A view of Jerusalem.

A view of Jerusalem. Photo courtesy of Berthold Werner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

JERUSALEM (RNS) Ahead of Pope Francis’ Holy Land visit, the heads of Christian churches in the region plan to launch an international awareness campaign following a series of anti-Christian vandalism believed to have been carried out by Jewish extremists.

News of the campaign, which was announced on the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Wednesday (May 7), comes weeks before the pope’s May 25-26 visit to Israel and the West Bank.

The announcement was spurred by what the patriarchate called a “wave of fanaticism and intimidation” against local Christians and institutions.

On Friday, graffiti declaring “King David is for the Jews, Jesus is garbage” was discovered scrawled on a wall opposite a Jerusalem church. Four days earlier, a Catholic official discovered that the words “Death to Arabs, Christians and all those who hate Israel” had been spray-painted in Hebrew on a column in front of the Office of the Assembly of Bishops at Jerusalem’s Notre Dame Center. The words were topped by a Star of David.

“Mere coincidence?” the website asks.

“We do not doubt the willingness of the State of Israel to finish with these acts which don’t serve the image of Israel,” said Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem. “But efforts failed and acts of vandalism continue increasing.”

On Thursday, a Vatican office that maintains all Catholic Church property here, asked Israeli authorities to “work urgently against extremist elements” to ensure peace and safeguard Christian holy places.

Police officials say they are doing what they can to prevent these attacks, something church officials dispute.

“A new strategy is needed,” said Shomali. “Let us not forget that the kind of education received by these people prepares them to do similar acts. We have to improve the educational side if we want to avoid the repetition of such acts on the long-term period.”

During a visit to a mosque in the Arab village of Fureidis on May 1, Israeli Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch called the recent attacks “hate crimes” and vowed to make arrests in the coming days.

On Sunday night, 40 organizations, including many Jewish ones, will hold a protest against the vandalism.

YS/AMB END CHABIN

28 Comments

    • Hahahaha! Terrible troll fail. That’s a parable, silly person. Jesus did say those words, but as coming from the mouth of the ruler in the parable He was telling. Didn’t anyone ever explain to you the importance of context in quoting a source?

      • @AHoliday,

        So What??
        It is a Parable of Jesus as the Nobleman returning to separate the wheat from the chaff. He claims he will demand summary executions.

        It is in the character of Jesus to kill those who do not obey him:

        Jesus was impatient, he wanted to burn civilization to the ground.

        “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But….what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on Earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
        – Jesus – (Luke 12:49-51)

        Religion is a shameful parlor trick. You can have a peaceful Jesus or you can have a killer Jesus – and Christians don’t catch that the whole thing is a cruel, immoral game and they are merely pawns.

        • AHoliday is right this is a pretty bad error. You look at this and similiar accounts of Jesus’s judgements like Mark 11:12-14 the fate of Ananais and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11. Both contexts are about people lying or not using what God has given them. Even when Jesus predicts the destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 10:1-2 and Luke 21:5-6 this is for those same reasons.

          The closest parallel – which you should know as a budding Bible scholar is Matthew 25’s parable of the ten talents. Jesus tells the exact same story and expands on it saying anyone who served him and didn’t love those around them, didn’t use what God has given them to further the kingdom, to help the needy are like the servant who had this image of a harsh God and will be treated harshly as a result because they were concerned more about themselves than anyone else.

          After the Parable Jesus explains it saying

          “For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me. [Isa. 58:7.]” Matthew 25:35-36

          Which has is a commonly known Christian belief.

          You see this paralleled again in Jesus’s stories about the bridges and their lamps as well as the bridegroom and his guests earlier in the same chapter.

          If your still not convinced regardless of what you believe it means you just have to look at the beliefs of the early church on what Jesus taught about violence – take Tertuellian for example.

          “For even if soldiers came to John and received advice on how to act, and even if a centurion became a believer, the Lord, in subsequently disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier” (Treatise on Idolatry 19; Ante-nicene Fathers 3:73).

