Friday, June 19, 2020

  • Friday, June 19, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, told Al Arabiya “The Qur’an instructed Muslims to be righteous and benevolent to non-Muslims as long as they are peaceful and do not attack you or fight you.”

Arab News reports:

“We, as Muslims, respect, love, understand, cooperate, coexist and tolerate everyone. Our historically documented and verified actions demonstrate this, and in the Muslim World League we have played a major role in this aspect, pursuant to our Islamic values,” said Al-Issa.

“With our Jewish brothers, we concluded agreements and mutual cooperation, and we love them and respect them greatly, far from the problems of politics, as our principle is not to interfere in politics.”

Al-Issa emphasized that it is permissible to engage in normal business and friendly relations with members of other faiths, including Jews, as was the case in the Prophet Muhammad’s time.

Political disagreements are separate from religious precepts. Moreover, he added, Islam considers Jews and Christians to be Peoples of the Book who are accorded privileges in jurisprudential proceedings.

Amusingly, l-Issa uses an American Orthodox Jewish phrase to interpret seemingly antisemitic Quranic quotes:

The Qu’ranic references criticizing Jews that some have taken to mean a generalized attack on all Jews actually admonish specific followers of Judaism who went “off the derech” - strayed from the faithful commitment to the letter and spirit of their own Abrahamic tradition, he said.

Al-Issa is the Muslim leader who very publicly visited Auschwitz in January.

His message of tolerance is not being received well in at least one Arab media outlet.

Watan Serb  headlines its article with the Arabic shorthan d of Joseph Goebbel’s description of The Big Lie, as “Lie until the people believe you.”  They quote his words accurately, but say that he is talking about normalization with Israel, not relations with Jews. It said that he “desperately defended” normalization with Israel by quoting the Quran.

While Arab media has become significantly more conciliatory towards Jews in recent years, a large part of it still takes antisemitism – and its readers’ antisemitism – as a given.



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