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Conversion

Reader comment on item: Tectonic Shifts in Attitudes toward Israel
in response to reader comment: To preach is the duty of the believer of an idea and tectonic shift in attitude

Submitted by Ali Baba, Feb 4, 2019 at 23:25

Religions that seek conversion do so because they seek inclusivity and/or have a desire to see humanity as one equal family. Modern Judaism cannot be a proselytizing faith because it is a tribal faith confined to one small nation of people (the Israelites). However, historically, Judaism must surely have had converts (Beta Israel in Ethiopia as one example, or even the wife and father in law of Moses). Even today, modern Jews do accept converts, albeit they don't seek them out. Ivanka Trump is a convert to Orthodox Judaism.

In fact, as a Muslim, we believe that Judaism was the true religion of Islam before Allah revealed His messages to Jesus Christ. As such, the original Judaism was in fact a proselytizing faith, and once it ceased to be is when Allah replaced the Israelites as His Chosen People. Indeed, the Quran warns Muslims of a similar fate if they make the same mistakes by not abiding by the Covenent Allah has established with them in Surah 47, verse 38. Islam is not a new religion...it is the original religion of Adam who was the first to submit to Allah, ie the first Muslim. Following him, Noah also preached the same submission (Islam) to Allah, as did Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, et al. The names, terminology, and rituals may have changed from one epoch to another, but the essential core value of tawheed was present in the original forms of these ancient forms of Islam. The Quran says that a messenger was sent to every nation. Every nation was called to Islam.

In the same vein, Hinduism cannot be a proselytizing faith, because it doesn't even hold all Hindus as equal in the sight of God (let alone all humans)...some are classed as Brahmins, Kashtriyas, Dalits, etc not on any merit-based criteria but founded in things like one's skin color or occupation.

As far as contributions to science/technology/arts it must be worth remembering that the body of academic work that the West has produced was made possibly via the industrial revolution of the 19th century, and that was due to the Rennaissance of the 15th-18th centuries, and that only occurred due to the transfer of work from midieval Islamic scholars to the West during/as a result of the Crusades. The Arabs and Persians produced perhaps the largest volume of human advancement during the Islamic Golden Age, but even they had built on contributions made by the ancient Indians and Chinese. Human advancement isn't owned by any one nation or race. It is owned by all of humanity together.

Submitting....

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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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