhammad was alive, different than all other times. Things that were allowed, or done, during the life of Muhammad, were often not allowed, or done, after his passing. Consider: Muhammad was allowed to have nine wives, but all other Muslims can, at most, have up to four (and even there the Quran question whether one can act favorably). Muhammad was required to stay up and pray all night; all later Muslims are not so required. Muhammad was the one allowed to exact jizya from the dhimmis; after his passing the distinction was to be abolished (but sadly was not — more on this some other day). Thus, the fact that the Quran directly addressed only those Jews and Christians alive in Muhammad’s time, was significant. Then, far more astoundingly, I noticed that the sequence starting at 2:47 actually opened with the incredible assertion: “O children of Israel! Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and how I favoured you above all other people.” Pardon? This seemed to me like the clearest case of the Quran picking favorites, and the presence of verses that spoke favorably of Jews and Christians at the opening of the passage soothed me somewhat further. It more firmly established the conversational nature of the discussion in the Quran. I also recalled the hadith of the Prophet which stated that of all the Prophets, Moses was God’s favorite. At this point, I wondered whether there were other cases of “animalization” in the Quran. Whether one could truly conclude that the verses that bothered me were metaphors. While others may be aware of more, I found a couple of astounding ones. In Surah Fil, the Chapter of Elephant, in reference to an attack made upon Mecca before the birth of Muhammad, the Quran says, referring to those that fought the invading army from Yemen: 105:3
let loose upon them great swarms of flying creatures

Some Muslim commentators, the same ones that thought that ape and pig were references to literal transformation, have interpreted this verse to mean that a swarm of flying creatures, literally, were let loose upon the invaders. However, when considered in light of classical Arabic, we realize that the idea of a “great swarm of flying creatures” was a metaphor popular among the poets in the day to refer to the state of utter decimation wrought by a group of brave warriors (the metaphor was likely popular because birds (kites and vultures) often hung out near battle-fields). Another metaphor about animals was popular among poets of pre-Islamic Arabia. Although not in the Quran, this was the notion of the hamstrung camel, which was a metaphor for exile and loneliness. While the hamstrung camel does not appear in the Quran, the pregnant, kneeling, camel does (in the thirtieth Juz), and refers to a feeling of alienation. In any case, in the Chapter of the Elephant, in a non-Jewish/Christian context, the Quran had animalized a group of people (namely, the Quraysh which included the Prophet’s grandfather). This gave me further proof that the reference to apes and swines was a metaphorical representation of the qualities that certain group of historical people exhibited which were like the qualities exhibited by certain animals familiar to the Arabs and was not a suggestion that Jews or Christians were the descendants of such animals, nor was it meant to read that they were animals to this day. Under classical Arabic, anyone could be an ape (if they were stubborn) just as anyone could be a hamstrung or pregnant camel (if they were lonely).

To this I wrote the following: I think that to say that any group either ‘acts like apes’ or ‘becomes apes’ because they do not adhere to imaginery commandments given from en high is highly offensive. There is no excuse for Mohammed’s words. None. Zero. I see how you are making excuses, but I read the Koran and was gagging throughout at his moral pronouncements he made against others without even knowing Judaic or Christian law. How does he know what a good Jew is to do or a good Christian to do? And yet he says they are horrible for not being good Jews or good Christians. I would never proclaim a Muslim who does not keep Halal or who does not pray five times a day a bad Muslim. It is not for me to say. What gave Mohammed or anyone the right to make a pronouncement on the laws of another group, when he was a self professed illiterate who had only a base understanding of Judaism and Christianity? This is intolerance personified. It is not excusable. And it is rife throughout the Koran. You know this to be true. On page three of the Koran, he spoke of the Infidels. It is one of the most intolerant documents I have read. And where is the tolerance for other faiths? Through the ‘dhimmi’ laws? That is hardly tolerance. Maybe seventh century tolerance, but hardly 21st century tolerance. That does not mean that Islam cannot be reformed, but it will require excising or ignoring whole sections of the Koran. This is just a fact. This is a very difficult task for any reformer to make. Now, I know you are a tolerant person who clearly does not view Jews as apes or pigs. So how can you justify these words? ---------------- What do you think? Do Ali Eteraz's words make sense to you all, or are you not persuaded by his justification to the 'apes and pigs' quote in the Qu'ran?

25 comments:

Monkey Chops said...

If you look at Michael Mills' reply in that same thread, he pretty much nails it on the head. I'll reproduce it here:

"I think you are missing the point because of your excessively judeophilic outlook.

Your line of reasoning seems to be:

1. The Jews are the measure of all goodness.

2. Accordingly, any person or ideology that expresses a negative view about Jews must be in opposition to goodness, ie it must be bad.

3. If Muhammad as a person, or Islam as an ideology, expresses negative views about Jews, they must therefore be bad.

4. Accordingly, if I, Eteraz, am to preserve my feelings of self-worth as a Muslim, I must strive to prove that neither Muhammad nor Islam expresses any negative views about Jews.

But your premiss that the Jews as an entity are beyond criticism is faulty. No human group is beyond criticism; any human group must be criticised when it offends against another human group.

The essential issue is not whether Muhammad said that a particular group of Jews was literally transformed into apes, or whether he said that they acted like apes.

It is the message that Muhammad was trying to convey to his listeners, the moral that he was trying to teach, namely that disobedience to the law given by God will result in divine punishment in one form or another.

In this particular case, Muhammad is addressing the Jews, and adjuring them to obey the Law revealed to them through the prophet Moses. He makes a very fleeting reference to a story about a group of Jews who disobeyed the Law of Moses, specifically the laws relating to keeping the Sabbath holy, and suffered divine punishment by losing their human status through transformation into apes.

Later Muslim commentators elucidated that fleeting reference by Muhammad by telling the whole story, which must have been a fairly well-known folktale among the Arab peoples at the time these verses were spoken and recorded.

