Articles

Muhammad’s Political Union with the Jews

Posted by on 7:39 pm in All, Religious Encounters | 0 comments

When talking about relations between Muslims and Jews, many people have the impression that we are dealing with relations based on mutual dislike, or even hatred, and that it has always been like this. The more studied know that some of the mutual dislike that might exist, probably can be found in Muhammad’s relations to the Jews, as we find several verses in the Quran presenting the Jews in a bad light, pointing to these verses as the proof for the static dislike of Jews in Islam. However, there are several examples on a more nuanced...

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Islam in the Writings of Maimonides

Posted by on 10:08 am in All, Religious Encounters | 0 comments

This is one of the seminar papers I wrote during my graduate studies on Hebrew U. It deals with the Maimonidean understanding of Islam as a religion and the Muslims as the practitioners of the religion. For those, who wish to understand Jewish-Muslim relations and mutual attitudes, this should be of great interest to read, while also of interest for those interested in religion, history and/or interfaith relations in general. The structure is as follow: Introduction Sources Used Method Used Analyzing the Source Texts Iggeret haShmad Iggeret...

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‘Abd al-Malik’s Inscription in the Dome of the Rock and its anti-Christian Polemical Nature

Posted by on 12:45 pm in All, History of Religion | 0 comments

  The Dome of the Rock is one of the most dominant monuments in Jerusalem, not only visually – standing out from general layout of the Old City with its Byzantine inspired architecture, but also symbolically being situated at the spot where the Jewish Second Temple is believed to have been situated, being an object for many controversies, even when mistaken for al-Aqsa Mosque. It has been widely acknowledged – at least in academic circles – that it was build during the reign of ‘Abd al-Malik, though some Muslim sources...

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Do we worship the same God?

Posted by on 5:49 pm in Comparative Religion, Debate & Opinion | 0 comments

Do Jews, Christians, Muslims (and other Monotheists) worship the same God? Some claim so, others deny that this is the case. Most often Muslims seem to believe that we do worship the same God, while a large number of Christians deny this, and Jews agree mostly with Muslims, though some seem to lean more to the Christian understanding when it comes to Muslims, while most religious Jews believe that Christians are not worshipping the true God, while Muslims are, though misunderstanding His Will. The question is not easy to answer, it demands a...

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The Concept of a Jewish State

Posted by on 4:57 pm in Debate & Opinion | 0 comments

One of the most important questions Jews and Israelis may ask themselves, in context of the state of Israel, is how we wish the state to be defined and how it should work. The most common notion of Israel is that of Israel as the Jewish state, but what is meant with this adjective, Jewish? While there definitely is a range of conceptions, when we mention “Jewish” as an adjective to Israel, one of them seems – obviously – to be “Israel as a state of the Jewish religion and traditions”, and here mainly as “Rabbinic Judaism” – that is “Jewish...

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Maimonides’ Third answer to R. Ovadyah haGer: Translation of Iggeret el Rav Ovadyah haGer

Posted by on 4:07 pm in Translations | 0 comments

This is a translation of the third part of Maimonides’ letter to R. Ovadyah haGer, the Arab convert who embraced Judaism. While it isn’t rare to see converts become hostile to their earlier religions, R. Ovadyah seems to have been at least honest, when it comes to Islam. From the context of the whole letter, we understand that he had a disagreement with his teacher about the nature of Islam, if the Muslims are to be considered idolaters or not, which led to a rather harsh response from his teacher, which is dealt with in the other parts of...

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The Israeli Millet System

Posted by on 7:10 pm in All, Religion and Society | 0 comments

The Israeli Millet System

In an article, “The Israeli Millet System: Examining Legal Pluralism through Lenses of Nation-Building and Human Rights”,[1] Yüksel Sezgin puts a critical focus on the Israeli legal system, arguing for the problematic nature of legal pluralism in the state, and the consequences of it. Besides the proposal of a conscious Israeli choice of the Ottoman Millet system, used in order to create a unified and single Jewish identity, and being able to make a clear differing between this Jewish identity and Israeli non-Jewish identities, Sezgin points...

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A Day of Mourning for the Temple

Posted by on 5:50 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Today in the Jewish calendar is Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month Av. And what is so special about that? Well, a number of the greatest tragedies in Jewish history happened on this day – at least according to tradition. The destruction of both the first and the second Temple happened on this day, as well as the Jewish city of Betar being conquered with the death of tens of thousands Jews, the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and the beginning of WWI are among several tragic things happening on this day. Therefore the day has been made a...

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Muhammad’s Political Union with the Jews

Posted by on 5:58 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When talking about relations between Muslims and Jews, many people have the impression that we are dealing with relations based on mutual dislike, or even hatred, and that it has always been like this. The more studied know that some of the mutual dislike that might exist, probably can be found in Muhammad’s relations to the Jews, as we find several verses in the Quran presenting the Jews in a bad light, pointing to these verses as the proof for the static dislike of Jews in Islam. However, there are several examples on a more nuanced...

read more