          Thats in reference to Jesus at the garden telling him to put away his sword and that those live by the sword will die by it (Matthew 26:52).

          Clearly if you think your knowledge of Jesus exceeds even his own, the NT writers and early church’s understanding of him then surely you are a biblical scholar of prolific proportions. If not then quite frankly you don’t know what your talking about and should admit as such, should your pride allow it.

          • @Keith,

            First, I don’t see how “my pride” is an issue.
            When I stopped believing in Santa I assure you ‘pride’ had nothing to do with it. Why is pride relevant to the awareness that Jesus wasn’t a god?

            I am presented with what is a ridiculous claim:
            “Jesus is God” and “He is all-knowing and all-powerful” and “He was offered to God (as himself) as a blood sacrifice (to Himself)” to “Save mankind” from “His eternal punishment.”

            But the Bible ITSELF refutes these claims in a thousand ways.

            “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Jesus

            Who is Jesus talking to?
            The authors of the New Testament appear to bend themselves into pretzels trying to reverse engineer the story to make sense of Jesus’ death. And the claims are conflated repeatedly by assertion.

            I am not making the wild claims. You are.
            Jesus appears to have been an Apocalyptic believer of John the Baptist (who never became a disciple of Jesus, by the way) and a moral teacher in the tradition of Hillel who came along way before Jesus.

            But his life is clearly mythologized to mirror almost identically Homer, Oedipus and hundreds of other legends. It points only to a grand misunderstanding.

            What did Jesus mean by “Execute them” (Luke 19:27)
            is fine as a topic for discussion !

            But calling Jesus a GOD – THAT is what appears to be clearly a blunder.

  1. ?? Your comment is a non sequitur. The article is about vandalism borne of intolerance. I know of no religion whose original teachings promote such behaviour.

    Regarding religion as “horrible” or wonderful may depend on your own interpretation of the messages it conveys. And if you base your opinion solely on the behaviour of selective adherents to reinforce your initial premise, then you’ll always (narrowly) prove a point, yet still be incorrect in the broader sense. The fact that Jews have joined with Christians to protest the bad behaviour of a few, shows that these “tribes” are perfectly capable of peaceful cooperation and upholding the values their respective religions teach.

    • @Rashid,
      No.
      My comment was very relevant.

      The motivation to act like an animal toward other tribes is what makes religion a uniquely disgusting philosophy of life:

      ISLAM SAYS TO OTHERS:
      “The only true faith in God’s sight is Islam.” (Surah 3:19)
      “Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it.” (Surah 2:216)
      “Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.” (Surah 5:51)

      JUDAISM SAYS TO OTHERS:
      “Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.” (Jeremiah 48:10
      “Seize all the non-believers and execute them before the LORD in broad daylight…” (Numbers 25:1-9)

      CHRISTIANITY SAYS TO OTHERS:
      “To those who would not have me as their king, bring them to me and EXECUTE THEM in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

      As an athiest I will have problems with a particular person’s behavior. But I have no philosophy which compels me to harm someone.

      God and Religion are the worst, stupidest ideas humans have ever had.

      • Atheist Max: Your own religion spawns hatred and intolerance of others. You do all you can to find quotes and miss-quote them completely out of context!
        You do not understand people or how to interpret.
        Max you say “I have no philosophy which compels me to harm someone.”
        But then you go on to say “God and Religion are the worst, stupidest ideas humans have ever had.”.
        Max, you prove my point, you don’t understand the texts you flippantly selected or the foundations of which your country stand upon. Nor do you understand what keeps it intact. Take out the Christian volunteers and their financial support or/and the paid Christian resources and labour in your nation, and it would immediately crumble into chaos.

        Read the bible with open ears to listen, and find numerous clear accounts and hundreds of prophecies of a warts-and-all approach to people finding a good God who is Lord over all. Many intellectual atheists have made the same conclusion. I pray that you also take time out from your hatred and fill the vacuum of your empty self, with the God of peace who can renew your black heart and fill it with light. Shalom.

