Oh the humanity. This was World Net Daily’s headline last evening:
FROM WND’S JERUSALEM BUREAU
PALESTINIAN TV: MOSES LED THE MUSLIMS OUT OF EGYPT
Official network re-writes Passover story
Spank me and call me Sally! They said what?
Moses was a Muslim who brought “the Muslims of the Children of Israel out of Egypt,” according to a lecture on official Palestinian Authority television.
WND’s Aaron Klein is scandalized. Everybody knows Moses led the Jews out of Egypt! You’d think somebody had suggested Christmas was a Pagan holiday! Or that Easter was named for Eostre (Ostara), a Germanic Pagan goddess! Or that the Jesus fish was a Pagan fertility symbol representing the vagina and that the bishop’s hat (miter) worn by the Pope was in the shape of this fish symbol and that therefore the Pope wears a giant vagina on his head! Next thing you know they’ll be telling us that Wednesday is named for Odin (Woden) and Thursday for Thor!
The report of such propaganda comes four days before the start of the Jewish festival of Passover, which commemorates the story of the Exodus in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.
The trouble for Klein’s position is that it is not propaganda – not at its heart even if the message has been politicized – and in this a Jew or a Christian hardly has cause for complaint. It isn’t even a new claim, something Muslims just came up with on the spur of the moment to torment Jews heading into Passover. It says so in the Qur’an. It has always said so in the Qur’an, if only conservatives would bother to read it: Moses (Musa) led the Muslims out of Egypt and Moses was a Muslim and even Pharaoh, before he drowned, repented and became, like the Children of Israel, a Muslim:
And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his soldiers pursued them in tyranny and enmity until, when drowning overtook him, he said, “I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of those who submit [the Muslims]” Chapter (10) sūrat yūnus (Jonah) verse 10:90.
If the Qur’an says so, how is this claim by Palestinian TV a re-writing of anything?
Klein won’t admit to this and he is unhappy that Omar Ja’ara, lecturer at Al-Najah University in Nablus said on TV that Saul’s conquest of Palestine was a Muslim liberation of Palestine: “While the Quran itself refers to Moses as an early Islamic prophet, the ‘Children of Israel’ are not called ‘Palestinians,’” he complains. So Ja’ara politicized events? It’s not as if Jews and Christians have not done the same thing with Scripture as regards the so-called Holy Land. The whole claim that the land is theirs on account of this mythical conquest is a politicization of history, no matter who is making the claim.
Islam is the act or state of submission. A Muslim is one who surrenders to the will of God and in that context, because leaving Egypt as the people of God, they were Muslim. It says so in the Qur’an, just as it says Jesus is a Muslim.
It’s your actions, not your ethnicity, that make you a Muslim. Just as an American of whatever descent doesn’t have to be Arabic to be Muslim – as with many African-Americans – so neither did Moses and his fellow Israelites-to-be. We might insist there were no Muslims until the 7th century and Mohammed’s victory of Arabia’s Pagan oligarchs, but that is not what the Qur’an says, and here again we see the conflict between belief and historical fact.
The problem is looking at the past with today’s prejudices. And when I speak of conservatives, I DO mean prejudices. And look, it is no secret that the Qur’an and the Bible differ in particulars and it is a moment’s work to find a plethora of competing sites each denouncing the other. Both sides will say God cannot be wrong, the Scriptures are the inerrant word of God, etc. There will be no agreement on this score. So the Bible will say one thing of Moses; the Qur’an another.
History says something else again entirely, that the Exodus did not happen, that Moses, though possibly a figure of history, was likely an Egyptian, and that the Jews themselves are nothing other than Canaanites, indigenous to the hill country of Palestine and as polytheistic as any other inhabitant of what came to be called Palestine until the introduction of the cult of YHWH sometime early in the Iron Age by Midianite merchants. From the perspective of history they are both mistaken on a great many points.
For Klein to complain, as he does, “The re-writing of history and biblical text is routine in Palestinian society” is sheerest hypocrisy. Christians and Jews are in no position to accuse Muslims of revisionist history; the Old Testament itself in the words of two Jewish archaeologists is “history as it should have been” and the New Testament turns Jesus the Jew into a Gentile and is anti-Semitic to boot. Historical revisionism runs rampant in Christian fundamentalism, where Deist Founding Fathers are turned into modern Evangelical Christians and the American Revolution becomes, paradoxically, a revolution of conservative heroes fighting for the status quo against the evils of progressivism!
World Net Daily specializes in “exclusive” and “explosive” news that is generally not news at all, but tabloid sensationalism designed to stoke the fires of outrage among the faithful. A three-headed alien Obama would not be out of place in its places, right alongside gay Nazis. In the end, Moses leading Muslims out of Egypt is much ado about nothing. Muslims in Palestine have not re-written anything: their only crime was the audacity to quote from their Qur’an rather than the Bible. And we know how unforgiving conservatives can be about that.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.