Islam Muslims were treated in Israel. It’s a complex

has existed for about 1400 years in the Middle East and other parts of the
world. One of first places to have become fully populated with Muslims was the
Levant. Jerusalem (also known as al-Quds) was often regarded as the most
Islamic city in the Levant, due to its possession of Islam’s third holiest
site, the al-Aqsa Mosque. For centuries, Muslims were the overwhelming majority
religious group in Jerusalem and the strip of land we all know today as Israel
and Palestine.  During the Ottoman
Empire, Palestine was the location of many Islamic travels who sought to enrich
themselves in the fully Islamic-Arab society. Of course, other places in the
Middle East were Islamic and Arab, but Palestine had a reputation for being
excellent at balancing both religion and culture together. After 1948, the
Jewish population grew extraordinarily in Palestine, and as a result the
country became Judaized. Not long before, the State of Israel was created, and
Jews from around the world immigrated and made Aliyah to their historic
homeland. Aliyah is the Jewish belief that it is their own right to return to
their homeland, as God promised them in the Torah.

the decades of wars, conflict, and massive refugee emigration occurred, the
Muslim population in Israel/Palestine has decreased dramatically, causing the
country to become a prominent Jewish state. This phenomenon has become strange,
since it’s the only Middle Eastern country to not possess a Muslim-majority
population. The accusations of mass expulsion and genocide towards Muslims are
thrown at Israeli Jews because of this. My understanding of this conflict is
not based on the belief of religious tension between Muslims and Jews, but of
an ethnic one, since my conclusions came based on the way Muslims were treated in
Israel. It’s a complex answer, but I will explain it as much as I can. In this
essay, I will compare and contrast Muslims as a religious minority in Israel,
to that of other religions in Israel. I will also compare those subjects to
religious minorities in Muslim countries, as well and religious minorities in
all other countries in general. Relating to ethnic groups as minorities is
gravely important too, as sometimes their treatment can relate heavily with

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world of Islam in Israel is unlike any other religious minority in the Middle
East. Muslims have been participants in Israeli politics and society, but with
major exceptions. In author Rayan’s Journal “Diversity in Arab Society in
Israel: The Islamic Movement” he outlines the dramatic religious growth and
attachment among Arab youth, particularly Muslim Arabs. The piece provided here
is the best source I have found to tackle the topic of religiosity among
Muslims in Israel. In the journal, Rayan outline the different layers there are
in the Arab minority in Israel.  They
come from different religious backgrounds, and most importantly different
tribes (ethnic identities; such as Aramean, Gazan, Greco-Arab, Druze,
Turkic-Arab). Rayan extensively mentions the growing Islamic movement among the
Arab demographic in Israel. It revisits the aged theory that if you grow up in
a society where the majority do not share your beliefs, you become more
attached to your personal beliefs, even if they are in the minority.

also releases the fact that Arab Christians are less likely to care much about
their religion once they become fully Hebraized. Hebraized is the term used in
Judeo-Christian circles that applies to those who have not only become affluent
in a Hebrew society, but have also managed to move and reside in the
Judeo-Christian homeland. Christians who are Israeli have become integrated in
a Jewish, Hebrew-speaking, Judeo-Christian world. Hence their “Christian-ness”
is less prominent and crucial to them as they now live on a piece of land where
their religion is “indigenous”, so therefore it’s not “unique” or
“different”.  For Muslims, the story is
flipped. Arab Muslims have become even more attached to their religion since
they have been placed (or forced to be placed) in a society that is unlike
theirs, and force to speak a language that is dissimilar to their native one,
Arabic. Islam offers them the gateway towards Arabic; since Islam’s original
language is Arabic.

comparison to other non-Muslim countries, Muslim minorities do almost exactly
the same thing. They have not been accepted by the majority population, so
their isolation has led them to become even more religious. In France, French
Muslims are a sizable minority with significant populations in places in
France, but they have almost no representation in the French entertainment nor
do they have a stronghold in French politics. In fact, they have opposition
parties that have summoned a movement that is created for the sole reason of
weakening their existence in France. The National Front is a far-right
French political party that conducts and promotes anti-Muslim policies and
anti-refugee sentiment. Many French Muslim citizens have shared their concerns
with that party, and have formed, essentially, a spiritual coalition to unite with
one another to prevent a scattered and collapsed French Muslim community. In
America, the same pattern is found. After anti-Muslim politicians like Trump
have risen to power and seized control of the country, Muslims have banded
together through their religion to stay united and in control of their destiny.