        • @JOE,

          Instead of focusing on me
          why do you not focus on the injunctions of your religion?

          By the way, America has a Secular Constitution built on Atheistic non-belief
          It is not the theocracy you are imagining.
          The Establishment Clause forbids any sponsorship or support for any religion…”Congress shall make no law establishing a religion”

          The United States Constitution is a “Non-Believer”
          Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson saw to it.

          As for “Christian Charity” this is spectacularly over-rated.
          Much of it is damaging anyway.

          Yet Atheist and Secular organizations like:
          Bill Gates Foundation, Doctors without Borders, The International Red Cross and Foundation Beyond Belief
          do much more good than Hezbollah, Christian or Zionist Charities you defend.

          Back to you – why do you excuse your god’s holy injunctions to hate and kill?
          The hate graffiti displays is what happens
          when religious people follow God’s holy injunction to hate and ‘to kill’.

        • The 1st Commandment of Yahweh is racist.

          “1. I am making a covenant with you. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land”
          (EXODUS 34:15)

      • WTF???? You just made up the Luke quote. Jesus says to forgive anyone who harms you and do violence to no one. He reproves Peter for resisting Roman soldiers and allows himself to be arrested and executed. Sorry dude, Christians may have not lived up to it, but Christianity is a pacifist religion.

        • @Nancy,

          I’m sorry you do not know your Bible or the God you claim is pacifist.
          Christianity demands death to the enemies of Jesus:

          “To those who would not have me as their king, bring them to me and EXECUTE THEM in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

          You are supposed to forgive your enemies – not the enemies of the LORD!

          ‘Peaceful Christianity’ is a lie and nothing more than a parlor trick.

        • It isn’t made up, sister. It’s from the parable of the 10 minas. It’s what the ruler in the parable says. Our friend Max has ripped it out of context and made himself look remarkably silly in the process.
          If Max would like to read the NT and provide us with a direct quote of Jesus advising His followers to acts of violence, then we could have a debate. This is just tomfoolery.

          • @AHoliday,

            So the police pull you over because the “Speed limit is 55 mph” because you are going too fast.

            Your answer to the policeman is “NO. You are taking the law out of context.” ?

            ————-

            Jesus tells the Parable of the 10 Minas to tell many lessons.
            “– bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King, and execute them in front of me.” — Jesus (Luke 19:27)

            If Context matters, why did priests use this parable as a reason to execute other humans during the Crusades, the Inquisition and in very recent years RWANDA, the most Catholic country in Africa?

            The bible doesn’t come with operating instructions.
            It claims to BE THE OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS.

          • @AHoliday,

            I don’t see you complaining that “John 3:16″ at Football games is out of context.

            Or “He is Risen”
            Or “God is Love”
            Or “Turn the other cheek”

            But to all of this you screech ‘OUT OF CONTEXT':

            “Execute them”
            “drown them with a millstone”
            “I come to spread anguish, not peace”
            “Do not give to dogs what is holy”
            “If you deem them unworthy REMOVE your blessings of peace”
            “I come not to bring peace but a sword”
            “I have come to bring fire on the earth”
            “The slave will be severely punished”
            “submit to your slave masters…even the perverse”
            “Kill unruly children”
            “I and the Lord are One” so….”follow the laws (of Moses)”
            Including stoning!

  2. “As an athiest I will have problems with a particular person’s behavior. But I have no philosophy which compels me to harm someone.”

    By this reasoning you also have no philosophy which compels you to help someone. But I don’t buy the idea that you’re morally neutral. Your experiences, influences and free will to make personal choices defines for you some of the very same questions and answers which religions provide for their followers. And whatever that may be for you, it’s your philosophy. I also think you’re being a bit selective in reaching your conclusions on religion. It is demonstrably true that people of religion do good things in this world. It is also true that a relative minority, whilst ostensibly presenting as ‘religious’, do deeds which are evil.