The story concerned a Jewish community living in Eilat by the Red Sea, whose livelihood was derived from fishing. Some of the Jews contrived to go fishing on the Sabbath by various stratagems, such as preparing their tackle on the previous day. On doing so, they were consistently transgressing the law against doing any work on the Sabbath, and were warned by the rest of the community to desist from their sinful ways. However, the breakers of the Sabbath continued in their transgression, and one day the virtuous Jews found that the Sabbath-breakers had all been turned into apes.

The whole nature of the story, with its contrast between “good” Jews who obey the Law of Moses and keep the Sabbath and “bad” Jews who disobey the Law and transgress the Sabbath, and the divine punishment visited upon the latter, indicates that it has a Jewish origin. It is an example of “aggada”, Jewish folk-tales that had a moral purpose, a way of teaching the less-educated common people about the Law of Moses and why it must be obeyed.

Like many stories of Jewish origin, that particular tale must have been transmitted to the Arab tribes, most probably through the Jewish tribes living in the Arabian peninsula, such as those of Madina. Much of Muhammad’s recorded teaching incorporated into the Qur’an is based on material derived from Jewish sources.

It is quite obvious that Muhammad regarded the Law of Moses as a divine law that had been revealed to the Jews, in the same way as he regarded the Christian teaching as a divine law that had been revealed through the prophet Jesus, although he considered that both Jews and Christians had distorted the divine law given to them, and were to be condemned for that.

Thus, these particular utterances by Muhammad had a dual purpose. On the one hand, they were addressed to the Jews, warning them to obey the divine law revealed to them through the prophet Moses, or else suffer divine punishment, such as that which had been visited upon the Sabbath-breakers in the moral tale to which he fleetingly referred. On the other hand, they were addressed to his own followers, warning them to obey the divine law that was now being revealed to them through him, as the last of the prophets, with the implication that disobedience would bring divine punishment in the same way as it was visited upon Jews who disobeyed their own law."

That's all there is to it. So if there's anyone who should be censored, it was the Jews who first started narrating the folk tale!

I noticed another question raised in your reply to Eretz - namely, why should he tell the Jews and Christians off for being bad? Er, he was a Prophet. He was doing what numerous Prophets did before him, like Moses, or Jesus. The whole point of guiding a nation as a Prophet is to show them where they're going wrong and correct them. It looks to me as if you're trolling the poor guy.

Monkey Chops said...

Additional - I meant 'Eteraz'. Who the hell is Eretz? Hehe. Apologies for spelling his name completely wrong.

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops,

I think you may like Eteraz's blog, and let it be known that I am reading blogs of Muslims who seek to reform the faith. (and commenting on them) Now onto what you have to say...

None of it contradicts what I said earlier.

The point is that moral parables were taken by Mohammed to be absolutely fact, and then given as a pronouncement as to the goodness or evil of an entire group of people. THAT IS THE POINT.

How dare he or any non-Jew declare what it means to be a good Jew or a bad Jew?

And yet he does that. He does more than that.

He says "Jews as a group are bad because they have disobeyed various Jewish laws."

And yet the stories he cites are parables from the bible - unproven fairy tales, tales which were construed merely as moral lessons - as "proof" of the transgressions of the Jews. This is nonsense itself.

A perfect example is how Mohammed exclaims the evil of Jews for worshipping the golden calf. Guess what? There is no proof that the golden calf ever existed, and he makes proclamations against Jews as a people based on fairy tales.

How does this pass muster? I fail to understand this.

Red Tulips said...

P.S.: Thanks for stopping by! I know I have strong opinions, but I do enjoy this exchange.

Monkey Chops said...

I think you're missing the point. Yes, he takes them as true stories, but the spirit of the stories are that by disobeying God, you're going to lose out. The stories DO NOT say the Jews as a group are bad. It never says that. It says that there were a group of Jews who acted contrary to their beliefs and suffered for it. It's like the example of a father saying to a younger child not to be like his/her disobedient brother or sister. The Arabs are the Semitic brothers of the Jews, if only they would remember.

The Qur'an DOES NOT say the Jews or Christians ON THE WHOLE are evil. Just that there are flawed elements within each group and that Muslims should not be like them, but be instead like those who were good. It's not complicated.

Golden calves? Man, talk about a tangent! I'm not sure what your point is. The Qur'an is just repeating an incident that's related in Jewish tradition. It does so to reinforce the claim it is from the same God. There are other elements that conflict with previous revelation, but then, the whole style in which the Qur'an was written conflicts with previous revelation!

Look, the gist of Islamic thought in relation to Jewish and Christian belief is this: Abraham is considered to be the first to create the title 'Muslim' i.e. one who submits to God's will. Later on, the Jews were the Chosen People of God, and they had a covenant with God which they did not honour. This is confirmed in the Torah and classical Jewish thought. Orthodox Jews accept this and lament it daily. They were promised a Messiah who would redeem them and guide them back God's pleasure. To Christians and Muslims, he turned out to be Jesus, but he was rejected by the very people he came to save. Jesus told his followers to wait for the 'Praiseworthy' to come after him who would complete the chain of Prophets. That Prophet was the Muslim Prophet. The Christians, i.e. those Jews who believed in Jesus, got carried away and named Jesus the literal Son of God and messed up. So, basically, the Jews had their chance and blew it, the Christians had their chance and blew it, so now it's the Muslims' turn to try and get things right. At the same time, they're taught to avoid repeating the mistakes of their predecessors. One way is by narrating examples in the Qur'an of such errors. You neglect the fact that the Jews and Christians are not the only ones condemned. The Arab people of Aad and Thamud were also condemned by God. The Arab polytheists are the most rebuked characters in the Qur'an. If the Prophet had contact with Buddhists and Hindus, I expect the Qur'an would have said they, too, messed up. No one was getting it right. That is why Islam came about; to rectify things once and for all.

That's Islamic thought regarding the standing of Jews and Christians in a nutshell.

Monkey Chops said...

