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The Religious Cause of Conflict Between Israelis and Palestinians The present conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is a great problem that remains unresolved today. So many plans to resolve the conflict have been proposed, including those already recommended by the United Nations and the League of Arab Nations…
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Conflict between Israelis & Palestinians
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Download file to see previous pages Religion itself, of course need not be blamed as it is an impulse of nature that derives from “man’s religious constitution” (James, xi). While religion is a complex reality, it is commonly identified with man’s “feeling of the infinite” (43). As such, it is an ennobling capacity or trait of humankind. Still, religion or religious experience admits varieties, such as to divide individuals and societies. In human history, religion has proven to be both a boon and a bane to humanity. Consider the religious persecutions, oppressions, and wars in history. And along this trend of thought, this paper takes the position that while religion itself is good, distortion of the religious impulse by way of bias and extremism can become destructive. In this situation, religion serves to become the root cause of conflict, such as in the case of the estranged Jewish Israelis and Muslim Palestinians living in what is known as the Holy Land. Seed of religious conflict Not generally known is the fact that Muslims and Jews had a failed relationship even during the lifetime of the founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad. The situation was rather unfortunate, because in the beginning, the learned rabbis of the Jewish tribes of Yatrib, a settlement in the Middle East, admired Muhammad. They saw in him the awaited prophet who would come from the Arabs with whom they the Jews would destroy the idolaters of the region (Pickthall xiv). In fact, they even came to Mecca to vow allegiance to the prophet and invite him to their city. And owing to the hate and plot of assassination, Muhammad himself sought refuge among Jews in Yatrib. This event was later known as Hijrah or the Flight from Mecca, marking the beginning of the Muslim era (xv). But during the eventuality of a blood feud between Meccans and Muhammad and a temporary defeat of Muslim forces, the Jews reneged on their friendship with Muhammad and joined the hostile Meccans. To aggravate the situation, the Jews of Yatrib also declared that the religion of the pagan Arabs was superior to Al-Islam (xx). Then in a rather unforeseen reversal of fortune in the seventh year of Hijrah, the Prophet led a victorious campaign against Kheybar, the hornets nest of the idolatrous Arabs and stronghold of Jewish tribes in North Africa. The Prophet and his army overcame his persecutors, and by the ninth year of the Hijrah, all Arab tribes from all part of Arabia swore allegiance to Muhammad making him the emperor of Arabia. And for their infidelity, the Prophet expelled the Jews from Arabia (xxvi). The seed of a prolonged Jewish and Muslim hostility was sown. Spread of Islam Muhammad spread his faith in only One God all over Arabia, later in other continents by means of preaching and war. His words were made into a new Bible called the Koran, and today the Koranic religious law is followed by about 1.4 billion people scattered all over Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Earlier on, Muhammad’s faith was a religion of peace, but it spread rapidly as a warlike faith offering unbelievers three choices: to fight it out, to accept the new religion, or keep their old religion but pay tribute to the conquering Muslims or followers of the Prophet Muhammad (Boak et al., 168) Given the quick brains of Arabs, Muslims absorbed the Greek learning of the Eastern Roman Empire, and contributed Arabic advancement especially in the fields of chemistry, medicine and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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