Chapter 2

Christina Zaranka

Pages 34-45: “Herod’s greatest achievement was the restoration and expansion of the Temple of Jerusalem…”

Temple of Jerusalem:

“Either of two temples that were at the centre of worship and national identity in ancient Israel. When David captured Jerusalem, he moved the Ark of the Covenant there. As the site for a temple, he selected Mount Moriah, or the Temple Mount, where it was believed that Abraham had built his altar to sacrifice Isaac. The First Temple was constructed under David’s son Solomon and was completed in 957 BC. It contained three rooms: a vestibule, the main room for religious services, and the Holy of Holies. From the time of Josiah, it was designated as the only place for sacrifice in Judah. It was destroyed during the Babylonian conquest in 586 BC. When the Jews returned from exile in 538, they built the Second Temple (finished 515). Its desecration by Antiochus IV in 167 BC set off the Maccabees’ revolt, after which it was cleansed and rededicated. In 54 BC Marcus Licinius Crassus plundered the Temple. It was rebuilt and enlarged by Herod the Great; construction lasted 46 years. The Jewish rebellion in AD 66 led to its destruction by Roman legions in AD 70. All that remains is part of the Western Wall, a site of pilgrimage.”


“The third building, the Temple of Herod begun in 20 bc, was the grandest and was that of new testament times. It is said to have covered 19 acres (7.7ha). In the holy place were kept the golden candlestick, the altar of incense and the table of the shewbread, while within were the holy of holies, the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat. It was destroyed by fire by the Romans under Titus in ad 70. The site has long been covered by the dome of the rock, an Islamic shrine.”



Aslan touches on the history of the Temple of Herod but does not discuss the history of the three temples in great detail.  This clarifies that there were three attempts to rebuild and expand the temple located on the sacred spot in Jerusalem at different time periods. The first temple being destroyed is the reason for the second temple being built by Herod. By knowing this history, the reader can better understand the context of Herod’s temple and Herod, whom Aslan discusses through chapter two. He is very important in the history of the Jerusalem conflict that still exists today. Without the building of his temple, there would be no Wailing Wall, the very sacred area Aslan tried to reach while in Israel. This background information also explains the reasons why the Wailing Wall is so sacred, calling it the “ark of the covenant and the mercy seat”.  It is also important to realize that Herod created a completely new temple, something that was not clear in Beyond Fundamentalism.






“Jerusalem, Temple of.” Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Temple.” Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. London: Chambers Harrap, 2009.Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Jerusalem.” All Things Chaucer: An Encyclopedia of Chaucer’s World. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.


Page 35: “…punishment for a revolt led by a group of wild-eyed revolutionaries called the Zealots”


“Jewish faction traced back to the revolt of the Maccabees (2d cent. B.C.). The name was first recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus as a designation for the Jewish resistance fighters of the war of A.D. 66–73. This term applied to them because of their fervent veneration of the Torah and detestation of non-Jews and Jews lacking in religious fervor. The Zealots were organized as a party during the reign (37 B.C.–4 B.C.) of Herod the Great, whose idolatrous practices they resisted. Later (c.A.D. 6), when Cyrenius, the Roman governor of Syria, attempted to take a census, the Zealots, under Judas of Galilee and the priest Zadok, arose in revolt against what they considered a plot to subjugate the Jews. Thereafter the Zealots expressed their opposition by sporadic revolts and by violence against Jews who conformed to Roman ways. The Zealots played a role in the unsuccessful revolt in which the Temple was destroyed (A.D. 70) by the Romans. The Zealot garrison at Masada, a mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea, was captured by the Romans only after its 900 defenders had committed mass suicide (A.D. 73) rather than be captured.”


Aslan only briefly mentions the term “zealot” while explaining the creation of Israel.  Their revolt, however, was the key factor in Herod’s Temple of Jerusalem being destroyed. The zealots were a violent, mostly unorganized group who all believed in punishing “Jews lacking in religious fervor”. Aslan doesn’t clarify the fact that they became strong during the reign of Herod the Great, which is historically important in understanding why they played such an important role in the destruction of the Temple and the creation of the Wailing Wall.



(Wailing Wall)


“Zealots.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall.” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.



Page 35: “Just as this wall has stood on this ground for thousands of years as witness to the birth of the Jewish nation, so now does it signal that nation’s return and permanent presence in the Holy City.”

