69 million page views

Well said!

Reader comment on item: Do Radical Islamists Run the Middle East?
in response to reader comment: How True!

Submitted by Dr RJP (United States), Sep 18, 2006 at 18:21

Here's the major sticking point as I see it:

If Islam is so great as a religion and a way of life, then there should be no threats and force imposed upon people to choose it, and to stay in it.

Judaism encourages introspection and questioning, and anyone who strays from the faith is still considered to be a Jew (as opposed to being an apostate) and is always welcomed back (rather than threatened by death to come back). The great prophet Micah said that non-Jews should be free to follow the ways of their own god just as Jews should be free to follow the God of israel. This way of thinking has no parallel in Christianity or in Islam. In Christianity, all those who do not accept Jesus as Christ and the Son of God are doomed to Hell. In Islam, non-believers are also subject to Hell, either as a Hell on Earth or a worse one in the world to come.

Jews are commanded to be a light unto the world by living a righteous life. Christians are also commanded to live a righteous life and to be a light unto the world, but their light is shone into the face of non-believers like a spotlight. In other words, Christians are commanded to preach the Gospel to everyone, to actively proselytize their religion.

Jews do not proselytize their religion, nor do they begrudge others who believes in another religion or no religion at all. "Live and let live" is the essence of Judaism. "Welcome the stranger into your midst and treat them as if they were one of your own" When it comes to treating strangers and non-believers, Islam is the polar opposite of Judaism in this respect. It is as if they took the Ten Commandments and reversed everything in it.

When Islam is viewed in this light, how can anyone say that "It is equivalent to Judaism, let alone superior?" How can they not see why Judaism, first, and Chistianity, second, represent a threat to radical Islam?

The goal of Judaism is to bring out the best in people, and not to feed on their resentment and hatred of others. In order for a person to convert to Judaism, they have to be turned down twice to make sure that the person is serious about their choice. The conversion process also takes dedication to study and time...up to two years.

Those who become Jews do so freely and without any kind of coercion. No threats of damnation. No threats of torture or death. No threats of being treated as a second-class citizen, or worse. No promises of eternal life. No promises of heavenly rewards. No promises of earthly rewards.

A person chooses to become a Jew and to follow its commandments out of love.

Remember the old song, "Where is the love?" That could be the theme song of radical Islam.


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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)