When Jews, Muslims, and Christians Go To Each Other For Help Understanding Their Own Religions

Shlomo Zuckier and David Gyllenhaal point out an interesting phenomenon, namely that “One important implication of the entangled scriptural heritage of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is that members of one faith may find it useful to consult the traditions of another faith about their own scripture.” They continue:

While Muslims do not accept the Torah as scripture, many stories in the Quran are based on and refer to stories and teachings of the Hebrew Bible, such that biblical materials may be helpful in Quranic exegesis. Here we examine an interesting case study of this phenomenon, in which an early Muslim exegete, Muqatil ibn Sulayman (d. 767 CE) draws on the Hebrew Bible and Jewish tradition to interpret a puzzling Quranic passage about a sin the Israelites committed.

The full article is a little dense, but worthwhile for those looking to dive into the details of their chief example.

Read more at Co-Produced Religions

More about: Christianity, Hebrew Bible, Islam, Jewish-Christian dialogue, Religion & Holidays

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security