Holy City:

“The most important city of the Holy Land for three major religions, Jerusalem was first settled in 3500 B.C. The city figures prominently in the history of the area, first as the capital of Israel, when the Jewish King David established it in 1003. Jerusalem would be captured by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C., and then fall successively under the control of the Egyptian Ptolemies from 320 to 198 B.C. and the Syrian Seleucids from 198 to 167 B.C. Although Antiochus IV Epiphanes outlawed Judaism in 169 B.C., Judah Maccabee recaptured Jerusalem and restore its Temple for the Jews in 164 B.C. In 326, the Roman government officially recognized the city when Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, visited Jerusalem and commissioned churches to be built on the location of events associated with Jesus’ last days. The most important of these would be the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The fact that Palestine and Jerusalem eventually fell into the hands of the Muslims prompted the series of Crusades that defines the militant aims of the Catholic Church during much of the Middle Ages, the first of which resulted in its recapture by Christians in 1099 and its establishment of the Crusader State of Jerusalem. In 1187, Saladin, who permitted Jews and Christians to settle the city alongside Muslims, recaptured it. Although it would remain a battleground throughout the twelfth and most of the thirteenth centuries, Marmeluk Turks, who ruled there until 1517, eventually captured Jerusalem.”

“The history of three of the world’s major religions is closely linked to the Near East. Judaism and Christianity began here, whilst Islam spread to the region from nearby Saudi Arabia. Jerusalem in Israel is a holy city for all three faiths. The Dome of the Rock, sacred to Muslims, and the Western Wall, sacred to Jews, stand on the same site.”


“Holy City” is often used to describe Jerusalem, but not many know of its importance in 3 major world religions: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. All three religions make references to this land in their holy texts (the Qur’an, the Torah, and the Bible).  It is considered a sacred area to all, which is why it is fought over so often and without qualms.  Radical believers think that it belongs to their religion and that they have every right to reclaim it as such. Understanding that this city is holy to so many is necessary to understand why it has been and continues to be a war zone.





“Jerusalem.” All Things Chaucer: An Encyclopedia of Chaucer’s World. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“The Near East.” Geography of the World. London: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Jerusalem.” The Bridgeman Art Library Archive. London: Bridgeman, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.




Page 35: “On the day I visited the Temple, a large group of cadets from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had gathered at the Wailing Wall for prayers. It was a remarkable sight: fresh-faced adolescents of different races and ethnicities, dressed in matching olive-green uniforms…”

Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF):

“Creation of the Israeli Defense Forces, which grew largely out of the Hagana, the main Zionist militia during the Mandate. All Israeli men were required to serve for two years of active duty, followed by a long period of reserve duty. Israeli women were subject to a one-year obligation. Terms of active service were later extended by one year (1975) for both sexes.”


“The Haganah—soon to be renamed the Israeli Defence Force (IDF)—and other Jewish militias were superior to the local Palestinian forces and Arab armies combined. Most of these Arab states had only just snatched their independence from French or British mandate and were not prepared for international campaigns. Egypt was still in a semicolonial relationship with Great Britain. Lebanon and Syria had only just been granted a grudging independence from France in 1946 and 1943, respectively. And Jordan’s King Abdullah was alleged to have given orders to his British-commanded Arab legion to secure only the part of Palestine—the West Bank—allotted to him in secret talks with the Zionist leadership.”


Aslan mentions seeing Israel’s Defense Forces praying at the Wailing Wall. When the Israeli Defense Force was created, it had unmatched strength, its force hated and admired by Israel’s enemies.




“PALESTINE AND ISRAEL.” The Encyclopedia of World History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.



“Palestinian Refugees.” Immigration and Asylum from 1900 to Present. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.


“Israel.” Encyclopedia of Intelligence & Counterintelligence. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 2005.Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.


Page 35: “…Herod’s temple is a single wall at the western base of Mount Moriah”

Mount Moriah:

“Site of the Temple and the place where Abraham was to have offered up his son Isaac to God (akedah) (Gen. 22:2). The later sacrifices were thus effective in their atonement because of the devotion of the first Patriarch at that location. The name of the mount is understood to come from the Hebrew word for teaching, because the mount had housed the academy of Shem and Eber in Patriarchal times and it was in the Temple precincts that the Sanhedrin sat. The sanctity of Mount Moriah goes back to the beginning of time, for on it is the foundation stone of the world. Adam, the first man, was created from the dust of Mount Moriah, and when he was expelled from the Garden of Eden, it was onto Mount Moriah that he first stepped, because the entrance to Paradise is nearby.”


