Judging With Justice About Judaism
In some of this author's earlier works, it has been explained that a merciless policy of occupation, oppression and massacre is being carried out against Muslims of the Middle East by some Jews who have adopted ateist Zionism, which is a racist ideology. The details the human rights violations committed by Israel in the Middle East and in other regions were also told. Surely, every Muslim and person of conscience and justice from every belief would condemn this unjust oppression and is right to do so.
However, the other side of the coin also deserves attention; both in history and in our day, some Jews are being unjustly targetted and subjected to violence by the members of other beliefs or nations.
The racist hatred felt for the Jews which is known as "anti-Semitism" is embraced by various fanatical groups, regimes or racist organisations. Today, many Jewish people face oppression because of this ideology.
This form of violence must definitely be opposed.
We are against atheist Zionism, which is purely a racist and cruel ideology. Similarly, we are also against anti-Semitism, that is hatred felt for Jews, which is a racist and cruel ideology as well. That is because, our belief calls for a just and tolerant treatment against every nation and belief. In one verse, God commands us to uphold justice for each nation:
You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, God is aware of what you do. (The Koran, 4: 135)
If someone criticises and hurts an innocent Jew because of the crimes of atheist Zionism, he violates justice. He would again violate justice and err, if he ever condemns different Jewish communities in the world, the members of the Jewish community in Turkey for instance, due to the unjust Israeli invasion and attacks. He would diverge from justice and commit a great sin, if he ever resorts to retaliation against Israeli invasion and organizes acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians. In this article, we will briefly deal with the concepts of atheist Zionism, Judaism and anti-Semitism and explain the attitude a Muslim should assume with respect to this subject.
The Compassion Displayed by Islam to the People of Book
In 70 AD, Jews were expelled from Palestine, their homeland they had dwelled for thousands of years, by the pagan Roman Empire and for the remaining 19 centuries lived in diaspora, that is in exile. Throughout this period, they were subjected to oppression and cruelty in most of the Christian countries. They were exiled and even mass executed. During this period, they found the most peaceful and secure environment in the lands of Islam. In the world of Islam, anti-Semitism never flourished; Jews (and Christians) were always allowed to follow their own faiths and even observe their own law, free of any form of oppression and cruelty.
The main reason of this spirit of compassion and security is the Koranic morality. In the Koran, Jews and Christians are named "the People of the Book" and Muslims are advised to establish friendly relations with the People of the Book. The Koran allows Muslims to marry the women of the People of the Book and to accept an invitation to a meal. (Surat al-Maida:5) These commands show that bonds of kinship may be established as a result of the marriage of a Muslim with a woman from the People of the Book, and that both sides of the union can accept each other's invitation to a meal. These are the fundamentals that will ensure the establishment of equitable human relationships and a happy communal life.
In the Koran, God commands Muslims to ensure the security of even the idolaters who do not comply with the revelations of God: "If any of the idolaters ask you for protection, give them protection until they have heard the words of God. Then convey them to a place where they are safe." (Surat at-Tawba: 6) Meanwhile, Muslims must show more respect, compassion and goodness to the People of the Book who, compared with idolaters, harbor a faith very similar to those of Muslims.
In another verse, God commands Muslims to be good to all non-Muslims - including the People of the Book - provided that they do display enmity towards Muslims:
God does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the religion or driven you from your homes,or from being just towards them. God loves those who are just...(The Koran, 60:8)
Consequently, Muslims are responsible for establishing very warm neighbourly relations with Jews and Christians living in the same community. In a country where Muslims are in majority, the People of the Book are entrusted to Muslims. Making them live in peace and security and protecting them against any danger is a religious duty on Muslims. As was witnessed many times in history, targeting Jews only because of their beliefs, depriving them of their civil rights, sending them to horrible concentration camps is a great cruelty. In the same way a Muslim condemns such cruelty, so must he do his best to prevent it.
Ignorant people are obsessed by "holding prejudice against those who are not like them". That is the reason why numerous accusations and hearsay were spread about Jews both in the past, particularly in the medieval Europe, and today. Still today, under the conditioning of such myths, some people subconsciously hold prejudice and feel antipathy towards Jews. A Muslim can never assume such a crude outlook and attitude. God relates us the existence of the "People of the Book" as a fact, explained us the issues about which they hold misconceptions yet also commanded us to treat them well. In one verse, God commands us to say the following to the People of the Book:
We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and we submit to Him. (The Koran, 29:46)
Separating Atheist Zionism and Judaism From One Another
As mentioned above, the tolerant attitude that must be assumed by Muslims towards the People of the Book has manifested itself throughout the Islamic history. For centuries, Muslims treated Jews in a friendly manner and Jews responded to this friendship with loyalty. The factor that disturbs this picture is atheist Zionism.
Atheist Zionism emerged in the 19th century. The two particular characteristics of the 19th century Europe also influenced atheist Zionism: racism and colonisation. Another outstanding characteristic of this movement is that it is an ideology far removed from religion. Those Jews, who were the ideological mentors of this ideology, either had weak religious beliefs or were atheists. They regarded Judaism not as a religious unity but as the name of a race. They maintained that Jews represented a distinct race from European nations and thus it was impossible for Jews to live with them and that they definitely needed a homeland of their own. The choice of Palestine was not grounded on religious factors but on historical ones. (Surely we consider devout Jews, who regard Zionism as a right to live in the lands of their forefathers and seek to remember and worship God freely in this land, to be free of this statement.)
By the moment atheist Zionism emerged in Middle East, it brought nothing but conflicts and pain. In the period between the two world wars, atheist Zionist terrorist organisations organised bloody attacks against the Arabs and the British. In 1948, after the foundation of Israel, Godless Zionism's expansionist strategy drifted the entire Middle East to an utter chaos.
The starting point of atheist Zionism that carried out all this cruelty was not Judaism but Social Darwinism, a racist and colonialist ideology which was a legacy of the 19th century. Social Darwinism, which fostered a constant struggle among people by imposing on them the philosophy, "the strong win and the weak are doomed to lose", drifted the German nation to Nazism as it drifted Jews to atheist Zionism.
Today many religious Jews who criticise atheist Zionism stress the same fact. Some of these religious Jews even do not see the state of Israel as a legitimate entity and thus refuse to recognise it. Rabbi Hirsch, one of the foremost religious Jews, says: "Zionism wants to define the Jewish identity as a national entity...which is a heresy."1 The Israeli statesman Amnon Rubinstein says: "Zionism is a revolt against their (Jews') fatherland and the synagogue of the Rabbis".2
Rabbi Forsythe, on the other hand, maintains that from the 19th century on, Jews diverged from religion and fear of God, an act which entailed a punishment that came in the form of Hitler's cruelty and thus called Jews to be more religious. Forsythe stated that cruelty and mischief on earth are deeds engaged in by Amalek (disbelievers in the terminology of Torah) and added: "The Jew must be antithetical to the essence of Amalek, which is wildness, abandonment of Torah and Godliness, evil, immorality, cruelty, absence of order or right, lack of authority and law."3
Atheist Zionism, which practices just the contrary, is actually a form of fascism, and fascism stems from disbelief, not from religion. Consequently, the one who is actually responsible for the bloodshed in the Middle East is not Judaism but atheist Zionism, a fascist ideology that has nothing to do with religion.
However, as in the case of other versions of fascism, atheist Zionism also attempted to make use of religion for its own ends.
Misinterpretation of the Torah by Atheist Zionists
The Torah is a holy book God revealed to Prophet Moses. God says in the Koran: "We sent down the Torah containing guidance and light..." (The Koran, 5:44) As is also informed in the Koran, the Torah was later distorted with the incorporation of human words in it. That is why what we have today is the "Distorted Torah."
However, an examination into the Torah reveals the existence of numerous peculiarities of the True Religion in this once revealed Book. Many issues introduced by the true religion such as faith in God, submission to Him, being grateful to Him, fear of God, love of God, justice, compassion, mercy, opposing cruelty and injustice prevail throughout the Torah and the other books of the Old Testament.
Apart from this, the wars that went down in history and the carnages during these wars are related in the Torah. If one's purpose is to find a basis - although by distorting the facts - for the cruelty, massacres and murders, then he can well take these sections in the Torah as reference for himself. Irreligious Zionism resorts to this very method to legitimise its terrorism which is actually a fascist terrorism and it has become quite succesful. For instance, it has already used the sections related to wars and massacres in the Torah to legitimise the massacres it carried out against the innocent people of Palestine. This is an insincere interpretation, however. Godless Zionism makes use of religion to legitimise its fascist and racist ideology.
