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Jewish religious identity

Reader comment on item: Obama's Muslim Childhood

Submitted by zchug (United Kingdom), Sep 15, 2012 at 10:13

You state, in the course of a terrific piece, "Muslims (like Jews) do not consider practice central to religious identity." This may be the case for Muslims, but I don't think this is true for religious Jews - surely for them practice is central to religious identity - and therefore non-practising Jews like myself lack religious identity. I do not consider practice central - indeed relevant -to my ethnic identity as a Jew. And even for religious Jews, it is probably something like an ethnic/familial identity that they see in secular Jews. Whereas for Muslims, their ethnicity is, of course, irrelevant to their religious identity. An atheist Jew, unlike an atheist Muslim is not - I believe - a contradiction in terms.

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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".

Daniel Pipes replies:

In both cases, one is a member of the religious community without being a believer. More precisely, a non-practicing Jewish mother or Muslim father passes the religion on to the child.

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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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