Aslan explains that Mount Moriah is where the Temple of Jerusalem has been built and re-built, but it is never explained why Mount Moriah is such a holy area.  By understanding that it has many connections with people mentioned in holy texts, it becomes much clearer why it is so fought over. Even learning that the name comes from “the Hebrew word for teaching” and that it is where “Adam, the first man, was created from dust” further connects it to multiple religions.




(Mount Moriah)


“Moriah, Mount.” Dictionary of Jewish Lore and Legend, Thames & Hudson. London: Thames & Hudson, 1991. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Temple Mount.” The Bridgeman Art Library Archive. London: Bridgeman, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.


Page 36: “…the Temple Mount itself remains under the control of Jerusalem’s Muslim authorities (known as the Waqf).”


“After its victory over Arab forces in the Six-Day War, in June 1967, Israel briefly seized the Temple Mount, thereby realizing the dream of restoring Judaism’s holiest place to the Jewish people. But Moshe Dayan, the venerated Israeli defense minister who won the battle, soon voluntarily relinquished control of it to the Waqf, a Muslim administrative body.”


Aslan describes the Waqf as “Jerusalem’s Muslim authorities”, although it is defined as being used when “forbidding a third party to claim property rights over a thing”. This authority clearly has a long history in Israel, dating back to at least 1967. They protect the Temple Mount from intruders, as Aslan was seen when he went to visit. It’s very helpful to understand a little more about their authority over the Temple Mount and their history in the area.




“COMMENTARY ON THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT, SCHOLARLY AND POLEMICAL.” The Religious Right: A Reference Handbook. Amenia: Grey House Publishing, 2007. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Waqf” Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Ed. André Vauchez. James Clarke & Co. Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages (e-reference edition). Distributed by Oxford University Press, 2001. 06 September 2011.






Page 36: “Sharon is a deeply loathed figure in Palestine for his role in the 1982 massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon.”


Massacre at Sabra and Shatila:

“(1982) Massacre of Palestinian civilians by Christian militiamen in two Beirut refugee camps during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The goal of Israel’s action was to expel Palestinian guerrillas from Lebanon. To achieve this objective, Israel allied itself with several Lebanese Christian groups, including the Phalange party, who fought the Palestinians during the protracted Lebanese civil war (1975-90). Following the U.S.-brokered evacuation of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) fighters from Beirut, Israeli forces under Defense Minister Ariel Sharon allowed Phalange militiamen into the camps, ostensibly to root out further PLO fighters. Estimates of the number of women, children, and elderly who were killed over the next several days ranged from 800 to several thousand. Although no militiamen were ever prosecuted for their participation, Sharon-who an Israeli commission of inquiry later found indirectly responsible through negligence-was condemned in Arab popular opinion as the culprit of the massacre.”



The massacre at Sabra and Shatila that Aslan refers to helps give a better understanding of Sharon’s role in Israel. The massacre occurred when Israel commissioned some of its allies, “Christian militiamen”, to help them make a statement to Palestine. He was hated by many for his role in this blood-bath, which is part of the reason his demonstration at the Temple Mount was taken so seriously by the Palestinians.




(Ariel Sharon)


Sabra and Shatila massacres.” Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.


“Sharon, Ariel.” Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.




Page 36: “The incident ignited what came to be known as the second Palestinian uprising, or intifada.”


“The First Intifada was a spontaneous uprising that began in December 1987. It involved a disengagement from systems of Israeli administration and developed into a vigorous assertion of the Palestinian right to national self-determination. After a protracted struggle, the uprising came to an end in 1993 with the signing of the Oslo accords, the promise of a phased Israeli withdrawal and the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority. The process of Israeli colonization continued unchecked, however, and in September 2000 a Second Intifada, the al-Aqsa Intifada, broke out (Carey, 2001; Gregory, 2004b). It was rooted in the failure of the ‘peace process’ and the accelerated dispossession of Palestinians, but it spluttered to an end during 2005. The Second Intifada was more desperate and more violent than the first: B’Tselem, the Israeli Center for Human Rights, estimates that 422 Israelis and 1,551 Palestinians were killed between 1987 and 2000, whereas 468 Israelis and 3,418 Palestinians had been killed from 2000 through to April 2006. The term ‘intifada’ was also invoked by some Iraqi political movements opposed to the US occupation since 2003 and by some Lebanese activists in their struggle against Syrian domination in 2005.”



