In France,another distortion of Islam:anti-Semitism and Family Violence

Editor’s note: though stories of this sort are used to foster Islamophobia, Tikkun insists that our readers be aware of the ongoing racism against Jews that is fostered by some in the name of Islam just as we insist that they be aware of the ongoing racism against Muslims, Arabs, and others by some Jews in the name of their version of Judaism.And both of these developments has a lot to do with Western imperialism and Christian hatred of both Muslims and Jews which is explored in the Summer 2017 issue of Tikkun magazine (which is available online or in print but by subscription only or comes for free when you donate $50 or more at “Burning hatred against France and against Jews, and an orgy of domestic violence.

Islam and anti-Semitism?

Muslims must address ancient texts usurped for anti-Semitism
by Dr. Junaid Jahangir

I came across a swastika and a “Death to Israel” sign in my latest visit to Pakistan. This is not news to me, as I have heard Friday sermons depicting the yahud (Jews) as our enemies. I have also witnessed online comments by some Pakistanis that Hitler did not complete his job.  

I was reminded of these observations as I read the Toronto Star article on the Toronto Imam, Ayman Elkasrawy, who was accused of preaching hate against Jews. The article shows that Elkasrawy’s Arabic prayer was mistranslated and that he did not intend for the annihilation of the Jewish community.

Profound Rethinking by Muslims of The Meanings of Their Holy Texts and Traditions

{Editor’s Note: Most of us in the West have very little familiarity with the complexities of sophisticated intellectual and theological debate that takes place in the Islamic world. Just as in the Jewish world a tradition of interpretation developed which takes harsh or even cruel elements in our Torah and reinterprets them to “really mean” something more in tune with the subsequent development of Jewish ethical consciousness (e.g. “an eye for an eye” reinterpreted to mean financial compensation for the losses experienced by someone who has lost an eye or the injunction to wipe out Amalek later understood to refer to wiping out the kind of hurtfulness that Amalek had engaged in toward the Israelites), so in the world of Islamic theologians there has been a constant process of reinterpretation and contextualization of parts of the Koran and other holy texts to reflect the ongoing spiritual and ethical growth of Islamic teachers and scholars. And of course, just as we in the Jewish world find ourselves challenging extremists among the West Bank settlers and their cheerleaders in many synagogues around the world as they seek to justify through reference to Torah or other holy texts their occupation and cruelty toward the Palestinian people, our Muslim allies are engaged in a similar struggle to challenge those who, like , Isis, the Taliban, and the Saudi Arabian Wahabi interpreters of Islam,  have appropriated the Koran and subsequent elements of their holy tradition to justify terrorism, murder, rape of captive women, and more. In each case, the struggle is of great importance to the extent that it wins people to a worldview of love and generosity. I invite you to read the two articles in discussion below by two inspired Muslim thinkers.

Which Version of Islam Should Muslims Follow?

Saleem Ahmed, Ph.D[2]

      Many more Qur’anic verses promote violence than peace. Thus, non-Muslims cannot be faulted for concluding that Islam is not a religion of peace, especially when the actions of some extremist Muslims continue to confirm this perception.  Starting as a spiritual movement when Muhammad lived in Mecca, Islam evolved into a fighting force after Muhammad moved to Medina and confronted enemies on all sides. It was only in his 10th year in Medina, after many tribes had accepted his message, that the Qur’an adopted a peaceful posture towards non-Muslims and declared that all its earlier messages (of war) were being superseded by its new message of peace. However, since extremist continue to follow superseded Qur’anic verses, an uphill – but doable and necessary — task lies ahead for the Muslim majority.

A significant Muslim Voice on Recent Mass Murders Supposedly in the Name of Islam

From the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC)

July 4, 2016
It is with great sadness and profound grief that we have to once again express our deep sympathy to the recent victims of the savage crimes of ISIS in Orlando, Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Those who carry out these barbaric and vicious acts pay no heed to the religion or nationality of their innocent victims but are driven by sheer hate, animosity, and bigotry to promote their own political agenda. You must know that the overwhelming majority of their victims are Muslims and not people of other faiths or unbelievers. Thus, even though these terrorists claim that they are acting in accordance with the teachings of Islam, which is furthest from the truth and reality, the fact of the matter is that they have instrumentalized Islam for their ulterior motives and are exploiting the religious lexicon found in the Islamic tradition to recruit native Muslims and converts who are disillusioned, disenfranchised, lacking an identity, and mentally unstable. ICCNC would like to channel the sympathy and energy generated from this great tragedy and the enormous suffering and pain toward healing and constructive understanding of some of the potential causes that have given rise to radicalism and extremism among a fringe group of Muslims, with the hope of finding solutions to uproot this scourge.

