OpinionIsrael at War

To move forward, Islam must suffer a catastrophic defeat

All of the so-called wars since the early 20th century with regional Muslims are battles in Islam’s unending war against the Jews.

Israeli reserve soldiers take part in a war drill in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, Dec. 7, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
Israeli reserve soldiers take part in a war drill in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, Dec. 7, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
Harold Rhode (Credit: Wikipedia)
Harold Rhode
Harold Rhode received in Ph.D. in Islamic history and later served as the Turkish Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of Defense. He is now a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

Unless Islam undergoes a theological revolution, the Islamic views of the Jews will not change. The only way this revolution could happen is when the Muslim world undergoes a devastating defeat by Israel. And given how the overwhelming numbers of Muslims see things, that isn’t in the cards right now. And today’s post-Christian world does not seem up to the task.

We must understand that all of the so-called wars since the early 20th century with regional Muslims—for example, the 1921-22 riots/pogroms in Jaffa, similar events in Hebron in 1929, the 1936-29 uprising against Jews in Palestine, Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-49, the 1949 Rhodes Armistice Agreement, the 1956 Sinai Campaign, the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1982 Lebanon War, etc.—are battles in Islam’s unending war against the Jews. I repeat, all of these together and many more are merely battles in a single war.

Now, having said this, it’s not all doom and gloom. How can there be a revolution in Islamic thought? Throughout history, the Christians and Jews found the answers when they faced existential battles for their survival. They reinterpreted their sources so they could survive. The Muslims could do the same, if needed, as well.

“Luckily” also for Muslims, there are many Muslim sources, starting with the Quran—every syllable of which Muslims “know” was spoken by Allah—and the hadiths, which Muslims can reinterpret to explain and/or rationalize why Jews and Christians are equal to Muslims and can rule what were once Muslim-ruled lands.

In the Quran, for example, are passages indicating that Allah gave to the Bani-Isra’il the land that includes modern-day Israel, including Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. (Bani Isra’il in Arabic means “the Children of Israel.”) Who are the Bani Isra’il? We Christians and Jews know it means the Jewish people. DNA studies prove that the overwhelming majority of the Jews who exist today are descended from those people. And yet, the Muslims say that the Bani-Isra’il died out and that today’s Jews are not descended from them because it is politically expedient for them to do so.

Now, if Islam undergoes a catastrophic defeat, there are Muslims—even Muslim religious leaders—who know how to reinterpret their sources and are willing to do so, when necessary, and to make the best of the political situation that faces them. But most Muslim political and theological leaders are afraid to do so publicly because they fear they will be accused of being apostates. The punishment for apostasy in Islam is death (without a court trial). So, they keep quiet in order to survive.

But if Islam suffers catastrophic defeat and these leaders feel secure, there is hope. That means that the non-Muslim world must brace itself and inflict that defeat.

Will we ever be up to the task? Only then can there be hope to end the numerous conflicts involving Muslims that are festering all over the world.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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