    But this is not your argument. What you are suggesting, by way of selective quotations, is that there is some sort of linear connection between the quotes you have presented and the behaviour of the aforementioned minority. In other words the compulsion to do bad things is an integral part of religious teachings and is presumably suppressed by the majority of its followers.

    This sort of tortuous logic, whilst having some superficial appeal, is too simplistic and not supported by any wholistic examination of religious texts and philosophy. Furthermore your use of Quranic quotes to support your assertions are completely out of the context in which they have been intended. Surah 3:19 whilst affirming Islam as the true faith, does so with explicit reference to previously divinely revealed faiths such as Christianity and Judaism. Surah 2:216 is explicit in explaining that the fighting prescribed is against religious persecution and for the freedom of religion. And Surah 5:51 if read after reading what precedes it is clearly only in reference to Jews and Christians who actively oppose(war with) Muslims.

    Wasalam

    • @Rashid,

      You imagine, falsely, that Atheism is more than it is.
      Atheism is the lack of belief in any gods.

      I have, therefore, no divine dictator telling me that I must eat fish on friday, pray a certain number of times kill Muslims if I can get away with it – or to donate to charity.

      I do not believe in God.
      But it would be wildly bizarre and ridiculous to assert that I have no morality as a result.

      Tell the 20,000 doctors who work with ‘Doctors Without Borders’ (many of whom are Atheist) that they have no morality because they do charity without invoking any gods. Countless atheist organizations are among the biggest donors in the world – the Red Cross is non-religious.

      Tell Warren Buffett or Bill and Melinda Gates, the most generous philanthropist billionaires on earth that their Atheist Dollars are somehow bereft of morality.

      Morality is not something which comes from gods or notions of leprechauns.
      It comes from the same place where you get your fingers and toes ; evolution.

      We have evolved as social animals over millions of years and it is in our interest to build a world safe for our children and loved ones – no supernatural beliefs or gods are needed to know that stealing and rape and murder are wrong.

      Despicable behavior would destroy the chances of our offspring to live happily or safely. Gods are nonsense.

      • I acknowledge your spirited defence of the moral fibre of atheists, but it was entirely unnecessary as it appears you’ve misinterpreted my last post.

        I did not claim that atheists do not have or do not display good morals. Self evidently people of no faith, including atheists, do so on a daily basis. What I was responding to was your assertion that people who believe in God are compelled to do bad things whilst you as an atheist are not. I pointed out that if this is so then the reverse must also be true, i.e. you are not compelled to do good things either and I am.

        But I don’t actually believe that anyone (atheist or not) lives their life in a (good or bad) moral vacuum. Without presuming to know exactly, your morality will be determined by a range of factors and influences through which you will arrive at your personal decisions of what is right or wrong. This could be described as your personal philosophy of how you believe you should lead your life. To whatever extent, you will knowingly and unknowingly influence others with this philosophy. This philosophy is however relative. Another atheist living under different circumstances, perhaps at a different time or place (perhaps not) will also arrive at their personal decisions of what is right or wrong. And it is entirely possible that their morality will be completely different to yours on any number of issues, as theirs is influenced by a different set of factors and circumstances.

        What religion claims to do, amongst other things, is to provide a moral compass which codifies right and wrong behaviour for everyone irrespective of personal circumstances and experiences. For my religion at least, this does not just mean blind faith and unthinkingly following a set of rules and dogma. The same reasoning and reconciliation with personal conscience which presumably you have followed, is a necessary requirement for myself in accepting my faith.

    • “Surah 3:19 whilst affirming Islam as the true faith, does so with explicit reference to previously divinely revealed faiths such as Christianity and Judaism.”

      People of ‘the Book’ are not so clearly protected from attack by Islam:

      How can you defend Surah 3:19 and claim it confirms truth yet you
      ignore Sura 5:51:
      “Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.” (Surah 5:51)

      ???

