A contrarian Muslim professor claims the Quran actually teaches Israel belongs to the Jews.
Khaleel Mohammed, assistant professor of religious studies at San Diego State University, said in an interview with Frontpage Magazine the person most mentioned in Islam’s holy book is Moses, the great Old Testament prophet and leader of the Israelites.
Mohammed says the Quran presents Moses “as God’s revolutionary” who “leads a people despised and tormented for no other reason than that they worshipped God, out of the land of bondage to the Promised Holy Land.”
The professor quotes from Chapter 5: 20-21, which says Moses declared, “O my people! Remember the bounty of God upon you when He bestowed prophets upon you, and made you kings and gave you that which had not been given to anyone before you amongst the nations. O my people! Enter the Holy Land which God has written for you, and do not turn tail, otherwise you will be losers.”
Mohammed points specifically to the reference to the Holy Land as a place God has “written” for the Israelites, a term that conveys, in Jewish and Islamic understandings, a “meaning of finality, decisiveness and immutability.”
“So the simple fact is then,” he says, “from a faith-based point of view: If God has ‘written’ Israel for the people of Moses, who can change this?”
The professor describes himself as a scholar “interested in a moderate Islam, one that is inclusive and is concerned about all human rights.”
“My mission is to help reclaim the beauty that once was practiced in Islam, a message not currently in fashion amongst more traditional or fundamentalist Muslims,” he told Frontpage.
Mohammed said while Muslims may argue the present state of Israel was “not created in the most peaceful means, and that many were displaced,” this, for him, is not the issue.
“The issue,” says Mohammed, “is that when the Muslims entered that land in the 7th century, they were well aware of its rightful owners, and when they failed to act according to divine mandate (at least as perceived by followers of all Abrahamic faiths), they aided and abetted in a crime. And the present situation shows the fruits of that action — wherein innocent Palestinians and Israelis are being killed on a daily basis.”
He says medieval scholars, “without any exception known to me,” interpreted the Quran to recognize Israel as belonging to the Jews.
According to Mohammed, the idea that Israel does not belong to the Jews is a modern one, “probably based on the Mideast rejection of European colonialism, etc., but certainly not having anything to do with the Quran.”
Most Muslims, he laments, do not read the Quran for themselves and instead rely on imams and preachers to do the reading and interpreting for them.