6 Reasons that Debunk the Myth of Islam Promoting Hatred of Jews and Christians


Amidst the tragic situation in Palestine these days, a few Muslims seem to have found a way to express their anger and frustration. No, not by constructively doing anything about it, but by bashing Jews and hailing Hitler as a hero! Wrongly equating the actions of the Israeli government with Judaism, they continue generalizing approximately 15 million Jews – painting them all with the same brush!
A few days earlier, as I was browsing through my Facebook news feed, I came across this meme praising Hitler for killing Jews, with the hashtag #Hitlerwasright:

Hitler meme

Exasperated as I was, I tried to maintain my composure and calmly responded to this individual that there are many Jews who condemn the actions of the Israeli government, much like us Muslims who condemn the actions of Jihadist terrorist groups, and so it is na├»ve to generalize all Jews based on the situation in Palestine. Without taking a minute, he responded back to me quoting the Quranic verse that “asks Muslims not to be friends with Jews”, justifying his bigotry through the Quran!
Checkmate? Probably, if I hadn’t known better!

A common misconception about the Quran is that it promotes hatred of Jews and Christians, and asks Muslims to not be friends with them. Strangely, instead of voicing out against such a misrepresentation of 5:51 (which contains the commandment), some Muslims actually revel in quoting this verse as a means of feeling superior, possibly. Who needs enemies, when you have such believers? But I guess, that’s the karma of blindly following religious figures.
Here’s the much quoted verse:

O You who have believed! Do not take the Jews and Christians as your allies (Auliya). They are allies of one another. He among you who takes them for allies is one of them. God does not guide the oppressive folks.

– Quran, 5:51
A plethora of lies are sold to the average Muslim to instigate enmity with other faiths, and so I will debunk these points step by step. Points one and two will explain how the verse above is misrepresented, and three through six will expand on further points.
1. Aulia is erroneously and inconsistently translated as friends by some translators. However, in Arabic, Aulia is more closely defined as a protector or an ally. It has been used in the Quran mostly to signify that God protects (Wali) the believers through revelation. This is not to be confused with Khaleel, which does mean friend, but is an honor given exclusively to Ibrahim (4:125).
Additionally, Muslims should sincerely ask themselves what they mean when they call their scholars “Maulana.” Are they trying to imply that these scholars are their friends who they hang out with? Hardly! Obviously, by calling these religious figures as Maulana, they mean to imply that these scholars are their protectors – from evil, perhaps.
Keeping the context in mind, it is clear that the verse refers to political allies, and is not about friendship.
2. The verse, quite specifically, asks Muslims not to take Al-Yahood (Jews) & Al-Nasaraa (Christians) as an ally. Now, “Al” in Arabic denotes an address to something or someone specific. If we are to assume that God asks us not to ally with any Jew or Christian, then on the same wavelength, we have to assume that all Arabs are the worst in hypocrisy and disbelief – an actual verse in the Quran!

The Arabs (Al-Arab) are worse in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to ignore the Limits that God has revealed to His messenger. God is Knower, Wise.

– Quran, 9:97
Except, here the “scholars” would be quick to contextualize things, or else their model of praising Arabs as the “chosen” people and equating Arabic culture with Islam would fall flat on its face! It is an inconsistent approach, and consistency is the only criteria to judge truthfulness.
Taking a consistent view, both verses inform us that *some* Arabs (Al-Arab) are worst in hypocrisy and disbelief, and that Muslims should not ally with *some* Jews and Christians (Al-Yahood and Al-Nasaraa). Quite obviously, it is addressing the Jews and Christians at the time of the Prophet, who continuously broke their oaths, stoking the fires of war against Muslims (5:64) and were thus their worst enemies (5:82).
Common sense would suggest that allying with the enemy would be a sure way to lose the war.
3. The Quran constantly reminds Muslims not to generalize Jews, Christians, and others; but to judge them by their actions.

They are not all the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reflecting and reciting the signs of God during periods of the night and they submit.
They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: These are the reformists!

– Quran 3:113-114

God does not forbid you from being kind, and fully equitable to those who do not fight you on account of Religion, and do not evict you from your homelands. God loves those who lead a just, balanced life.
But God does forbid you regarding those who fought you because of your system, and drove you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out. You shall not ally with them. Those who ally with them, then such are the transgressors.

– Quran, 60:8-9

Muslims and Jews

Credit: MuslimVillage.com

4. Even traditional Islam allows Muslims to marry Jews and Christians.
Is friendship a more sacred bond than marriage? Then how on earth can the Quran discourage us from befriending them?
5. Contrary to popular belief, Muslims do not have a monopoly on salvation. Jews and Christians, much like any other faith, are promised paradise should they “submit to God, do acts of reformation, and expect accountability” (2:62 & 5:69). The very act of claiming sole monopoly on truth and salvation is actually shunned by the Quran, of which, ironically, some Muslims are guilty of.

And they claim, “None will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian.” This is nothing but their wishful thinking. Say, “Bring your proof if you are truthful.”
Nay, whoever submits his whole being to God, and he is a doer of good to humanity, his reward is with his Lord. Then, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve.

– Quran, 2:111-112
6. The idea of alienating a group of people because of their faith alone is in fact contrary to the Quran, which actually promotes peaceful co-existence among citizens of varying backgrounds.

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is deeply conscious of Him. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

– Quran, 49:13
If anything, Muslims should be the last to generalize people of other faiths. They are vocal on how every Muslim shouldn’t be stereotyped as a terrorist because of the actions of a few terrorist groups seeming to represent “Islam”, yet generalize and put all Jews in one box because of the actions of the Israeli government and the “super rich bankers that control the world.” I condemn fundamentalist Zionists, just how I condemn fundamentalist Islamists. However, I don’t buy the propaganda on both sides of badmouthing every Jew or Muslim because of the extremist actions of some.
Is it not an act of gross hypocrisy of claiming to be misrepresented, but misrepresenting others at the very same time? But perhaps, it is not hypocrisy. Perhaps, it is just a lack of introspection. A trait so many of us possess but are ignorant of.