The intifada was a much bigger uprising than how it is expressed in Beyond Fundamentalism. Although Aslan does describe a violent protest and revolt, it is not clarified that the intifada occurred over many years in Palestine. It impacted many, killing thousands and spurring political change.




“intifada.” The Dictionary of Human Geography. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2009.Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Palestine.” Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2007. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.




Page 37: “The Dome of the Rock was originally intended to be an alternative pilgrimage site to Mecca…”


“Journey to sacred places inspired by religious devotion. For Hindus, the holy places include Varanasi and the purifying River Ganges; for Buddhists, the places connected with the crises of Buddha’s career; for the ancient Greeks, shrines such as those at Delphi and Ephesus; for Jews, the Western Wall or Wailing Wall in Jerusalem; for Muslims, Mecca and Medina; and for Roman Catholics, Lourdes in France, among others. Pilgrimages are usually undertaken as opportunities to reflect upon and deepen one’s religious faith, or to earn religious merit.”


It is important to understand the term “pilgrimage” in order to understand the draw of Jerusalem to so many religions.  A pilgrimage is especially important to two religions Aslan talks in-depth about in Beyond Fundamentalism, Judaism and Islam. Both of these religions have important roots in Israel. Understanding that a pilgrimage is seen as a very important step in one’s religious affirmation to God helps the reader further understand Jerusalem’s appeal to followers of the three religions Aslan analyzes: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.



“pilgrimage.” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Pilgrimage.” All Things Chaucer: An Encyclopedia of Chaucer’s World. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.





Page 39: “Give us the Fatiha.”


“Sura- A subdivision or chapter of the Islamic scripture the Koran (or Qur’an). In total there are 114 suwar in the Koran, divided further into 6,666 verses. Sura Fatiha, a prayer asking Allah for guidance, is the opening sura, and the Koran concludes with the sura entitled Sura an-Naas.”


“Bismillah- Muslim ceremony to mark the beginning of a child’s learning about Islam. It takes place at the age of four to five, the same age at which the angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) visited Muhammad. The child is asked to recite the Sura Fatiha (the opening verses of the Koran, or Quran or Qur’an), and some other suwar (chapters) that have been learnt by heart. The child may then show that he or she can write the Arabic alphabet.”


The Fatiha is the opening of thee Qur’an. It is something that all practicing Muslims are expected to memorize and be able to recite. At a very young age, they are expected to know some of the basics of Islam, including this passage. In Beyond Fundamentalism, Aslan was asked to recite the Fatiha to prove that he was Muslim. This implies how important and well known it is among all Muslims.





“sura.” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“Bismillah.” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.


“The Qur’an.” Need to Know? Islam. London: Collins, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 07 September 2011.



Hannah Bowers:


Page 41  “It is no accident that the rise of anti-Semitism in the nineteenth-century Europe coincided with the rise of nationalism. ”


Anti-Semitism is a term for the hatred of Jews and Judaism, and was coined in the 1870s.

The nineteenth century saw a resurgence of anti-Semitic propaganda. The drive to escape Anti-Semitic prejudice and violence became an important part to the Jewish migration to the New World and to the development of Zionism.

Anti-Semitism. (2010). In Encyclopedia of American Studies. Retrieved from

Anti-Semitism. (2003). In Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the Present. Retrieved from


The anti-Semitism pushed the Jews away and made them form a type of nationalism.  The Jews wanted to escape from anti-Semitism so they felt the need to band together.





Dreyfus Affair

Page 42  “The Dreyfus affair set European nationalism on a course that would ultimately lead to the rise of Nazism and the slaughter of more than six million Jews.”

