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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.

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.

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. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Why are infidels throughout the world being murdered by Muslims? It doesn't really matter to us if they are 'true Muslims' or not. They are acting in the name of Islam.

  2. Alan Kardon says:

    Sinem I hope you can get your point across to the Jihadists and Hamas. You will do a great service to your people. If millions who follow Islam believe what you say than we have hope. Wishing you much success in explaining it to THEM.

  3. Angela Sessions says:

    Thank you for the enlightened article. I have always suspected your interpretation of Islam is correct, and truly wish there are more like you in the world. It would surely be a better place. Thanks again Sinem.

  4. Roc Diaz says:

    yea ok, sinem and her friends seem nice and benevolent, but in the end they would certainly agree to making all nations bow to islam, which is not to be. they will be defeated and forced to leave israel in peace. the muslims are violent and are permitted to lie and steal from a non muslim, even to take "non believers" as slaves. the israelis should start to play hard ball and clear out hevron and ramallah, its israeli land. we should push the gazans into egypt and jordan and take back our boarders according to what G-d has alloted us in the torah. we might not be able to do it all right now, but soon when the Redeemer comes forth from the north.

  5. Roc Diaz says:

    is coleman a jewish name, are you jewish by origin?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sinem Tezyapar is not only wrong, she's apostate! Of course she may simply be lying. Muslims do that. And thieve loot rob rape maim murder and diddle kiddies like their psychopath prophet! And why is she inviting rape? Get thee into a burka!

  7. Roc Diaz says:

    its a bunch of b.s. all what the mulslims what to do is fight and take over and impose their soveriegnty over others. its fine if the rest of the world wants it which is what seems to be the case as america has elected one for president a mear 10 after the twin towers episode. the israelis however dont want anymore of your crap, get off our land please and leave us in peace.

  8. Sinem Tezyapar is a very pretty woman but in her case beauty and brains don't go together.

  9. Tim Upham says:

    You know that, I know that, but tell the Jewish extremists that. The Qu'ran refers to both Jews and Christians as the People of the Book, who supplied the Scriptures. The Qu'ran will say those who violate the Sabbath is a despicable ape, not that jews are despicable apes, but only those who violate the Sabbath. An Orthodox rabbi can call you that, but how many of the Jewish extremists even go to a synagogue and follow the mitzvot of what is commanded on Shabbat?

  10. The Muslim attitude toward Jews is reflected in various verses throughout the Koran, the holy book of the Islamic faith. "They [the Children of Israel] were consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves, and this because they used to deny God's signs and kill His Prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors" (Sura 2:61). According to the Koran, the Jews try to introduce corruption (5:64), have always been disobedient (5:78), and are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels (2:97­98).

  11. Grace Acosta says:

    Görkem Erdoğan , what planet do you live on? It must be very nice there. Back here on Earth, things are much different.

  12. Grace Acosta says:

    Why is this woman being given an audience on the Jewish Press? Let her go peddle her daydreams to Al Jazeera, and see how many people agree with her there.

    I'm sure this will all be news to the Taliban, and they will be ever so grateful and relieved to hear that they can lay down arms and take up stamp collecting.

  13. Rosalyn Chatt says:

    FYI, Jews do not refer to Abraham or Moses or David as a prophets. So referring to them in that way, especially in a Jewish publication indicates that you have appropriated Judaism without actually absorbing Judaism accurately. That's rude. Furthermore, to expect Jews to accept Islam's repurposing of Jewish figures is disturbing, regardless of your so called peaceful intentions.

    I'm not an expert on Islam but what I have learned from reading and listening to lectures is that Muslims consider Islam to be the final revelation of G-d and the goal is that Islam should rule the world, not be equal to other religions. According to the Qur'an Jews corrupted the Torah and Christians are misled by believing in the trinity and Christ's divinity, and both groups are banned to eternal hell fire unless they accept Allah and Mohammed as his prophet. Furthermore, according to Islam, since the Qur'an was a direct transmission to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel it can not be changed or modernized or interpreted according to personal whims. The Qur'an is not considered divinely inspired but the word of G-d. Islam is Islam. Sinem, it's not my place to tell you how to practice your faith, but please don't try to mislead people that what you are saying is authentic or mainstream Islam.

    I do hope that Islam can be reformed by well intentioned Muslims who prefer to live in peace and recognize the spiritual paths of other people as equally valid.

  14. Rosalyn Chatt says:

    FYI, Jews do not refer to Abraham or Moses or David as a prophets. So referring to them in that way, especially in a Jewish publication indicates that you have appropriated Judaism without actually absorbing Judaism accurately. That's rude. Furthermore, to expect Jews to accept Islam's repurposing of Jewish figures is disturbing, regardless of your so called peaceful intentions.

