It is true that there is a major intellectual fight in today's world, which has a bipolar system. However, these two poles are not Muslims and Jews and Christians. Those who believe in God and His uniqueness are on one side and deniers on the other. That is to say, there are those who espouse the morality of religion on the one hand and there are those who espouse ideologies opposed to the morality of religion or fanatical approaches on the other.
In the holy books of these three Divine religions, it is written that Jews, Christians and Muslims have common principles of faith, common moral values and common opponents. What faithful, sincere, conscientious and foresighted Christians, Jews and Muslims should do is to put up an intellectual struggle against Godless ideologies or fanatical approaches that emerge in the name of faith and cooperate and work in unity and solidarity. This unity should be built on the principles of affection, respect, understanding, harmony and cooperation.
It is a historical fact that there have been various conflicts among the members of these religions. Nevertheless, these conflicts did not result from the essence of Christianity, Judaism or Islam, but from poor decisions and misconceptions of states, societies and individuals, and mostly from seeking economic or political interests. In fact, one of the common objectives of all three religions is to ensure that all people live in peace, security and happiness. Three religions consider that any conflict against this is wrong. The New Testament, the basis of Christianity, the Old Testament, the basis of Judaism and the Qur’an, the basis of Islam all recommend using the finest words and behaviors in mutual relations. For example, the Bible speaks of behavior patterns that believers should adopt towards other people as follows:
… always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5: 15)
The Torah states that Jews must treat people well:
Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts... (Amos, 5: 14-15)
In many verses of the Qur’an, God emphasizes good manners and unity as well as kind response to evil. He commands Muslims to approach Jews and Christians, the People of the Book, with goodwill and affection. In the Qur’an, it is clearly explained that the People of the Book are closer to Muslims.
The People of the Book have moral references based on Divine revelation and notions of that which is forbidden and what is lawful. That is why food cooked by People of the Book is lawful for Muslims. Similarly, Muslim men are allowed to marry women among People of the Book. These are the instruments that will provide for warm human relations and a peaceful common life. Of course, it is out of the question for Muslims to disagree while it is recommended to have a moderate and fair viewpoint in the Qur’an. It is stated in the verse that:
Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way – except in the case of those of them who do wrong – saying, “We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and we submit to Him.” (Qur’an, 29:46)
The People of the Book and Muslims Have A Common Faith and Values
Christians and Muslims have several common points in their belief. Similarly, Judaism also shares many common beliefs with Islam. The People of the Book and Muslims basically believe in the same virtues like honor, chastity, modesty, self-sacrifice, honesty, compassion and unrequited love in a world where moral corruption such as prostitution, homosexuality and drug addiction is widespread and people are selfish and brutal. The members of all three religions;
-believe that God created the whole universe out of nothing and rules over all matters with His eternal power.
-believe that God miraculously created living beings and humans and that human beings bear soul given by God.
-believe that God sent many messengers like the Prophets Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Solomon and David (peace be upon them), and love them all.
-believe in resurrection after death, heaven and hell, angels and destiny.
-The People of the Book agree with Muslims not only on tenets of faith but also on moral values.
It is a fact that those who are against the morality of religion and power centers that target moral values combine vast opportunities in their hands if necessary and move in alliance against religious people. What should be done is quite obvious in order to intellectually eradicate this evil alliance; do away with the negative and destructive results of irreligious materialist suggestions, replace fanaticism with the true religious values and form societies where morality, good manners, happiness, peace, security and welfare dominate. Muslims, sincerely believing Christians and religious Jews who are on the other side of the pole should come together in line with common goals.
The Centers against whom Muslims and the People of the Book Should Unite and Put up an Intellectual Struggle are Known
Muslims should cooperate and work in unity and solidarity with religious, sincere, conscientious and foresighted Christians and Jews. This unity should be built on the principles of affection, respect, compassion, understanding, harmony and cooperation. It should be kept in mind that Jews, Christians and Muslims are responsible for struggling against atheism, hostility against religion, fanaticism and social and moral degeneration as well as spreading good morals in the world by joining hands.