      This is like saying “Cigarettes are good”
      while saying “Cigarettes are bad”

      Such nonsense.

      • Actually Max its nothing at all like simultaneously saying cigarettes are good and bad, because there is no contradiction. The first thing to realise is that the Quran was not revealed all at once, but rather at different stages. The second thing to consider is that the Quran contains commandments which were period or situation specific as well as commandments which apply for all times.

        At the exact time when Surah Al Maidah (Ch 5) was revealed, Muslims were at war with certain tribes of Christians and Jews. 5:51 (Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends) cannot simply be taken as a blanket edict to be followed for all times by Muslims. To do so requires (as you appear to have done) ignoring the context. This was, as I mentioned, a time when Muslims were at war with opponents who actively mocked and ridiculed Islam. This is enunciated further on in the same chapter:

        ” O ye who believe! take not those for friends who make a jest and sport of your religion from among those who were given the Book before you, and the disbelievers. And fear Allah if you are believers” – Holy Quran, Surah Al-Maidah 5:58

        And so clearly the statement ‘not to befriend’ does not apply to any and every Jew or Christian for all times. The Quran explicitly mentions Jews and Christians (both people of the book) as rightly guided.

        “Surely, those who believe and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians – whichever party from among these truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds, shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve” – Holy Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:63

        The revelation specific to a period of war should not be falsely applied in a general sense today. There is no basis for that. What there is a basis for is God’s promise of the real possibility of reconciliation and love between Muslims and those they once fought against.

        “It may be that Allah will bring about love between you and those of them with whom you are now at enmity; and Allah is All-Powerful; and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.

        Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable.

        Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them — it is these that are the transgressors.” – Holy Quran, Surah Al-Mumtahinah 60:8-10

        Your statement that:

        “People of ‘the Book’ are not so clearly protected from attack by Islam” is bogus and not supported by the evidence.

        Wasalam

        • @Rashid,

          “Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes…”

          Change ‘Allah’ to ‘Yahweh’ and this statement could have been made by a Zionist.

          What is it gonna take to wake people up? Religion is divisive nonsense – on steroids.

        • @Rashid,

          I have read the Q’uran in english and the Bible thoroughly and repeatedly.
          I also understand the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam from many secular sources as well.

          These religions make absolutist claims for themselves which compete diabolically with one another.
          Growing up indoctrinated in any of these monotheisms (as I have) will pit one against the other – it cannot be avoided.

          The fundamental question is not about the ‘proper interpretation’ of any particular branch of the ‘god of Abraham’ but rather the diabolical larger fact which needs to be confronted:

          The God of Abraham, if he exists, has diabolically pitted civilization against itself – or – the entirety of these claims can only be a blunder.

  3. I don’t accept that it is inevitable that persons indoctrinated into any of the different religions will necessarily be in conflict with each other simply by virtue of this fact. This is because I don’t believe that the followers of the true teachings of their respective faiths are compelled to such conflict. And so I disagree with you that ‘proper interpretation’ is not fundamental. I believe it is. That religions compete with each other is of course in one sense inevitable. But the competition of ideas and philosophy is not synonymous with conflict. And an absence of religion would not mean an absence of ideas or an absence of conflict.

    As a Muslim, for me the God of Abraham(as) is the same as the God of Jesus(as) and the God of Muhammad(sa). To me it is not a coincidence that their core teachings are so similar. From an Islamic perspective, the sending of prophets with God’s message throughout history, culminating in the prophet Muhammad(sa), is not a “blunder” but a progression of God’s plan.