    I'm not an expert on Islam but what I have learned from reading and listening to lectures is that Muslims consider Islam to be the final revelation of G-d and the goal is that Islam should rule the world, not be equal to other religions. According to the Qur'an Jews corrupted the Torah and Christians are misled by believing in the trinity and Christ's divinity, and both groups are banned to eternal hell fire unless they accept Allah and Mohammed as his prophet. Furthermore, according to Islam, since the Qur'an was a direct transmission to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel it can not be changed or modernized or interpreted according to personal whims. The Qur'an is not considered divinely inspired but the word of G-d. Islam is Islam. Sinem, it's not my place to tell you how to practice your faith, but please don't try to mislead people that what you are saying is authentic or mainstream Islam.

    I do hope that Islam can be reformed by well intentioned Muslims who prefer to live in peace and recognize the spiritual paths of other people as equally valid.

  15. In a few weeks Norway will be "Judenrein". The last 819 Jews still living in Norway are now leaving the country due to the rise of anti-Semitism.

    Thus Norway becomes the first European country in which Jews will no longer.
    live. A similar development can be observed in all the European countries.

    When one hears nowadays reports regarding the terrorist attack against Jews.
    in Bulgaria one does not know that Jews in Europe are subject to.
    anti-Semitic manifestations daily.

    The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported In February 2012 about the.
    departure of Jews from the country. Anne Sender, the head of the Jewish.
    community in Norway , once said: "Many immigrants brought anti-Semitism from.
    their countries. The shame is in that nobody speaks out against them." The.
    waves of Muslim immigrants bring anti-Semitism back to Europe. A similar
    development is taking place in the neighboring country, Sweden , and in all.
    the European countries. The Muslims are the ones who drive away the Jews.
    everywhere.

  16. In a few weeks Norway will be "Judenrein". The last 819 Jews still living in Norway are now leaving the country due to the rise of anti-Semitism.

    Thus Norway becomes the first European country in which Jews will no longer.
    live. A similar development can be observed in all the European countries.

    When one hears nowadays reports regarding the terrorist attack against Jews.
    in Bulgaria one does not know that Jews in Europe are subject to.
    anti-Semitic manifestations daily.

    The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported In February 2012 about the.
    departure of Jews from the country. Anne Sender, the head of the Jewish.
    community in Norway , once said: "Many immigrants brought anti-Semitism from.
    their countries. The shame is in that nobody speaks out against them." The.
    waves of Muslim immigrants bring anti-Semitism back to Europe. A similar
    development is taking place in the neighboring country, Sweden , and in all.
    the European countries. The Muslims are the ones who drive away the Jews.
    everywhere.

  17. Perfect piece, congratulations. But I think it also needs to emphasize that people need to open their eyes and see that thier hunger for hatred will take them nowhere. It baffles me to see that people hatefully respond to a piece calling for peace. How can they ever justify that? So I think, Sinem you need to focus on that hateful state of mind too, and maybe you can show them how to overcome their prejudices. People wake up! You were not born to hate, God created you to love.

  18. Liad Bar-el says:

    Yori, I am sure that the Sephardic Jews of Yemen thought as you back in the years of 1172 when they were loosing Jews and having great troubles. They asked the Rambam for help and he did and saved them from their troubles. The Rambam wrote a formal didactic (teaching) letter to the Yemenite Jews in 1172 informing them that Muhammad and his predecessor, Jezeus, are false prophets and insane. If someone says otherwise and makes you believe otherwise then you are right back in the same situation of 1172 but it has become worse because you are influencing many more people on an international basis with the internet.

  19. Amir Ahmad says:

    The very first muslim migration took place because the non-believers did not want muslims to preach Islam in Makkah. If the non-believers had let the muslims continue following their newly found reliigion Islam, they were afraid masses would convert to be muslims seeing the way muslims behaved so well. And the very first war Badar took place because non-believers did not want muslims to flourish in Madinah and attract more people towards Islam.

    Islam does NOT order killings of any non-muslims, unless they attack muslims. And even then there is no killing of women, oldies and children. Only fighters have to be fought against.

    I believe that if muslims demonstrate in Europe and Americas how to live peacefully and in true Islam spirit, people there will quickly convert to Islam. My persona belief is that Islam starts where humanity reaches its height. Provided the muslims live as per Allah's way as shown by the holy prophet. Mere naming themselves as Muslims, but acting against Islam is not going to bring good name to Islam and muslims.

