By Zachary Karabell
In a story that's right now considerate and passionate, hopeful yet with out illusions, award-winning historian Zachary Karabell unearths the background of peaceable coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews over the process fourteen centuries till the present-day.
The harsh truth of non secular clash is day-by-day information, and the emerging tensions among the West and Islam exhibit no symptoms of abating. despite the fact that, the connection among Muslims, Christians, and Jews has now not regularly been marked with animosity; there's additionally a deep and nuanced heritage of peace.
From the courtroom of caliphs in historical Baghdad, the place students engaged in lively debate, to present-day Dubai, the place participants of every religion paintings facet through part, Karabell lines the forgotten legacy of tolerance and cooperation those 3 monotheistic religions have enjoyed—a legacy that would be important in any try to locate universal flooring and reestablish peace.
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Extra info for Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Conflict and Cooperation
The Jews also joined the cause. ”6 In a similar vein, the Arab general who led the invasion of Egypt, Amr ibn al-As, went out of his way to assuage the fears of Egyptian Christians. Legend has it that before he became a Muslim, Amr had saved the life of a Christian deacon from Alexandria. In gratitude, the deacon purchased Amr’s entire stock of goods, and Amr then began to do regular business in Egypt. The Nile Delta was the breadbasket of the Mediterranean, and Alexandria was a commercial hub.
Yet that has not prevented other conquerors at other times from committing nauseating atrocities. Why, then, were the Muslim conquerors relatively benign? The paucity of sources makes it difficult to answer that question, but one thing is undeniable: the Quran instructed Muslims to respect the People of the Book, and that is precisely what they did. The early history of Islam, therefore, unfolded against the backdrop of toleration for the religions of the conquered. There were also pragmatic reasons.
With the exception of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the Arab-Israeli conflict seemed to be the most likely candidate for plunging the world into chaos, and the phrase “peace in the Middle East” was always met by a derisive laugh. But while the Israeli side of the story was well represented in the media and in classrooms, the Arab side was not. That was the side I wanted to learn about. That led to more than a decade of study, first as an undergraduate in New York and then as a graduate student in England and in Boston.