Monday, 18 March 2013

So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews?

BFTF was surprised to see a Twitter feed link today that pointed towards an article in the Jewish Chronicle entitled "So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews?". The eye-opening article begins with the startling words:
"Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity - also in Christendom - through the medieval period into the modern world. "

and goes on to point out that :
"Within a century of the death of Mohammad...almost all the Jews in the world were now ruled by Islam. This new situation transformed Jewish existence. Their fortunes changed in legal, demographic, social, religious, political, geographical, economic, linguistic and cultural terms - all for the better."

as well as :
"...The result of the conquests was, by and large, to make the Jews second-class citizens. This should not be misunderstood: to be a second-class citizen was a far better thing to be than not to be a citizen at all. For most of these Jews, second-class citizenship represented a major advance. In Visigothic Spain, for example, shortly before the Muslim conquest in 711, the Jews had seen their children removed from them and forcibly converted to Christianity and had themselves been enslaved. "

Fascinating.

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