Andrew Bostom contributes these considerations about some recent statements by the renowned Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis:
As noted earlier at Jihad Watch, Bernard Lewis in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal rehashes some of the same points Robert Spencer made on July 27th regarding the significance of August 22, 2006, which, as Lewis notes (again), marks “…27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427… when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq”.
Unfortunately, the essay epitomizes two tendencies that have become distressingly common from Lewis: omission and equivocation. Despite his elegant statement of some of the problems stemming from Muslim eschatology, his analysis is marred by the complete absence of any discussion of the Jew-hatred which is central to that eschatology. Given the raw Jew-hatred permeating the contemporary Muslim world, Lewis squanders this teachable moment.
In stark contrast, George Vajda’s landmark research demonstrated how Muslim eschatology emphasizes the Jews’ supreme hostility to Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the DajjÃ¢l — the Muslim equivalent of the Anti-Christ — and as per another tradition, the DajjÃ¢l is in fact Jewish. At his appearance, other traditions state that the DajjÃ¢l will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan wrapped in their robes, and armed with polished sabers, their heads covered with a sort of veil. When the DajjÃ¢l is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered — everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree. Thus, according to a canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985, featured prominently in the Hamas Charter), if a Jew seeks refuge under a tree or a stone, these objects will be able to speak to tell a Muslim: “There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!”
As Vajda observes,
Not only are the Jews vanquished in the eschatological war, but they will serve as ransom for the Muslims in the fires of hell. The sins of certain Muslims will weigh on them like mountains, but on the day of resurrection, these sins will be lifted and laid upon the Jews…
Lewis omits any discussion of these critically relevant anti-Jewish themes.
After an allusion to the modern cult of Islamic martyrdom, Lewis concludes:
How then can one confront such an enemy, with such a view of life and death? Some immediate precautions are obviously possible and necessary. In the long term, it would seem that the best, perhaps the only hope is to appeal to those Muslims, Iranians, Arabs and others who do not share these apocalyptic perceptions and aspirations, and feel as much threatened, indeed even more threatened, than we are. There must be many such, probably even a majority in the lands of Islam. Now is the time for them to save their countries, their societies and their religion from the madness of MAD (mutually assured destruction).
“Some immediate precautions”?
Why not just state: Iran cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, and this must be prevented by a pre-emptive strike at their nuclear facilities, if necessary?
“There must be many such, probably even a majority in the lands of Islam.”
Even if this were true, what difference does it make if they, like the good Germans of Nazi Germany, do nothing — a point Dr. Laurent Murawiec made without equivocation, here?
The omissions regarding eschatology fail to explain the Muslim masses’ crazed obsession with Jews. His wishful thinking about “many such peaceful Muslims” who supposedly abhor the jihadists, yet do nothing to stop them, could undermine the only viable short term solution: taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities ala the Israeli attack on Osirak.