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DEPT. OF OPEN MINDS

Listen to Me: Islam Does Not Command War Against Jews

Let me clarify these misconceptions about Islam so that there is no excuse for warmongers and those who wish to shed oceans of blood.
Turkish political and religious commentator Sinem Tezyapar.

Turkish political and religious commentator Sinem Tezyapar.

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In an op. ed. piece for the Jewish Press, I cited from the Qur’an to show that war is an exceptional matter for Muslims, an unwanted obligation to be fulfilled in limited circumstances, and for defensive purposes only.

In response, I’ve been denounced and accused of being a Trojan horse, the wolf trying to devour Little Red Riding Hood, of not being a Muslim or being the worst kind of liar, misguided, deceiver, of practicing taqiyya, of disseminating propaganda with the intention of deceiving Israelis & Westerners, of using jihadist tactics in disguise, etc.

The most moderate reaction has been that I am young, naive… and don’t know my religion and the real world.

Despite the criticism, I stand behind my words, and I say further that Hamas or any other Islamic group that uses violence against civilians is doing wrong according to the Qur’an and that Jews, Christians, and Muslims must and can live co-exist together in harmony and peace. The reactions to my statements have been along the following lines: “What about the jihad verses in Qur’an? What about taqiyyah? What about abrogation of the verses which counsel peace?”

Let me clarify these misconceptions about Islam so that there is no excuse for warmongers and those who wish to shed oceans of blood.

War and violence in the Holy Books - Admittedly, there are commandments about war in the Qur’an, and those verses pertain to self-defense. The Tanakh and the Gospel also contain provisions about war and violence, and there are verses full of killing, especially in the Torah. The passages about war in those are, just as with the Qur’an, in regard to self-defense. The Torah and the Gospel command peace and love, and contain commandments about love and affection too. A person of love will interpret that in one way, and a cruel person in another. One can interpret it truly if one looks at it sincerely. For instance the Gospel speaks of blood up to the manes of the horses; it speaks of nobody being saved apart from 144,000 Jews. These are actually metaphorical and must be elucidated within the general tone of the Gospel, which is one of love and affection prevailing. But if someone insists on interpreting it in terms of violence, if he adds additional things to it out of his own mind, then a climate of violence will of course ensue. But a real Jew or a real Christian would never murder innocent people simply because there exists verses regarding killings in their Holy Books. In the same way, people who will look at Islam and the Qur’an through the eyes of love will not come up with violent interpretations.

Dictators against Prophets’ divine message - Let us not forget that the Prophet Mohammed was a prophet who sought to spread the pure faith of the Prophet Abraham, which is faith in God, the One and Only and ascribing no equals to Him, in a pagan society which had been dominated by idol worship. Like many prophets whose names appear in the Tanakh, the Prophet Mohammad has been commissioned for transmitting the message of God. It was impossible for the prophets to make any concessions on this, and they carried the true message, even at the cost of their own lives, to the most extreme leaders of their times and the most perverse communities. Conveying this message sometimes meant to oppose the tyrant Nimrod, as in the case of the Prophet Abraham, and sometimes to oppose dictators such as Pharaoh, as with the Prophet Moses. At all such times, believers found opposition from people who sought to take their lives. Despite circumstances where no one enjoyed freedom of expression, all the prophets communicated God’s message without regard to the cost. And this is no different in Islam as well.

War (qital) and jihad are not the same - The basic claim of the accusations and reactions trying to portray Islam as violent -God forbid- is that there are verses about jihad in the Qur’an and that these speak of killing. First and foremost, jihad and war are entirely different concepts: Jihad is not synonymous with holy war, as some misguided people think. Jihad means rather exertion, which is to strive, to make effort toward some object identified to the will of God as revealed in the Qur’an. Some worthy objects of jihad include strife against one’s egoistic passions, or to make an intellectual challenge against irreligion, radicalism or fanaticism. One convinces people with scientific and intellectual evidence. To expose the signs of God’s existence, to convey His revelation, to explain the malice of atheistic ideologies etc… These are the legitimate objects of the “jihad” for a Muslim, not beating someone about the head, killing someone or forcing a person to embrace Islam as an act of coercion.

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About the Author: Sinem Tezyapar is an executive producer on Turkish Television. She is a political and religious commentator and a peace activist. She can be reached on Facebook, and Twitter.


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197 Responses to “Listen to Me: Islam Does Not Command War Against Jews”

  1. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Sinem, Al Rassooli, an expert on the Quran, has dedicated his life to warning people of the evil of Islam. Also, for Islam to present to the public a sexually attractive woman to talk peace by exciting testosterone production which goes against every principle of Judaism distorts the mind into thinking that you are from the department of open minds when actually it is very closed. What you have said and in how it was presented in reality is putting the last nail in the coffin of religious corruption.

  2. Dan Hischar says:

    Treated equal? When was the last time a Muslim man was stoned? or had acid splashed in his face?How about a little girl that was shot in the head by a GREAT MUSLIM WARRIOR!!

