Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jews & Muslims: Mohammad Ali Attends His Grandson's Bar Mitzvah

Khalia, Mohammad Ali's Muslim daughter, her Jewish husband Spencer, and  Ali's
grandson, Jacob, in this undated photo. 

Yes. A Muslim grandfather's Jewish grandson's coming-of-age ceremony.

American boxing champion Mohammad Ali's daughter, Khalia Ali, married Spencer Wertheimer, a Jewish-American attorney. Their son, Jacob, turned 13 in April and was eligible for the ritual that marks puberty.

Mohammad Ali, now 70, traveled to Philadelphia especially to attend his grandson's special occasion.

Here's a quote from a report:

"Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer, Jacob’s mother, told Ali biographer Thomas Hauser that though her father raised his children Muslim, he was "supportive in every way. He followed everything and looked at the Torah very closely."
"It meant a lot to Jacob that he was there," she told Hauser, who reported on the bar mitzvah at

What interests me in this story is how closely it resembles relations between Muslims and Jews. I mean the normal relations for centuries before the rise of the State of Israel.

Do you know that Muslims and Jews never fought each other for more than 1,300 years? At all?

During a succession of Muslim empires, or caliphates, Jews and Muslims maintained a very close relationship.

A saying became famous in those times among Arab Muslims: If you're travelling, eat with a Jew because his food is halal, and sleep at the home of a Christian, because he will never betray you.

In one caliphate, a Jew rose through the ranks to become a prime minister under a Muslim caliph. Often Jewish citizens of Islamic caliphates were recruited as ministers in the government, often assuming the position of finance ministers. The caliphates of Umayyads, Abbasids and Ottomans followed this policy. And this did not violate the shariah law implemented throughout Muslim lands.

In fact, Jewish scholars, artists and scientists always found a seat in the courts of Muslim caliphs and kings.

Even today, Jews are members of parliament in Morocco, Bahrain and Iran. In Bahrain, the kingdom's ambassador to the United States was until recently a Bahraini Jewish Arab lady. I think she's still there.

It gets better. In 15th century when Christians expelled the Jews from Muslim Spain after defeating Muslims, where do you think the Jews preferred to go?

Europe? Not a chance. The elders of the Jewish community in Spain decided to go to the most powerful and rising Muslim nation at the time, the Ottoman Turkey, an Islamic caliphate and one of the most powerful nations on earth at the time.

Misunderstandings between Muslims and Jews rose only when Zionists, members of a political movement, decided to launch a war against the Arabs in Palestine under British protection. Jewish gangs were formed and instructed to bomb and kill the Arabs in the first two decades of the 20th century, producing enmities and hate.

Even then, most Jews and most Muslim did not see one another as enemies. It is safe to say the enmity was created by the members of a movement who called themselves Zionists. The Zionists wanted the Jews to fight Arabs for Palestine. To motivate the Jews for a fight, you had to create an enmity first.

Even today, hardcore Zionists continue to emphasize a policy of hating Arabs and Muslims in order to keep the Jews at war with their Muslim neighboring nations. Under this misguided policy, some Israeli officials even encourage the United States and Europe to fight Muslims under the false notion that Muslims are the archenemy.

Before Israel, there was no conflict between Jews and Muslims for over 1,300 years, almost since the birth of Islam.

The story of a Muslim grandfather attending his Jewish grandson's bar mitzvah is a reminder of how Jews and Muslims lived in peace for centuries. In fact, no one gave the Jews a better hone for centuries than Muslim caliphates ruled by shariah.

Can you believe that? It's true. But you won't read about this in mainstream American media because this knowledge does not serve the future war planners at Pentagon and CIA.