Dreyfus Affair:

(France)   A crisis that shook French politics and society to their foundations. In December 1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus (b. 1859, d. 1935), a Jewish officer from Alsace on the General Staff of the French Army, was convicted of treason by a military court for passing on military secrets to the Germans. Since the leaking of information continued, the new chief of the French intelligence service, Colonel Picquart, established that the culprit was not Dreyfus, but one Commandant Esterházy. The army refused to reopen the case, and Picquart received a posting to Tunisia. His successor began to manufacture evidence to prove Dreyfus’s guilt, but meanwhile so many questions had been raised in public that a trial of Esterházy became inevitable. The latter’s acquittal in a farcical trial spurred the famous novelist Émile Zola into action. He attacked the army’s actions against Dreyfus in an open letter under the title J’accuse (‘I accuse’) on 13 December 1898. Yet it was not until a change of President (Loubet for Faure) and of Prime Minister (Waldeck‐Rousseau for Dupuy) that a retrial became possible. In August 1899, Dreyfus was still found guilty, but ‘with extenuating circumstances’, and his sentence was reduced to ten years. In response, Dreyfus received a presidential pardon, but it was not until 1906 that he was fully rehabilitated and reinstated in the army.

The affair revealed the deep anti‐Semitism that permeated every social strata in France and led to widespread disturbances at the height of the affair, in 1898. For the following decades, it polarized French society, which had just begun to overcome its political divisions, into a right wing hostile to the Republic and supported by popular Catholicism, which rallied around anti‐Semitism, and a left wing which had (generally) advocated Dreyfus’s acquittal, and which rallied behind the Republic.

“Dreyfus Affair”   A Dictionary of Contemporary World History. Jan Palmowski. Oxford University Press, 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Sweet Briar College.  6 September 2011  <>



Now knowing what the affair is, one can see how the affair did indeed spark anti-Semitism.  France was somewhat divided and anti-Semitism was thrown around thought-out the affair.  Nazism could have easily developed during the different views that were encountered during the affair.



Page 46  “Ha’am started out as a supporter of Pinsker’s Hovevei Zion movement but later developed a more explicitly religious definition of Jewish unity that was severely critical of the secular Zionism propounded by Herzl, a man who once described the Jewish religion as “superstition and fanaticism.””


Fanaticism is the belief or behavior exhibiting extreme zeal and intolerance of opposing views, whether concerning religion, social life, or politics. Winston Churchill once succinctly described a fanatic as any person “who cannot change his mind and will not change the subject.”

fanaticism. (2002). In Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations. Retrieved from


Herzl was describing the Jewish religion as fanaticism.  This was his opinion and what he once described the Jewish religion as.


World Zionist Congress

Page 46  “These so-called Religious Zionists, conspicuously absent from the first meeting of the World Zionist Congress, which met in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897…”

World Zionist Congress:

The political institution established under the leadership of Theodor Herzl, its first President, at the First Zionist Congress, held in Basle (29–31 Aug 1897). The goal of the organization was the establishment of a national home for world Jewry in Palestine. For this purpose, the first Zionist bank and the Jewish National Fund were also formed. With time, the World Zionist Organization opened offices all around the world and, in the years before his death (1904), Herzl shaped it into an efficient and effective political institution

World Zionist Organization. (2005). In Chambers Dictionary of World History. Retrieved from


The institution was established to be a home for world Jewry in Palestine.  But unfortunately not all Zionists were a part of the Congress.  Even though some Zionists did not participate the group was an effective political institution.



Page 42 “Half a century before that abominable event, however, a number of leading Jewish intellectuals had already come to the realization that assimilation into European culture was futile.”


Assimilation is the acceptance by indigenous or immigrant minorities of prevailing cultural values. Also, the integration of such minorities into a society.


“assimilation n.”   The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary. Tony Deverson. Oxford University Press 2004. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Sweet Briar College.  7 September 2011  <>



Jews saw that acceptance in many places was not going to happen and had to accept that.



Page 43  “(Pinsker termed this persecution “Judeophobia,” recognizing , correctly, the ethnocentric confusion caused by the word “anti-Semitism,” since Arabs are also Semites.)”


Phobia is a extreme or irrational fear or dislike of a specified thing or group

“-phobia combining form”  Oxford Dictionary of English. Edited by Angus Stevenson. Oxford University Press, 2010. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Sweet Briar College.  7 September 2011  <>



Pinkser came up with this term because many people were afraid of Jews, he uses “Judeophobia” apart from anti-Semitism.


Ottoman Caliph

Page 45  “Not only was the land already settled and under the suzerainty of the Ottoman caliph….”


A caliph was the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor of Muhammad. The caliph ruled in Baghdad until 1258 and then in Egypt until the Ottoman conquest of 1517; the title was then held by the Ottoman sultans.

