Jews, Judaism and Islam Lecture by San Francisco Professor

By Pasquini, Elaine | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 3, 1999 | Go to article overview

Jews, Judaism and Islam Lecture by San Francisco Professor


Pasquini, Elaine, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


JEWS, JUDAISM AND ISLAM LECTURE BY SAN FRANCISCO PROFESSOR

"Jews, Judaism and Islam" was the topic of a March 21 lecture by San Francisco State University professor Dr. Fred Astren in San Francisco. Dr. Astren, acting director of the Jewish Studies program, is a specialist in the Jews of Islamic countries and a scholar of the Qur'an, as well as the Torah. Speaking to a small group at Congregation Ner Tamid, Astren spoke of the similarities and differences between Judaism and Islam. "Jews and Muslims share the same God, but different Prophets," he stated. He also pointed out that Lebanese Christian Maronite bishops use the term "Allah," the Arabic word for God, in their sermons.

In addition to discussing the similarities and differences between Judaism and Islam, Astren traced Islam from its beginning almost 14 centuries ago to the present, when it has more than a billion followers and has become the fastest growing religion in the world. He described the vast area of Islamic influence from Spain to China. He debunked as myth the idea that Jews were forcibly converted to Islam. Although Jews and Christians were taxed differently from Muslims in Islamic countries, because of their belief in monotheism they were allowed to practice their religions unmolested. …

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