Dr. Harold Reisman, holds a PhD from Columbia. In his retirement he has become an auto didact on Qur’anic doctrine. He also numbers in his wide circle of acquaintances Dr. David Bukay, a noted Israeli academic and expert in the subject .
David Bukay (Ph.D.) teaches in the School of Political Sciences, at the University of Haifa. His research/academic courses fields are: Arab-Islamic Political Culture; World Jihad and al-Qaeda; Contemporary Political Islam; International Terrorism and Islamic fanaticism; Inter-Arab relations and the Palestinian issue; and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
Among his publications are: Total Terrorism in the name of Allah, Ariel Center for Policy Research, 2002; Arab-Islamic Political Culture, Ariel Center for Policy Research, 2003; Muhammad’s Monsters, Balfour Press, 2004; Arafat: the Politics of Paranoia, Edwin Mellen Press, 2005; From Muhammad to Bin Laden, Transaction Publishers, 2007; Crossovers (With Shlomo Sharan), Transaction Publishers, 2010. In Preparation: Islamic Myths and Palestinian Myths.
Dr. Bukay has a principle: never engage in Jewish Muslim dialog as he noted to Dr. Reisman and others, including Rabbi Jonathan Hausman, one of the few American rabbis trained in Arabic and knowledgeable about Qur’anic doctrine:
. . . never ever participate in so-called “Abrahamic interfaith dialogues,” as the Muslims will always win over, just by claiming great words, like: “we, the representative of the three monotheist religions have a great mission: to stop violence in the world…” “let’s act together to show the world it is possible to live in a peaceful world…”.
Moreover, immediately they will begin with a long list as to exhibit how Islam has contributed to the world all the best and great inventions from science to politics; that Islam is indeed so liberal and open minded; that Islam means peace, and has always brought only peace and harmony.
There is an organization called Shoulder to Shoulder composed of benighted mainstream and liberal evangelical Christians, representatives of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, leaders of both the Reform and Conservative movements’ Jewish seminaries and leaders of American Muslim Brotherhood front groups like ISNA and CAIR. Shoulder to Shoulder is an archetypical Abrahamic religions dialog group whose mission is:
. . . an interfaith organization dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment by strengthening the voice of freedom and peace. Founded in November 2010 by over 20 national religious groups, Shoulder-to-Shoulder works not only on a national level, but offers strategies and support to local and regional efforts to address anti-Muslim sentiment and seeks to spread the word abroad.
Its raison d’etre was the opposition to construction of mega-mosques in lower Manhattan, Murfreesboro, Tennessee and other locales where these ‘victory’ mosques sprouted. On its website the group noted this background:
By the summer of 2010, prejudice against Muslims had reached unprecedented intensity. Controversy raged over the decision to build a Muslim community center a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City and threats to burn the Book of Qur’an in Florida continued to fill the stories of major media outlets.
In effect Shoulder to Shoulder is a proponent of what Dr. Bukay called in a Political Islam article, “The Esposito School : Islamic Apologists in Action, or Who is the Near Enemy?” That is a reference to Prof. John Esposito of the Prince Alaweed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. In the article, Dr. Bukay noted:
John Esposito is one of the foremost apologists of radical Islam in academia. The term apologist means denying or even justifying events and activities, while blaming others. It is characterized by whitewashing reality and omitting facts unintentionally (selective perception and cognitive biases) or intentionally (for political, economic or other objectives).
What follows is an example of The Esposito School of apologetics from Dr. Reisman.
Dr. Reisman had attended a lecture on Iranian History earlier this week given by a nominal Shiite Muslim of Iranian heritage who is a faculty member at a UCAL system college. He wrote the lecturer:
It is a wondrous feat to discuss centuries of Iranian history without once mentioning the words Qur'an, jihad or Sunna. I am aware of the word and definition of Da’wa did not understand that the concept meant total editing. Just for your edification (although I have as strong feeling that you well understand what I have selected) I am sending you a one page attachment concerning Islamic doctrine. The foundational text of Islam is a key part of Islamic history as you well know. You did not mention the concept of "impurity" as espoused by the clerics of Iran; sadly, I am one of the impure ones.
The lecturer in reply said:
Well let me respond to your first email since I have had the response to it in my head for a while, but never the time to sit down and write it.
That material in the attachment is a Hadith which is a saying, opposed to coming directly from the Quran. Hadith aren't supposed to be binding, and Shi'a and Sunnis reject certain Hadith, and adopt certain other Hadith.
The Hadith in the attachment is a Sunni one; Iranian Shia's would reject it. Now historically speaking, even that Hadith needs to be contextualized. That Hadith was said ( remember Hadith are hearsay, almost like the gospels in that it is what people thought Jesus or Muhammad said) was dealing with battle of Khaybar. During the battle there were Jewish tribes aligned with Muhammad and Jewish tribes allied against him. That statement is supposedly directed against the Jewish tribe allied against him.
