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To preach is the duty of the believer of an idea and tectonic shift in attitude

Reader comment on item: Tectonic Shifts in Attitudes toward Israel

Submitted by Prashant, Jan 30, 2019 at 18:20

Dear Dr Pipes,

Conversion of people from one religion to another is always a sensitive topic. I know that both Islam and Christianity are big on converting people to their way of thinking and life. When religions try to convert others with a missionary zeal, many bad practices and attitudes creep into the process and that is why the idea of conversion is detested.

I have heard that Judaism is only barely or half-heartedly interested in winning converts (I might be misinformed). As a Hindu, I know that Hindus will just give away one of their principles or inventions to others for free than ask anyone explicitly to convert. Not one Hindu preacher --and there are dime a dozen even in the USA-- will ever ask you to become one. They take pride in saying that no one has to convert to Hinduism to be a good human.

I think that is the wrong policy. Both Hinduism and Judaism must be proselytizing religions. Ideas get better when they are discussed with others. Religions become better when they are presented to others with the intentions of winning others over (without using acrimony and force). Some times I wish that I should preach Judaism to others even without becoming a Jew!!

I read your article about tectonic shift in attitudes toward Israel in Arabic countries several times. I have also commented on this article in the past. It is good if people's attitude toward Israel is changing. But, unfortunately, there are just too few Jews in the world for the population to be sustainable. When they talk about the last synagogue in Mumbai, Cochin, Karachi, Baghdad or Kabul, it just hurts!

As an objective entertainer of ideas, I believe that no good idea should die. I have similar thoughts about Hinduism. But that topic for some other day. Luckily Hinduism is in no danger of becoming unsustainable in any short term.

I am not aware of the entire history but in the last one century, the contribution of Jews and Israel to the world's science/technology/arts has been disproportionately high (let us not even try to compare it with the contribution of the Islamic regimes). I just wish Israel was a thousand times bigger and there were more Jews doing more of the good thinking that they do.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

You are correct that Judaism is not a proselytizing religion.

Diaspora communities may be shutting down but Israel is in no danger of running out of Jews.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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