A Jew and a Muslim discuss Judaism & Islam at Speakers’ Corner

At Speakers Corner yesterday I had a fascinating and enjoyable inter-faith dialogue with Joseph Cohen, the leader of the Israel Advocacy Movement in London.

 

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Categories: God, Islam, Judaism, London, Speakers Corner, Zionism

14 replies

  1. Jews circumambulate their Temple? Nice to know that from Jew. Good discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. He makes it sound as though he is regularly attacked and spat on at Speakers Corner.
    Sure, it’s always a positive thing to remember the commonalities and I have no doubts about Paul’s intentions in trying to build bridges between the two groups. However, I can’t help but wonder which is worse, making the lives of Muslims more difficult in the West as Jay Smith has done or pushing an agenda of colonialism at the expense of millions of people in the Middle East as this British Zionist is doing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Xtian evangelical theology is world apart with Islam and Judaism albeit its pro zionist, islamophobic ideology. But not all jews support zionism, the very religious and learned among them are not so I would think we should continue to reach out to the jews to discuss common root with us in order to make them to recognize how Islam is actually Judaism 2.0, the final release from God Almighty, God Willing it inevitably will invalidate the claim of zionism.

      Liked by 1 person

    • http://www.truetorahjews.org/

      Here is a Jewish anti-Zionist website. Also, the anti-Zionism on this site is based on Judaism, not leftism like Finkelstein.

      Eric, question for you. You said that Islam is: “the final release from God Almighty”. If this is the case, why do you guys also say that Islam is the religion of all the prophets, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. It’s one or the other. Wouldn’t that make it the first release and not the last?

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    • Allan,
      Many of us are familiar with “True Torah” Jews, and it is good to see that there are some anti-Zionist movements based within Judaism.

      In regard to Eric’s comment, I don’t mean to speak for him, but I think maybe he was referring to Qur’an being the final or last testament, You are right in that we believe that Islam is the primordial religion of God as well as the religion preached and taught by all of his Prophets. But we also believe that the religion was continuously reaffirmed, reconsecrated, and purified over time, until it was finally perfected and established in the form of historical Islam as received by Prophet Muhammad (sws). So while the core theological principals and precepts have always been unchanging and unaltered, it is not something that entirely remained static either (i.e. continuation of revelatory chain, ritual, practice, etc.).

      So in that sense, Eric’s comment might make more sense to you, as well as Paul’s very interesting comment that Islam could be considered a “universalized Judaism.”

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    • Just one thing I want to inquire about Ibn Issam.

      The whole idea of Universal Judaism is shaky. While Islam and Judaism share the Unitarian concept of God, they are extremely different religions. Muslims don’t follow Torah or celebrate the Jewish holidays. They have their own laws and their own holidays.

      My last post is actually somewhat related to this topic. It can be found here:

      http://allanruhl.com/james-white-is-wrong-about-islam/

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    • Allan,
      I understand what you are saying, but don’t take the idea too literally. I think Paul was speaking loosely or comparatively. I am sure that most Muslims do not consider Islam to be a carbon copy of Judaism. (If that was the case we would all just convert to Judaism). Keep in mind that Islam is considered to be the natural successor in the progressive revelatory chain of the Abrahamic faith. So even though Islam and Judaism share many commonalities, it is of course true that Islam will not look or feel exactly the same as Judaism.

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    • Allan, apologize for the delayed response

      AR://Eric, question for you. You said that Islam is: “the final release from God Almighty”. If this is the case, why do you guys also say that Islam is the religion of all the prophets, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. It’s one or the other. Wouldn’t that make it the first release and not the last?//

      exactly my point, Islam is a natural and primordial religion, the religion of all prophets since very beginning, it’s always “judaism” in nature meaning the basic kernel or core theological idea are the same (the nature of God, human salvation, and the importance of divine law) only in the detail of the laws the Islamic sharia may have some form of upgrade from the jewish halakha but there remain overwhelmingly parallels between them.

      Why wouldnt God make the first and the last release for His divine laws? Perhaps it is to do with the fact that one rule might not always be suitable for every situation for us. We human are not robot we gradually learn and adapt.

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  3. I would love to have better relations and closer ties with the Jewish community, however I agree that the politics and Zionism really gets in the way of such progress. Although it is often hard to ignore injustices when they are committed, it is still well and good to look beyond our differences and strive to have a positive dialogue. I think, by improving relations and understanding, we improve the opportunity for mutual respect and understanding, and that in turn, increases the chances for peace based on real justice to be established.

