Boteach: let’s revert to an age of Muslim tolerance

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach…Islam can experience another Golden Age

Departing BBC head Mark Thompson has confessed that he would never allow criticism of Islam the way he allows it of Christianity. Yet Islam was not always as intimidating as it seems today, writes Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in the Jewish Journal, pointing to examples of tolerance through the ages. But as the author Eli Amir once put it, ‘tolerance is a form of discrimination’. To live under a benevolent ruler is still to live under sufferance.

“The idea that one of the world’s foremost news organizations would capitulate to fear and intimidation is deeply disturbing, and not principally for Westerners but for Muslims. The more the West shows an unwillingness to bow in the face of fright and panic, the more our oppressed Muslim brothers and sisters who live in various totalitarian regimes will feel they have committed partners in confronting tyrants like Basher Assad of Syria, and the more Islam will be purged of a militaristic strain that is a betrayal of its core values.

“Those who argue that Islam is an inherently violent faith, or anti-Jewish, deliberately deny history as when Sultan Saladin took back Jerusalem in 1187 and allowed all Christians to ransom their lives and the penniless to go free. The Christians had expected the same harsh treatment that they had meted out in conquering Jerusalem in 1099, when all Muslims and Jews were massacred. Saladin was also generous in his treatment of the Jewish community in his realm. In 1190, he called on Jews to settle once again within the walls of Jerusalem, since they had been banned from the city during the Crusader occupation. Maimonides, one of Judaism’s greatest thinkers, was court physician to Saladin.

“To assail Islam as inherently anti-modern is likewise to ignore how already in the ninth century Muslim rulers were prioritizing general education when few others were. Al-Mamun, Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty, established state-funded academies that translated Greek and other works of antiquity, thereby predating European universities by some three centuries. The Abbasid Muslim Empire brought about agricultural innovations in the 8th century that would not be seen in the West until late in the twelfth century. Al-Razi of Baghdad wrote numerous medical books in the tenth century which included groundbreaking health treatments which the West would not match for another six hundred years. In the sixteenth century Muslim Sultan Akbar of India was renowned for cross-cultural political appointments and enacting laws that embraced religious tolerance and protection of women and children. He was also one of the first commanders to insist on humane treatment of captured enemy troops.

“Islam today can experience the same kind of enlightened golden age it has in the past if it, along with the West, stands up to the murderers and bullies who betray a great world religion by daring to speak wickedly in its name.”

Read article in full


  • That so-called “enlightened golden age of co-existence” under muslim rule is a state that no sane Jew should ever contemplate returning to, where the muslims stole the inventions of the non-muslim peoples they conquered and enslaved (Hindu numerals changed into “arabic numerals, etc) as well as desecrating / stealing non-muslim holy places, while the stateless Jews (when they were 4th class non-citizens at best instead of 10th class non-citizens at worse) were used by so-called “benevolent” rulers as a scapegoat for the conquered Christian populations to direct their hatred on instead of the Islamic invaders in the same way that Islamic (and even jew-hating leftist non-muslim) leaders today use jew-hatred to distract a willing muslim audience from other more important issues.

    It is people like Boteach that deliberately deny history and can also be seen as part of an ingrained western view where people treat Jewish history under islamic rule as an insignificant footnote forever in the shadow of european / western Jewish history, where Jews apparently had it good with the so-called “islamic golden ages” until the advent of Zionism (which if that was truly the case would mean that the Jewish population in islam-dominated lands would have numbered far more than 1/16th of the world Jewish population prior to WW2).

    Whilst wilfully ignoring the fact that genocidal Islamic jew-hatred is built into the very foundation of islam and that “Islamic civilisation” itself was built on the theft, slavery and genocide of non-muslims.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

Point of No Return

Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

One-stop blog on the Middle East's
forgotten Jewish refugees - updated daily.