Responses from the Qur’an to Those who Look to the Qur’an for Enmity toward the Jews
The Jews in particular, one of the People of the Book, have for years been at a loss to understand some Muslims’ hostility toward them. They have imagined that there must be such a commandment in the Qur’an and that the Muslims in question are acting in the light of that; some of them have therefore always blamed Islam. They are unaware that the Qur’an actually curses people who are inimical to the Jews.
There are two main allegations that the Jews find being made against them, that the Jews are cursed and that they are comparable to monkeys and pigs (surely our Jewish brothers and sisters are beyond that). The fanatics, in their own minds, base these claims on the Qur’an. Let us now look and see what the Qur’an really says:
The Comparison with “Monkeys and Pigs” and What the Qur’an Really Says about the People of the Book
The People of the Book occupy a special place in the Qur’an. God praises sincere Jews and Christians and reveals that He will reward them in the hereafter. All the People of the Book are entrusted to Muslims. That entrusting expresses the feelings of love and affection that Muslims should feel. It does not mean that the People of the Book are in need of protection, however.
Some fanatics look to the verses of the Qur’an in an effort to find evidence for their hostility toward the Jews and that is also the greatest card in the hands of some Western opponents of Islam. These people encourage enmity toward the Jews by foolishly pointing to verses in the Qur’an and saying that the Jews are cursed and compared to “monkeys and pigs.” When we look at the Qur’an, however, the people who are cursed and compared to animals are polytheists who have emerged from among the Jews and engage in hypocrisy and aggression.
Let us examine the verses of the Qur’an on the subject:
In verse 60 of Surat al-Ma’ida, God refers to a community that He rendered “monkeys and pigs.” In the light of the preceding verses, this community consists of people from among those who were “given the Book,” from among Christians and Jews, in other words: