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Moments In History That Jews and Arabs Lived In Peace

The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians has given many the tragic belief that Arabs and Jews have been fighting for centuries. However, history shows that Arabs and Jews lived in peace for many years. Tensions between Jews and Arabs is not some sort ancient blood feud, but rather recent instance in history.

Things to know before reading

1. Not all Arabs are Muslim. In fact some Arabs belong to the Christian, and Jewish faith.

2. Some Jews do consider themselves Arabs or Middle Eastern. They are known as Mizrahi or Sephardic Jews.  

The Times of Muhammad

In the time that Muhammad lived in Medina there was peaceful relations between Jews and Muslims. There were even  times that Jews and Muslims actually fought together. The tribes of Medina  which included several Jewish tribes had sworn an oath to Muhammad to protect Medina. The Quraysih tribe, whom were enemies of Muhammad, set out to attack to Medina.  Unfortunately the battle was set to take place on the Sabbath, and many of the Jewish tribes did not want to fight.  A Rabbi by the name of Mukhyriq told his followers that they had to uphold their promise to Muhammad. So, on the Sabbath, Rabbi Mukhyrib, and some of his followers went to fight with Muhammad to protect Medina. The Muslims won , but during the battle Rabbi Mukhyrib was killed. Muhammad was upset when he learned about the death of  Mukhyrib. Muhammad  praised the  memory of the Rabbi and called him “the best of Jews”.

Zohan wan’t the only badass Jew. 

Middle-East During the Middle Ages (5th – 15th Century)

The European Middle Ages was also known in history as the “Islamic Golden Age” .  During this period much of the  world’s scientific progress came from Muslim countries while Europe was still in the “Dark Ages”.  Advancements in medicine, astronomy, philosophy, poetry, mathematics were made during this time.  These advancements were not only made by  Muslims, but Jews as well. Jewish scientists were allowed to practice their religion, and were able to contribute to scientific advancements.

Non-Muslims had very prominent positions in this era.  One example is The Islamic Sultan Saladin had many personal physicians that were Christians, and Jews. The most famous of Saladin’s Jewish physicians was Maimonides, who was also one of the greatest Jewish scholars. In the middle-ages Muslims, Christians, and Jews not only lived in peace, but also were trusted colleagues in scientific progress.

 Jewish Scholar Maimonides Statue in Cordoba, Spain.
Statue of the Jewish scholar Maimonides

Morocco During World War II

During WWII, Morocco was a French protectorate . When the Germans occupied France a new government was formed called the Vichy French government (named after the city where it was based). The Vichy government allied themselves with the Germans, and followed the Nazi’s Anti-Semitic policies. The Vichy government instituted policies of identifying and rounding up Jews in France. They also instituted Anti-Semitic policies in  French controlled territories  like Morocco.  Morocco during this time had population of 200,000 Jews. For many years Jews and Arabs lived in peace in Morocco. King Mohammad V of Morocco  refused to obey orders by the Vichy government to identify all Jews in Morocco. Mohammad V believed that the Anti-Semitic  policies was against Islamic law, which protects Non-Muslims that live in Muslim countries. The King  replied to the Vichy government by saying “There are no Jews in Morocco. There are only subjects”.  If it was not for the actions of King Mohammad V, the Jewish population in Morocco could have suffered a horrible fate.

King Mohammed V of Morocco and U.S. President Eisenhower

By showing these historical examples I hope that you understand that Jews, and Arabs can live in peace.  The current tensions between Arabs, and Jews is recent, and not an ancient blood feud. If it was possible for Jews and Arabs to live in peace in the past, there is no reason it could happen in the future.

How did the tensions between Jews and Arabs begin?

After World War II many Jews fled  from Europe to the British protectorate of Palestine. The major reason that Jews fled to Palestine was because  European Jews could not go anywhere else . Many countries during and after World War II would not accept  a large amount of Jewish immigrants. Also, at this time many Arab countries were under the control of European countries such as Britain, and France.  There was a lot of anger by Arabs towards Europeans for occupying their countries.

When the British allowed Jewish immigration into Palestine many Arabs considered this European colonization. This confusion is understandable considering that the majority of Jewish immigrants were from Europe. Eventually Arab anger manifested itself as violence towards  the Jewish immigrants. These Jewish immigrants believed they were being victimized for similar reasons that Europeans victimized them during World War II.  Jewish immigrants were not fully aware of the building anger of Arabs towards Europeans, because of European Imperialism.  The fact that the immigrants were Jewish was less of a factor than they were European immigrants.  Today, the hatred between the two groups has evolved into a religious and racial conflict. This is a result of recent generations neglecting to understand how the conflict began.

The Differences Between Christians, Jews, and Muslims

Are Christians, Jews, and Muslims really that different?

Let’s take a look.

