The Light Shineth in Darkness by -Udo Schaefer- 5 Para

When Jerusalem was taken, 'Umar had marched in by the side of Patriarch Sophronius and had left all shrines and churches untouched, whereas the Christian Heraclius had massacred the Jews during the former invasion of the city. The same scene repeated itself in the Crusades. In 1099 when Jerusalem was taken, the crusaders caused a terrible slaughter among the native population during which Jews and Muslims were killed and burnt. When in 1187 Saladin wrested the city from the crusaders, he shamed the Christian world by allowing the Christian priests to take away with them all their church property. In an instruction left by 'Umar in his will "nothing is more emphatically recommended to his successor that he should refrain from violence towards his non-Muslim charges, indeed, rather should he, himself, take up arms to ensure their protection". (157:1)

The Jews received the same treatment. It was under Islamic rule in Spain that medieval Judaism-- against which an unscrupulous war of extermination had been previously waged by Christian orthodoxy-- experienced its greatest flowering and where its greatest philosopher Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon taught. When at the end of the fifteenth century Spain once more came under Catholic dominion, the spirit of tolerance and indulgence was over. Now the government no longer operated according to Muhammad's command: "Let there be no compulsion in religion", but after the motto which the Curia Cardinal Ottaviani still defended in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: "No freedom for error." Sigrid Hunke describes the change in the spiritual atmosphere which ensued with the end of Arab dominion in Spain: "When on the 2nd of January Cardinal D. Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza planted the cross on the Alhambra, the red royal castle of the Nasrids, it was not only Arab dominion in Spain that ended... Under Archbishop Juan Ximinez the Muslims and the rest of their flowering culture sank in a sea of terror, in which waves of religious fanaticism devoured everything: every time they expressed their faith, every time they used their language, at every word, every song, every time they played their instruments, used their surname, their national costume, or visited the baths, they were sent to the galleys, imprisoned, persecuted, even burnt alive. Whatever the conquering Christians or Berbers had not yet destroyed among the treasures of Arabic science and poetry was dragged out of all the libraries and hiding-places by the Archbishop's bailiffs and huge piles were thrown to the flames... Through mass-expulsions and the fury of the 'autodafe' the most flourishing land of that part of the world was depopulated and in a short time had once more become a desert." (158:2)

footnote: Unlike the Qur'an the Bible does not contain any directions about the treatment of the followers of other revealed religions. With the exception of Judaism which according to Christian understanding is part of the story of the Salvation of Man, all non-Christian religions were looked upon as human usurpation until the twentieth century. The Protestant theologian Karl Barth describes them as "religions of deceit". This attitude affected the way Christians treated members of these religions, especially followers of Judaism and Islam. The Muslims, by their claim to be in possession of a post-Christian revelation, were a particular provocation to Christians. The Jews, who had bloodily persecuted the new Christian community, were themselves persecuted once Christianity became the state religion, on account of their having rejected and killed Christ. Until the nineteenth century it was hardly possible to live as a Muslim under Christian rule and openly profess Islam. With the reconquest of Spain by the Catholics at the end of the fifteenth century Islam was driven out of Spain root and branch. (160:4)

footnote: The persecutions of the Jews from the early Middle Ages until the twentieth century were in no wise attacks from individuals but actions which had their root in the teachings of the Church. St. Justin in the "Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon" calls the Jews terrible people, spiritually ill, idolaters, cunning and sly, unjust, lacking in reason, hard-hearted and devoid of understanding. He maintains that they fornicate, that they are completely wicked, that their wickedness goes beyond all bounds, that all the water of the sea would not suffice to purify them; that they incite other peoples against the Christians and are not only guilty of the wrong which they themselves commit "but also of that done by all other men". St. Cyprian taught the Christians to say the Lord's Prayer against the Jews: "When he says 'Father', the Christian should remember that the Jews do not have God, but the devil as their father". The Father of the Church St. Chrysostom accused the Jews of robbery and stealing, called the synagogue a brothel, a den of cut-throats, a refuge for vile animals, and described the Jews as "pigs and goats". During the whole of the Middle Ages the Jews were suppressed by order of the synods. At the end of the sixth century in Merovengian Franconia, even compulsory baptism, mass deportations and burning down of synagogues became normal. The sixth synod of Toledo ordered in 638 that all Jews living in Spain should be baptized. The Archbishop Agobart of Lyon (d.840), a Catholic saint, already anticipated the ill-famed Nazi slogan "do not buy at any Jew's". The seventeenth synod of Toledo declared in 694 that, because of the abuse of Christ's blood, all Jews were slaves. Their possessions were confiscated, and their children taken away from them as soon as they were seven years old. (161:1)

footnote: In Germany the persecutions of the Jews began with the crusades. "What use is it to seek out the enemies of Christianity in far-away regions, when the blasphemous Jews, who are far worse than the Saracens, are allowed in our midst to abuse Christ and the sacraments", the crusaders argued. Over the centuries it came to banishments, bloody persecutions and burnings alive. (161:2)

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