  3. Oh, Ok, like that is it? Deny everything which isn't a koranic teaching. Ok, well verse 65:4 makes PAEDOPHILIA lawful, how about that one, eh?
    I've read what your hateful koran says about the people of the book, please don't bull**** me. And what it says about taking them as friends and helpers.

  4. Samia Khan says:

    Excellently written,, Yes Muslims and Jews should be realistic in their belief of being sincere. That they should try and think where we stand at loss. WE are all at loss how to make peace, but even one person who redeem the thought is most precious human , stand up for peace n love, study history and make truth stand out.

  5. Sinem, perhaps the clerics are not emphasizing this enough to their followers. How do you deliver this message in a clear way to the Moslems?

  6. Görkem Erdoğan Maskha'Allah. Very good Sister!!!!

  7. Can you publish and distribute this message to those who are being bombarded with the opposite propaganda by Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hisbollah, and other organization, who are preaching violence to their followers?

  8. I will write how… in another article God willing. I will explain the vision that we believe will bring solution. But they will not listen to this message at the moment. Not this way…

  9. Dan Hischar Brother Dan Hischar I of course agree with you that such actions applied by bigots/radicals are extremely violent and should be abandoned and the people responsible for such actions should be legally persecuted. However the examples you give do not belong to Islam; they are not stated in the Koran. Islam has one book and one book only. Such actions I believe are traditionally borrowed from other cultures and they don't represent a true devout Muslim.

  10. So what about verse 65:4? Please answer, if you avoid the issue I'll take your silence as consent.
    What about your instruction to not take people of the book as friends and helpers unless it be to guard yourselves against them?

  11. Aziz Hoca says:

    In Quran, killing one man unfairly, unjustly is such a big sin as killing all the people in the world.

    THE VERSE:
    "For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than man slaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if be had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had: saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty) , but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth." (5:32).

  12. Daniel Greenfield says:

    This isn't even omitting. It's carefully cutting out the verse being quoted.

  13. Azzam Zeki says:

    masaAllah…I hope that spreads peace between Jews and Muslims.

  14. John English says:

    Obviously Sinem & Gorkem have their very own. very sanitized, version of the Qur'an. The spin (taqiyya) will all stop when Islam rules the World & have no further use for it!

  15. Liad Bar-el says:

    John English, your talk back is one of the best, concise and truthful ones on this blog. You should be working for the Department of Communications instead of Domino's.

  16. My dear Sinem, you should go and live in Gaza under Hamas rule, I am sure you will be singing a different tune about Jihad, and Muslim religion.

  17. My dear Sinem, you should go and live in Gaza under Hamas rule, I am sure you will be singing a different tune about Jihad, and Muslim religion.

  18. Sister Ofra, True Islam is a loving Faith, The Holy Qur'an speaks against the violence, as does the Torah. Hard to accept, having endured 1000 rocket attacks upon your communities before a military response, I understand. The Qur'an calls for a restrained defense. The Jewish state seems to have met that requirement. The Radicals will have no place to turn, in time. We are working to combat the ignorance, bigotry, hatred, and the hijacking of Islam to wage war. The Turkish-Islamic Union, which will likely include Israel, will cause terror groups such as the 3 in question, to become extinct. This is God's will. The Holy Qur'an states that the Jews will live in the Holy Land til the end times. The threat of force cannot compare to Gods will. Education is key. We and our Jewish brothers and sisters will prevail. This is the only viable approach insha'Allah, God Willing.

  19. Sister Ofra, True Islam is a loving Faith, The Holy Qur'an speaks against the violence, as does the Torah. Hard to accept, having endured 1000 rocket attacks upon your communities before a military response, I understand. The Qur'an calls for a restrained defense. The Jewish state seems to have met that requirement. The Radicals will have no place to turn, in time. We are working to combat the ignorance, bigotry, hatred, and the hijacking of Islam to wage war. The Turkish-Islamic Union, which will likely include Israel, will cause terror groups such as the 3 in question, to become extinct. This is God's will. The Holy Qur'an states that the Jews will live in the Holy Land til the end times. The threat of force cannot compare to Gods will. Education is key. We and our Jewish brothers and sisters will prevail. This is the only viable approach insha'Allah, God Willing.

  20. Liad Bar-el says:

    I say to every Jew to not believe in Islam because our sage, the Rambam, Rabbi Mosheh Ben Maimon (Maimonides), wrote a formal didactic (teaching) letter to the Yemenite Jews in 1172 informing them that Muhammad (Islam) as well as his predecessor, Jezeus (Xtianity), are false prophets and insane.

  21. Liad Bar-el says:

    Sinem Tezyapar, you and your associates/managers, Ceylan Ozbudak, Adnan Oktar, et al, really should be making youtubes of interviews with people like Hasan Nasrallah, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the main financier of Islam, Saudi King Abdullah Alsoud. Concentrating your efforts on the Jewish Press instead gives the impression that you’re out fishing for those who are ignorantly lost from the general consensus of religious beliefs and practices. For your organization to state that they will set up Turkey as the spiritual center for the world just throws up red flags all over the place.