  20. she looks just like salome who danced for the king to ask for John the Baptist head on a platter as her reward.

  21. אהובה ירבה says:

    Be careful about these people , this "Blonde" Sinem are part of a group following Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya) a controversial Turkish Muslim Guru .
    Tamar Yonah made a very good interview with one of them debunking their final agenda 1 week ago .

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/163731#.UOprjG9PgmU

  22. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Turkey will take charge of the region??? They were kicked out by the British! What a joke….. I don't understand how it is that this woman hasn't been targeted yet….

  23. אהובה ירבה says:

    It's a group , not only this woman, they have their own channel in Turkey A9
    http://en.a9.com.tr/

    They are starting to publish articles in Jewish internet news papers , Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva , Time of Israel etc……. many are believing their lunacies on this "Peaceful" Turkish Islamic Union .

  24. And there is no point in claiming otherwise because they have the right to live as unbelievers as God says there is no compulsion in religion. So if you don't believe in the Koran you are a nonbeliever, that is so stupid. Besides there is no God and if there was where has he been for the last 3000 years while millions have died in the name of religion. Irags killing Irags, same in Afghanistan, sorry it seems Muslims are the root of evil. Again there is no God, you just belong to a cult.

  25. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Yori Yanover, it is good that your Orthodox friend sent you this email for otherwise he would be embarrassed to publish his name after showing such ignorance of Torah and Judaism. It’s been proven that not all Orthodox raised children remain Orthodox as can be seen from your friends’ email. Granted not all of us have the time to study Torah and do what we study so that we do not lose what we have studied. Neither do we have the time and interest to study other religions and learn how they might impact our lives and those of our loved ones; so, we rely on our sages knowledge to help guide us through the many unknowns in our lives. When a sage, such as the Rambam for instance, stated that a certain man, Muhammed, is a false prophet and insane, it would behoove us to stay far away from him and his followers. Maybe we don’t have what it takes to intellectually fight against this false prophet and his followers but the Rambam does have “the CHUTZPAH to tell this Turkish intellectual that we know HER religion better than herself and her friends”. The Rambam was closer to HaShem than any one of us; so, to follow the Rambam’s advice is not “an arrogant approach” as your friend termed it but rather a very wise and humble approach.

    Your friend asked: “Have we fallen in love with being hated and terrorized?” It seems that your friend is tired of being hated and terrorized much like Olmert was tired of fighting and winning wars; so, he made sure that Israel didn’t win any more wars much like your friend would believe the Islamists than fight them so long as there is some delicious lavishly looking sex pot to give him his daily dose of ego pills and testosterone evocations during his present day male menopause stage of life.

  26. Yehuda Cohen says:

    It is forbidden in Judaism to proselytize; so why are Islamists proselytizing here on the Jewish Press?

  27. Please stop calling evil good. Your blindness and twisted logic is nausiating.

  28. Thank you Alan Kardon!

  29. Anonymous says:

    what book is that then?

  30. Anonymous says:

    what book is that then where war and killing is allow.

  31. Yehuda Cohen says:

    I see that two of my talk backs have been deleted; so, I'll post one more time with a condensed version. When a sage, such as the Rambam for instance, stated that a certain man, Muhammed, is a false prophet and insane, it would behoove us to stay far away from him and his followers. Maybe we don’t have what it takes to intellectually fight against this false prophet and his followers but the Rambam does have “the CHUTZPAH to tell this Turkish intellectual that we know HER religion better than herself and her friends”. Quotations from Yori's email friend. The Rambam was closer to HaShem than any one of us; so, to follow the Rambam’s advice is not “an arrogant approach” as Yori’s email friend termed it but rather a very wise and humble approach.

  32. ah jest doesn’t buy it.

  33. Bernie Krumis says:

    I wonder at the verses I always hear quoted, that the believer should not feel remorse at killing the unbeliever by thinking of them as farm animals; for instance a swine.

  34. Bernie Krumis says:

    I also wonder at the fact that most muslim countries have muslim populations in the high 90, s 99, 98 97%. So does it really matter how the rest of the population was eliminated. The end result is the elimination of non muslims. Turkey is held up as the most tolerant muslim society and has 99% muslim population.

  35. Bernie Krumis says:

    I like the Suffi's, they seem to me to be the most humanistic tolerant and inclusive of the branches of Islam, meanwhile they are being killed for that attitude in Pakistan.

  36. Alan Kardon says:

    Your welcome. Now you can start by making sure that Hamas will stop firing rockets at Israel. You also can tell the Palestinians that Israel has a right to exist. Then we can sit down and have a conversation that will be meaningful. Thank you in advance for your help in getting the terrorist to stop.