Indeed, many religious Jews oppose the employment of these sections of the Torah as a reference for the murders committed against the people of Palestine, which is the right thing to do. The Neturie Karta, an organization of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews, proclaim that, in fact, "according to the Torah, Jews are not allowed to shed blood, harm, humiliate or dominate another people". They further stress that, "Zionist politicians and their fellow travellers do not speak for the Jewish people, the name Israel has been stolen by them."
Atheist Zionism, by pursuing the cruel policy of occupation in the Middle East under the cloak of "Judaism", actually does harm to Judaism and Jews all over the world and makes the citizens of Israel or the diaspora Jews the target of fanatics who are willing to take revenge from atheist Zionism.
At this point, it deserves mention that there are also people who, in the name of Islam, want to employ the insincerity of "making use of religion for the cause of fascism". These people carry out horrible violence against innocent people and then try to justify these acts by misinterpreting the verses in the Koran that are related to war and jihad. However, these verses actually describe a hot-war-situation carried out against people who have declared war on Muslims. Those who attempt to justify their murders by misinterpreting these verses with wicked intentions are actually people who do not fear God and who exploit religion for the sake of the passion they feel for cruelty. Indeed, God informs us in the Koran that such people with wicked intentions often try to misinterpret verses in the Koran. (The Koran, 3:7)
In reality, neither Islam, nor Judaism and Christianity approve unjust violence and cruelty. However, there may be fanatical, violence-ridden, merciless people in every faith. Wicked people whose main ambition is to shed blood, inflict pain and oppress people out of their arrogance and pride may distort the concepts of these religions and exploit them.
This leads us to an important conclusion: the efforts of atheist Zionism to employ Judaism for their own ends can never be the justification of "hatred felt for Jews." Muslims oppose atheist Zionism, not "the People of the Book."
It is not unusual that Muslims show reaction to the crimes committed by atheist Zionism against humanity and that these crimes evoke feelings of hatred in them. However, such hatred should never turn into an unjust reaction. God warns us in the Koran thus: "Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. That is closer to piety. Have fear of God. God is aware of what you do. (The Koran, 5:8)
In compliance with this principle of justice;
. We recognise the right of the existence of Israel: The Jewish citizens of Israel have the right to live in peace and security in Palestine, the lands of their ancestors. However, they must absolutely recognise the right of the existence of Muslim Palestinians, the other owners of Palestine, on the same lands. In this sense, they must cease to occupy their lands and restore the destruction they have done for more than 30 years and recompense for it.
. We advocate that the Jewish citizens in our country (Turkey) and all other diaspora Jews should live a peaceful and secure life free of any form of concerns and fears. We wish that unacceptable means of pressure on Jews such as the "Wealth Tax" that was once taken from Jewish citizens in Turkey, a shameful page in history, never recur. We also wish that Turkish citizens of Jewish, Greek, Armenian, Catholic, Protestant origin and all other communities, that is to say, "the People of the Book", can observe their respective beliefs, customs and traditions and lifestyles and thus enjoy a free and comfortable life in our country.
In truth, the People of the Book and Muslims are not enemies. As a matter of fact, they are allies. Especially, in our age when the world has been invaded by atheist and anti-religious ideologies, Christians, Jews and Muslims, the defenders of the same moral values and worshippers of the same God, must co-operate.
Concerning the People of the Book, God gives Muslims a command in the Koran; to rally to a common formula:
O People of the Book! Let us rally to a common formula to be binding on both us and you: That we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than God. (The Koran, 3 :64)
This is also our call to Jews and Christians: As the people who believe in God and obey His revelations, let us rally to a common formula, to the word of "faith"..
Let us love our Creator and our Lord, our One God. Let us obey His commands. And, let us pray that our Lord guides us to the right path.
Once Muslims, Christians and Jews rally to this formula and once they realise that they are not enemies but actually friends and that their actual enemies are disbelief and atheism, the world will be a different place. The conflicts, enmities, fears and acts of terrorism, that have been going on for centuries will come to end and a"peace of civilisations" based on a "common formula", love, respect and peace will be established.
1 Washington Post," October 3, 1978
2 Amnon Rubinstein, The Zionist Dream Revisited, p. 19
3 Rabbi Forsythe, A Torah Insight Into The Holocaust, http://www.shemayisrael.com/rabbiforsythe/holocaust.htm