I read your book "Dear Muslim, Let Me Tell You Why I Believed", and to be honest, it's a great book! It really influenced me a lot.
You see, about a year ago I renounced Islam and was searching for the truth. In my search I went to Answering Islam and I found your book. To be honest, the things I read in your book regarding the Jews and your general attitude towards them and the Modern State of Israel really upset me, they even made me almost dismiss Christianity as a valid way to God for a while. But then I asked some (Arab) Christian friends about their opinion on the Jews and the modern State of Israel, and they helped me out. As for me now as a Christian, I disagree with you on many issues.
The only reason I'm writing this email is because I want other seekers (as I was about a year ago) to know two sides of how (Arab) Christians view the Jews and the Modern Stae of Israel. My aim is not to convince you and I won't try to. Each is entitled to his/her own opinion.
As I lived in Palestine everyone I knew could trace there heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from. Everyone knew his origins was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, that is the kind of stuff our education included in the Middle East.
Well, it is true that many genealogies are traced to Arab tribes from the (Persian) Gulf to the (Atlantic) Ocean. But many other genealogies are lost. As you know, Arabs usually keep genealogies that would make them proud! i.e. most of those who trace back to Mohammad still have their family tree to prove it. Thus no Arab would be proud of a genealogy which traces his origin back to the Canaanites, so it was lost (or modified sometimes).
The thing now is, what happened to the Canaanites? We know that there wasn't any Canaanite holocaust or something. What happened to their descendents? I guess that they (among others who are aboriginal Palestinians) are the modern-day Palestinians.
In an interview between Zola Levit and Mr. Husseni, a right hand man to Yasser Arafat, in a Zola Levit Television program, Mr. Husseni bluntly claims that the Palestinians originated from the Jebusites before Abraham moved to Israel, he clearly changed the historic fact to an American audience who lacks in Eastern History to the fact that today's Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations. I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today's Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christian from Greece, Muslim Sherkas from Russia, Muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door. The well known civil and tribal wars between the Yemmenite (from Yemen) and Kessites (from Banu Kais of Saudi Arabia) was ignored by Mr. Husseni which is a well known amongst the Palestinians.
As I said, many immigrated to Palestine, but many were natives there - and both intermarried. I see nothing to disprove that the Palestinians couldn't have been Jebusites. i.e. Can you prove that I am not originally Turkish if you don't have my genealogy? You can neither prove nor disprove it.
Most of the groups you mentioned such as the Moroccans, Greek, Circassians (Sherkas), and Bosnians all together make up a small minority of the Palestinians. You will find that most Palestinians don't have their genealogies and don't really know who/where they originated from - they only "assume". Some may say that they are from the tribe of Quraysh (Mohammad's tribe), and that they migrated like a thousand years ago, but if they can't prove it then we have no solid evidence.
Now you may ask, what proof do I have that the Palestinians today are largely descendents of the Canaanites and/or the surrounding nations? Well,since we don't have any preserved genealogies, we cannot tell. All I can say is what happened to the Canaanites? Did they simply disappear? I don't think so.
Now, and just for the sake of argument, I want to assume that the Modern-Day Palestinians are all immigrants (just for the sake of argument). And assuming that the Jews were there (in Palestine) first. Does that give them the right to kick out all Modern-Day Palestinians?
Consider this scenario. It is a well-known undebated fact that the Native Americans (Red Indians) were in the US loooong before the white man, the black man, or any other race for that matter. Does that give them the right to expel all non-Native Americans and reclaim their land? After all, they were in America first, and the land most definitely did belong to them.
The Jewish nation, as a political entity, started at the great exodus of Israel from Egypt about 1,500 B.C. Israel was a land promised by God.
I agree. God promised Israel the Land of Canaan. But tell me, will God kill innocent people in order to deliver his promise?
Answer this for me if you will, when God started his promise to Abram (Abraham) he said,
"In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." Genesis 15:16 [NIV]
The sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure. The Pagan wicked Amorites were spared and the promise delayed in spite of all their iniquity because their sin "has not yet reached its full measure"! They were idolatrous Pagans, and God's love delayed the promise until their sin reaches "its full measure".
