BY RICHARD BOOKER, PART 4 of MYTHOMANIACS—
Another myth is that that Jews who lived under Muslim Arab rule before the birth of Israel had harmonious relations with the Arabs and were treated with dignity and tolerance. The implication is that if Israel would submit to Arab rule, the fighting would stop and Muslims, Jews, and Christians in the Middle East would live happily ever after. But what are the facts?
Prior to the time of Muhammed, Jews and Arabs did live in relative peace with one another. However, as we learned in previous articles, when the Jews rejected Muhammed as a prophet, he turned against them with a vengeance as seen in his violent actions against the Jews. His negative attitude is found in the many hostile comments against Jews in the Koran and the Hadith.
The caliph who succeeded Muhammed was Omar. He produced a document called the Omar Charter in which he codified the conditions Jews were to live by under Islamic Arab rule. Here are some of the conditions of peace and fraternity the Jews enjoyed. Christians lived under similar restrictions.
1. Jews were forbidden to touch the Koran.
2. Jews were required to wear distinctive clothing.
3. Jews were required to wear a yellow piece of cloth as a badge (blue for Christians).
4. Jews were not allowed to perform their religious practices in public.
5. Jews were not allowed to own a horse which was a sign of a nobleman.
6. Jews were required to bury their dead without grieving in public.
7. Jews were required to pay special taxes.
8. Jews were not allowed to defend themselves against a Muslim.
9. Jews were not allowed to testify against a Muslim.
10. Jews were forbidden to build new synagogues.
11. The houses and tombs of Jews were not allowed to be higher than those of the Muslims.
12. The graves of Jews had to be level so that anyone could walk over them.
Throughout the centuries, Jews and Christians living under Islamic rule suffered great persecution and humiliation, the intensity of which was determined by the character of the particular Muslim ruler. With few exceptions, Jews and Christians struggled to survive and lived in constant fear for their lives.
In more modern times, when Jordan illegally occupied East Jerusalem from 1948- 1967, all Jewish residents were expelled and barred from the Western Wall. The Jewish quarter, including all fifty-eight synagogues, was destroyed or desecrated. Approximately seventy-five percent of the tombstones on the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives were dismantled and used to serve army latrines. This was done under the rule of King Hussein, the most moderate of the Arab rulers.
Life was not much better for Christians living under Muslim rule. Christians were forbidden to ring their church bells. The ban lasted for one thousand years until the middle of the 19the century. While church bells were silent, the muezzin called out five times a day, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet.”
There is no doubt that an Islamic Palestinian state would turn synagogues and churches into mosques and expel Jews and Christians or force them into a life of fear and humiliation. Does the Christian world really want Hamas to control the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the empty tomb and Manger Square? Does the Jewish world really want Hamas to control the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives and the Old City? Do Jews and Christians in Israel and in America really want to live under Islamic rule? Do we care or are we too comfortable to be bothered?
Dr. Richard Booker is a pioneering Christian Zionist and the author of 40 books and numerous courses many of which are on Israel and Jewish-Christian relationships. He is considered a spiritual father to many. To learn more about his ministry and teaching resources, see his web site and online bookstore at: www.rbooker.com.