    Wasalam

    “He has prescribed for you the religion which He enjoined on Noah, and which We have now revealed to thee, and which We enjoined on Abraham and Moses and Jesus, viz., Establish obedience to Allah in the earth, and be not divided therein. Hard upon the idolaters is that to which thou callest them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He pleases, and guides to Himself him who turns to Him

    And they did not become divided but, after knowledge had come to them, through jealousy among themselves. And had it not been for a word that had already gone forth from thy Lord for an appointed term, the matter would, surely, have been decided between them. Surely, those who were made to inherit the Book after them are in a disquieting doubt concerning it

    To this religion, then, do thou invite mankind. And be thou steadfast in it as thou art commanded, and follow not their evil inclinations, but say ‘I believe in whatever Book Allah has sent down, and I am commanded to judge justly between you; Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us is the reward of our works; and for you the reward of your works. There is no quarrel between us and you. Allah will gather us together, and to Him is the return’ ” – Holy Quran, Surah Al-Shura 42:14-16

    • @RASHID,

      I appreciate your thoughtful responses. And I surely hope you are correct that conflict is not inevitable. However I see no sign of this.

      You said:

      “But the competition of ideas and philosophy is not synonymous with conflict. And an absence of religion would not mean an absence of ideas or an absence of conflict.”

      These religions are not a competition of ideas and philosophy. by a Universal Deity.
      It is a competition for enforcement of absolute injunctions by separate deities.

      If there were no Zionism, Islam, or Christianity the two state solution would happen in 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the parties of God from each side holds a Veto.

      Further, if Yahweh, Allah and Jesus are the same God, why are their followers identified as separate tribes? Why all the wars between these groups claiming “God on our side”?

      1. How can Allah be Jesus?
      Muslims reject many things in the New Testament. Jesus cannot be God if the New Testament is faulty.

      2. How can Yahweh be Allah?
      Jews have been promised the Holy land by Yahweh who made them sole heirs as ‘the chosen’. But no. Because it has been simultaneously promised to Muslims by…the same God?

      3. How can Yahweh be Jesus?
      The Jews are clear that Jesus did not pass the test of a Messiah and they reject him. Jesus is in direct contradiction to Yahweh on hundreds of injunctions.

      With nuclear weapons ready to be used…The Apocalyptic nonsense of the Abrahamic religions is a fool’s errand.
      Religion is indeed divisive, dangerous nonsense.

      And the worst part is…
      God appears to be a cultural delusion and nothing more.

      • “These religions are not a competition of ideas and philosophy. by a universal Deity. It is a competition for enforcement of absolute injunctions by separate deities.

        If there were no Zionism, Islam, or Christianity the two state solution would happen in 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the parties of God from each side holds a Veto.”
        —————————————————————————————————–
        I take your point and perception of differing faiths monopolising truth and salvation, and it certainly partly illustrates the current situation. But as I stated earlier, it is not my belief that there are actual separate deities. Belief in one God is the most fundamental of Islamic beliefs. I don’t want to speak for other people of faith (including Muslims) but of course there are those who claim ‘exclusivity’ of God. Even within a religion, amongst the sects, this occurs. It’s up to people to make their own mind up if such a thing (separate Gods or an exclusively Christian, Muslim, Catholic, Sunni God etc.) is rational. I don’t believe it is and I don’t believe it’s what God intends people of any faith to believe.

        In the middle east conflict I would of course argue that religion is part of the solution. But what we are witnessing is not the application of truly principled religious decision making. The religious bigotry on all sides bears no relation to the messages brought by Abraham(as), Jesus(as) or Muhammad(sa). The one main missing principle which could indeed end conflict is absolute justice. If this is applied equally, regardless of nationality or religion, then a way towards lasting peace is truly possible.

        “Those who believe and mix not up their belief with injustice – it is they who shall have peace, and who are rightly guided.

        And that is Our argument which We gave to Abraham against his people.We exalt in degrees of rank whomso We please. Thy Lord is indeed Wise, All-Knowing. And We gave him Isaac and Jacob; each did We guide aright, and Noah did We guide aright aforetime, and of his progeny, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward those who do good.

        And We guided Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias; each one of them was of the righteous.And We also guided Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot! and each one of them did We exalt above the people.

        And We exalted some of their fathers and their children and their brethren, and We chose them and We guided them in the straight path.

