In the face of Israel's brutal massacres in Gaza, where every human value, emotion, and principle is disregarded, Western countries continue to support it. Simultaneously, in the streets of Western capitals or other cities, masses are protesting both Israel's policies and their leaders who support these policies. This uprising of conscience is becoming more vibrant each day, even more so than in Islamic countries.
On one hand, there are those who enthusiastically support Zionist Israel's brutal aggression, which targets even infants with religious fervor, and, on the other hand, there are Jews who, in the name of Judaism, rebel against this aggression, considering it a violation of their fundamental values. Furthermore, there are those like Netanyahu, who not only kill enemy civilians, including women, children, hospitals, schools, and places of worship, indiscriminately using religious references but also have counterparts who share this understanding. Zionist Jews, fueled by the shedding of blood, are not content and are determined to spill more blood, even targeting the roots of Palestinians, including their infants.
Is it accurate to debate what their religion actually tells them in this regard? Can we teach them better about their religion if we engage in such a debate? Undoubtedly, when it comes to religion, there will always be people who interpret and understand it differently. Deciding what a religion is based on the text alone is not always possible. What matters is how that religion was understood by people at a certain time and in a certain context and how that understanding led to action. Today, there are varying interpretations of Judaism, just as there were in the early days of the Quran. It is worth noting that the Quran, especially when talking about communities, opens a heading even when mentioning their wrongdoings, stating "among them are righteous ones," reminding them to acknowledge their goodness.
Now, the Jewish violence that Muslims and all of humanity are exposed to may not represent all Jews, but it is evident that they find reference in their religion. Similarly, Christians supporting them, don't they do the same with reference to their religion? If we send some of our historical theologians to them, can we convince them that the religious texts and commandments of Judaism or Christianity are actually historical and do not command killing people today?
Our Prophet mentioned to the Jews and Christians of his time that their understanding had nothing to do with Judaism or Christianity anymore, and they had profoundly misunderstood it. In the Quran, there is strong emphasis and reminders of how they made the divine rule entrusted to them unrecognizable. Of course, we Muslims today believe that the Jews and Christians in front of us distort or misunderstand their religions, which are essentially Islam, preaching monotheism, i.e., not serving others besides God, and advocating for mercy, justice, measure, and respect for people. The Supreme God, who sent the Quran to Muslims, had sent the Torah and the Gospel to the Israelites before with the same cause and content. Whatever the Quran preaches to Muslims, the Torah, and the Gospel preach the same to Jews and Christians. The trust given to them was intended to lead the way in establishing the principles of justice, mercy, and peace, not to make themselves privileged and superior to others.
Israeli Defense Minister Gallant had said at the beginning of the war, "We are fighting with animals in Gaza" (although the legendary spokesperson of the Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Ubaida, responded to him with an unjust statement, saying, "Yes, you wolves are fighting with lions"). Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, stating that "non-Jews are like animals," put forth a typical expression of a Jewish interpretation. Even the famous philosopher of ethics, Emmanuel Levinas, could not escape this racist sense of superiority rooted in Jewish theology. In an interview published in the 20th issue of Tezkire Journal (2000), we saw the remarkable indifference he displayed when asked how he would adapt all this ethical understanding to the Palestinians subjected to the Sabra and Shatila massacres. This indifference was not much different from the approach of Rabbi Yosef, who considered non-Jews as animals.
Our esteemed psychiatrist philosopher, Prof. Dr. Erol Göka, in a post he made on social media, referring to Gallant and Yosef's approaches, says: "The ruthless genocide in Palestine reveals that the most important theological problem in the world we live in is the belief of some Jewish politicians and clergy that they have the right to determine who has the right to be considered human. If this is indeed the case, where they get this right from, why they believe in it should be revealed, and humanity should be enlightened." Despite the ten commandments of the Torah, such as "do not kill, do not lie, do not steal, do not eat usury, do not commit adultery," what drives them to kill more than anyone, lie more than anyone, engage in more usury transactions than anyone, and do all this with a devout motivation? The Quran answers this question very clearly: "This is because they said, 'Never will the Fire touch us except for [a few] numbered days.' And [because] they were deluded in their religion by what they were inventing" (Al-i Imran, 75). The term "ummi" in the Quran refers to non-Jews. There is no ethical responsibility for crimes committed against them. The Ten Commandments are only valid for the legal relations among Jews. Certainly, by doing so, they have grossly distorted and violated the Ten Commandments, thus slandering Allah.
What we need to see here is that there are people who will never be inclined to such distorted interpretations of Judaism and Christianity, especially among Jews and Christians in the West, who tolerate human rights abuses, and child and civilian massacres. We see that they raise a stronger voice against this oppression in public squares than even in some Muslim countries. President Erdogan's stance, stating to journalists upon his return from Riyadh, "We will not allow this to turn into a Crusader-Crescent war," is both a very healthy attitude against this generalizing approach and a very appropriate warning about the severity of such a possibility.
Even if those who do this actually act with the feelings and motivations of the Crusades.