By the way, I think if your translation states that ALL Jews were condemned for worshipping the golden calf, then you're referring to a very iffy translation. The problem with reliance on English translations is twofold - first, you have to be aware of the translator's agenda in translating the Qur'an and second, you have to be aware that classical Arabic is absolutely loaded with metaphor that sometimes a literal translation can appear more harsh than it actually is.

For this reason, I seriously suggest you pick up this translation: http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/ReligionTheology/Islam/~~/dmlldz11c2EmY2k9OTc4MDE5MjgzMTkzNA==

It addresses both problems. First, the translator admits that his translation is not authoritative, because it's impossible for any translation to do the Qur'an justice, in addition, some translations have a political slant that affects its meaning. Second, he attempts to translate in the context of when and where each verse was revealed. It's very well-done.

Monkey Chops said...

"Thanks for stopping by! I know I have strong opinions, but I do enjoy this exchange."

Just noticed that! Lol. Strong opinions are only cool when they're informed opinions. I don't feel you're quite informed on this topic, which is why I'm happy to chat about it! Hehe.

Red Tulips said...

Chops:

I am quite aware of the ire that Mohammed had for the polytheists, and think it deplorable. Who is he to judge what God anyone worships? There is a little thing called freedom of choice. Unless polytheism hurts Muslims, who are they to judge it?

I note that Judaism and Christianity also takes swipes at polytheists, and I think very wrongly. This is extreme intolerance and I make no excuse for it.

That said, Buddhists are NOT polytheists, and not all Hindus are polytheists. This is a misconception.

In any case, my POINT is that Mohammed clearly acts as judge and jury for the conduct of others - ie, speaking of how good a Jew or Christian they are. What exactly gives him the right to do this?

Red Tulips said...

I want to note this: I will accept that maybe my Qu'ran is a different translation than others. I am not reading the texts in their original language, obviously. It is possible that the denigration of Jews as a people is the product of my translation as opposed to others. But unless you read the Qu'ran in the original Arabic, then how do you know YOUR translation is correct?

Monkey Chops said...

"I am quite aware of the ire that Mohammed had for the polytheists, and think it deplorable. Who is he to judge what God anyone worships? There is a little thing called freedom of choice. Unless polytheism hurts Muslims, who are they to judge it?"

Are you even remotely familiar with what that Arab polytheism entailed? It entailed female infanticide, men gambling their wives away as if they were commodities, the use of divining arrows to settle disputes(!), the idea that if a member of one tribe was murdered by another, rather than punish the actual murderer, ANY person from that offending tribe could be killed in retribution... it goes on and on. There is a reason the pre-Islamic period is known as 'Jahiliya' ('Ignorance'). If you find condemning such atrocities as deplorable, then I am at a loss for words.

Also - "Unless polytheism hurts Muslims, who are they to judge it?" Er. Considering Muslims were persecuted prior to and after the Hijrah, I think they had every right to judge it and fight back. I thought you read up on Islamic history?

I'm not saying Buddhism or Hinduism is polytheistic. I am aware that Buddhism is non-theist and Hindus insist they are monotheists. What I'm saying is that - from the Islamic point of view - they probably received Prophets too, but along the way, distorted the original teaching of their Prophets. The Qur'an says that every nation had received a Prophet and that no nation was held accountable for its sins until a Prophet was sent to them. My point is, Islam is seen as the final revelation to human beings. The Jews and Christians were rebuked in the Qur'an because a) they already disobeyed a wealth of Prophets and b) they were an example of people the Muslims actually knew.

"In any case, my POINT is that Mohammed clearly acts as judge and jury for the conduct of others - ie, speaking of how good a Jew or Christian they are. What exactly gives him the right to do this?"

What gave Isaiah the right? What gave Moses, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Aaron, David, Solomon, Jesus and all the other Prophets the right? THE FACT THAT THEY ARE PROPHETS! That they were Jewish is irrelevant. We stake claim to those Prophets just as much as the Jews do, if not more so.

Besides, the fundamental difference between you and I is the belief of who is judging whom. The Qur'an, in my belief, is from God, so He can judge whoever He likes. You say the Prophet wrote it (even though you state he is illiterate) - therein lies the problem.

"It is possible that the denigration of Jews as a people is the product of my translation as opposed to others. But unless you read the Qu'ran in the original Arabic, then how do you know YOUR translation is correct?"

The translation I recommend is from an Arab man, not a non-Muslim 'expert'. Second, it has been recommended to me by Islamic scholars, who are also experts in Arabic themselves. I didn't just pluck the recommendation out of thin air. I have also read the Qur'an in Arabic and have some familiarity with the meaning of certain verses. Hope that alleviates your concern. But like I said, no translation is definitive. It's impossible. But I can say that if the Prophet hated the Jews, he would not have married one, nor would he have let them reside in Medina as he created his Islamic state. I've been through that argument with you before. I'm actually quite surprised you're even adopting this approach considering the majority of Muslims (outside Palestine, heh) don't actually believe the dislike for Jews should have anything to do with what the Qur'an says about them. The Europeans have already provided plenty of anti-Jewish literature for that purpose, anyway.

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

How does a 'prophet' status give anyone the right to judge what other people do? Mohammed had a right to judge what fellow Muslims were doing. He had no right to judge what non Muslims were doing, unless it hurt them.

Polytheism in and of itself does not hurt anyone. All it implies is worshipping more than one God. THAT IS IT. And yet there is a strong rebuke to the polytheists - as if they are inherently evil. On what planet??

As far as the practices of polytheists at the time...well, female genital mutilation still occurs in much of the Muslim world. Muslims kill Muslims as retribution for Muslim death - and let me add that Mohammed advocated this himself. Then there is the fact that Mohammed actually instigated wars against the polytheists - it was not just wars of defense.

Mohammed married a Jew in a forced marriage, and converted her to Islam. This is not proof of any love of Jewry, and actually is proof of his hatred of Jewry.

As far as whether Mohammed was literate or not - I said he was a self professed illiterate. There is proof that in fact he was able to read, however. He conducted business and had to keep records. There is no proof, in contrast, that the 'revelations' were anything but conveniences that he made up for his purposes.

