What you might have thought would be a stonewall certainty just isn’t so.

It turns out that there is no Qur’anic claim to the Holy Land.  Quite the opposite.  One Muslim scholar after another confirms Jewish entitlement.

Dr. Muhammad Al-Hussaini (Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2009) writes:

“…………Muslims need to recognize the extent to which a vacuum has been created by the absence of any explicit Qur’anic counterclaim to the Holy Land.  This missing concept has been filled instead with Judaeophobia – the popular demonisation of the Jewish people, embraced as a substitute for the lack of a heavenly eviction order”.

In an interview to Front Page magazine (2004), Professor Khaleel Mohamed states:

“mediaeval scholars, without any exception known to me, interpreted the Qur’an to recognize Israel as belonging to the Jews”

These views are endorsed by Imam Mufti Dr. Abduljallil Sayid who wrote as long ago as November 1981 “The Holy Qur’an confirms that Holy Land (sic) was given to Jews”.

The key (but by no means the only) verse in the Qur’an which bolsters Jewish rights is in Sura 5 (The Table Spread) v. 21:

Oh my people!  Go into the holy land which Allah hath ordained for you.  Turn not in flight, for surely ye turn back as losers.

So even at this stage, it is possible to say to Muslims:

“You know, Abraham is our  common father.  We pray to Allah too,  Allah is our God just as much as He is yours; and He is your God just as much as He is ours.  We are after all, are we not, cousins!

“It just might be that the return of the Jewish people to their Biblically / Qur’anically prescribed homeland has been by, and not against, the Will of Allah.  We Jews are witnessing Allah answer the prayers of His Jewish children.  Allah is pleased at last to restore His people to their homeland as endorsed in the Qur’an. 

“You know, when you take stock of all the trials and tribulations that have been overcome, it is almost enough to make a non-believer take to Allah. 

“So maybe the time has come for muslims to re-assess their hostility to the Jewish state. 

But what about all the Judaeophobia, the popular demonisation of the Jewish people, that Dr Al-Hussaini referred to above?  What about the venonous, vitriolic passion that mention even of the Jewish state arouses in many, not all, muslims?

Well, Lee Habeeb an American of Lebanese Arab origin has reached a conclusion about this.  I think he is spot-on.  He says (National Review Online Feb 2012).

It is all about Arab self-doubt.  It is all tied to a profound lack of cultural self-confidence, and a deep-seated fear that maybe, just maybe, Arabs won’t be very good at the self-governance thing. 

“That Arab nations won’t be capable of building democratic cultures that engender the flourishing of human freedom, and that these nations won’t have the ability to tap the God-given talents of their people the way Americans and Israelis do.

Inside the mix of self-doubt are a dozen other ingredients.  Most of these are political.  None of them insuperable.  Identifying and dealing with them will have to be the subject of a second blog.  Having said this, self-doubt is certainly the big problem to overcome.

In conclusion (for the moment, only) the message to muslims – Arabs, Palestinians, whoever – has to be President Obama’s election slogan – “Yes! You Can!” – especially together with your cousins.