After the battle Muhammad took a Jewish wife, Safiya. In other words, Muhammad didn't have a problem with the tribe because they are Jewish - it was about politics. If he had a problem with Judaism as a faith, he would not have had Jewish allies or a Jewish wife.
The Quran as the core Muslim holy book does not have any scripture that condones violence against Jews. Anti-Semitic statements by Iranian scholars are used because the scholars are anti-Semitic themselves, not because the scripture instructs them to do so. My grandfather was also an Iranian ayatollah and never uttered an anti-Semitic comment in his life.
In other words it is not the Islamic faith as a set of ideas the produces anti-Semitism. It is simply prejudice held among individuals, whether it is Ahmadinejad or a cleric.
Reisman in turn sent the lecturer two pages from the Qur'an regarding Jews and also the opening sura of the Qur'an that calls for Allah's curse on Jews and Christians noting;
Aside from the fact that Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are the most celebrated and "highest level" (i.e., most believable) Hadiths, I am sending you a mere two pages of selections that should prove of interest. Most are from the Qur'an.
If I am correct, the required prayer at each daily prayer session is from Q 1:6,7. In interpreting the last verse, Muslim scholars are in total agreement that "those against whom there is wrath" are the Jews (who received the Scriptures and altered them) and "those who are astray" are Christians who continue the great sin of shirk. Calling on Allah to punish and curse these two transgressors does not seem neutral. I have no idea if you want to go into greater detail, but I suggest Andrew Bostom who edited The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism. There are hundreds if not thousands of citations from the religious literature which should prove of interest to you.
The lecturer responded:
I know the Bostom book, and I could also say that for every document that they produce I can produce a document that demonstrates Jewish-Muslim co-existence. I would recommend the book, The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism, [Paperback] Tarek Fatah (Author)
If we are talking about Shia Islam, then no, Bukhari and Muslim are completely rejected. No Iranian Shia cleric would cite them. If Iranian clerics are anti-Semitic, it is because of Iranian geo-politics, not because of anything anti-Semitic inherent in Islam.
As for verse 1:6,7 this daily prayer was about the pagans in Mecca. In my lifetime I have never heard a Muslim or Muslim cleric suggest that that verse refers to Jews and Christians.
Dr. Bukay then weighed in with these observations:
This Muslim, like the many thousands of Muslims in the world, knows exactly the truth. But he is a propagator, a Da`I, using Da`wa as diplomacy to deceive, to mislead, and to trick the ignorant infidels (and Jews and Christians are 100% infidels, unless they are Zimmi under Islamic rule).
You know, even among Muslims there are debates concerning interpretation of Qur’an verses. But here, concerning 1:5,7, there is a total consensus among all exegetes, the best and most honored, from al-Tabari, through al-Jalalayn, Ibn Kathir, and many others, including our contemporary Sayyid Qutb, that al-Maghduub `Alayhim are the Jews (5:61), and al-Daaliyyin are the Christians (5:77).
All Muslim propagators exactly know this. But they are busy deceiving ignorant infidels. They have elaborated the Mechanism of Taqiyyah to a pure art. Every device you employ to expose that they are lying is useless.
Their strategy of debating is fantastic. You cannot get away from them. You open one direction, and they will pave the second; you try to relate to the second, they will open a third. And so on and so forth. You cannot, ever, “prove” to them your point. They have always one answer or one explanation beyond and above all your assertions. This is exactly the Arab culture that was infused through the religion to the Muslims wherever they are.
I quote from the second paragraph of his email, “As for verse 1:6,7 this daily prayer was about the pagans in Mecca. In my lifetime I have never heard a Muslim or Muslim cleric suggest that that verse refer to the Jews and Christians.” Pay attention to the style. In his lifetime he “never heard a Muslim or a Muslim cleric…” does this mean he asked the question who are those mentioned in 1:5-7? Does he tell us he has participated in many debates concerning this? He doesn’t tell anything at all. But what do we understand from his sentence? It is not a refutation of the interpretations, but that he never heard. You see, this is one strategy among the many to confuse and mislead. And he uses his title as a professor to impress us with his knowledge. If you understand the culture, you may start to know them.
Dr. Reisman responded to Bukay commentary, “Bukay has a point. Lying and befuddlement will win most if not all arguments. Once a person can state anything as the "truth", how does one counter?”
Rabbi Hausman wrote back, “ I never engage in any kind of interfaith dialogue or trialogue with these people...waste of time.”
To which Dr. Bukay responded:
That’s the only sane strategy. Jews and Christians who love religious dialogues should be consulted. We just play in the Islamic playground, and dance according to their whims.