Intellectual Struggle against Darwinism and Materialism
Materialism, communism, fascism, anarchism, racism, nihilism, existentialism and atheism can be listed among the ideologies which are the most well-known and harm societies the most in this age. Many people who were deceived by these ideologies’ false opinions, misleading definitions and descriptions of the universe, society and human beings have lost their belief or became suspicious. Furthermore, these ideologies have led people, societies and nations to great depressions, conflicts and wars and caused great catastrophes in the world. The share of these ideologies is high in the world regarding people's sufferings and problems.
In their denial of Almighty God and creation, the mentioned ideologies depend on a common ground, Darwin's evolution theory which they adopt as a so-called scientific idea. Darwinism underlies all anti-religion philosophies. This theory claims that "living things evolve as a result of coincidences and thanks to struggle for life". Therefore, the most important suggestion of Darwinism is that "you are not answerable to anyone, you owe your life to coincidences, you need to fight for life and even to oppress others if you have to, this is the world of conflicts and interests". This suggestion is the social message that Darwinian notions such as “natural selection,” “struggle for life,” and “survival of the fittest” convey. This moral understanding tells people to be selfish, self-interested, brutal and cruel, removes the virtues of compassion, mercy, self-sacrifice and modesty. It shows this as a requirement of the “rules of life.” This Darwinian suggestion is certainly the exact opposite of the beliefs of the People of the Book and the message of the Qur’an. Therefore, these Darwinist suggestions lay the grounds for a world totally contrary to all three religions.
In the face of this fact, People of the Book and Muslims who believe in God and adopt the morality that He taught should cooperate. The members of all three religions should join hands to tell the entire world about the fallacy of Darwinism, an idea which has no scientific basis and is kept alive only for the sake of materialist philosophy. They should also jointly engage in an intellectual struggle against all other destructive ideologies that stem from irreligiousness (communism, fascism, racism) and moral degeneration. Should this happen the world will attain peace and justice at short notice.
The Intellectual Fight against the Non-religious, Brutal and Cruel Acts of Fanaticism
Fanaticism comes first today among the factors that threaten world peace and security no matter what group or belief it belongs to. The typical characteristic of fanaticism is "hate speech." Such speech is clearly seen in the discourses, writings and demonstrations of fanatics. Taboos that are adhered to blindly and the mass psychology that is developed in line with these taboos replace conscious acts in the radical movements developed under the influence of fanaticism. The aforementioned mass psychology sometimes comes to such a state that people who don't even know what they do - and for what reason - may turn into aggressive and harmful people. In such an environment where compassion and understanding is totally removed, hostility arises against other ideologies, beliefs and ethnicities even without listening to or understanding what they think and defend.
• Intellectual Struggle against Fanatical Muslims
In Western societies, people are generally ignorant about Islam. Certain Western sections who have been brainwashed with secondhand superstitions and groundless prejudices perceive Islam as a source of terror and violence, and a blood-shedding religion of fear (surely Islam is far from it), whereas Islam is in fact a religion of peace, affection, unity and fraternity. This ignorance is prevalent from the people on the streets to certain senior officials. This ignorance and misconception lie behind state decisions and policies against Islamic countries and Muslims. These decisions and policies made out of fear receive support from the overwhelming number of the masses.
Some parts of Western societies are prejudiced against Islam due to everyday negative suggestions and propaganda by specific centers, and also due to the distorted model and examples portrayed as Islam. However, the gravest mistake of these people is that they haven't read the Qur’an, the only source where they can properly learn about Islam.
There is no link whatsoever between the real Islam based on the Qur’an and fanaticism. However, Western states make a grave mistake and regard the non-Qur’anic model introduced as Islam in many Muslim countries as what Islam really is.
Fanatics invent non-Qur’anic prohibitions and thus restrict people from living freely. They say it is forbidden to laugh, listen to music, wear perfume, eat at the table or use fork and knife. Women are supposedly half people who should be locked at home and shouldn't be allowed to beautify themselves and take care of their clothing. Fanatics think that some animals are cursed. For example, a superstition that has never had a place in Islam says that it is a good deed to kill a lizard. It is demanded that those who don't pray should be killed, that those who don't give the poor alms should be beheaded and those who don't fast should be put into prison. They portray art, aesthetics and music, all of which beautify life, as forbidden. They ban criticism even though it improves quality and forbid differing views, even though this means freedom.
