Thus it is illogical and unreasonable to put the blame on Israel for the ignorance, bigotry, cruelty, lovelessness, and involvement in brutal sectarian fanaticism of some Muslims. This is an outcome of the intense efforts of some Muslim clerics themselves; there is a serious deterioration in their ideology and belief system. We find this hatred in Muslims’ own books – does Israel publish them? We find this hate in their own speeches – are these clerics Rabbis? Of course not. This occurs entirely within their own jurisprudence.
They educate hatred of the “other.” Do we ever see them talk about love and compassion? Since we see many Muslim clerics inciting violence, explaining in their own words the reasons for the need to hate, why do we put the blame on others? Muslims kill each other, and both sides then turn around and blame the Jews. How do Jews make Muslims kill other Muslims? Muslim clerics hand out fatwas (Islamic rulings) calling for sectarian violence like candy. Wahabbi scholars say that all Sunnis are unbelievers and should be destroyed; Sunni scholars say Shias are unbelievers and their death is obligatory; Shias say that it is obligatory to kill Sunnis, as they are enemies. These are Muslim clerics, not Jewish rabbis, who are promoting the most violent brand of sectarianism, preaching hatred and calling upon their followers to commit massacres. When their followers then heed these calls for violence, these same clerics turn around and promptly blame the Jews.
What about Muslims being united without declaring each other as unbelievers and solving their problems without resorting to violence? What about the Organization of Islamic Cooperation with its 57 member states or the League of Arab States with its 22 states which are utterly helpless to bring about any solutions?
The harm done by some religious scholars is highly destructive, because they have lead many ignorant people astray with their false teachings that plant seeds of hate. They implement a faith which they have largely invented themselves, under the name of Islam; in this faith there is hatred, violence, darkness, and no value for human life. They only speak hostility and espouse bloodshed in the name of Islam, spreading hatred toward Christians, Jews and even other Muslims. These loveless, misguided people are most definitely not Muslims, but bigots or radicals.
So, as Muslims, let’s stop pointing the finger at others whenever we come into trouble. It is time for the Muslim world to take responsibility and to ponder on what has gone so horribly wrong. Superstitions, innovations, localized traditions and bigotry have replaced the Koran in some Islamic countries, and their religiosity is a deeply artificial one. This hatred has to stop and Muslims must embrace the true spirit of the Koran, which is love, compassion and brotherhood for all.
This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post.