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Letter to Ahmed

Letter to Ahmed

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Shalom Rabbi,

The cold-blooded murder of the rabbi and his wife in Mumbai is a disgrace. As a Muslim, I am ashamed of such actions done by ignorant idiots in the name of Islam. I challenge any and all of them to show evidence from the Quran or the Prophet’s teaching supporting these actions.

The Muslim nations and Muslim authorities should have an international debate in an open forum to condemn such baseless, barbaric actions.

My heart and sympathy to the Jewish people and the families of the victims.

Ahmed ———

Salam Ahmed,

Thank G‑d, you are not the only Muslim who has written to us expressing such sentiments. Many wrote of their indignation, their frustration, and their sincere belief that this is not the way things are supposed to be; that this is a crime against Islam and the Quran, against the dignity of all humankind, and against G‑d Himself.

After all, we Jews and Muslims are brothers, children of one father, Abraham, who taught the world that there is a single G‑d on High, a G‑d who cares for all the creatures He has made and pleads with us to care for them as well. We share a common vision of a world filled with knowledge of the divine, of peace between all men and of heaven upon earth. There was a golden age of Islam, centuries past, when Muslim and Jew worked together, arm in arm, sharing knowledge and poetry, wisdom and science, and perhaps even came close to realizing that vision. We can make that happen again.

Some say that this scourge of terrorism, this cult of death that runs rampant in the world of Islam today, will be eradicated only in the end of days. I believe that it can be eradicated today. The first step is for those true Muslims who recognize its pathos to stand up with courage and protest as you have done. Yet this is not enough. The real key to peace lies in what we teach in our schools.

I have in my possession a rare document, an autobiography of one brave man who fought in the underground German resistance. In the years before the war, as the brownshirts enlisted boys off the street to join the Hitler Youth, this young man gathered—from the very same neighborhoods—other boys to his club. In an abandoned train car, he taught them songs of world brotherhood and peace, spoke of humanitarian values, and inculcated them with a love for human dignity. After only six months, the club was disbanded by the SS.

What happened to those boys? As they grew older, the author kept in correspondence with them. One fought bravely in the underground resistance, sabotaging war efforts. Another was drafted, court-martialed and shot for refusing to shoot at civilians. Each one whom the author could trace kept true to the education he had given them in those six short months. And these were the same boys who could otherwise have become brutal guards at Auschwitz.

Which tells me many things: For one, that there are none more powerful in any society than those who teach the youth. For another, that no one is condemned to become a Nazi or a terrorist; any human being can be taught to be a martyr for goodness and justice.

Ahmed, we believe in you, we trust you, and we know we can do this together. Let us teach our children to respect and love one another, so that all may share in the world to come. Let us make our father Abraham proud, as Ishmael and Isaac walk together to fulfill his dream upon this earth. And let it be very soon, Amen.

All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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Anonymous September 2, 2016

Let's be nice As I am scrolling through the comments, I am seeing so much hate. Muslims are not evil. It is always those few that make the rest of the group look bad. G-d wants us to love everyone not just those who look and believe just like us. When you spread hate, you are making your beliefs look insensitive and unloving to others. What the Rabbi said was right, Muslims and Jews are brothers and can have peace together. Read the Qu'ran yourself and actually see that it promotes peace. Reply

Anonymous USA August 24, 2016

Tom from Bangalore You sound like a Muslim, by your own standards of lies and myth. You are the one promoting hatred. Don't try to misquote the Torah to peddle your hate here. We all know better. Reply

Tom Bangalore August 23, 2016

Don't agree with this article Rabbi - You just got lost in one of their "Taqiyyas". The world over you can see Muslims talking about peace and just doing the opposite. Please don't try to legitimise the cult of death. There is no one called a peaceful muslim. Not even children. From the young age they are taught that all others are villains that need to exterminated by 'jihad'. People living in countries with a sizeable Muslim population will attest to what I said. The rest will believe the lies that Islam is peace. The Europeans believed it and now they are experiencing peace.

