>In the discussion between Islam and Judaism, what is needed is a voice of reason, that is, a moderate Moslem who can look at the contributions of Judaism to the development of Islam.
Now, at last, there is one. Khaleed Mohammed is an imam and also a professor of religion in California. In a lecture delivered on February 6, Professor Mohammed addressed the issue of the roots of Islam in Judaism.
In his lecture, Professor Mohammed cited the 14th Century Arab scholar and theologian, Ibn Khaldun, who said that if a Muslim needs to have an answer to a religious question, he should ask a Jew.
Professor Mohammed said that the Qur’an speaks of a pact between Jews and Muslims, uniting the two groups against the more numerous polytheists. He also said that when a surah urges Muslims to “Fight those who believe not . . . the religion of truth,” the reference is not to fight against Jews, but to fight against polytheists.
Professor Mohammed believes that the popular resentment and jealousy that has developed over the centuries against the Jews is because of the powerful position that some Jews held in many Muslim realms, as advisors and physicians to rulers, including people such as Maimonides.
To me, the most important statement in Professor Mohammed’s lecture is his declaration that “Mohammed [himself] said that he was not starting a new religion.”
The above statements of Professor Mohammed were written in an article by Reuel S. Amdur and published in The Arab American News.
Professor of Old Testament
Northen Baptist Seminary