Jews and Christians Must Unite In Defense Against the Global Jihad
By Robert Spencer
Sunday night in Los Angeles I had the great honor of receiving the Shushan Award for Righteous Gentile from the Creative Zionist Coalition, a noteworthy new group dedicated to the defense of Israel. At a time when Leftist Christians are rushing to imitate the zeitgeist by condemning Israel and initiating Nazi-style boycotts of Jewish businesses, it is useful to recall why a Jewish-Christian alliance could be essential at this point for the survival of the free world.
The history of Christianity’s relationship of Judaism, of course, is marred by innumerable incidents of antagonism and worse. Reading histories of Catholic medieval Europe and Orthodox Russia under the czars makes me ashamed to share the same faith as the persecutors; at the same time, while the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies have at the highest level rejected anti-Semitism and the interpretations of the New Testament that buttressed it, Islamic anti-Semitism remains deeply rooted in the Qur’an and Sunnah, and no Islamic authorities show any inclination to reexamine it.
What’s more, Islam envisions the same fate for both Jews and Christians. Islamic law assigns both to dhimmi status: the institutionalized subjugation that the Qur’an mandates for “the People of the Book” (cf. 9:29). The dhimmis are forbidden to hold authority over Muslims, and so are relegated to the most menial jobs in society; are forbidden to build new houses of worship or to repair old ones, so that their communities are in a perpetual state of decline; and must submit to numerous other humiliating and discriminatory regulations – above all, the payment of the jizya, the tax that the Qur’an mandates as the most vivid manifestation of the non-Muslims’ submission to Muslim rule.
The dhimmis’ Muslim masters throughout history worked to sow antagonism among the various dhimmi groups, so as to ensure that they would never band together against their oppressors. A modern example of this came in 2007, when Ingrid Mattson, then-President of the Islamic Society of North America, a group that has admitted ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, said in a speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government that "right-wing Christians are very risky allies for American Jews, because they [the Christians] are really anti-Semitic. They do not like Jews.”
Mattson did not mention that her own holy book says that Allah transformed Jews into apes and pigs (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166), or that it designates Jews “the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe” (5:82), or that it says that they are under the curse of Allah (9:30), or that they should be warred against and subjugated (9:29). Nor does she deign to note that the New Testament, while it does contain passages that were used to justify anti-Semitism (although none call for or justify any violence) contains nothing of this…vehement hostility.
What Mattson was trying to do was not to warn the Jews of a genuine threat out of the goodness of her heart, but to sow discord among two communities targeted by jihadis, so as to ward off the formation of a united front. And Mattson is just one of many, and their efforts are working all too well: some Christians are regarding Jews today with a renewed anti-Semitism disguised as moral dudgeon directed against Israel, and some Jews view Christians with so much suspicion that they miss genuine allies.
All this makes a united front even more necessary. The pioneering historian Bat Ye’or has emphasized this in her writings, and her buttressing her point recently is hard evidence that the Islamic imperative to subjugate Jews and Christians as dhimmis is not (as Islamic apologists frequently claim these days) a relic of the distant past, never to be revived again; on the contrary, Muslims in Bosnia, Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan have in recent years called for its reimposition. The elements of Islamic law that call for jihad against Jews and Christians so as to bring them under the rule of Sharia are very much still a part of that law; they have not been reformed or rejected.
Jews and Christians have a common Scripture and, in numerous ways, a common outlook. We are the children and heirs of the greatest civilization the world has known. And today, if we do not hang together, we shall most assuredly hang separately.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His upcoming book, Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam, will be available March 25.