...Fatah also asks: Is Israel fueling anti-Semitism? “Yes,” he writes. Israel must end its “illegal” and “immoral” occupation of Palestinian territory and push for a Palestinian state alongside Israel. “Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state,” the author also states emphatically, one of the few high-profile Toronto Muslims to do so.
Among the book’s delights is Fatah’s independent and inquiring mind. In a field riddled with dogmatism, he offers fresh material and original insights.Maybe not, but the Jews are sure lining up to hear him.
On one hand, he documents Adolf Hitler’s odious alliance with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during World War II. On the other, he brings to life stories of selfless heroism among Muslims saving Jews from persecution.
For Muslim readers, perhaps the toughest chapters deal with Muhammad’s slaughter of the Banu Qurayza. Fatah denounces the story as invented by influential scholar Ibn Ishaq nearly 100 years after the Prophet’s death. No archeological evidence supports it. No Jewish text corroborates it. Yet the story forms part of Islam’s Hadith literature and the Sira, the biography of the Prophet, and has come to be regarded as divine truth, Fatah says.
The problem, the author says, is that Islam lacks a tradition of questioning religious texts. So far, no Toronto imam has joined him to reject the Banu Qurayza story. So far, no mosque has invited him to speak.
The real problem, of course, is that the Koran is chock full of Jew-hate; that Islam is a triumphalist, supremacist, supercessionist religion; that its doctrines fuel Zionhass, the Jew-hate of our time; that, given the Prophet's animus toward Jewry, it is next to impossible for the majority of Muslims to accept a sovereign Jewish Israel.
That Tarek Fatah is willing to come clean about none of these truths makes his book a big, fat waste of time.