Saturday, June 05, 2010

Islam and anti-semitism

Islam and anti-semitism relates to Islamic theological teaching against Jews and Judaism and the treatment of Jews in Muslim countries.

With the origin of Islam in the 7th century AD and its rapid spread in the Arabian peninsula and beyond, Jews (and many other peoples) came to be subject to the rule of Muslim rulers. The quality of the rule varied considerably in different periods, as did the attitudes of the rulers, government officials, clergy and general population to various subject peoples from time to time, which was reflected in their treatment of these subjects. Reuven Firestone notes that, negative assessments and even condemnation of prior religions and their adherents occur in all three scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This article looks at the Muslim attitude to, and treatment of, Jews in Islamic thought and societies throughout history, and explores the ramifications of these attitudes in the contemporary world.

The nature and extent of anti-semitism in Islam and the Muslim world are hotly-debated issues among students of the Middle East and Islam. However the use of the word anti-semitism in the context of Islam is somewhat inaccurate in etymological terms, since Islam and Arabic, its language, is essentially semitic itself. The more appropriate term to describe this phenomena would be "anti-judaism".





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