“caliph noun”  Oxford Dictionary of English. Edited by Angus Stevenson. Oxford University Press, 2010. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Sweet Briar College.  6 September 2011  <>



Aslan says that the land of Palestine was already settled by a caliph.  The Ottoman caliph did not want to give up his land for her was a ruler himself.



Page 45  “Not only was the land already settled and under the suzerainty of the Ottoman caliph…..”


Suzerain is a sovereign or state having some control over another state that is internally autonomous.

“suzerain noun”  Oxford Dictionary of English. Edited by Angus Stevenson. Oxford University Press, 2010. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Sweet Briar College.  6 September 2011  <>



Suzerainty means in this sense that the Ottoman caliph has control of its land that it is on.  This would not be a good place for the Jews to settle because the land is already controlled.  If the Jews came and settled here anyway there would be disputes and disagreements.  The Jews would need to find a place that they can call their own.


Messianic aspirations

Page 46  “Meanwhile, Orthodox Jews for whom Jerusalem was a place of pilgrimage and the locus of messianic aspirations, shuddered at the idea that religious duty to the city should be translated into political sovereignty over it.”


Messianic aspirations:


Messianic movements are movements centered on the Jewish hope for the coming of the messiah.


“Messianic movements”  The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Ed. John Bowker. Oxford University Press, 2000. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Sweet Briar College.  6 September 2011  <>



Jerusalem is a place where these messianic aspirations can be found and reached.  Jews would travel to Jerusalem to seek messianic aspirations.


Linguistic heritage

Page 47  “… Zionists carved out a physical space for themselves inside Palestine, then gradually expelled from that space those who could claim no share of Jewish cultural, religious, ethnic, or linguistic heritage.  ”

Linguistic heritage:

The idea that people have certain rights in relation to their use of language. Such rights may be the subject of legal provisions which aim to create a standard for the protection of linguistic groups (especially minority groups).

linguistic rights. (2004). In A Dictionary of Sociolinguistics. Retrieved from


Linguistic heritage here in the book refers to as the historic language history of the Jewish culture.



Kasey Stewart:

Page 52: “In short, Zionism became for the Arabs in Palestine that much-needed negative pole.”

Zionism is defined as “the doctrine and movement which seeks to bring Jews together in Palestine to establish and maintain their own state” (Bloomsbury). The idea developed out of Theodor Herzl’s The Jewish State (1896) and since 1948, “following the formation of the state of Israel, […] Zionism became an official state ideology” (Bloomsbury). Many people blame the Holocaust for the movement, because it left the United States and Britain with a guilty conscious and therefore “provided Zionism with an unanswerable case” (Macmillan).

Reza Aslan constantly uses the term Zionism to shorten the idea of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The conflict is occurring because Jews are searching for their homeland (Zionism). Therefore, knowing what the term means prevents the reader from misunderstanding many of Aslan’s statements concerning the conflict.

In addition, the reason mentioning Zionism is important in this passage is that it helps give the reader a more vivid example of “Us versus Them.” The fact that many Western countries openly supported Zionism, led the Palestinians to feel that the “world” was turning against them and therefore marked Non-Muslims, or even Muslims tolerant of the Zionist movement, “Them” in a world made for “Us.”

“Poster commemorating Theodor Herzl, Tel Aviv, 1947. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Moshe Gershovich “Zionism” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern World.Ed Peter N. Stearns. Oxford University Press, 2008. Sweet Briar College. 3 September 2011

Zionism.” Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd, 1993. Credo Reference. Web. 03 September 2011.

Zionism.” The Macmillan Encyclopedia. Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 2003. Credo Reference. Web. 03 September 2011.

Page 52: “As Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary and the namesake of the Balfour Declaration, which promised British support for the state of Israel,”

Arthur Balfour was born in 1848 and died in 1930. During his lifetime he was a British statesman who served his country politically in many ways as a conservative. In 1917 “he issued the Balfour Declaration, pledging British support to the Zionist hope for a Jewish National home in Palestine,” (Columbia). In addition to his many political accomplishments he published multiple philosophical pieces.

In order to understand many of the conflicts occurring between Jews and Muslims, one must know who Arthur Balfour is and what the doctrine he created stands for. The Balfour Declaration lets the Jews know Britain is on their side in the search of their homeland, “”. Many Muslims could argue that The Balfour Declaration give them good reason to be upset with “the West.”