A cry of outrage at ISIS by one of the many Muslims speaking out for human rights

Editor’s note:  There have been frequent communications to us at Tikkun claiming that ISIS reveals “the truth about Islam.” This is as big a slander as saying that Netanyahu and the racist remarks of some of the people in his cabinet reveals “the truth about Judaism.” We have seen many many public statements from Muslim leaders condemning ISIS. Obviously those that come from Saudi or Iranian leaders are a bit hard to take seriously, given their own repression of human rights. But there are many other wonderful Muslims speaking out, and the one below is quite typical of many that we’ve received over the course of the past two years.

Small Father

Crispy on the crust, moist, nutty, with dhana giro baked in, Mom’s stuffing is like a cross between her juicy lamb kababs and perfectly golden cornbread. At eight years old, I was there beside her at Publix the night she first asked a woman in the poultry department for help. That woman and another then explained, patiently, respectfully, how to clean and stuff a turkey, how to prepare the gravy.

Updated version of Mourning the Parisian “Humorists” Yet Challenging the Hypocrisy of Western Media

Mourning the Parisian “Humorists” Yet Challenging the Hypocrisy of Western Media
by Rabbi Michael Lerner

As the editor of a progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine that has often articulated views that have prompted condemnation from both Right and Left, I had good reason to be scared by the murders of fellow journalists in Paris. Having won the 2014 “Magazine of the Year” Award from the Religion Newswriters Association, and having been critical of Hamas’ attempts to bomb Israeli cities this past summer (even while being equally critical of Israel’s rampage against civilians in Gaza), I have good reason to worry if this prominence raises the chances of being a target for Islamic extremists. But then again, I had to wonder about the way the massacre in Paris is being depicted and framed by the Western media as a horrendous threat to Western civilization, freedom of speech and freedom of the press, I wondered about the over-heated nature of this description. It didn’t take me long to understand how problematic that framing really is. When right-wing “pro-Israel” fanatics frequently sent me death threats, physically attacked my house and painted on the gates statements about me being “a Nazi” or “a self-hating Jew,” and called in bomb threats to Tikkun, the magazine I edit, there was no attention given to this by the media, no cries of “our civilization depends on freedom of the press” or demands to hunt down those involved (the FBI and police received our complaints, but never reported back to us about what they were doing to protect us or find the assailants).

Tariq Ali: France Tries to Hide Its Islamophobia Behind Secular Values

‘France Tries To Mask Its Islamophobia Behind Secular Values’

The Pakistan-born British commentator seldom minces words. PRANAY SHARMA INTERVIEWS TARIQ ALI

Pakistan-born British commentator Tariq Ali seldom minces words. As a political activist, journalist, writer and film-maker, he has cou­rted controversy and ruffled many feathers. But over the years he has also built up a huge base of followers and admirers much beyond London, where he stays. The firebrand leader of the 1960s campus movement, now all of 71, shows no signs of mellowing with age.

The Struggle for the Soul of Islam

Who Is A Muslim? An Intense Struggle within the Muslim World for the Soul of Islam
By Dr Abdul Cader Asmal for New Age Islam

15 Dec 2014

Well before Cheryl Bernard concocted her whimsical compartmentalization of Muslims into arbitrary categories (1), and Nathan Lean cautioned Muslims not to be defined by non-Muslims (2), there was and is an intense struggle within the Muslim world for the soul of Islam. This review attempts to analyze the claims of the various sects and movements within Islam, to find the common denominators that bind them together, to identify the conflicting views that tear them asunder, to acknowledge the heinous acts that cast them outside the pale of Islam, and to end up hopefully with a definition of who really is a Muslim! A Muslim is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic religion that is the complete universal and final version of a faith that has been revealed through many prophets including Abraham, Moses, Ishmael, Isaac, Jesus and finally Mohammed. “Muslim” is an Arabic word meaning ‘one who submits to God’.  Muslims believe that God is eternal, transcendent, and absolutely One.

Is Blasphemy Punishable by Death in Islam?

Is Blaspheme Punishable by Death in Islam? 5/7/2011
By: Dr. Aslam Abdullah
IslamiCity* –  

There is nothing in the Quran or the authentic teachings of Prophet Muhammad justifying the killing of people for opposing, criticizing, humiliating or showing irreverence toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs and beliefs of Islam. The Quran says:

“Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah,
lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus We have made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord,
and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.


In the Muslim tradition, God is the Loving, the Evolver, the First, the Last, the Bringer of Life, the Destroyer, the Generous, the Patient, and much more.