        That is the guidance of Allah. He guides thereby those of His servants whom He pleases. And if they had worshipped aught beside Him, surely all they did would have been of no avail to them.” – Holy Quran, Surah Al-Anam 6:83-89
        —————————————————————————————————–

        “Further, if Yahweh, Allah and Jesus are the same God, why are their followers identified as separate tribes? Why all the wars between these groups claiming “God on our side”?”
        —————————————————————————————————–

        The God and the essential message may be the same, but the messengers, timing and peoples are not. Hence the various names.There may of course be multiple reasons why people identifying with particular religions war with each other. Often conflicts take on religious overtones for reasons of political expediency rather than perceived religious compulsion. But in the history of God’s messengers and subsequent religion, certain events have always without exception been inevitable.

        – The messenger has always been violently opposed and declared a false prophet by the orthodoxy of the time who benefit from the status quo.
        – A righteous people have always arisen from the population being preached to.
        – Once established, the true religion has always, over time, fragmented/splintered and to some degree become corrupted.
        – A new messenger has been sent for reformation, and the cycle repeated.

        For Muslims, Allah (God) and Jesus(as) are not the same. Jesus(as) is considered a noble and true prophet and a messenger of God in the prophetic tradition. The only holy scripture which Muslims consider to be 100% authentic and unaltered is the Holy Quran. However two articles of faith incumbent on Muslims are belief in all of God’s prophets (i.e. belief in their divinity), and belief in all of God’s books (i.e. belief in their divine origins).

        As to who was or wasn’t promised the Holy Land, this is a little beyond my scope of knowledge. But even so, what I can confidently say is that God has not commanded any group of religious followers to usurp the rights of another. Such a commandment would go against the history of divine teachings. Certainly no such right exists in the Quran. Given the totality and continuity of righteous religious teachings available to us, it seems unthinkable that any one group could lay claim to an entire region at the expense of established inhabitants and the right of all to religious freedom, simply on the basis that only one religious people are to be forcibly favoured. That would certainly not be absolute justice.

  4. @RASHID,

    Thank You for your thoughtful response.
    I appreciate your explanations of how you apply the Q’uran and I understand why you refer to these passages.

    I could not believe in God anymore (after being a Catholic for 44 years) after the discovery that my religion was based on unthinking faith and reflexive division. I see no peace or truth from following these philosophies.

    You said,
    “The religious bigotry on all sides bears no relation to the messages brought by Abraham(as), Jesus(as) or Muhammad(sa)”

    Yet this is not true. God of Abraham says:
    “My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out.” (Exodus 23:23)

    The character of this God is not only to accept genocide against other races and religions but to aid the Jews in genocidal acts at His directive. Jesus reinforces this when he says “Love God” and focuses on gathering only Jews as in Matthew 15:26.

    You said,
    “I can confidently say God has not commanded any group of religious followers to usurp the rights of another. Such a commandment would go against the history of divine teachings.”

    Not true. The 1st Commandment of Yahweh,
    1. “I am making a covenant with you. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land” (EXODUS 34:15)

    There is no argument for Islam which will convert Jews and Christians away from their respective religions. Because of ‘FAITH’, the unthinking commitment* to a religion, they are fundamentally pitted against each other.

    Abraham, Moses, Mohammed & Jesus had no understanding of nuclear weapons. We must test the claims of these religions before it is too late.

    ———–
    * You may argue that faith is not ‘unthinking’
    that there are intelligent reasons why the Q’uran is the absolute truth.
    But their own ‘faith’ and fear of God won’t let the Christians and Jews put their guard down enough to listen.
    The ‘Faith’ that keeps a muslim with Allah, is the same ‘faith’ which reinforces Jesus and Yahweh for Christians and Jews.
    This is why ‘Faith’ is the divisive ingredient and why we must not give it such respect as we do.

    If we could all drop our faith for a few minutes and honestly
    apply the same standard of examination to our own respective religions
    that we use to discredit the other religions…..

    we could save the world.

  1. Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.