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Christian-Muslim Relations: Implications for Jews and Israel

Tricia Miller, Ph.D. and Dexter Van Zile

Dear Christian Leader, 

CAMERA's Partnership of Christians and Jews was privileged recently to host an indepth webinar with Rev. Dr. Mark Durie on the critical subject of Christian-Muslim Relations: Implications for Jews and Israel. In the course of the presentation and Q&A time, Mark exposed the prevailing antisemitism in the teachings of Islam and discussed how Islam's demand that conquered peoples render humble service influences the stance most subjugated Christians take towards Israel and the Jewish people. He also took us beyond the problem by offering long-term suggestions as to how Christians should address and remedy the underlying issues. 

Mark began his discussion with an overview of the history of Islamic conquest, a survey of how Islam views Jews and Christians, and an explanation of the effects of conquest on subjugated people. He demonstrated how: 

  • The Koran and teachings of Mohammed are antisemitic through and through due to the intense antipathy towards Jews in Islam’s core beliefs. 

  • Some Christians, since the beginning of Islam, have wanted to be sympathetic to Islam and have tried to find a Christian base or core in Islam. This is, at least in part, due to the effects of living as a conquered people under Islam. 

  • The terms of the historic relationship with Islam have affected the continuing relationship between Christians and Islam to this day. 

It is significant to note that Islam was birthed in opposition to Judaism and Christianity, and that Jews and Christians are jointly referred to in the Koran as “the people of the book.” In the beginning of the Koran, a positive view is expressed concerning "the people of the book" because of the expectation that both peoples would embrace Islam as a result of Islam's theologically driven triumph over all other religions. However, by the end, the Quran is quite negative about "the people of the book," but particularly so in reference to the Jews. Islam's holy text says such things as:

  • Jews are cursed by God.

  • Christians have gone astray from the true faith (Islam).

  • Jews are killers of the prophets, covenant breakers, treacherous, drivers of corruption, monkeys and apes, war-mongerers, the cause of corruption, and killers of the Messiah. 

These libels have been used throughout history to provoke and justify horrific persecution and murder of Jews and they continue to be employed to this day. In fact, Muslim preachers just invoked them again in May, during the 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel, to incite continued violence against Israeli Jews. 

The unfortunate reality is that the continued belief in, and use of, these libels prolongs the Arab-Israeli conflict because they inspire and energize ongoing jihad against the Jewish people consistent with Muhammad's call for the death of all Jews unless they convert to Islam. 

Going into more detail concerning the implications of Christian-Muslim relations for Jews and Israel, Mark discussed the characteristics of the relationship between Christianity and Islam and how some Christians respond to Islamic antisemitism. Some of the highlights are: 

  • Christians fail to discern the truth about Islam when they attempt to find biblical truth in it. This futile effort is a form of Christian deception because Islam is not a biblical faith, is not grounded on a biblical world view, and has a very different foundation than the biblically based faiths of Judaism and Christianity. 

  • In the process of trying to find some semblance of biblical faith, Christians become entangled with Islam's dhimmi system, which is a covenant of surrender that conquered peoples submit to in return for not being raped, enslaved and killed. 

  • Ruling Muslims use a divide and conquer strategy with subjugated people, which causes Christians to turn against each other and against Jews, encouraging the Christian embrace of Islamic antisemitism.

These observations raise the question of how centuries of Christian experience under Islamic domination currently impact the security of Israel and the Jewish people. Here are two of the points Mark made: 

  • In the context of Islam's declaration of "First Saturday and then Sunday," which refers to the subjugation (and eventual extinction) of first the Saturday people (Jews) and then the Sunday people (Christians), Christians have historically welcomed Saturday in the hope that Sunday would not come. Unfortunately, this strategy fails because Sunday does come and as the Koran makes quite clear, Christians are destined to suffer the same fate as Jews. But while entertaining the false hope that Sunday will not come, oppressed Christians do not usually take a stand in favor of Israel or the Jewish people. 

  • As a result of the effects of Islamic rule, and in the hope that Muslim oppressors might be appeased, dhimmi Christians in the Middle East have adopted Islamic antisemitism as evidenced through their publication of centuries-old blood libels, their translation of the antisemitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in Syria, and their insistence on the right to kill Jews who happen to stray into the entrance of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Again, in a vain attempt to escape their eventual fate, subjugated Christians most often take positions that have a negative impact on the security of Israel and the Jews. 

This intense Christian antipathy towards Jews is not limited to Middle Eastern Christians who suffer with a dhimmi mentality, learned through centuries of persecution. Unfortunately, some western Christian leaders are not willing to look at Islam objectively, but choose instead to exhibit sympathy towards Islam and turn a blind eye to Islamic antisemitism. This is particularly demonstrated in the way some Christian leaders freely denounce Israel but refuse to mention a word about Islamic antisemitism or discuss the very real religious motivation behind the Islamic intent to annihilate the Jewish State. 

Before closing, Mark made some challenging statements that focused particularly on what Christians must do in relation to Islamic antisemitism and the ongoing Islamic jihad against Israel. In brief: 

  • Christians have the responsibility to call out Jew-hatred and not be afraid to acknowledge the reality of what Islam teaches. 

  • Any Muslim-Christian dialogue must engage with, and challenge, Islamic antisemitism. After all, Islam’s policy for Christians is the same as it is for Jews and its hatred of both people of the book must be countered. 

  • Testimony from Middle Eastern Christians must be understood in the context of the reality that they live in an abusive situation as a conquered and oppressed people.This means they are not free to speak negatively about their life under Muslim rulers, but have complete freedom to criticize and condemn Israel. 

Finally, Mark made the very convincing point that peace in the Middle East will only come when Muslims reject the antisemitism taught in their texts, as well as the continual call to jihad against Israel that comes as a result. 

The relevance and timeliness of everything Mark said for all of us who love and support Israel and the Jewish people cannot be overstated! If you missed this important webinar, would like to see it again, or want to share it with others, the video is available here.

Please take the time to listen to this in-depth briefing about how Christian-Muslim relations determine some Christians' response to Islamic antisemitism, how that response impacts the security of Israel and the Jewish people, and how Christians should address and remedy the underlying issues in order to be effective agents for truth and peace in the Middle East.

For more information on this critical subject, please read Mark's books: 

The Qur’an and its Biblical Reflexes

The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom Liberty to the Captives: Freedom from Islam and Dhimmitude through the Cross. 

The Third Choice details the impact of Islamic supremacism on interfaith relations and the lives of both Muslims and non-Muslims. 

Liberty to the Captives gives Christians and pastors the background they need to confront the psychological and spiritual impact dhimmitude has on Christians living in Muslim-majority environments.

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