As the Torah says there can be no peace with sons of Ismael. They won't take it. Reply

Sam Leon Dumfries July 15, 2015

About three years ago, I went to a public high school which made us write an eleventh-grade research paper as a graduation requirement. I did mine on Islamophobia, and used a personal interview with my Pakistani Muslim neighbor-friend as a source on my "Works Cited page. As she, our Baptist friend and I all went round and round the track on the football field, she actively opposed acts of terrorism such as this or the one on 9/11. "They are a stain on the name of Islam. I denounce them and twenty dollars says you'll encounter the smae opinion with many Muslims you meet," she told me. I later learned that the very word "Islam" means "to submit to peace" and "Muslim" means "one who submits to peace." Reply

Sara Chula Vista April 6, 2015

Interfaith among children of Abraham is a key to destroy the Devil's mission. Dear Rabbi,

As I was reading both the letter from Ahmed and your respond, my heart was filled with many emotions. I wish truly that many synagogues and mosques, would share these emotions. The truth of how both roads lead to the one father, Abraham and his one Glorified G-d. My road has been long, yet, I find myself often very alone, in between those who question each other's action or past events. I find myself having to respond within me that we are tested over and over as submitters of G-d, to see how we act. Undoubtedly, we all know that there is a great evil power that does not cease to release both sides, by reminding each other of the bad action's of one another. This cause this hatred and separation to except that both religions come from one root (culture, country, land, ancestors), one father, and one same G-d. Who cares of Hadiths after Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) that cause hatred and war, and who cares after Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) the wages of wars. This fuels hatred. Reply

Meyer Chein Brooklyn March 22, 2015

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim! These terrorists don't live in a vacuam. Stop this slapping each other on the back while innocents die. Do something! Reply

ALI Mumbai May 5, 2013

Islam is the current Judaism Muslims ae nothing but an evolution of Judaism , continued with the addition of one more and final prophet. It is unlikely that such a great nation of Islam to have continued on a false prophet. Prophet Muhammad did and achieve many things similar to what Moses and Abraham did.
Hence Judaism should not view Islam as a seperate religion , but only as one of the many sects of Judaism which has gone so popular that people think of it as a new religion . And such a religion is aptly named as Islam as the word "Judaism" as racial and geographic connotations. where as Islam means "submission to God's Law" which is exactly what Torah preaches. Reply

Mr. Raymond Brokosvhi March 7, 2012

jews, dont bear or believe false witnesses the sunni hadeeth contains a lot of anti jewish words. Caliph Umar the second caliph that is highly revered ordered all jews to wear yellow star badges. and he imposes "jew" tax.

where did Hitler get his yellow badge idea from ? probably the mufti of jerusalem. where did he got the idea. Caliph Umar.

same goes to Shia Islam. which is extremely anti jews.

Rabbi, how could you bear witness without researching it first. you should know better than this. If i told you i have a bridge to sell in Israel, would you believe me without checking or researching first ? thanks, i hope you understand my opinion.

He told you, rabbi. That he challenge muslims to give quran verses. i CHALLENGE and asks him to swear in the name of Allah whether or not the quran says jews are greedy, strongest in enmity with muslims, will be the greatest enemy, killers of prophet, the religion will not be accepted because Allah only accepts Islam. That the Torah and Tanakh are corrupt and false. Reply

john trenton, ontario February 6, 2012

Islam and Judaism Islam and Judaism are truely brother religions. Both evolved from common sources and traditions. The Quran honours and teaches many things that the patriarchs of the Torah did. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Ishmael, Moses, Jethro, and others are all mentioned in both religions. In fact, I believe that no other religion is as close in similarity with each other. Islam and Judaism are even more identicle with each other than christianity is! Despite this fact, it is a great mystery why there are wars over differences. One day, radical pride, nationalism, patriotism, and in-tolerance, and imperialism, will be done away with. In that day, G-D will be seen as one, and peace will prevail. Reply

Anonymous Melbourne, Australia September 15, 2011

To Anonymous FC CO I've read what you said about Muslims having lived "peacefully for centuries with Jewish neighbours" until the 1940s "when things changed." Not true. Do some reading. Since larger numbers of Jews began trickling back to the Holy Land in the late 1800s, Arabs have been attacking them. In the 1920s there were Arab massacres of Jews in Safed and Hebron.
Before 1939, Hitler persuaded Arabs of the Middle East to join him in his rampage against the Jews, and the Arabs collaborated wholeheartedly, with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and one of his side-kicks spending the entire war in Berlin, helping to operate Radio "Berlin in Arabic", broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from 1939 to 1945, the message "Kill the Jews." The Arabs permitted one of Hitler's Einsatzgruppen to be stationed in North Africa, waiting to kill all Jews behind the lines (just as in Eastern Europe) after Rommel's victory, which didn't happen. All this is recorded history; it can be read in USA and UK archives. Reply

