Saturday, May 17, 2008

Maimonides on Islamic oppression of Jews

"The Causes of Anti-Semitism: Preliminary Discussions" by Baron Bodissey from Gates of Vienna (Friday May 16, 2008)

Maimonides lamented the aggression and humiliation Jews faced from Muslims: “You know, my brethren, that on account of our sins God has cast us into the midst of this people, the nation of Ishmael, who persecute us severely, and who devise ways to harm us and to debase us… No nation has ever done more harm to Israel. None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us. None has been able to reduce us as they have… We have borne their imposed degradation, their lies, and absurdities, which are beyond human power to bear.”

This is quite interesting, given that he lived in the Iberian Peninsula under Islamic occupation and that we are now told how Spain and Portugal under Islamic rule were beacons of tolerance. Islamic apologist Karen Armstrong says that “until 1492, Jews and Christians lived peaceably and productively together in Muslim Spain — a coexistence that was impossible elsewhere in Europe.” The U.S. State Department has proclaimed that “during the Islamic period in Spain, Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived together in peace and mutual respect, creating a diverse society in which vibrant exchanges of ideas took place.”

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