Beliefnet
Virtual Talmud

UC Irvine historian Mark LeVine, writing on Beliefnet, has once again crafted a beautiful apology for Islamic leadership.

Contrary to everything stated by Hamas and Hezbollah, LeVine somehow has managed to argue that “However harsh the rhetoric against Israel or even Jews, it would be inaccurate to assume that Islam is the main motivator of their conflicts with Israel.” Rather, Levine claims the real reason why Hamas decided to kidnap Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah decided to bomb innocent civilians in Haifa is due to “territorial and national [issues].” Hello, earth to Mr. LeVine, ISRAEL PULLED OUT OF THE GAZA AND LEBONON!! What territorial issues are you talking about?

Most disturbing is LeVine’s bizarre nineteenth-century western definition of “religion.” According to LeVine, the problem is not the “religion” of Islam but politics–as if religion and politics are two distinct spheres that have nothing to do with one another. I am not sure what kind of religion Levine is talking about, but most religious people and especially most Muslims do not distinguish between these two spheres. Religion is a lifeworld that is comprised of culture, politics, beliefs, and practices. (Levine must have gotten his definition of religion confused with certain elements of nineteenth-century Christianity.)

The truth of the matter is that Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, has different theological and political strands, some more militant some more peaceful. At this point, the militant message dominates Islam and unfortunately represents its public face.

Islam, like all religions, is not some idealized a-social a-political eternal idea. It is constantly evolving.

Right now it has been hijacked by its extreme militant voices, and until Islamic leadership or its adherents stand up to these terrorists groups, Islam will continue to be perceived as violent.

But the most dishonest and distrubing part of LeVine’s piece of yellow journalism is his ability to disregard every public statement made by Hamas and Hezbollah claiming the exact opposite.

I am sorry, Mr. LeVine: All your article does is promote more irresponsibility on the part of an Islamic leadership that has done nothing to stop the demeaning and killing of Israelis and Jews in the Middle East and across the world.

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