Egyptian Scholar: How Religion Can Bring Reconciliation

In early November Dr. Omer ben Salem Al-Fayyumi, who recently defended his Ph.D. dissertation at the prestigious Al Azhar University in Cairo, visited Israel. At a meeting organized by the Interfaith Encounter Association, he presented a religious framework for a historical reconciliation between Muslims and Jews. 

 

Here are some excerpts from the dissertation's abstract:

The land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is Holy to both Muslims and Jews… My dissertation discusses the importance of reliance on Islamic and Jewish moral values and the texts of our holy books to implement a viable solution for the conflict over the Holy Land

The researcher suggests that Jews view the inhabitants who live in the Holy Land as (Hebrew: הַגֵּר הַגָּר אִתְּכֶם וְאָהַבְתָּ) “foreigners residing among you,” … if the Jewish people view the Palestinians as “foreigner residing among you” as defined in Leviticus 19:34, peace will be possible. Why? The Bible commands that non-Israelites be treated with love and respect the same way as Israelites: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

 On the Other hand, Muslims have to view the Jews who live in the Holy Land –… as Qoum Moussa (Arabic:  قَوْمِ مُوسَىٰ) or People of the book (Q3:113). .. if the Muslim people view the Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land as co-religionists or as Qoum Moussa” as defined in Q7:159, peace will be possible. Why? The Qur’an commends and commands as follow: “Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth.” And also, Q60:7 ” It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For Allah has power (over all things); And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”