I realize you have faith. But do you actually have PROOF that anything Mohammed said was the word of God? Much of what was said in fact was highly convenient for Mohammed, is highly illogical, and highly un-Godlike.

For instance, Aisha was alone with a man who was not her husband, after she got left behind when a caravan went ahead without her. This caused a suspicion that she had intercourse with said man. Aisha told Mohammed that she was chaste, and he did not believe her - he needed the 'revelation' from God to prove this. And the 'revelation' said that four male witnesses were necessary to prove intercourse. This is illogical and obviously offensive and has led to women being convicted AND JAILED in Muslim countries for the 'crime' of rape. It is also a highly beneficial and convenient 'revelation' to have.

Moreover, even assuming, arguendo, that Mohammed spoke 'revelations,' how do you know which were from God and which were from Satan? After all, Mohammed himself admitted that he had revelations from Satan (when he accepted a deal to worship the idols of the polytheists for a year in exchange for their worshipping Allah for a year). So how could any of his revelations be accepted as genuinely from Allah, given he earlier stated that some were from Satan? This is known as the 'Satanic verses' incident.

In short, why should the word of Mohammed be accepted on face value, just because he said it?

I am aware of the ludicrousness of many Jewish and Christian scriptures. I also don't believe in any of them. I am an equal opportunity offender in that sense and see no reason to say "Well, Judaism is right and Islam is wrong." I am not saying that. But to say what you are saying about Mohammed's revelations simply falls outside the realm of what I would consider to be credible.

I would like to add that Judaism also does not spend half the bible taking pot shots at the other faiths. It does not spend half the bible saying how wrong any other faith is. And, to put Judaism on the same page as Christianity and Islam, the Talmud and Mishna (written after the development of Christianity) does not spend the time to go through why Christianity is wrong. This is just not what Judaism does. It does not sit there in judgment of other faiths. Rather, it sits there in judgment against Jews.

Monkey Chops said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monkey Chops said...

OK. I'll tackle these issues one at a time.

"How does a 'prophet' status give anyone the right to judge what other people do? Mohammed had a right to judge what fellow Muslims were doing. He had no right to judge what non Muslims were doing, unless it hurt them."

That doesn't make any sense. Islam was a brand new religion; there was no chain of guidance for the Arabs to rely on prior to it. There was no benchmark or way of adequately explaining why Muslims had to be good people. They were functioning as they were, even if it was morally bankrupt. The Prophet could see that they were capable of so much more (and he was right - the Islamic Empire is testament to that). THAT is why reference was made to the actions of Jews and Christians. They couldn't go by what their polytheist neighbours were doing, because it was so completely disconnected from any credible tenets, whereas the Jewish and Christian morals were not. The Jews and Christians mocked the Arabs for not having their own Prophet, believing that God had abandoned them. The rise of Islam challenged that point of view, much to some Jewish and Christian distaste. Your comments are proof of that.

"Polytheism in and of itself does not hurt anyone. All it implies is worshipping more than one God. THAT IS IT. And yet there is a strong rebuke to the polytheists - as if they are inherently evil. On what planet??"

No - the verses address those polytheists of Arabia, whose behaviour was not 'evil' but very, very ignorant. For a man to stand up and tell them burying their infant daughters alive was wrong was perceived as a direct attack on their way of life. They responded by attacking and persecuting the Prophet and his followers. The Arabs were well-aware of Abraham and Ishmael, but chose to ignore their teachings for a completely unhealthy way of life. Your argument on this point is quite redundant.

"As far as the practices of polytheists at the time...well, female genital mutilation still occurs in much of the Muslim world. Muslims kill Muslims as retribution for Muslim death - and let me add that Mohammed advocated this himself. Then there is the fact that Mohammed actually instigated wars against the polytheists - it was not just wars of defense."

Yes, injustice still occurs. That's life. Your point is irrelevant. The mutilation issue is a cultural phenomenon, arising in African countries, and has existed prior to the spread of Islam. That's a no-brainer. I'm saying that the culture of the time of the Jahiliya was to punish a person who committed no crime. The Prophet 'instigated' wars? If repeated attacks on your community makes living peacefully untenable, how is that not an act of defence? Please qualify which war he waged that was not in defence of his community. Again, your point is redundant.

"Mohammed married a Jew in a forced marriage, and converted her to Islam. This is not proof of any love of Jewry, and actually is proof of his hatred of Jewry."

That's a distortion of the facts. Please back up your version with an authoritative account by an expert in Islamic history.

"As far as whether Mohammed was literate or not - I said he was a self professed illiterate. There is proof that in fact he was able to read, however. He conducted business and had to keep records. There is no proof, in contrast, that the 'revelations' were anything but conveniences that he made up for his purposes.

I realize you have faith. But do you actually have PROOF that anything Mohammed said was the word of God? Much of what was said in fact was highly convenient for Mohammed, is highly illogical, and highly un-Godlike."

Muslims acknowledge he could probably read accounts and things to keep his business in order, but there is absolutely no proof of poetic or literary knowledge on his part. It's incredible to accuse him of forming revelation on the fly because of the consistency in the poetic flow of the Qur'an. It's something that has not been reproduced in the Arabic dialect to this day.

"For instance, Aisha was alone with a man who was not her husband, after she got left behind when a caravan went ahead without her. This caused a suspicion that she had intercourse with said man. Aisha told Mohammed that she was chaste, and he did not believe her - he needed the 'revelation' from God to prove this. And the 'revelation' said that four male witnesses were necessary to prove intercourse. This is illogical and obviously offensive and has led to women being convicted AND JAILED in Muslim countries for the 'crime' of rape. It is also a highly beneficial and convenient 'revelation' to have."

