Muslim sectarianism and the Jewish connection

Historians in the News

Indonesian historian Azyumardi Azra, one of the world’s leading scholars of moderate Islam says Islam and Judaism can learn from each other.

The non-moderate vein of Islam prevalent in the Middle East is due to the Arabs' “besieged” mentality, a result of centuries of Western occupations and sectarian clashing, according to an Indonesian historian and one of the world's leading scholars of moderate Islam.

"Muslims in the Middle East are on the defensive – they possess an undersiege mentality,” explained Prof. Azyumardi Azra on Monday. “They are afraid of interacting, and giving greater room,” whether to different Muslim sects or members of other religions.

Later in the day, Arza delivered a lecture on the interplay among the Indonesian state, democracy and the Shari’a, at Bar-Ilan University’s international conference on Religious Law and State Affairs. The conference, supported by the Tager Family Jewish Law Program in the university’s Faculty of Law, advances research in Jewish law from a variety of viewpoints – among them religious, historical and philosophical.

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