Diana West

To appreciate the depth and breadth of this perhaps obvious but seldom pondered explanation, it's essential to realize that Jewish and Christian Bible characters, from Abraham to Moses to Jesus, pop up in the Koran as Muslim prophets who actually preach Islam, not Judaism or Christianity. This is the time-wrinkling, religion-morphing way in which Islam repudiates what it regards as falsifications in both the first (old) and second (new) testaments. Given that the Jewish and Christian religious books long predate the Islamic religious book, it's not surprising that in their Koranic guises the biblical characters "wander," as Bat Ye'or writes, "in uncertain space with no geographical or temporal references." Still, Muslims claim that these same "Muslim" characters lived in "Palestine," Bat Ye'or writes, on the basis of the "Jewish and Christian scriptures that they reject."

It follows from this highly unstable construct that Islam sees the biblical past as Islamic history "usurped" by Jews and Christians. Thus, "the land in which it took place -- though ... never mentioned in the Koran -- is (considered) a Muslim land, and Jewish and Christian holy sites are all (considered) Muslim," writes Ye'or, the pre-eminent modern historian of "dhimmitude," the diminished condition of non-Muslims under Islamic law (Shariah).

The land of Israel itself -- whose "every region, town and village is mentioned in the Bible with historical and chronological precision" -- is thus "sacrilegious" to Muslims, she explains. "They observe with destructive rage this unfolding return of history that they claim as their own. ... Any confirmation of the veracity of the Bible is seen as an attack on the Islamic authenticity of the Koranic figures taken from the Bible."

So much for those slivers of real estate as being the driver of war on Israel. It is, in fact, a jihad, a religious war against Judaism and the land of the Bible, root of Christianity. As Ye'or puts it, "Israel, in the land of its history, towns and villages, resuscitates the Bible, the book the Koran must supplant."

This back-to-basics interpretation allows us to see through the masks and deceptions to a war on Israel that is also a jihad against Christianity. Remember that the Koranic Jesus, Isa, has Muslim, not Jewish roots. As Ye'or writes, Muslims see Christians as having gone astray by "placing themselves in the lineage of the Hebrew Bible, because their real origin is Islam." The Islamic answer is to return Christianity to its supposedly Koranic origins.

And then? Bat Ye'or believes "the destruction of Christianity's sustaining Jewish roots (would) facilitate its Islamization."

And the world's.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).