You're distorting the facts again. The Prophet never said he disbelieved her, but he did not know how to go about defending her from the slander. It was not sufficient to just say 'she is innocent' because human beings are prone to gossip and slander even when people deny any guilt. Look at the celebrity news for proof. You then make an absurd leap to imprisonment for rape! The reason four witnesses are required simply nips the gossip in the bud - if you can't prove she committed adultery, your testimony in any future event is no longer considered reliable. That is the ACTUAL application of that rule. A slanderer is seen as a liar in society, if any Islamic country actually carried out Sharia'ah law! This protected women from slander. Trust me, I know very well from personal experience the damaging effect such unchecked slander has on Muslim women, hence the need for such a rule. But if you want to continue spouting bullshit on this, I could not care less.

"Moreover, even assuming, arguendo, that Mohammed spoke 'revelations,' how do you know which were from God and which were from Satan? After all, Mohammed himself admitted that he had revelations from Satan (when he accepted a deal to worship the idols of the polytheists for a year in exchange for their worshipping Allah for a year). So how could any of his revelations be accepted as genuinely from Allah, given he earlier stated that some were from Satan? This is known as the 'Satanic verses' incident."

That's irrelevant. The Satanic Verses incident is not considered a reliable account in the slightest! It is considered to be one of the weakest stories connected to the Prophet's life. It's not even worthy of a response. Your arguments are getting a bit desperate! Next point:

"In short, why should the word of Mohammed be accepted on face value, just because he said it?"

True. In response, the Qur'an challenges its reader to write something more profound and moving to sway 1 billion hearts and minds, but so far, no one has succeeded. Until then, Muslims are entitled to believe the Prophet. If you can do better, then please, be my guest. I swear I will renounce Islam if you can write a book that can sway peoples' hearts because of its poetry and metaphor. If you can write a book that can galvanise a small village of people to become Empire-builders, with their own set of laws, to the extent they are willing to die protecting what you espouse, I swear I will renounce being Muslim. The proof of the pudding is in the taste.

"I am aware of the ludicrousness of many Jewish and Christian scriptures. I also don't believe in any of them. I am an equal opportunity offender in that sense and see no reason to say "Well, Judaism is right and Islam is wrong." I am not saying that. But to say what you are saying about Mohammed's revelations simply falls outside the realm of what I would consider to be credible."

I believe in the scriptures preceding the Qur'an and respect them, as the Qur'an commands. I love and respect all Jews and Christians who profess their faith, as the Qur'an commands. That's not a 'liberal' interpretation - that is the exact same quality the Prophet enjoined upon his community, for which you have not once managed to find an example against. I respect your choice not to believe, and that's fine by me. In the end, it depends on faith. Reason alone cannot work in any religion's favour because they all ask us to suspend reason in various degrees. That is the way of faith. The criticism of Jews and Christians in the Qur'an is NOT based on racial, but ideological lines.

"I would like to add that Judaism also does not spend half the bible taking pot shots at the other faiths. It does not spend half the bible saying how wrong any other faith is. And, to put Judaism on the same page as Christianity and Islam, the Talmud and Mishna (written after the development of Christianity) does not spend the time to go through why Christianity is wrong. This is just not what Judaism does. It does not sit there in judgment of other faiths. Rather, it sits there in judgment against Jews."

I imagine if the Qur'an was not the Last Revelation, it would be far less condemning of what came before, but because this is the last chance humanity has at getting things right, there is a degree of urgency in its tone. I don't know why you're so outraged by this, because the idea behind each story in the Qur'an is to remind Muslims why they cannot go wrong in the same way as their predecessors. It's not to be used as a license to persecute Jews or Christians, but to learn from them. Mike Mills' comments reproduced above already said this. If you're continuing to drone on and on on this point, you're essentially not listening at all *shrugs shoulders*.

Jews don't criticise Christians? Because it's not written, doesn't mean it does not happen. My Jewish friend told me he was raised to believe Jesus was the illegitimate offspring of a Roman soldier! Please. There is definitely an intellectual snobbery prevalent in Jewish and Christian thought to this very day. I encounter it whenever my Jewish or Christian friends discuss Islam with me. I'm not bothered, because they have their revelation and I have mine and hope God judges us fairly. So please, spare me that nonsense!

Desi Monkey said...

"There is no excuse for Mohammed’s words. None. Zero. I see how you are making excuses, but I read the Koran and was gagging throughout at his moral pronouncements he made against others without even knowing Judaic or Christian law"

Firstly, it MUST be clarified that the Qur'an is, according to Muslim belief, the WORD OF GOD. You have referred to the Qur'an on numerous occasions as being the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Bear in mind that the Qur'an is read by all Muslims to be revelation from God, so there is NO reason for you to read it from any alternate perspective. Remember, if Muslims read the Qur'an believing it to be from the Prophet (SAW), then the revelation (5:60) is read in a very different light. When read under the belief that it is a revelation from GOD, then Surah 5, Ayat 60 can be interpreted to be a reminder from God to all believers- The people in the story tried to trick God, and He punished them for it. Whether this is metaphorically or literally should be of little concern because the message remains the same: God is watching us all the time, and He always knows our innermost intentions; remember this, and act accordingly; do not try to fool Him.

If we took your perspective that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) wrote the Qur'an, and this revelation in particular, then the response you have given would be understandable. Might I stress once more that Muslims DO NOT read the Qur'an as being the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Therefore all the arguments that you have presented are fundamentally flawed to a Muslim. It is God who speaks about the Jews and Christians in the Qur'an, NOT the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Secondly, if you have a truly inquistive mind, then I encourage you to go and seek further knowledge about the Qur'an from the ISLAMIC perspectives. There are a wealth of books available to you in order to study the verses of the Qur'an, and the narrations of the ahadith in great detail. I, as a Muslim feel it to be inappropriate to be discussing such issues on a blog. Both Muslims and non-Muslims alike have spent centuries trying to understand the Qur'an, producing masses of literature on the subject. A blog is an insuffient tool in your quest (as you appear to have undertaken), in understanding our revelation. For example, Eteraz by no means appears to be qualified enough in the field to have justified his stance.

