Updated: Jun 11, 2021
There is great tension between the people of the book in these times especially recently with regards to the issues of Palestine and Israel. It feels like the rift between
Palestinians, Muslim and non Muslim, and Israeli zionists is only growing and sees no signs of stopping. For the longest time the Zionist Israeli occupation has been using the name of the Jewish People to get away with their crimes. In recent global protests it was very warming and pleasant to see the Jewish voices speak up and let the world know whatever the State of Israel is doing is not in their name, that they are not to be involved in it and they do not sympathize with the barbaric practices taking place. Let us remember once the great lived history between the Muslims and the Jews as a reminder that these tensions were not always the way they are now.
In the last thousand years, Jews were scattered all over Europe and in the many times they faced oppression and expulsion, it was the Muslim lands which they sought refuge in and it was the Muslims who protected them. In 633 c.e, exactly a year after the Prophet Muhammad passed away, The Church council, held in the city of Toledo, declared that all the Jewish children were to be forcefully taken away and raised as pious Catholics by nuns and priests. In “Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times,” Zion Zohar, an American Jewish historian, wrote that when the
Muslims arrived in Spain in the year 711, the Jews welcomed the liberators and for the next 700 years the Jewish people prospered under the protection of Islam. Jews rose to powerful political ranks such as Prime Minister under the most powerful Caliph in Islamic Spain. Abdurrahman III, the Caliph in Cordoba reigned in the 10th century c.e. Hasdai ibn shaprut, a Jewish scholar, physician, diplomat, and patron of science, became the prime minister of Al-Andalus or Islamic Spain.
How would this be possible if Muslims practice and/or always have been practicing anti-Jewish policy? This house of cards of pure propaganda that Muslims are blood thirsty after Jewish lives or that we want Jews to be destroyed, all crumbles when actual history is taken into consideration. This false perception that pits the Muslims and Jews against each other is unacceptable and one that we need to speak up against. From Al-Andalus Spain all the way to the Indian subcontinent where Muslims ruled over this vast stretch of land, why were Jews seeking refuge in these places if Muslims were out to destroy them from the beginning?
Another example is that in 1215 in France the Fourth Council of the Lateran decreed
that all Jewish books be burnt because they were being accused of being the killers of Jesus and for that reason they were heavily persecuted throughout Europe. Other Jewish historians such as Mark Cohen wrote on this matter, claiming and verifying that the Jewish people had a golden age under Islamic rule which of course is contrary to the narrative driven in mainstream media today.
This is all to highlight the fact that there is no hatred between Muslims and the Jews. The Prophet (ﷺ) himself lived alongside Jews and kept peace with them because that is what Islam teaches us: Co-existence.