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5.0 out of 5 stars Muslims Contra Jews and Christians, May 26, 2008
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This review is from: The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History (Hardcover)
Andrew Bostom does humanity a great service to historians, theologians, sociologists, archeologists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims by collecting these sources into a handy volume. This book is a database of historical accounts (unaltered and complete) on Islamic sentiments towards Christians, but mainly Jews, throughout the centuries up to today's manifestations anti-Hebrew ideology with incredible detail. One should buy this book just to have an exhaustive history of Muslim persecutions, anti-semitic laws, punishments, stereotypes, beliefs, and even disgust of Christians and Hebrews from the primary sources and secondary sources of Islamic texts. Some peaceful aspects of Islam and pro-Hebrew arguments from historical Muslims are not mentioned in this book because it is not the intent of the author. The Quran does have some verses which show compassion and lots of tolernace towards Jews and Christians.

This book lets history represent itself and allows for the historical Muslims to speak their minds and views as they originally did in their allotted time. Through this book, Historical Islam can be scrutinized and compared to Modern Islam to see if the situation between Muslims and Jews has gotten any better through out the centuries. The Qu'ran is given extensive treatment as well and the contributing authors document verses of the Qu'ran, passages of the Sira (the early biographies of Muhammad) and the Hadith (the traditions of the Muslims) that are used by anti-semitic Muslims to justify their views on their supposed fallen Hebrew and Christian brothers. Along with this, a huge amount of historical testimony, expert commentary, multiple stories of Muslims in power throughout history express their sentiments toward the Hebrew. The origins of Muslim anti-Semitism are documented, including detailed accounts of Muhammad's encounter with the Hebrews during his lifetime.

The book is dense and informative and is to be seen as a historical database for Muslims and non-Muslims in terms of history of relations and views between Muslims and Hebrews. Muslims and non-Muslims should read this book, along with others for balancing perspectives, and decide for themselves as to whether Islam was ever completely friendly to the Hebrews and Christians and how Islam has affected world history.

Here are the Parts and Chapter titles of the book (not all chapters will be named since there are so many. It's ridiculous. But, I will mention as many as possible):

Part 1: Islamic Antisemetism - Jew Hatred in Islam
1. A Survey of It's Theological-Juridical Origins and Historical Manifestations

Part 2: Anti-Jewish Motifs in the Quran and It's Exegesis
2. Quranic Verses
3. Jew Hatred in the Islamic Tradition and Koranic Exegesis

Part 3: Anti-Jewish Motifs in the Hadith
4. Excerpts form the Canonical Hadith Collections
5. Jews and Muslims according to the Hadith

Part 4: Anti-Jewish Motifs in the Sira
6. Muhammad's Jewish Adversaries at Medina
7. The Affair of the Banu Qaynuqa
8. The Assassination of Ka'b b. al-Ashraf
9. The Brothers Muhayysisa and Huwayyisa
10. The Raid against the Banu Nadir
11. The Extermination of the Banu Qurayza
12. Muhammad and the Jews of Khaybar
13. Excerpts form the Sira of Ibn Sa'd
14. Muhammad at Khaybar
15. History of the Jews of Medina

Part 5: Muslim Jurists, Theologians, and Scholars on the Jews: Classical and Postmodern Era
16. The First Jews Oath in Islam
17. Why the Muslims Prefer the Christians to the Jews
18. A Renegade Jew as the Source of the Shi'ite "Heresy" and the Conspiracy to Destroy the Early Islamic Caliphate
20. A Collection of Legal Opinions Demonstrating the Attitudes of Muslim Jurists and Citizens towards Jews of Muslim Spain and North Africa, 15th-19th Centuries
21. Anti Jewish Anecdotes from an Anti-Dhimmi Treatise
25. "Adversos Judaeos": A Treatise from Maghrib

Part 6: Muslim Jurists, Theologians, and Scholars on the Jews: Modern Era
26. Our Struggle with the Jews
27. The Jews in the Qu'ran
28. The Jewish Attitude toward Islam and Muslims in Early Islam
33. Our War with the Jews Is in the Name of Islam
34. The Jews of Today Bear Responsibility for their Forefathers' Crime against Jesus
35. The Jews' Twenty Bad Traits as Described in the Qu'ran

