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Jewish Journal

Reuven Firestone

  • Religions Hold Mix of Justice and Mercy

    January 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Religion did not begin with compassion. The gods of the ancient Near East were not exactly epitomes of goodness.

    In the flood story of the Gilgamesh Epic, the gods destroyed humanity not because they were reacting to unbridled violence and sin, as in the biblical (and...

  • What Made Saddam Run?

    December 18, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    What was the driving force behind Saddam Hussein's behavior? Was it his Arabness? His Islam? Or just generic cruelty?

    There is a famous story from the Jahiliyya, that long period in Arabia before the emergence of Islam, about a Jew named Samaw'al (Samuel) B. Adiya. He was entrusted...

  • ‘Leasing’ of Peace Could Be Best Move

    May 8, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    OK, let's get it over with. Normative Islam today cannot make a peace treaty with a Jewish State in the midst of the Islamic world. It just doesn't make it, not in terms of historical precedent, cultural expectations or religious law. Islamists simply trump liberal Muslims on this.

    ...

  • Athens and Baghdad

    May 1, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The legacy of Athens was not only the glory of Western democracy. It was also the brutality of Roman tyranny. And the legacy of Baghdad is

    not only Wahhabi obscurantism and viciousness. It is also religious tolerance and a this-worldly spirituality.

    Islam may have been born in Mecca...

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  • Athens and Baghdad

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The legacy of Athens was not only the glory of Western democracy. It was also the brutality of Roman tyranny. And the legacy of Baghdad is not only Wahhabi obscurantism and viciousness. It is also religious tolerance and a this-worldly spirituality.

    Islam may have been born in Mecca...

  • Rome and Baghdad

    April 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The pagan Roman Empire was the most complex and refined civilization that had ever appeared on earth. Its religious practice ensured eternal protection by the gods. Its emperor was appointed by the divinity as ruler of the Roman state. Although the empire flourished for many...

  • Islam Is the Answer

    December 13, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    I was visiting a dear Palestinian Muslim friend in Jerusalem some years ago during the first intifada. I had noticed that he was becoming more religiously observant at the time. His wife had begun covering her hair, and he was more punctilious in his prayers and in what he ate and...

  • Islam Hijacked

    September 27, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The queries have come in steadily since the great increase in suicide bombings by Muslim Palestinians during the past year, but since Sept. 11, they have come virtually non-stop. "Does Islam condone suicide? Does Islam condone killing noncombatants? Does Islam teach that a martyr who...

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