Friday, March 29, 2013

Prof. David Wasserstein's article on Jewry and Islam

In these days of anti-Muslim paranoia and hatemongering, it is difficult to find too many sane voices which contest that common hysteria. But that is what Prof. David Wasserstein has done in his article:

So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews?

David J Wasserstein is the Eugene Greener Jr Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

He wrote, "Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth." He continued, "Had Islam not come along, Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance and Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult."

He wrote, "Within a century of the death of Mohammad, in 632, Muslim armies had conquered almost the whole of the world where Jews lived, from Spain eastward across North Africa and the Middle East as far as the eastern frontier of Iran and beyond. 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.

First, things improved politically. Almost everywhere in Christendom where Jews had lived now formed part of the same political space as Babylon - Cordoba and Basra lay in the same political world. The old frontier between the vital centre in Babylonia and the Jews of the Mediterranean basin was swept away, forever."
This article, originally written last year, nearly 10 months ago, came to my attention when it was cross-posted in the NFB, a website that I sometimes browse.

To read more, please, click here.

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