Part 7: The Jews of Arab Muslim Lands: Historical Maps

Part 8: The Dhimmi Condition for Jews, and the Muslim Jew Hatred: Early Islam through the Modern Era
37. Evidence on the Poll Tax from Non-Muslim Sources: A Geniza Study
38. Concerning the Situation of Jews and Christians in Seville at the Beginning of the 12th Century
41. Moses b. Samuel, a Jewish Katib in Damascus, and His Pilgrimage to Medina and Mecca
43. The Pact of Umar in Morocco: A Reappraisal of Muslim-Jewish Relations
44. New Documents Regarding Attacks upon Jewish Religious Observance in Morocco During the Late 19th Century
45. Jews under Muslim Rule II: Morocco 1903-1912
46. A Moroccan Jewish Experience: A Revisionist View
48. "Outcaste": Shi'a Intolerance
49. The Expulsion of Yemenite Jewry to Mawza' in 1679-80 in Light of Recently Discovered Sources
50. Conversion to Islam among Yemenite Jews under Zaydi Rule: The Positions of Zaydi Law, the Imam, and the Muslim Society
52. Palestine under the Rule of Ibrahim Pasha
53. The Dhimmi Factor in the Exodus of Jews from Arab Countries
55. Modern Egyptian Jew Hatred: Indigenous Elements and Foreign Influences
56. Judaism and Islam as Opposites
57. Islamic Fundamentalism, Antisemetism, and Anti-Zionism
58. Based on Qu'ranic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State: The Jews are Descendents of Apes, Pigs, and Other Animals
59. Jews as "Christ Killers" in Islam
60. Antisemetism in (Contemporary) Islam: Europe in the Conflict between Tolerance and Ideology

Part 9: Documents and Eyewitness Accounts
61. Decrees of Dhimmitude, 850-1905
62. Jews as Dhimmis and Muslim Chattel, 1790-1949
63. Two Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Modern Era before the Creation of Israel: Baghdad (1941) and Tripolitania (1945)
64. Light-Skinned Egyptian Muslim Repeatedly Beaten by His Co-religionists for "Looking Jewish"
65." Jews in Grave Danger in All Muslim Lands"
66. New York Times Reports on the Exodus of Jews from the Arab Muslim Middle East, 1955-1962
67. An Eyewitness Account of the Anti-Jewish Riots in Tunis at the Outbreak of the Six-Day War (1967)
68. A Libyan Jew Breaks Her Silence Thirty-Six Years after Surviving the 1967 Tripolitan Pogrom
69. The Modern Rhetoric of Antisemetic Jihad Genocide


Bravo for Bostom and Company! This book is an excellent reference and deserves a wide audience. Muslims should read this to understand some history of anti-semitism and non-Muslims. However, this collection should not be taken as a universal or representative view of what most Muslims, past and present, believed. Just like with all other people, Muslims are more diverse than this.

Quick side note, violence in every found in every religion (theistic and atheistic) and its secular corollary.

Buddhism and violence (Buddhism has been pretty bloody despite the euphemized western version of peaceful and compassionate Buddhism): Buddhism and Violence (Publications of the Lumbini International Research Institute, Nepal Publications of the Lumbini International Research Institute, Nepal).

Atheist persecutions and genocides and also general secular violence: The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens (has some good tables). Books on the genocides by Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot are relevant. Death by Government documents how secular power has naturally used violence through time.

Of course the vast majority of violence, persecution, and killing throughout history til today has been over secular reasons, like territory and resources. Here is a balanced look at religious violence which talks about religious and secular violence being the same phenomenon: The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict.

For a deep analysis of suicide terrorism and its causes and motives, please read Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. This book is one of the best to study rigorously the dynamics and reasons for suicide terrorism. It includes lots of tables and graphs and is considered to be the most detailed study on suicide terrorism to date - including a database of all suicide attacks from 1980 - 2003 with details on where and how they were done. Suicide terrorism is more secular based than generally presumed and in this book there is even focus on Atheist suicide terrorism - "the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam" or "Tamil Tigers" - which are known to be Atheists and secular suicide terrorists with an impressive rate of causing 76 out of 315 suicide terrorist attacks from 1980 to 2003 according to Pape's data. Another estimate was 168 out of 273 suicide attacks from 1980 to 2000 (Rohan Gunaratna, "Suicide Terrorism: A Global Threat", Jane's Intelligence Review, 20 October 2000). According to the FBI article, "Taming the Tamil Tigers From Here in the U.S", they invented and perfected the use of suicide belts, pioneered women suicide terrorists, and have taken out 2 world leaders - the only organization to do this. They have perfected the suicide vest also.

Conclude whatever you want on "religious violence" and persecution - however look at and compare how many people today get killed in the name of the supernatural with those who kill and persecute in the name of the natural (i.e. family, race, patriotism, injustice, poverty, resources, economics, disrespect, territory, stereotype, betrayal, depression, drugs, selfish activities, etc.) "Secular" motives are more dominant in decision making than spiritual motives when it comes to violence even when you read primary sources of the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition like The First Crusade: "The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres" and Other Source Materials (The Middle Ages Series) and The Spanish Inquisition, 1478-1614: An Anthology of Sources. There is always more to violence and persecution than just the ignorant perspectives : "because they are infidels" or "because of religion". People have more mundane motives for doing any actions.

To debunk myths on Islamic fanaticism and intolerance, please read the empirical data on Muslims worldwide today (Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think).
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 7, 2008 1:58:52 PM PDT
Islamism isn't just a religion.Islamism is also a totalitarism.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2009 4:06:41 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 30, 2010 8:28:31 PM PDT]

Posted on Jun 12, 2011 9:58:35 PM PDT
The Demon says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2011 2:50:00 AM PDT

I suggest you read some of the comments to other reviews of this book. Some interesting facts are brought forward concerning the expression "anti-semitism" and how it nowadays refers to "anti-judaism", be it religiously or racially.

Thank you.
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