Horrible things happen in life, but that does not mean those not responsible should try to live like they are. The holocaust was a great tragedy for the Jewish world, but neither Britain nor the United States supported Hitler, but the guilt left on both countries conscience would lead people to believe they did. To make a long story short; documents like the Balfour Declaration, openly supporting one side with no concrete evidence as to why they deserve it more than the other, should never have existed.

Balfour, Arthur James Balfour, 1st earl of.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 03 September 2011.

The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise . Jewish Virtual Library . 2011. 3 September 2011 .

Page 54: “To truly appreciate the way in which the two competing national narratives of Israel and Palestine have played out over the last sixty years, stand not in Old Jerusalem, at the majestic Wailing Wall, but in the East Jerusalem, at the separation wall built by Israel as a defensive measure to keep Israelis and Palestinians apart.”

The Wailing Wall, located in Jerusalem, plays a major role in the lives of many Jews. Known as the Western wall to Jews, the term “Wailing Wall” was coined by non-Jewish people because “Jews used to mourn at the wall for the destruction of the Temple.” Many Jewish people from around the world travel to the holy city on a pilgrimage whereas other Jewish people come there to marvel at and kiss the wall.

Knowing the term Wailing Wall is extremely important in a book about Muslim and Jewish conflicts. In order to truly understand why the Jews feel like they have claim to the Holy City, one must fully understand their past existence connected with the city. In addition, there are two very different Holy Sites in Jerusalem, and mixing the two up would be a very large mistake as far as Jews and Muslims would be concerned. Knowing that the Wailing Wall is connected with Jews and the Dome of the Rock is connected with Muslims is the first key to understanding the battle over Jerusalem.

However, in this particular excerpt from Beyond Fundamentalism, Aslan is trying to explain that although much of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is occurring because of the Holy City that is not where the battle is happening. Both Jews and Muslims are very protective over the Holy City, and it would seem rather contradictory to bring the actual fight within. Instead, you can see the horrors of this war in East Jerusalem and other areas of the Middle East, where both groups are trying to protect themselves and battle the other group at the same exact time. For example, in East Jerusalem where the wall is built. The Wailing Wall, with the Dome of the Rock visible in the background

Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall.” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Wailing Wall.” Dictionary of Jewish Lore and Legend, Thames & Hudson. London: Thames & Hudson, 1991. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Page 55: “Two years before Mohammed Siddique Khan, the soft-spoken second generation Pakistani-Briton from West Yorkshire, led three of his friends on a suicide mission that would end in the murder of more than fifty of his fellow British citizens on July, 2005, he stood at this wall, at one of its five hundred or so security checkpoints.” (refer to Wailing wall; speaking of the separation wall in East Jerusalem).

Mohammed Siddique Khan, “was a 30-year-old grade school teacher with a baby daughter and reputation for devotion to his learning-disabled students.” However, on July 7, 2005, he and three other young men went to King’s Cross railway station in London, U.K. and became responsible for the deaths of at least 55 Britons.

Aslan investigates the question that many people, Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, ask themselves on the day the 7/7 bombings occurred; Why did an English gentleman, such as Khan, feel the need to kill himself and many others along with him? (refer to Hajj pilgrimage).

Mcallister, J.F.O. “Hate Around The Corner.” 17 July 2005. Time Magazine Web site. 5 September 2011 .

Page 55: “Khan’s trip occurred as a last-minute detour on his way back to Britain, after he had completed the Hajj pilgrimage with his wife and a couple of close friends.”

According to the Muslim faith, “there are five ways in which a Muslim is expected to worship Allah.” As mentioned in the Hadith, the Pillars consist of:

  • Shahadah (declaration of faith)
  • Salah (compulsory prayers five times a day)
  • Zakah (annual welfare contributions)
  • Sawm (fasting during Ramadan)
  • Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)

The term hajj means “to set out with a definite purpose.” Typically each Muslim takes the trip at least once in their lifetime, however many others never make the journey. The hajj pilgrimage means so much to the Muslim world, because Mecca is the birthplace of Muhammad (the prophet).

In an attempt to dig deeper into the reasoning behind suicide bombing, Aslan takes an interest in one of the more commonly known groups, the 7/7 bombers. While researching their cause, he particularly focuses on Mohammed Siddique Khan, who had just recently completed a Hajj pilgrimage. Without knowing what a Hajj pilgrimage is, one would not know how big of an impact that particular trip has on the personal belief of a Muslim. He had just reached a “religious high” when he came across “an old Palestinian man, a native of this dry patch of land, being manhandled by a nervous young soldier-an Israeli” (Beyond Fundamentalism 55).

