We think of Judaism as a “modern” religion and Islam as a violent one. And it is true that acts of assassination are rare among Jews, although not unheard of, unfortunately. But there is a sense in which the religious drive to occupy all of the lands of the mythic Davidic Kingship, the drive for Judea and Samaria, led to the disastrous post-1967 occupation that has poisoned relations between Israelis and Palestinians. And, although most American Jews no doubt rejected this biblical interpretation, I don’t remember hearing “religious” objections to it in synagogue in all the years since.
Similarly, we think of Islam as violently resistant to conversion among Muslims. But World Magazine reports in its April 5-12 issue on the threats and assaults that Messianic Jews in the
Even if the media reported on these events, liberal Jews would not denounce the ultra-Orthodox. For one thing, Jews in general are against conversion by members of a sect many find misleading in their claims to be Jewish. Second, it is always easier to ignore interpretations of one’s religion that are ignorant and backward.
Conversely, the New York Times Book Review today contains Fareed Zakaria’s gushing review of “Reconciliation,” Benazir Bhutto’s posthumous defense of an Islam protective of human rights and democracy. Whatever her failings as a politician, Bhutto gave her life for her vision of an Islam at peace with the world, governing and benefiting the lives of millions of people.
If your first commitment is to Enlightenment values, as is really the case with most progressive Jews and Christians in
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