Reconsidering Jewish-Muslim History


I just read one of the best essays that I have ever clicked to on the Internet, Reconsidering Jewish-Muslim History by Salim Mansur.  Salim Mansur is an associate professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, and a regular contributor to the Toronto Sun and the Western Standard (Calgary). As an historian, and a person interested in assisting the Humanist Muslim community amplify messages of peace, I thought the material was excellent.

Space prohibits me from publishing the article in full, as I am tempted to do.  Let me extract a few of the many worthwhile passages:

First this:

In recent history Jews and Muslims have become strangers to each other even when they have inhabited the same space. Too often because of personal choice and circumstance hostility has eliminated respect and affection, a hostility that imprisons both sides. The present has come to define the past. The past that was once a treasure held in common is now lost to most on both sides, thus deepening their estrangement. It is rare that we now recall how much our ancestors learned from and grew with one another in their shared history.

I must confess I did not always see this estrangement as clearly as now, nor have I always felt the tragedy of this history as acutely as I do today. Our understanding of the world is conditioned by our living, and thus writing is always partly biographical.

The events of September 11, 2001, Arab-Muslim terrorists hijacking and crashing jetliners into buildings in America’s heartland made me rethink the basis of my thinking and living, writing and teaching regarding the politics of the Middle East, the world of Islam and its relationship with the West. That morning of 9/11, I along with so many of us was overwhelmed by the horror of the evil I witnessed. That night I went to bed unaware of how greatly changed would be my sense of the world on awakening. I soon realized that I was beginning to reclaim a history and meaning for my faith – Islam – that was obscured, if not deliberately erased by those in authority and those aspiring to replace them. A significant dimension of this history deals with Jewish-Muslim relations.

Then this:

In denying Jewish rights to a homeland in Palestine, Arabs departed from the path of righteousness and became mired in bigotry. This is the root cause of the problem in the Middle East, the bigotry of Arabs and Muslims towards Jews, and over the years the problem has worsened with Arab refusal to acknowledge the wrong done by them to Jews through boycotts, wars, and terrorism with the aim of defeating and eliminating Israel. It was to the credit of Anwar Sadat that he recognized the futility of Arab enmity against Israel, and then sought to remove its root cause by making his journey to Jerusalem for reconciling with Jews.

This man has a real message of peace. The entire essay is rich in history, fellowship, and calls for an attitude of responsibility for Muslims by Muslims (insteading of playing the victim card).  


2 Responses to “Reconsidering Jewish-Muslim History”

  1. Jarhead Says:


    This posting, more than anything else I have seen, heard, read or pondered in almost 30 years give me at least the glimmer of peace.
    Lets hope the calmer more rational minds on both sides of the matter can resolve it.

  2. Red Tulips Says:

    Great post, thanks. That said, there is a great organization out there for Muslims, that I hope more Muslims go to:

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