In regards to the relationship between Muslims, Christians and Jews. The Qur'an is incredibly clearcut- They are both refered to as "The People of the Book"- the people to whom God revealed Himself to BEFORE Islam came about. We are constantly reminded in the Qur'an and by the actions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to treat them with kindness and tolerance. In relation to your reference to the wife of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who you claim to have been "forced" into marriage, I wish to make 2 points. Firstly Muslims do not believe that she was forced. HOWEVER, for the sake of argument lets say she was. Regardless of this, Muslims are still commanded to love and respect her. Whether she was Jewish or not, all Muslims love and respect her, as we must all the wives of the Prophet, (peace be upon them all.)

Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was told that he was the "Seal of the Prophets," that the revelation he brought was to confirm the ones that had come before. Therefore, we Muslims cannot disregard either Christians or Jews and their scriptures in God's eyes, because we have no right to. We have to understand, and this counts for everyone, that God will judge us all individually. Our concerns (as Muslims) do not lie with condemning any other faith- we're too worried trying to practise our own! I am saying this as a Muslim myself, which I believe in itself gives me some credibility to speak out on how I feel about non-Muslims.

Also, you speak of the context in which Islam was revealed:

"How does a 'prophet' status give anyone the right to judge what other people do? Mohammed had a right to judge what fellow Muslims were doing. He had no right to judge what non Muslims were doing, unless it hurt them.

Polytheism in and of itself does not hurt anyone. All it implies is worshipping more than one God. THAT IS IT. And yet there is a strong rebuke to the polytheists - as if they are inherently evil. On what planet??"

In response to this I urge you to research the state of pre-Islamic Arabia. Monkey Chops has given you examples of their practices many a time, but you may not have realised the most important trend that emerges: that of inequality. Let me put it like this- the Arabs were so morally corrupt, so ignorant at the time, that the ruling empires did not even bother with them. When Islam came about, the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) emphasised social, political and economic fairness. For example, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in his Last Sermon said:

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action."

The only way in which mankind is encouraged to compete is in terms of piety- in terms of pleasing God.

This brings me onto my final point: The motives of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW.) You appear to speak of a man who had many a selfish motive in the message he brought. Yet I fail to see what was so selfish in a message that said to mankind (not just to the Arabs- he was a Prophet sent to the whole of mankind,) to believe in One God. He risked his life on countless occasions just to bring about this one message- why? I invite you to reflect on this simple question. Why would a man, aged 40, with little to gain and much to lose ask the world to believe in God? Not in his own supremacy over mankind- The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) never said he was a king, or anything but a Prophet. In fact, he constantly reminded everyone that he was merely a human, and a slave of GOD. Why would a man who wanted power call himself a slave to someone else? Especially to a God we cannot see?

Monkey Chops said...

I co-sign Desi Monkey's comments. Your questions have definitely been answered.

Red Tulips said...

Chops:

The POINT is that the supposed transgressions of the Jews were out of context biblical stories that were mangled by Mohammed to prove some sort of a 'moral lesson.' This is the very basis of Islam - out of context biblical quotes to prove a 'moral lesson' of what Islam is superior, and why Judaism and Christianity is inferior, for not recognizing Islam's superiority. There is a post on this site that actually explains how Islam has engaged in wholesale Judaic revision to cast itself as the superior religion - wholly inventing and ignoring Jewish texts.

http://cultureforall.blogspot.com/2006/11/muslims-and-jews.html

As far as the polytheists - it was not just the BEHAVIOR that was at issue. It was the very notion that they worshipped multiple gods. This was seen as offensive in and of itself.

I do not believe Mohammed was a prophet, and in fact there is literally zero proof he was a prophet. I also an outraged at Mohammed personally for massacring three Jewish tribes. We are al aware of the stories. He literally committed a genocide upon three Jewish tribes, and then drove the rest of the Jews from Medina fleeing for their lives.

As far as the story of Mohammed marrying a Jewish woman - it was a story of rape and conquest. He forcibly married her against her will, a 57 year old man marrying a 17 year old, whose entire family he slaughtered. The fact that you show this as some kind of benevolence on his part, frankly, stuns me.

http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/safiyah.htm

Of course, there is also the Quranic justification for sex with slave girls, and the free will of the woman is ignored.

http://www.answering-islam.de/Main///Authors/Arlandson/women_slaves.htm

http://answering-islam.org/Silas/femalecaptives.htm

And then there is of course the undeniable fact that under Sharia law it takes four male witnesses to prove a rape, which occurred as a consequence for Mohammed's convenient revelation concerning Aisha.

The Islamic Empire is not a testemant to Islam's greatness. It was relatively better off than Medevil Europe, but was harldy a model unto itself. The oppressive dhimmi laws were hardly a model of tolerance, and most of the achievements during the Islamic Empire occurred DESPITE Sharia law, and not because of it.

I personally believe the following about the Satanic Verses. Mohammed made a pact with the Quaraysh, and then realized the pact went against his teachings. He then decided to go against the pact, and in order to do that, excused it by saying that 'Satan spoke through him.' I no sooner believe Satan spoke through him than I believe God spoke through him. The verses were originally in the Quran, and then expunged, as they were embarrassing. Why would they have ever been included to begin with - something so embarrassing?

http://www.liberalislam.net/satan.html

The bottom line is that Mohammed was a man, and as a man, he was fallible and prone to make mistakes - as we all do. He did some good in uniting people, and some terrible evil in killing off thousands of Jews. He personally beheaded people - and so we see beheading in the modern day.

As far as the warfare - Banu Quarayza never committed any overtly hostile act. And yet they were wiped out. What did they do? Breach a treaty? And what was that treaty? To be treated as dhimmis! Some treaty. And they were wiped out. This is not me saying it - this is Islamic sources, that spoke of the annihilation of the Banu Quarazya.

Now, in terms of the Jewish people criticizing other faiths - of course they do! I am doing that now! Of course, the point is that the scriptures are largely silent on other faiths, and it is not the Jewish religion, but rather the Jewish people who are doing the criticizing. Moreover, the Jewish faith does not cast any other faith in the same light that Islam does Judaism and Christianity.

