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The Sheer Audacity - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Zionism, as a doctrine based on religious myths, is controversial and extremely racist. The international community acknowledged the danger of it and considered it a disease that must be fought against just like Nazism, Apartheid etc. For decades, Israel has been trying (by all means possible) to consolidate the idea that it has a divine right to the land of Palestine, however to no avail. Of course this idea is met with the biggest rejection from the Arab and Islamic World.

Now Israel is taking a new step in this regard, or to be more precise, an unprecedented audacious step (even for Israel!) A book has been published in Israel in Arabic by the Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Understanding of the American Jewish Committee entitled: ‘Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims,’ by Reuven Firestone. The book opens with the following verse from Surat al Jathiya: “We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book, the Power of Command, and Prophethood; We gave them, for Sustenance, things good and pure; and We favoured them above the nations.”

The book contains numerous historical errors and fallacies. The author chose Quranic verses that praise the Children of Israel to open his book with but the truth is that this praise was not aimed at today’s Jews but the rather the People of Moses within a certain period of history. The People of Moses believed in Almighty God as the One and Only Creator and at the time they formed a unified nation. However, the Jews who came after them broke away from the divine teachings and some of them worshipped the calf and became disbelievers while others killed prophets, went back on their pledges and acted treacherously.

The book’s “dangerous” introduction aims to give an Islamic smokescreen to the Jewish claim to Palestine by misinterpreting certain Quranic verses and presenting an explanation to history that corresponds with the Jewish Zionist vision of the right to the Promised Land (whilst completely ignoring Quranic verses that criticize this). The book bases its argument on a mix of religion, history, politics and law but its points are weak and fragile and can be refuted. However, Israel is randomly sending hundreds of copies to Arab addresses in an attempt to gain new solid ground among Arab masses. It uses Islam as a pathway to achieve its goals and plays on the profound influence of religion on Arabs and Muslims. They are trying to send a malicious message here; that Israel’s existence in Palestine – by virtue of it being a “divine right” – is not only a Jewish belief but also an Islamic one.

However, Islam is very clear on this point. No Mufasirun [interpreters] of the Holy Quran or the Hadith [Prophetic traditions] or the Prophet’s Seerah have ever acknowledged that the land of Palestine was promised to the Jews or anything of the sort. War is an act of deception; Israel is now escalating its psychological war against Arabs and Muslims by presenting them with misleading, ideologized political and religious interpretations to serve its Zionist plots in an attempt to show people that the truth is on its side. Israel claims to be standing on a firm, legitimate foundation as the party that is rightfully entitled to the land of Palestine, not the Arabs.

The lies and myths of Israel are nothing new. The Israelis have made many attempts in the past to pollute our heritage and establish their lies and myths as part of the region’s history in order to base all policies, laws and systems on that distorted foundation. ‘Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims’ needs to be read carefully and countered as there is a wide base that is not qualified to interpret the Quran away from its historical context and the events that took place. This new book represents a new chapter of Israeli audacity to be added to Israel’s record of black deeds.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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