Anonymous Philadelphia, :PA September 12, 2011

Islam I have yet to understand what Islam truly means. I believe that we are genetically brothers and are destined to live together. I do not like many of the laws especially what's recorded in the Hadith, but I have yet to study the Quran. Islamic life seems very constrained to me, the fact women must wear the Hijab in public and not be in contact with men. I do not understand certain philosophies. The fact is I cannot generalize that Muslims hate Jews and America, Allah bless you Ahmed I respect you challenging the actions of murder. The Muslims who conspired the 9-11 attacks are nothing short of wicked, and I wish to see tyrants who oppress like Ghaddaffi wiped off g-d's earth Reply

Farrukh ISB March 17, 2011

Islam Islam really does care about all of mankind. I'm ashamed of what is happening here in the world everyday. Many people are killed by terrorists. There's no teaching in Quran and Hadith to kill peoples. These peoples show themself as a Muslim and say what they are doing is according to Islam, but in realty its really different. They don't have evidence to do that. I challenge them all to give any evidence from Quran and prove for what they are doing. Really Islam teaches us peace. All human beings are equal according to Islam. Reply

Adam from Toronto Toronto, canada November 29, 2010

Letter to Ahmed @Anonymous FC CO First check your spelling. Than check your history books, or just a Bible. Israel is Jewish. ONLY. San Remo conference on 1920 said so also. Be nice to Jews and live a happy life. Reply

Anonymous FC, CO November 29, 2010

Ariel, (continued) Many countries that don't like Israel are Muslim, yes, this is true, but their reason for dislike isn't based in examples from Muhammed.

What they dislike are these two basic things:

1) Israel is now located on land belonging to their families, on which those families have lived peacefully for centuries with Jewish neighbors, until the 1940's...then things changed.

2) Many Israeli politicians are not observant of their own religion, but willy-nilly throw it in the face of others, when it serves them, and not for the sake of G-d. (Promotes distrust and illustrates contradictory behaviors)

When you say you "don't dislike Muslims" but "do dislike the religion" You are contradicting yourself and illustrating your inherent bigotry. Would you tolerate such double talk if it were about Jews?

Stop the hate...you are promoting it here. Reply

Anonymous FC, CO November 29, 2010

Ariel I'm not sure which version of the Quran, notice the spelling by the way, you are reading, but the copy I have seen does not speak about Muhammed killing Jews as a specific person or group of people.

Certainly there are ayot about various battles and wars, just as their are in the Torah.

Would you say that the Torah condones killing non-Jews?! Then why the bigotry against other religions? Perhaps the truth of your hatred lies within your own soul, not that of others.... Reply

Ariel Jerusalem, Israel November 27, 2010

Let's not kid ourselves. While the sentiments of Ahmed against the murders are welcome, I just don't buy the claim, by anyone, Muslim, Jew, or otherwise, that Islam is not the problem. What I mean by this, is classical Islam. Muhammad killed many Jews--this is in the Koran. There is a very good reason that the states most hostile to Israel are Muslim states. The question is why? Well, how about Islam is a supremacists, expansionist religion that does not tolerate the sovereignty of the Jews over the Jewish homeland because Islam, at some point in the past, conquered this territory. Well meaning Muslims like Ahmed shouldn't kid themselves about their religion. I don't dislike Muslims, but I do dislike the Muslim religion--because Islam just won't leave the Jews alone in Eretz Israel. Reply

Rahel H. NY, NY October 22, 2010

Adam from Toronto Adam, obviously you don't know what the Tanakh is. It DOES include the Histories. If one were to read them thru in a mental state against the Children of Israel like yours toward Islam, you would read many stories of violence. You obviously haven't read the Quran either. As an open-hearted Jewess (hopefully without a closed mind) I HAVE. You mention Hadiths, news quotes and ignorant common beliefs and attribute them to the Quran. War-mongers (aka those with hearts full of hatred) are an abomination in EVERY religion. Before you accuse others, take a look at yourself. Reply

Shahid October 13, 2010

Blessings! G-d bless Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Reply

adam from Toronto Toronto, Ontario September 21, 2010

Letter to Ahmed I must of been asleep when Elisheba,comments have appeared. but it's never to late. Snow Hite and Seven Dwarfs or Red Robin Hood are also full of violence. yet we read them to children. Torah, IS NOT A HISTORY book, It's teachings.With a right mental state it teaches what not to do. Quaran, on the other hand, and a mental condition of its readers causes call to murder. And only to have some 5 year young virgins? Reply

Anonymous September 21, 2010

Thou shalt not murder. The meaning is the same in all languages and across all eras. When this mitzvah is ignored, the culture in question is in terminal decline and will be uprooted by a culture that respects life. Reply

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