That said, I will be the first to say that there was massive brutality chronicled in the Torah. The difference, of course, is most Jews do not actually follow the literal word of the Torah, whereas most Muslims seem to think the Quran is the literal word of God that must be followed to the T in order to be a good Muslim.

Desi Monkey:

You simply are saying something wholly ludicrous. If one were to accept that the Quran is the actual word of God, then it would mean that God is a mean spirited and vengeful, anti-woman God who actually cares about the day to day occurrences of mankind. This is not only illogical, it is flat out offensive. So let's look at things logically, rather than irrationally, and examine what actually was said in the Quran, and what that implies.

Non Muslims are to be despised dhimmis.

Women as second class citizens.

Slaves permitted - sex with slaves (without the slave's permission is permitted)

Polygamy permitted (but only for men, of course)

Wars on the flimsiest excuses permitted - wars of annihilation permitted.

This is all in the Quran. This is the exact, 100%, 'word of God.' Is this rational? Does this make any sense at all? Why would God actually care about the well being of mankind, and if such a God did care, then why would such illogical results be there?

Desi, you say that the Quran emphasized social fairness. Are the dhimmi laws really fair? Are the dhimmi laws really just? How can you possibly say this is 'fairness'?

As far as the earlier scriptures - as I already explained, Islam does not actually care about the earlier scriptures, as it totally rewrites them to suit its purposes.

As far as Mohammed's motives - I will say this. He gained a heck of a lot. He gained a flock of followers, multiples wives, and hegemony over large territories. Nothing to gain? Are you actually serious? Mohammed had everything to gain!

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Finally, I wish to say the following. I am outraged at Mohammed's slaughter of Jewish tribes, and I am outraged at the brutality in the Quran. However, I am going to make no apology for Christianity or Judaism and say "Well, these are bastions of perfection." If you are to come back to me with various citations to the Torah/Talmud as evidence of Jewish brutality, I will say "Yes, your point is?" If you do the same for Christian brutality, I will say "Okay, gotcha." I am fully aware of the brutality of the 'Big Three' faiths, and I make no excuses for ANY of them. But that's just the point!

I make no excuses, because there are no excuses one can make.

The only question for me is one of degree - which religion is the most brutal to the highest degree. I view this as Islam, though to a large extent, this is open to interpretation, as Judaism and Christianity have their own massive problems. However, it is important to note that I am aware that not all Muslims actually believe in the full Quran, or are even aware of what the Quran says. Moreover, not all Muslims believe in all Hadiths, and many Muslims have varying interpretations of the Quran. There is no monolithic Islamic faith.

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One final point to note. Chops, you say I should read Islamic scholars, and yet the scholars you pointed to earlier were hate mongers who espoused terrorism. (and I already provided citation to where they espoused such hatred)

If there is a non-hate filled Islamic source I can check that is not run by those who wish to annihilate me or support annihilators, then I would love to see such a source, and see how it contradicts anything I have said. If you actually find a source that is anti-jihadi, not an appologizer for jihadists, pro-woman's rights pro-religious pluralism, and also pro-Islam, then please forward it to me.

I already have read one of the few sources that fit that bill - Reza Aslan and his book 'No God But God,' a book that wholly skips over and ignores the ugly parts of Islam, and makes appologies for dhimmitude.

I refer to a source that acknowledges all realities and is still pro-Muslim and an Islamic resource. I have yet to find such a source and I have been looking.

Monkey Chops said...

I think our conversation and friendship ends here. You have used links to Islamophobic sites (Answering Islam is one of the notorious ones), designed by people with a cod knowledge of Islam, to promote their racists agendas. I seriously think I'm wasting my time chatting to you. Rather than actually sit at your PC getting hysterical, I encourage you to go out, find an academic centre which studies Islam and put your questions there. I'm fed up of this genocide nonsense you keep spouting as 'fact'. Ask an Islamic historian about it. Read more books by published authors on Islam, because anyone can clearly write bumph on the Internet. In the meantime, I wash my hands of you.

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

I didn't mean to offend you, but honestly, I have yet to find a single Islamic source that answers my questions without also being an appologist for terrorism. If you could find such a source, I recant all I have written.

Desi Monkey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Desi Monkey said...

For someone who is happy to accuse a man (Muhammad, SAW) who has been dead for over 1400 years of disrespecting Judaism and other faiths, you're not exactly leading by example are you?

Oh well, if you refuse to accept the MUSLIM perspective of Islam, then I shall not accept a non-Muslim perspective of MY religion. I think that's fair. I don't think any of your comments are worthy of a response by me because there are mountains of literature, as I said before, to answer your criticisms. It's up to you to go and find them. End of story.

Red Tulips said...

And one more thing. I have a limited amount of time on this planet, and so I cannot read everything. But I have read Reza Aslan, someone who writes about the inherent peaceful nature of Islam, as well as Robert Spencer. I simply find Robert Spencer to be much more plausible and intellectually honest.

I am aware of the different interpretations of what went on at the time and find the Aslan interpretations to be implausible and generally washing over the obvious brutality. What is interesting is that there are no corresponding Muslim scholars saying Judaism is bunk to the core, because then they would have to say that Islam is bunk to the core. Rather, the work of those who say Judaism is bunk to the core are generally atheists.

Note the blogroll I belong to - the atheist blogroll!

Why am I focusing on the inconsistencies of Islam rather than Judaism? This has to be because at this point I honestly know more about Islam than Judaism, due to my rapid reading of many books on the subject to inform myself in the age of terrorism. I wanted to find out - WHY are there terrorists, and what fuels the hatred? Is it anti-Islamic to commit terrorism? That said, I am also reading books on Judaism, and I will be critiquing Judaism as well.

Finally, with regards to the sources - I typed key words into google, and they were the sources that came up. But those places cite to Islamic sources. If the Islamic sources are wrong, you can feel free to correct them.

Red Tulips said...

