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Can this great idea overcome the headwinds?

Reader comment on item: Can the Koran Solve Israel's Political Impasse?

Submitted by Dave (United States), Apr 22, 2021 at 09:27

This is a great idea. It would be ironic if the Islamic texts, which are so often used to justify the jihad against Israel, were to be used to justify Zionism instead, but I can think of two major stumbling blocks.

First, while the Koran does have these generous verses, there are far more verses that would contradict such sentiments. For example, there are all the verses in the Islamic trilogy which call for infidels to either convert, pay the jizya and live as dhimmis, or be killed (Koran, tribute, sword). Statistical analysis by the Center for the Study of Political Islam has found that jihad is repeatedly invoked as a duty in the Islamic scriptures, defined as the use of force to bring about Islamic rule, 98 percent of the time, but only two percent of the time as an inner struggle. The case can be made that yes, Jews can live in Israel as the Koran states, but most likely only tolerated as dhimmis under Islamic rule. In addition, the Koran and Hadiths have many anti-Jewish references. So many, in fact, that Bill Warner, director of the above mentioned Center, as well as Geert Wilders, have found that they surpass Mein Kampf in frequency.

The second headwind is historical and sociological. In fact, Muslims were dominant in the Middle East for centuries after the Arab conquests. Granting political independence to infidels is clearly not something they are used to tolerating, thanks to their long history as an imperial ruling class. This key element of social habituation can be seen among many haredi Jews, who, as polar opposites of Muslims and in clear contradiction of Jewish doctrine (see Maimonides for example), refuse to serve in the military and opt for full-time religious studies, a reflection of their long past as a powerless, stateless people defined by faith alone.

It's fine and valid to cite the Koran for all the good that it might do, but don't forget the greater power of self-interest, which is clearly evident in the canny political machinations of Mansour Abbas.

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:

The Koran is a self-contradictory book but that is not a reason against selecting the favorable parts.

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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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