  22. Brother Liad, you are a Man of great faith, it is plain to see. No one is trying for conversion, only to draw upon the similarities of the 3 books of Faith. Not to dismiss any teachings, the Status Que cannot stand. Our Jewish brothers and sisters will be out numbered 10 to 1 by Muslims before this decade is out. Regardless, The Holy Qu'ran states that the Jewish people will be in the Holy Land ( Jewish State) until the end times. No one can alter God's will. The Turkish-Islamic Union will cause peer pressure in many Positive ways. The Ottomans protected the Jews, so it shall be again. We are together Brother Laid, in what Allah, God, Hashem wants for us, Peace and unity.

  23. Thank you , Brother. I am an American Muslim that has come full circle since 9/11. I was here to witness the Attacks,the murder of 3000 innocents, spent the best years of my life in pursuit of killers, and then found Allah, our creator. I would like to invite you to visit www, buildingbridges.com. This is A9 in Istanbul. We have guest scholars and Rabbis from around the world. Many from Israel itself. You are seeing a intellectual war being waged against bigotry, ignorance, and hatred that is far more effective than any military unit I ever served with. Brother please, A9 has a long history of Scholars and Leaders, even having won a Nobel Prize for Peace. Join us, it is in our own interest that our Jewish brothers survive and Flourish. God Willing. insha'Allah.

  24. Yori Yanover says:

    I received this comment from a friend by Email:

    Reading the comments on Sinem's article, one gets the impression that most Muslims here seek peace, while many comments by non-Muslims are negative, skeptical and pessimistic.

    As a proud Zionist and an Orthodox Jew from Jerusalem, I am rather confused and sad to see this.

    Yes, I know that most vocal Islamists preach violence and hatred, but I fail to understand why some Westerners are so eager to push ALL Muslims into the radical camp.

    Do we not want to encourage peace and tolerance? Have we fallen in love with being hated and terrorized?

    Sinem is saying that the Muslim radicals that preach hatred and violence are WRONG! Do we want her to shut up and join them?
    What on earth for?

    And how do we have the CHUTZPAH to tell this Turkish intellectual that we know HER religion better than herself and her friends?

    Let's be honest – Jewish and Christian sources also have tones of war and tones of peace. But we are free to choose the right path in every historical period. So why do we reject peaceful Muslims when they insist on adopting tolernace and acceptance? What do you hope to gain from this arrogant approach?

    We should be doing the exact opposite: Encourage people of good will and embrace them. This is the only hope for a better future for all humanity!

  25. Yori Yanover says:

    I received this comment from a friend by Email:

    Reading the comments on Sinem's article, one gets the impression that most Muslims here seek peace, while many comments by non-Muslims are negative, skeptical and pessimistic.

    As a proud Zionist and an Orthodox Jew from Jerusalem, I am rather confused and sad to see this.

    Yes, I know that most vocal Islamists preach violence and hatred, but I fail to understand why some Westerners are so eager to push ALL Muslims into the radical camp.

    Do we not want to encourage peace and tolerance? Have we fallen in love with being hated and terrorized?

    Sinem is saying that the Muslim radicals that preach hatred and violence are WRONG! Do we want her to shut up and join them?
    What on earth for?

    And how do we have the CHUTZPAH to tell this Turkish intellectual that we know HER religion better than herself and her friends?

    Let's be honest – Jewish and Christian sources also have tones of war and tones of peace. But we are free to choose the right path in every historical period. So why do we reject peaceful Muslims when they insist on adopting tolernace and acceptance? What do you hope to gain from this arrogant approach?

    We should be doing the exact opposite: Encourage people of good will and embrace them. This is the only hope for a better future for all humanity!

  26. Bob Carroll says:

    Absolutely. People would rather consign themselves to a future of endless conflict that admit to themselves that their preconceptions are less than 100% true.

  27. Liad Bar-el says:

    Yori and Bob you both have a lot to learn about the two main religions in this world which are based from its inception on destroying the Jews. You both will probably not understand this but I will say it anyway. Before these religions wanted to kill us with swords and some still do; however, now they want to kill us with love. In other words they both have the same objective…..to kill us via their religion. What you read here is pure taqiyya (concealing) of their world take over by this very destruction however "sweet" and seductive it may appear. No matter what kind of spin Islam puts on it, it's all a lie and if you both think not, then it has become an illusion in your heads. You both can see for yourselves that Islam has NEVER EVER "walked the talk" when the word peace was mentioned. Peace has been ALWAYS used as deception and instructed to do so by Muhammed, so as to buy time in order to build up forces ONLY for eventual war and dominate takeover of the world.

  28. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Someone I 'know' on Twitter told me that there was an earlier Koran, but it got destroyed and it was peaceful and loving. Now I understand about abrogation – that earlier – loving – verses were abrogated in favor of violent and hateful verses. My question is: Will the real Quran please stand up?

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