Desi Monkey:

I have not said Judaism is without fault. I happen to be fascinated with Jewish philosophy, but I do not believe in the religion. Feel free to criticize Judaism all you want. I will not be offended.

But I am not making a religion off criticizing another religion. That is the difference. I am not saying "All worship Red Tulipism, based off criticism of Islam, showing how Red Tulipism is correct!"

I am not calling anyone to Judaism or Christianity, saying, "Based off my criticism of Islam, Christianity or Judaism is right!"

Rather, I am saying all religion is wrong!

But onto your other point. You say 'the information is out there.'

Where is it out there? In mosques funded by the Saudis? (the majority of mosques in this country are funded by the Saudis) With muftis who preach that women without veils are like uncovered meat? I really would like to see the answers, in a way that makes sense to an atheist. Is there any logical explanation to any of this for an atheist?

If you know of such a resource site, I will be appreciative.

Kevin said...

You seriously need to get a grip Monkeychops. Every damn religion on this planet gets attacked and torn to pieces. It is human nature to do so. Sure you probably believe that Islam is the one true faith, which is right.
Human beings question everything and sometimes ask tough questions. Instead of facing down those questions you seem to want to hide behind the mask of racism and not tackle the questions raised.
This is not confined to Islam, it can also be true of Christianity or of any religion.

I don't really care if you stop talking to me as well. Islam faces specific questions from the West. And they remain unanswered by reasonable people outside of Islamic scholars who are seen and not heard by those that wish to follow and spread Bin Laden's idiology of death and destruction.

I respect those who have faith. But i do not believe in blind faith. One must question ones beliefs on a regular basis and ask tough questions of ourselves and the beliefs we follow. To do otherwise is to fall into the trap of human vanity and arrogance that i'm right and everyone else is wrong because my holy book told me so.
I question the world around me every waking hour, minute and second.

I shall end this with a quote from one of the great minds of the 20th century:
"The day may dawn when fair play, love for one's fellow men, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth triumphant from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair."

Kevin said...

I meant to say which is your right.

Steven said...

Off topic:

Please allow me this muse, or mind-fart if you will, on the Muslims and the Jews.

Islam as a religion is founded on the premises that the Jews have lied in the Torah. The Koran declares that Ishmael was offered up to God as a sacrifice, not Issac, and this discrepancy between the Torah's Genesis and the Koran is, according to Islam, simply because the Jews have manipulated their religious scriptures.

"As the description of Ishmael in Genesis 21:14-21 is that of an infant (aka. It's actually Issac) it can be assumed that someone has moved this passage from an earlier part of the scripture and got their knickers in a twist!!! WMDee"

MC: It is quite obvious that Muhammad regarded the Law of Moses as a divine law that had been revealed to the Jews, in the same way as he regarded the Christian teaching as a divine law that had been revealed through the prophet Jesus, although he considered that both Jews and Christians had distorted the divine law given to them, and were to be condemned for that.

When Christians or Muslims tell Jews to be "good Jews"; often they say so in relation to their own religious scriptures. A good Jew, by Torah law, must accept the words of a prophet if they are true. This means a "good Jew" must accept that their scripture has been altered and Mohammad spoke the words of God. Muslims feel the same way about Christians; that is why both Christians and Jews they are made to live under the humiliating Dhimmi system;"protected" because they once carried a sacred text; yet degraded to second class citizens for rejecting the final revelation.

O children of Israel! Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and how I favoured you above all other people.

Not even the Jewish people see themselves as "favoured" by God; we have a specific job with certain responsibilities, that's all. But to Muslims we were once "favoured", now corrupted and damned for our refusal to recognise Muhammad as a Prophet. According to Mohammad, the Jewish scholars who rejected him as a prophet were being hypocrites. Islam simply can not respect Judaism after making these revisionist claims.

Ami attempts to excuse away these facts by narrowing the problem; it is fair to say that Jewish people who do not follow the sabbath are not following the Torah but their own desires - but the truth is Islam is anti-Judaism in nature.

As Red said: it is not for a non-Jewish person to pass judgement on the religious observance of Jews; especially a person who built his own religion by stealing poor translations of Jewish scripture, saying that the Jewish people have re-written their most sacred holy-scrolls, and then became so upset when the Jewish people did not recognise him as a prophet that he made war against them.

MC: Look, the gist of Islamic thought in relation to Jewish and Christian belief is this: Abraham is considered to be the first to create the title 'Muslim' i.e. one who submits to God's will. Later on, the Jews were the Chosen People of God, and they had a covenant with God which they did not honour. [...] They were promised a Messiah who would redeem them and guide them back God's pleasure. To Christians and Muslims, he turned out to be Jesus, but he was rejected by the very people he came to save. Jesus told his followers to wait for the 'Praiseworthy' to come after him who would complete the chain of Prophets. That Prophet was the Muslim Prophet. The Christians, i.e. those Jews who believed in Jesus, got carried away and named Jesus the literal Son of God and messed up. So, basically, the Jews had their chance and blew it, the Christians had their chance and blew it, so now it's the Muslims' turn to try and get things right. At the same time, they're taught to avoid repeating the mistakes of their predecessors.

Islam is a religion built on attacking others, especially the Jews. Muslims claim to supersede Judaism and Christianity just like some Christians claim to supersede Judaism. The main difference between the two is that Christians today allow people with other religions to live freely; Muslims don't.

It comes as no surprise that the Islamic Supremacists would not allow Jews to rebuild their micro-country and live in peace, they have tried time and time again to exterminate the Jews and force them to submit under Islam; but failed every single time despite superior military might. Today the Muslim world has changed tactics; probably inspired by the religious Jewish army, today's Muslims are on a full-scale spiritual attack on the Jewish people. At the end the rich, populous and powerful Muslim world - despite its strengths - will fail.

DM: "For someone who is happy to accuse a man (Muhammad, SAW) who has been dead for over 1400 years of disrespecting Judaism and other faiths, you're not exactly leading by example are you?"

This is called self-defence.

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You can see my response response to WMDee's comments here and a response to some Christian theology here.