Ro Waseem is a progressive Muslim who is bent on separating culture from religion. His articles have been published by Huffington Post, Patheos, Onfaith, The Express Tribune, and more. He blogs about Muslim reformation on his website, http://quranalyzeit.wordpress.com

8 thoughts on “6 Reasons that Debunk the Myth of Islam Promoting Hatred of Jews and Christians

  1. Well said brother! I am a heathen/pagan of Jewish ancestry. I could not agree with you more. Religion has been twisted for so long into a way to support hate that I feel most religions have lost their way and become the antithesis of what they were meant to be. Over the centuries, more war and death has been caused in the name of one god or another than any other cause. Fundamentalism of any stripe is pure evil and needs to be stopped dead in it’s tracks. Keep on speaking the truth to power brother! Tikkun Olam!!!

  2. You have a link on your site about Holocaust survivors sympathizing with Gaza bombing victims. Many of the *Jewish* commentors expressed the same Hitler belief. They said some Jews should have been killed by Hitler. They said that because these survivors thought Israeli policy was wrong.

  3. It seems to me that the Muslims have very good reason to hate and distrust us. Obama and Netayahu are at this moment blowing thousands to bits with their bombs and missiles. They have good reason to see us as the terrorists.

  4. While this is an extremely valuable intellectually oriented article well worth
    the reading, it does not address the emotionality of the hatred experienced
    by those experiencing oppression – be they Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Israelis.
    One of the ways of reacting to victimization is to become the victimizer, then
    use whatever sources (Biblical, historical, Koranic) to justify actions taken.
    Reason address the reasonable. Hatred distorts reason.

  5. Ro Waseem,
    I would very much appreciate any comments you might have on an article I stumbled across yesterday in the Middle East Quarterly and entitled “Peace or Jihad: Abrogation in Islam” and found at http://www.meforum.org/1754/peace-or-jihad-abrogation-in-islam
    I recognize that your are a progressive Muslim but, in your experience :: and looking at the Islamic states generally :: is abrogation commonly accepted? If no, then good. But, if not no, then it’s hard to see how citing say, a Mecca sura when a ‘fundamentalist’ cites a Medina one because it was a later pronouncment by the Prophet :: in effect, cancelling the earlier one or ones :: gets us anywhere in discussing what Islam is about. Personally, I think that the more distant in time the Prophet’s pronouncement, the less spiritual illumination they appear to have.

    • Hi Larry,
      Yes, unfortunately abrogation is a commonly accepted doctrine within Muslims. However, the whole point of abrogation goes against a very fundamental principle as laid out by the Quran, when it calls itself perfect, and even advises the reader that if it were from anyone besides God, it would contain many contradictions.
      A fundamental rule of the Quran is that physical warfare is only allowed in self-defense, and if the other party seeks peace, then the fighting must immediately be stopped. Indeed, Muslims are warned repeatedly not to be the “aggressors.”
      The Quran does not advocate pacifism, although mercy is highly emphasized. But, it gives you the right to defend yourself within certain parameters.
      Hope that answers the question.
      Ro Waseem

      • Hi Ro,
        A gift: I wrote it.
        The Invitation to the Wedding Feast
        Those invited to the Wedding Feast each received a seed packet with the instruction to bring at least one planted flower from these seeds to the Wedding, complete with other instructions on how to nurture these seeds. Though the Wedding was still some distance away in time, a messenger was sent out to see who was coming.
        And, this is what he encountered.
        Some told the messenger that they intended to come, but, for heaven’s sake, they wanted to choose their own gifts. They could certainly afford to give other things than flowers, and they would be honoured by giving such gifts of their own choosing, reflecting their status as well as that of the one who had invited them.
        To these the messenger said: “You do not understand. The flowers from these seeds are the only gift that will be accepted.”
        Others told the messenger that their gardener was having a difficult time growing these flowers.
        To these the messenger said, “It says on each packet that the flowers must be grown by the person invited. Indeed, they can only grow if you tend them. No one else can grow them for you.”
        To which some said they were much too busy.
        Others said, “This is some sort of scam, isn’t it? These flowers, the packet says, are hard to grow. Do you expect us to put in the time and the trouble to grow these personally, and then just give them away? Clearly, they must be worth a fortune. What kind of fools do you think we are?”
        “Oh,” said the messenger, “they are yours to keep. They are to be brought to the Wedding Feast so that they may be admired. They are forever yours to keep: but, that said, you must bring at least one to come to the Wedding Feast.”
        Some told the messenger that, well, at first they felt honoured to be invited. But, then, they looked at who else had been invited and were somewhat disturbed. It seemed that everyone had been invited, including some people whom they did not want to meet with. By their own standards, some of these others were very bad people, so they chose not to come because they didn’t want to be tainted by association with such persons.
        Others were busy in their gardens when the messenger arrived. These were, all of them, happy to be invited; and, “Gee’, they said, ‘these were very difficult flowers to grow.’
        “For some strange reason,” these people said, “no matter how much I weed and water, the weeds are back the very next day. It’s a lot of work, but I feel honoured to be invited, and, God willing, we’ll bring as many to the feast as we can.”
        And, to these, the messenger said nothing … but he smiled.
        This flower is called Caritas…and each was as different from another as people are from each other.
        The flowers, so carefully attended, were glorious.
        As were all of the people out of whose souls those flowers had grown.

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