Of course, the reason for these fanatical views is the adoption of a secondhand and mistaken belief system rather than the verses of the Qur’an. Therefore, it is important that all Muslim brothers and sisters around the world should be able to receive proper education and know about the Qur’an thoroughly. Otherwise, some people will continue to regard the superstitions fabricated under the name of Islam as the religion itself.
The Western world, where the majority of the population are Christians, knows and perceives Islam incorrectly and therefore sees it as a threat. If the Western world launches an educational campaign for Muslim countries and for their own people in order to remove this misconception and enable people to learn what real Islam is, it will be of a great benefit to itself as well as Muslims, indeed, to all of mankind. As such, it will be clearly understood that Islam as defined in the Qur’an is a religion of affection, peace, welfare, freedom and happiness, quite contrary to what is imagined. Literate Muslims will get rid of radicalism and superstitions and learn their religion from the Qur’an. They will act in accordance with the Qur’an and regard the People of the Book as their friends and brothers and sisters. Western societies will learn about the real Islam from the Qur’an. As a result, interfaith conflicts will be swiftly removed from the face of the Earth and, God willing, form a happy and fine basis that will bring the world to the threshold of the Golden Age.
• The Intellectual Struggle against Fanatical Christians
One of the most significant misconceptions of some radical Christians is their view about the "Armageddon" war. They consider this war as something that needs to take place before the arrival of the Messiah. Indeed, this misconception totally contradicts the morality that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) taught to Christians. In the Bible, it is clearly seen that Jesus recommended affection, peace and friendship to people.
Our Christian brothers and sisters should keep in mind that they are not the only ones who wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ to the world: Muslims also look forward to it excitedly, since this miracle is indicated in the Qur’an and is also evidently heralded in the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) sayings. Therefore, Christians and Muslims should wait and prepare for this great miracle together. The most important preparation is to make efforts to have a character that God will be pleased with. It should be kept in mind that with the arrival of Jesus (pbuh), atheist philosophies and pagan beliefs will be intellectually defeated, and ideologies such as racism and fascism will be wiped out. Thus, the world will be freed of wars, conflicts, ethnic hostilities, cruelty and injustice and people will live in peace and happiness. It is for this reason that believers who sincerely prepare for the arrival of Jesus should make great efforts to create the infrastructure of such an environment, try to prevent any conflict and put aside all points of separation, debates and hostilities.
As stated earlier, fanaticism benefits from ignorance and thus grows. Removing the hazards that ignorance may cause is a requirement of the Christian faith. This responsibility of Christians is stated as follows in the Bible:
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men... Show the proper respect to everyone. Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God... (1 Peter, 2: 15-17)
In many places of the world, the views of those people who associate fanaticism with Islam about the People of the Book are based on hatred. The truth, however, is that there is no hatred against the People of the Book in Islam. On the contrary, it is essential to have compassion, protection and affection towards them. The People of the Book, whom the fanatics hate, are actually friends and even spouses of Muslims, according to the Qur’an. Therefore, what Muslim countries should do is to open their doors to Europe, be in contact with Israel and remember that People of the Book are also the servants of God. According to the Qur’an, it is a sin to hate or nurse a grievance against Christians and Jews. It is also an inappropriate attitude towards People of the Book.
• The Intellectual Struggle against Fanatical Jews
Today certain sections of the Jewish world tend to have a radical or fanatical mentality that infuses hatred and hate towards people of different religions, and defends the use of the harshest and most merciless methods. This is extremely dangerous for peace, both in the Middle East and in the world. That is why it is also important to educate those Jews with radical tendencies and invite them to fraternity and unity.
Of course a great number of Jews are opposed to the violence-prone tendency of such fanatic people and want to live in peace with other faiths and nations since the fanaticism of these radicals contradicts the statements of the Old Testament such as: “Who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil” (Isaiah, 33: 15).
Therefore, it is important that our Jewish brothers and sisters who sincerely believe in God should ally with the believers of other religions for world peace. They should speak about the true commands in their holy book, about the passages that call for peace and affection, and defend fraternity and peace so that violence-prone radical Jews will leave their mistaken ways behind and come to the path of peace.