The Five Pillars of Islam.” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

PILGRIMAGES.” Encyclopedia of World Trade From Ancient Times to the Present. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 2005. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Page 57: “Palestine has become the sole source of pan-Islamic identity in the Muslim world, the universal symbol that, in the absence of a caliphate, unites all Muslims, regardless of race, nationality, class, or piety, into a single ummah – a single community”

The caliphate is the religious head of Islam. When Muhammad was on his death bed, he chose someone to rule in his place, but did not give them prophetic ability. The first caliphate was Abu Bakr, and three others succeeded him peacefully. However then issues began to arise and after many years of conflict over who the caliphate should be it was abolished in 1924. Few attempts have been made to restore it, but it has yet to happen.

In this particular statement, Aslan is trying to say that the caliphate has been reborn in another form. When Mohammad died, the Muslim world turned to the Caliphate for guidance, but now that the Caliphate has “died,” the Muslim world is now turning to Palestine; the head of the conflict with Israel. Without knowing the term Caliphate, one would not fully understand what the role Palestine, according to Aslan, is playing in the Israeli-Palestinian.

caliphate.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Page 57: “The second depicted and even more famous photo: a masked, black-clad Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib, standing barefoot on a box, his arms outstretched as though he were crucified, wires extending from his fingers like electric tendrils.”

Abu Ghraib is a U.S. military prison that lies on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq. Unfortunately, it is not a normal military prison, but is known for cases of “abuse, robust interrogations, and torture”

In this particular statement, Aslan brings up one of the images released from Abu Ghraib in 2004. “These images, many obscene and pornographic, featured Iraqi prisoners being forced to pose nude in degrading situations.” In addition to that image, he mentions another. The image of a Palestinian father trying to save his son from the gunfire of Israeli soldiers.

A widely researched topic concerning the Middle East is where their hatred comes from. Where do they get their information about the U.S. and Israel, but somehow never receive knowledge of their own faults? Aslan simply states that it is basically propaganda. Those pictures were displayed in Iran on a giant billboard, for all the Muslims passing by it to see how evil the Israelis and the “Westerners” truly are.

Abu Ghraib and Gitmo.” Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

New York Times Company. The New York Times . n.d. 6 September 2011 .

Page 57: Jihadist fighters do not travel to Palestine to fight alongside the militants of Hamas (they would not be welcome if they did)”

Hamas is a “Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization that was founded in 1987. It is the Muslim world parallel of Zionism. “It seeks to establish an Islamic state in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza strip.”

Although the militants of Hamas carry out suicide bombings, the fact that they do it to establish an Islamic state separates them from Jihadists. Jihadists “suffer in the name of God” in order to spread Islam, whereas the militants of Hamas are just fighting the “near enemy” in order to have a safe haven for the current Muslim world. Simply because they both commit suicide bombings does not mean they fight the same battle; by knowing the meaning of Hamas, one can truly understand how they differ.

Hamas.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 06 September 2011.

Page 58: “There are, for instance, protests abut the United States’ unwillingness to sign on to the International Criminal Court and anger at America’s role in global warming.”

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established “to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.” It was put in place to put cases on trial when “the national courts [failed] to act.” A very typical example of what it would prevent would be the Holocaust. If Germany had been a member of the ICC, or if the ICC had existed then, Hitler and the Nazi party could have been put on trial even though Germany feared to put them on trial.

Basically the reason Aslan mentions the ICC is to talk about some of the unrealistic reasons Jihadists have come up with in order to dislike the United States. I cannot particularly speak for the former president, who decided not to be included in the ICC, but the fact that the United States does not support this piece of legislation does not mean we are committing any of those crimes; in fact it is very obvious none of those crimes are being committed.

Page 58: “These are, rather, a means of weaving local and global resentments into as wide a net as possible, one that can be spread across borders and boundaries — over all the walls, actual or metaphorical, that divide the ummah into states, nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, even genders — to form a single master narrative,”

In Islam, Ummah is the belief that “all human beings are part of a worldwide community.” The idea that if you are Muslim, regardless of where your alliances lay, your main obligation should always be with Allah and the members of your faith. Aslan is simply trying to state that many Jihadist groups pull in their followers by setting a common ground for resentment; so that they realize the ultimate goal of the ummah.

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