The number's up for monotheism

Not only has the time come to separate between this monotheism and the state - both the Jewish and Arab state - the time has also come to separate it from the national discourse.

Salman Masalha | The number's up for monotheism

"Right now, most governments in the world are keeping silent despite the calls by the Palestinian mufti [Muhammad Hussein] to kill Jews," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech last month to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Netanyahu added that he was horrified by the fact "that there is a legacy of hate and destruction, because this mufti is following in the footsteps of that other mufti [Haj Amin al-Husseini, who allied with Hitler] ... and rather than calling for peace and reconciliation, he calls for the destruction of the Jewish people wherever they may be."

Netanyahu was preceded by President Shimon Peres, who also sharply criticized the mufti of Jerusalem. "The mufti's words are dangerous and are liable to bring about an escalation in Jewish-Arab relations, and even loss of life," the president warned.

It's interesting to note that both men were quiet during the scandal raised by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro's "The King's Torah," a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel. They and other politicians have also remained silent in the face of petitions and racist statements that have emerged from the study halls of "the sages of the generation" of one type or another.

It seems to me that the ones who ought to be coming out to defend the mufti are exactly those rabbis who cried foul and argued that the state is not permitted to intervene in matters of religion and religious law. So it is with adherents of the infantile monotheism, in all its branches and metastases.

Whoever reads the literature of monotheistic religions, and it doesn't matter which religion, soon learns that it is full of moral abominations. The hadith that the mufti quoted does actually exist in the Islamic branch of monotheism: "Judgment Day will not come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them; the Jew will hide behind the stone and the stone will say, 'Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"

These hadiths and others are part of the eschatological traditions that deal with the End of Days and Judgment Day, and they exist in other cultures as well. Islam did not invent the eschatological wheel. It drew from Judaism and Christianity and invented these and other traditions to serve its very worldly purposes, namely broad conquests.

Muslims don't just fight Jews in the End of Days. These hadiths also tell us that the end of days will not come "until they will fight with Husa and Carman, who are among the Persian peoples." And in another version, "until you fight the Turkish peoples." This is what these people look like: "Red-faced, with flattened noses, narrow eyes, and with round, flat faces like shields."

And if the Jerusalem mufti and other muftis will continue to search through these desert hadiths, there's another surprise awaiting them. In the present cold Jerusalem climate, one wonders what kind of shoes the learned mufti is wearing, since if he would continue to read the fine print, he might find himself on the wrong side. After all, the hadiths also say that "the end of days will not come until you fight the men wearing padded shoes."

In short, not only has the time come to separate between this monotheism and the state - both the Jewish and Arab state - the time has also come to separate it from the national discourse. Because if we don't, this ridiculous and dangerous monotheism will take over and destroy whatever good that remains here.

The little politicians who pretend to teach us "what it means to be Jewish" or "what it means to be Arab" will continue to throw hollow slogans into the air. Meanwhile, we can say about the Israeli-Palestinian situation that not only is "the face of the generation like a face of a dog," but that the face of the "Bibi" is like the face of the "Tibi."

As for the rest, go and learn it.
Published: Opinions-Haaretz, 14 Ferbruary 2012

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