The Palestinians are Christians and Muslims who worship One God - The God of Israel. God spared the idolatrous Amorites and delayed the promise for them because their sin wasn't yet up to "its full measure", wouldn't have he delayed his promise for the sake of the Monotheistic Palestinians who definitely worship God more truthfully than the Pagan idolatrous Amorites?
Many of my Christian friends advised not to mention Israel in this writing, but I must warn my beloved people, whom I always pray for.
You should have taken heed of their advice.
The Jew has been an object of extermination in one country after the another, and many times they have been on the verge of annihilation. Several attempts in history has ended with absolute failure, as God has promised to preserve them. An unconditional agreement between God and Abraham.
The Jews were persecuted a lot. One of the most persecuted peoples on earth. But they are not the only ones. Take the Native Americans, the Armenians, the Gypsies, etc... But all of this is irrelevant. Persecution is irrelevant to the Jews and Palestine.
Islam teaches a form of replacement theology unlike the West has ever known. Some believe that the Church is the Israel the Bible was speaking about. The replacement of all the promises that God gave to Israel is now forwarded to the Church.
To the replacement theology followers, there was no need for Israel anymore.
"A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God." Romans 2:28,29 [NIV]
I myself don't believe in any replacements, but according to Paul, a Jew isn't a person who is circumcised, but a true believer in God. Do you - as a Christian - believe that the Jews nowadays are following YHVH truthfully?
If you want to take it from a Christian perspective, only the Messianic Jews would be classified as Jews according to the above verse because only the Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the Messiah.
From a Jewish perspective, the Modern State of Israel is definitely not a biblical one. They are secular, they do not follow the word of YHVH.
The world pressure against Israel who divided the land to a Palestinian state and a Jewish state is temporal, it is not without repercussions as it angers God.
If it were the Biblical Israel , I would have agreed. But it isn't. It is just named Israel, but what's in a name? The content is what's important.
Personally, I think that the killing of the Monotheistic Palestinians, taking their rights away, treating them like animals, and exiling them from their land is what angers God.
[From your testimony] My name is Walid, I was born in Bethlehem, Israel.
It is officially Bethlehem, the West Bank (Palestine), and it would always be Palestine (not Israel) to me until the true Israel comes.
[From your testimony] Yes I say it to the whole world, I love Jews, I love them because of their Messiah, I love them because they brought light to the world, and through them came the light and the truth, for that I love Jews.
I love the Jews too, as much as I love the Americans, the Germans, the British, the Africans, the Asians, the Arabs, and my fellow man in general.
The Jews weren't the ones who "brought light to the world" as you said at first, but it is God who brought it through them. God and not the Jews. God is not a Jew. The man Jesus is, but YHVH isn't.
You can call me anti-Semitic. But since I'm an Arab (Ishmaelite - Semite), that statement would be self-contradictory. I have no problem with the Jews. I don't believe that they should be kicked out of Palestine (not Israel yet), they have human rights. The Arabs have rights too. The Israelis (not the Jews) are definitely not giving the Palestinians their rights.
I myself am not Palestinian by decent. Most my friends are, and I have a Palestinian root. I am simply a Human Being, of the tribe of Ishmael.
A dear brother of mine is a Palestinian, he is a believer. Five members of his immeadiate family (Christian) were killed by the Israelis. Is that what God wants the Jews to do? It is definitely his will (since everything is his will - good or bad), but is that how he delivers his promises?
You may have noticed that I'm a bit emotional in this email, and that it (the email) isn't very scholarly written. But my aim is not to convince anyone of anything. The matter I'm trying to conclude in one short email has been debated in many looong debates and still not resolved. All I want to do is to let the others out there know that your view (which is a view I totally respect) isn't the only view held by a Christian.
In the end I would like to thank you brother for a book well written. It has lots of valuable information that has really helped me in my quest. May the Lord bless you.
Yours in Christ,