Do Muslims, Christians, And Jews Worship The Same God? (Part 4)
Muslims, Christians, and Jews worship the same God. But they all believe that their religion is the complete and final revelation of the same God. Therein lies the source of their unity. It is also the source of their disagreement. Belief in the truth of one religion and the falsehood of others inevitably leads to conflict between believers and non-believers, the elect and the outcast, the saved and the damned. Therein lies the seed of intolerance and violence. Therefore, the God of Muhammad, like the God of Jesus and the God of Moses, is both divisive and unifying, causing conflict between and within these religions. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are what one might call sibling religions. Christianity is the largest of the three, with between 1.7 and two billion professors in the world. Muslims are just over one billion, and the Jews are about 18 million. However, they have common roots, meaning there are remarkable similarities between the three religions and essential differences. Let’s check all about it in this article! This is a continuation of the third part of this article. If you haven’t yet read the first and second parts, do it now!
The relationship between the representatives of the three religions has changed over time. The Jews were quite well off in the Roman Empire until Christianity won around the year 400. Since then, many anti-Semitic persecutions have taken place in Christian areas. In Muslim countries, it has hardly occurred. The Jews lived in peace among the Muslims of North Africa and Spain during the Middle Ages. According to Western times, the coexistence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Andalusia for a few centuries before and after the year 1000 has later been perceived as a model for a multi-religious society. At that time, science was developed in several areas through researchers from different cultures and religions. When the Christians took back Spain in 1492, both Jews and Muslims were expelled.
In the 1930s, conflicts arose between Palestinians and Jews in what later became the state of Israel. That conflict has elements of religious contradictions, but it is not unequivocal, and it must not be perceived as a sign of contradictions between Islam and Judaism. Jews have had great opportunities to live and work among Muslims through the ages. To those unfamiliar with the history, it may seem that the three religions have always given rise to war. But there are significant differences between Christians and Muslims. Christians had often turned to Jews when they had problems with malnutrition or epidemics. Then the “murderers of God” have been blamed. Muslims have had as much plague and famine but have not had the Jews as scapegoats.
The coexistence between Christians and Muslims in our time is full of conflict. This is partly because Christians have become accustomed to explaining everything that Muslims do. After all, they are Muslims. If a liberation movement anywhere in the world calls itself “Jihad” and makes political demands based on Islam, many in Europe believe that the conflict is rooted in religious contradictions. In a way, the disputes are “religious”. The parties involved can identify themselves with the help of their religion. Then it also becomes central in the controversy. In addition, religion occupies an important place in the mobilization of fighting spirit and sacrificial fervor. Faith becomes a weapon, and, as in other conflicts, the fight becomes more challenging the more weapons available. This applies to both “hard” guns and “soft,” i.e., the ability to arouse hatred through inciting hate propaganda.
We have seen in Afghanistan that the availability of heavy weapons has become important. There, all Soviet enemies pumped weapons into the guerrillas during the Soviet occupation of 1979-1989. When the Soviets withdrew from the country, all tribes had more weapons than before for their civil war. The Pashtuns were the strongest, and their spearhead, the Taliban, took power. The regime they introduced was called Islamic, even though the world’s Muslims considered themselves fighting against Islam. In the eyes of the outside world, however, the Taliban became symbols of Islam’s propensity for violence and oppression of women.
Want to know what more differences and similarities? Stay tuned for the next part of this blog!