Salim Mansur writes on a reconciliation between Muslims and Jews in Pajamas Politics Central. While I feel tempted to nitpick with the bucolic, rosy picture he paints of Muslim-Jewish relations through the ages, ignoring the more blood-red tradition of slaughter, slavery and the dhimmi that has always been at the core of Islam’s relation with the world, I will attempt to restrain myself. He has a beautiful, excellent point in the middle of it.
He quotes an earlier article of his:
Muslims tend to consider their politics as inseparably bound and shaped by religion. They need, then, to reflect on religious grounds why so many of them wage wars on Jews, when the sacred words are indisputable.
The Koran recites the story of God directing Moses and the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. It states how Moses was commanded, “Go into the holy land which God has ordained for you” (5:21).
Since Muslims believe the Koran is God’s revelation to Muhammad, how can they reconcile the atrocities committed by their coreligionists in the Holy Land with their scripture’s authoritative words?
Since sura 5 of the Koran states it this seems convincing. Sura 5 was one of the last suras to be written, and thus it is not easily abrogated.
Mansur isn’t the only Moslem who believes this to be true. Khaleel Mohammed states in an interview in FrontPage Magazine (emphasis mine).
So the simple fact is then, from a faith-based point of view: If God has “written” Israel for the people of Moses, who can change this?
The Qur’an refers to the exiles, but leaves it open for return…saying to the Jews that if they keep their promise to God, then God will keep the divine promise to them. WE may argue that the present state of Israel was not created in the most peaceful means, and that many were displaced–for me, this is not the issue. The issue is that when the Muslims entered that land in the seventh century, they were well aware of its rightful owners, and when they failed to act according to divine mandate (at least as perceived by followers of all Abrahamic faiths), they aided and abetted in a crime. And the present situation shows the fruits of that action–wherein innocent Palestinians and Israelis are being killed on a daily basis.
I also draw your attention to the fact that the medieval exegetes of Qur’an–without any exception known to me–recognized Israel as belonging to the Jews, their birthright given to them. Indeed, two of Islam’s most famous exegetes explained “written” from Quran 5:21 thus:
Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373) said: “That which God has written for you” i.e. That which God has promised to you by the words of your father Israel that it is the inheritance of those among you who believe” . Muhammad al-Shawkani (d. 1250/1834) interprets Kataba to mean “that which God has allotted and predestined for you in His primordial knowledge, deeming it as a place of residence for you” (1992, 2:41).
There is more. Here is a list of many verses in the Koran that support the idea that Israel is defined within the Islam as the Jewish homeland, and while they may have sinned and been expelled twice, the third time is the charm.