Anti-Semitism, Islam, and Christianity
Below is a link to a an article about Princeton Professor, Mark Cohen, and his scholarly work about the relationship of Jews with Muslims and Christians in medieval Europe. Professor Cohen argues that Muslim anti-Semitism is a recent Islamic development that is not a foundation of Islam.
Books and articles by Mark Cohen
Jewish Self-Government in Medieval Egypt: the Origins of the Office of Head of the Jews, ca. 1065–1126, Princeton 1980.
Al-mujtama` al-yahūdī fī Miṣr al-islāmiyya fī’l-`uṣūr al-wusṭā (Jewish Life in Medieval Egypt 641–1382) (translated into Arabic), Tel Aviv 1987.
The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi: Leon Modena’s Life of Judah, translated and edited by Mark R. Cohen, with introductory essays by Mark R. Cohen and Theodore K. Rabb, by Howard Adelman, and by Natalie Zemon Davis and historical notes by Howard Adelman and Benjamin Ravid, Princeton 1988.
Jews among Arabs: Contacts and Boundaries, co-edited with A. L. Udovitch, Princeton 1989.
Poverty and Charity in the Jewish Community of Medieval Egypt, Princeton, 2005
The Voice of the Poor in the Middle Ages: An Anthology of Documents from the Cairo Geniza, Princeton, 2005.
Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages, Princeton, 1994; revised edition 2008.
The New Muslim Anti-Semitism, Jerusalem Post. In this article Cohen says,
…let us not make the mistake of thinking that Jews lived in the Middle Ages as the equals of Muslims. They were second class citizens, at best. They were classed along with other religious minorities as unbelievers who did not recognize the prophethood of Muhammad and the truth of the Koran. But this kind of unbelief was not as threatening to Islam as Jewish unbelief was to Christians, for unbelief in Christianity means rejection of Jesus as Messiah and as God, a greater affront to the dominant faith than Jewish unbelief was to Islam because it challenged the theological basis of the whole religion…Jews in the Islamic orbit were spared the damaging stigma of “otherness” and anti-Semitism suffered by Jews in Europe.
Americans must transcend ignorance on mosque near Ground Zero, Washington Post. In this article Cohen argues,
During roughly the first half of Islamic history, from the seventh through the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, Muslims and dhimmis lived, not in an interfaith utopia, but in a live-and-let-live situation, each recognizing its assigned place in the hierarchical order of things. Within this hierarchy many different religions and ethnic groups lived side-by-side, occupying the same physical space, creating a pluralistic mosaic of cultures and religions. But tolerance, if by “tolerance” we mean the equality of all peoples, did not exist. Nor should we expect it to have existed. What is important is that, despite, or perhaps by virtue of the dhimma system, non-Muslims and Muslims interacted rather comfortably in day-to-day affairs, shared fully in economic life, and practiced medicine in the same hospitals.
The Meaning of ‘Cordoba’: Can It Really Symbolize Religious Tolerance?, Huffington Post. In this article Mark Cohen clears up misconceptions about Córdoba.