    Over the past weekend I had a long and polite conversation with a young Evangelical Minister and three Evangelical Missionaries . In my conversation with them, I highlighted the theological similarities and commonalities between Islam and Judaism, in order to point out the inconsistencies between Trinitarian Christianity vs. the traditional understanding of Abrahamic Monotheism. I think the Minister seemed to understand that Modern Christianity has left the bounds of traditional Abrahamic faith, even as he poorly struggled to convince me otherwise. The three Missionaries, seemed to have little to no understanding of Historical textual criticism when I brought up such points, and while the Young Minister had some grasp of the textual issues, he seemed to have a more devotional approach and religious education rather than a scholarly historical education.

    It is clear that Judaism and Islam have very similar understandings and teachings about the mechanisms of Salvation (sans atonement by crucifixion, deity of Jesus, resurrection, etc.). This fact is a very powerful, point in arguing against the Christian Mission, and I think it weighs heavily in the minds of those Christians who are willing to take the time to reflect on such things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ibn Issam,

      Let me express my opinion about this. When Muslim apologists like to say they’re closer to Judaism, I don’t argue with it. I concede the point.

      I then point out that modern Judaism emerged from a rejection of Christ and is no longer the religion of the OT since the religion of the OT had a Temple, a sacrificial system, a Priesthood, a Davidic monarchy, and a theocratic Kingdom of Israel. None of this is found in Judaism.

      If you say that Islam is closer to the Old Testmament, then you’ve got my ears. At this point, I simply ask the Muslim to tell me how the Temple, the sacrificial system, the Priesthood, the Davidic monarchy, and the theocratic Kingdom of Israel fit into Islam. I’ve yet to hear an answer on this.

      Your last post is interesting and I’m probably going to do a blog post on it where I’ll be giving a fuller answer.

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    • Allan,
      You are right that Islam is closer to Judaism.

      I understand your point regarding modern Judaism emerged from a rejection of Christ and is no longer the religion of the OT, however, I would be interested to hear a scholarly Jewish opinion on that point. Not to argue, but just to hear a different view.

      There are some arguments to be made that Prophet Muhammad is the successor to the monarchic Davidic line, (through Ishmael and/or the “stump of Jesse”), the Holy Kaaba as the temple, (or even al-Aqsa as third Temple rebuilt) and also in regard to a theocratic Kingdom (Conceivable as a Caliphate). However, in regard to Islam, I don’t think that Muslims are necessarily required to explain how EVERY aspect of OT Judaism fit into Islam. This is due to the revelatory progression of the faith. Some of those things that may have been required previously are now no longer required. Part of the mission of Jesus was to purify Judaism from innovations that had entered into the religion over time, he harshly criticizes the priesthood for instance. Therefore, it is possible that some OT practices were never really required by God in the first place, even if Jews may have once claimed they did.

      Either way, since the Qur’an is a standalone book, Islam does not stand or fall based upon OT ritual, while Christianity does and often fails to meet the standard as well.

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    • Hello,

      Interesting points. I just want to point out that I understand that Islam doesn’t need to explain everything found in the OT and how their is a new version of it in Islam. It’s just that these are super important points in OT theology. In Christianity this is done with the theology of covenants. You are correct that Christianity doesn’t incorporate many OT practices but the NT is intimately familiar with the theology behind those practices where the Quran and Hadith are not.

      You made a few hints of how Islam might emerge from OT theology. This is the subject of my last post on my site which I previously linked to.

      Can I make you an offer Ibn Issam. Would you like to do a response to my last post on my blog? You can make it between 500 – 1500 words(mine was about 600). You can send it to me and I’ll post it on my website and I won’t do a response. I’ll just leave it for all to see.

      If you agree, I’ll give you my email.

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  4. @Allan Ruhl

    “You said that Islam is: “the final release from God Almighty”. If this is the case, why do you guys also say that Islam is the religion of all the prophets, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. It’s one or the other. Wouldn’t that make it the first release and not the last?”

    Islam as the theology and the basic concept of this life (life and day of judgement) is what has been the religion of all Prophets. Islam as the law/shariah that was brought by the Prophet Muhammad is the what started with the Prophet. So the new ‘release’ is the law and the general obligation for all mankind to follow it.

    “At this point, I simply ask the Muslim to tell me how the Temple, the sacrificial system, the Priesthood, the Davidic monarchy, and the theocratic Kingdom of Israel fit into Islam.”

    These things are issues of the law that is commanded by God. There can be different laws that can be specified by God.

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