Helping Others 

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Female Head Covering

1. Mother Teresa – A Nun who was famous for her charitable work.

2. Mary –  The Virgin Mary is a Christian icon, but she was also a Jewish woman.

3.  Benazir Bhutto – The first female President of Pakistan

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Praying

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Love

Honest 2012 Presidential Slogans

Mitt Romney

I wear special Mormon underwear

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Herman Cain 

Republicans needed a token black candidate

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Ron Paul

I like the attention

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Sarah Palin

I want to sell more of my books and stuff

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Michele Bachmann

I’m like Sarah Palin, but hotter

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Barack Obama

A lot of people don’t like me, but I did kill Osama!

Disqualifying The Iranian Women’s Soccer Team Is Not Democratic

Today as a fan of soccer I’m very upset with the recent decision of FIFA. For those that may not know. FIFA officials disqualified the Iranian women’s soccer team in a crucial match that would qualify them for the Olympic Games. The reason they were disqualified was because the female athletes were wearing religious head scarfs. Earlier in April FIFA decided to ban all religious garments in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  The Iranian team toke it upon themselves to make a headscarf that was tight around the head, and complied with FIFA regulations. When the FIFA officials found that they were still in breach of regulations they were disqualified. This decision left these hardworking athletes in tears.

FIFA states that another reason for the ban is for the safety of the players. The official rules state  a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to themselves or another player. FIFA contends that these head scarfs are dangerous. I would disagree. Also, a number of FIFA players wear headgear that I would consider more dangerous.Petr Cech, goal keeper for the team Chelsea. He is seen here wearing headgear every game after a serious head injury. I would contend that his headgear poses a bigger threat since it contains padding.

I am not a supporter of Iranian policy of forcing women to wear the headscarf. I believe that religion should be a choice, and shouldn’t be forced. To force women to wear the headscarf is oppression of the women’s right to express their faith as they see fit. That being said banning the headscarf also means that Muslim women from other countries, including western countries cannot compete. This ban forces observant Muslim women to choose between the beliefs, and their desire to compete. I suspect that this decision was made with other motives.  Whether the motives were political in nature, I’m not sure. I am sure that this decision is not Democratic, because Democracy is inclusive not exclusive. I’m sure that it’s not religious freedom. It’s simply wrong. This decision hurts the spirit of the Olympic Games, and FIFA should be ashamed.

What do you think?

Who is Jesus? Seriously…

My first experience with religion is not ordinary, but it does make for a funny story. To begin to this story I have to say that both parents are extremely non-religious. They are so non-religious that conversation about religion hardly or never happens. When I was the age of seven I went to elementary school in Philadelphia. My mother wanted to get me out of my school, because she didn’t like the neighborhood. My mother would say that there were crack bottles everywhere, but I never saw one personally. Anyway, she decided to enroll me into a private Catholic school in Philly. The only condition to my enrollment was that I had to attend Sunday school.

Literally without any explanation my mom told me that I had to go to this class, and she drove me to the school. I was very confused, why do I have to go to school on Sunday? My mother and I walked into the building, and went to the classroom where the teacher greeted both of us. The teacher was a twenty something woman and she told me to take a seat at an empty desk. When I sat down my mom waved goodbye and left.  Then I sat down listened to this teacher lecture. She started reading a story from a book, and I realize now it was the bible. Yes, I didn’t even know what the bible was. I had no clue what she was talking about, and I was thinking, what’s with the funny language? Thou, shall, cometh, what the heck are all these strange words? Then the teacher started taking about God, and doing good deeds. I also have to mention I didn’t even what God at this point. So, this woman’s lecture literally made no sense to me.  I left my first day in utter confusion. I remember my mom picking me up, but she never asked how the class was. Honestly, I was glad she didn’t ask me anything, because I wouldn’t know what to say.

For the next few months I continued to go to Sunday school. I still had no idea what the teacher was talking about. I remember getting a work book with some interesting pictures of a bearded white man. Who was this guy? I finally figured out the man’s name was Jesus, but the teacher never explained why he was important. Most likely the teacher thought she didn’t have to explain who Jesus was, and why he was important to Christians. Presumably most of the kids in the class grew up in Christian families, and were taught about these topics. You would think the teacher would lay down the basics. Jesus was the son of God and etc., but an explanation would never happened.

I remember the teacher talking about the crucifixion, and Jesus rising from the dead. “Wait, what is crucifixion?” I thought to myself.  It’s pretty fair that a seven-year old wouldn’t know what crucifixion was. I looked in my work book for clues, but there were no pictures of the crucifixion. Most likely the publisher of the books didn’t want to scare little children. Also, when I think about it there were no crucifixes in the classroom which was odd considering it was a Catholic School. How in the world did the teacher expect kids to know what is crucifixion? At the end of the course everybody got a piece paper saying you passed the class. Clearly I shouldn’t have passed the class if I didn’t learn anything. A couple of days later after the class was over I asked my mom “Who is Jesus?” and my mom was stunned. Finally she explained everything, and I learned more in that conversation than the whole time I was in Sunday school. Around my third year of college I talked to my mom about this, and she said “I thought they would teach you everything”. The funniest thing about this whole story is that a Catholic Sunday school failed to teach me anything about Christianity.

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