Zafar Bangash is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) and on the Editorial Board of Crescent International. He was among the founding members, with Dr Kalim Siddiqui of the Muslim Institute in London. He is the author of several books, his latest being: Power Manifestations of the Sirah: Examining the Letters and Treaties of the Messenger of Allah (saws). Zafar Bangash is also a community organizer affiliated with Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto.
Also, there is a confusion in the minds of some Muslims who think that today’s Christians are the People of the Book, the Christians and Jews and so on, and therefore they are our cousins and so forth. First of all, I would like to ask those of my brothers and sisters who think that way whether the original book that was revealed to either Moses or Jesus – does anybody have a copy of that book? The original book, not the distorted version that they keep on changing every so many years.
If you do not have a copy of the original book, then these people cannot be considered People of the Book, because there is no Book that we are talking about to which they belong.
But you know, we as Muslims must know that this can be expected from these people. We shouldn’t have any illusion about it. The reason being that Allah has told us in the Quran that these Jews murdered even sthe prophets of Allah. Did they not kill the Prophet Zachariah, and John [the Baptist]? The Jews killed them, so why should we expect them to treat us any better? I think that we will be remiss if we think that these people are going to be our friends. We must not be under any illusions that people that cannot be friends of Allah and His prophets can be friends of the Muslims, because if they are going to be our [friends], then we must examine our own faith – then there is something wrong with us, because Allah tells us that you cannot expect any friendship from these people [Jews].
These people – the Jews, the Christians, the polytheists, and the infidels – will spare no effort to ruin you, and they will do everything in their power to hamper your activities, including harmless activities like holding a conference. They will do everything in their power to hamper your activities, and yet Allah warns us and he says that what they utter with their mouths, what they say on their television screens, what you hear on their radio stations, what you read in their newspapers… Allah says that that is nothing. What they conceal in their hearts towards you is much greater. The hatred that they have towards you is much greater, so we as Muslims have to be conscious of this fact, and if we are conscious of this fact, and we understand their nature, and our responsibilities, then God willing, we cannot go astray.