  37. Anastasia Klein says:

    taquiyya much?

  38. Andy Bendzin says:

    I've read too much about it, I've experienced second hand with a Turkish girl we knew who had to go back to Turkey and was not allowed any outside contact.
    There is no mention about the trilogy, Qur'an, Hadith and Sinar, there is no mention about the Qur'an not being set up chronologically but based on chapter length. Thus confusing the reader not knowing that there is the Qur'an of Mecca and later the Qur'an of Medina. It's irrelevant for me to say any more. I could write a whole page of 14 years of reading, dissecting and who knows what. Go to Bill Warner's page http://www.polticalislam.com! He says it all.

  39. Tzipora Markovich says:

    The Muslim leaders made the religion a tool to help them against Israel, achieving political power, control women and everything that they need for their power, did you know that by the time of Muhammad, Muslim women were allowed to wear sleeveless dresses?

  40. Bernie Krumis says:

    I always pray for peace in Israel, Herman Wouk said that the only way peace will come is with divine intervention. I have been to many churches when they parrot free and fair i ask if they know benazir bhutto or rafik hariri or robert stetham. they never do.

  41. Bernie Krumis says:

    I never realized how many christians were genocided to create the middle east. all i heard about was the crusades.

  42. Bernie Krumis says:

    millions of christians murdered in the 8th century throughout the middle east and north africa. it was in all the papers.

  43. Bernie Krumis says:

    i wonder how you end up with 97,98,99% muslim popultion in the face of all this acceptance and love.

  44. Thanks so much Grace for pointing that out. Yes I am living in a different planet as in planet being a metaphor for the true face of Islam, and as a woman I am saying that Islam does not oppress women but so does the wrong biased implementations of some cultures and traditions.

  45. The verse does not have the meaning you just mentioned. From your comments I can see that you have a preconceived idea about my religion without concise knowledge of it. But you see, I don't have the same feelings towards or ideas about you or your religion whatever it may be.

  46. The hope of the world is that the sacred consensus that is a part of Middle Eastern.
    tradition for thousands of years before the Torah was revealed, will eventually.
    have consensus similar to Tezyapar's.

    In the many centuries of the existence of the Torah, the New Testament, and the Koran there have always been more humanistic and more blood-thirsty interpretations.

    In part it is also about an understanding of the Creator.

    Although the Creator is above and separate from his creation, everything he has created, and everyone he has created is holy and must be loved and protected.

  47. Thank you for asking Brother Roc. My Mother is an American Indian, My Father is Geman.

  48. Brother Yori, it is a Blessing to see you again, it has been a long time. Last time we spoke I was examining Judism as a possible faith for conversion. Thank you for keeping an open mind. I understand how hard it can be. i have served with Brothers that have sacrificed much due to Radicals. I do understand. Trust takes time. God bless you, Brother

  49. Roc Diaz Why so Harsh? Why the Hate. Your last Name Implies you are Hispanic. Victums of Much hate? Whats up with that?

  50. wonderful article. we need to work together.

  51. wonderful article. we need to work together.

  52. The meaning of the verse is clear, as confirmed by ibn kathir, al tabari, abu al'a maududi, and several others. You know it, I know it. How about you quit with the tired old evasion tactics and face the facts of your backwards cult for a change instead of attempting to defend the indefensible, eh?
    You haven't got a clue what my level of knowledge is, slave of allah.

  53. What is the age of consent under your hateful and backwards sharia?
    And what represents ''consent'' under your hateful and backwards sharia, slave of allah?

  54. How old was aisha when the PAEDOPHILE mohammed ''married'' her?
    Who is the ''best example of mankind'' for a muslim male?

  55. Andy Bendzin says:

    And even there an Arab pastor exclaimed that most of these translations can't be trusted. There is only one coming straight out of Saudi Arabia. It's Taqiyya like with everything else.

  56. Jane Smith says:

    Jimmy Coleman As you say, "Jews were protected." Protected implies inferiority. They were not free, equal citizens. They were forced to pay special taxes and were 2nd class citizens. If a Muslim killed a Jew the punishment was not the same as the death sentence given to the Jew who killed a Muslim. Some protection when one's very life is considered of lesser value than the life of a Muslim.

  57. James Cohn says:

    There will people who quote certain suras to prove that Islam is a genocidal cult, and those who will quote others to prove that Islam is a religion of tolerance and compassion. What disturbs me the most is that many of the professionals and intellectuals who should be advocating ecumenical dialogue (doctors, engineers, scientists, and academics), are frequently the ones to be found in the ranks of organizations such as Al-Qaeda.

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