some cases, Muslims as a minority in Israel have become solidified not only
through their religion, but through their common ethnicity as well. In Israel,
Muslims are mostly Arab (Palestinians), however some Muslims of other
ethnicities have immigrated to Israel from other countries, such as the
Circassians from Russia, the Sudanese migrants, and Ethiopian Muslims who have
families with Ethiopian Jews. Although not Arab, Circassians have been closely
tied with Arabs due to the common Arabic language (of Islam and the Muslim
world). Some Israeli-Circassians have even identified as Arab because they have
grown up in Arab neighborhoods of Israel, so they subsequently see themselves
as Arab. In the 2015 journal, The Other Peace Process: Inter-Religious
Dialogue in the Service of Peace in Israel and Palestine, Dr. Rabbi Ron
Kronish examines the other part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kronish,
provides insights on the facets of interreligious dialogue in bringing conflict
resolution in Palestine and Israel. The article discusses the significance of
peace-building projects in mirroring the peace-making process on a political
level as well as the features of multiple models of peace-building which include
personal interaction, interreligious learning, and discussion. Understanding
the religious foundation of the conflict is essential to find solutions.
Kronish implies that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not simply an
ethnic-geographical issue, but a stringent ethnoreligious divide. Besides the
ethnic Jewish-Arab division, the religious differences must find a common
ground. He stresses the fact that Muslims and Jews have had a problematic
relationship in the past, especially in the Arab world (post -Israel). He
states that “mending the bond between the Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jews)
and the Muslim is critical for the peace to be established”.

The Identity of Religious Minorities in Non-Secular States: Jews in Tunisia
and Morocco and Arabs in Israel, Historian Mark Tessler wrote a detailed
journal comparing Mizrahi Jews in North Africa to Arab in Israel. The journal
here is written in great detail about the history of Mizrahi Jews in Northern
Africa and Arab peoples in Israel. It is a comparison between the two minority
groups and how each has had their own individual experiences with oppression
and discrimination. Piece by piece, it breaks down the historical events
preceding and following the creation of the State of Israel. The author implies
that the two oppressions faced by both groups have been similarly severe. This
relates to my next point of non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries.

begin with, many political theorists have done extensive research on religious
and ethnic minorities and how the politics of that country plays a huge role on
how these communities are preserved or not. The same has been done by Middle
Eastern scholars, who have done extensive research into the non-Muslim melting
pot of communities within the Muslim world. Abdullahi An-Naim, a Sudanese
scholar of Islamic studies, as put extensive study into the rights of religious
minorities in the Muslim world. He reveals that Jews and Christians, while have
been prominent in Muslim countries for centuries, have had their communities
decimated, singled out, and often flustered away from the majority Muslim
population. He cites Iraq as an example, particularly during the War on Terror.
He affirms that Iraq has possessed a significant Christian community, but
during the war they’re safety has been threatened on multiple occasions. The
Assyrians, who are staunch Orthodox Christians, have been targeted by
“Islamists and other Arab-Islamic Militias” and have allegedly
“suffered mass killings and atrocities with no help from the Iraqi
government”. An-Naim believes that Muslim societies are doing very little
to cater to their non-Muslim communities who reside within their countries. He
states that “Islamic law in the modern age is not compatible with
Universal belief of human rights”. He says Muslims must reform their laws
to make sure it’s suitable for all religions in their countries, not just for
Muslims. He cited other examples of non-Muslim communities who have been harmed
by their Muslim counterparts in their countries; The Jews in Persia, the
Christians in Syria, and the Yazidis in Iraq. An-Naim focuses heavily on the
idea that Muslim countries cannot be given the label of a “free
country” if they do not offer the same freedom towards their non-Muslim

scholars have a dissenting view from that of An-Naim’s. Turkish Scholars Somer
and Kesebir write theoretically on whether Islamic law is the answer to the
plight of religious minorities in Muslim countries.  This article is a comparison between Turkish
Islamic views and secular thinking on ethnic and religious minorities present
in Turkey. Comparisons are made on the comprehensive content analysis of
Islamic and secular media as well as other evidence derived from reports based
on political parties and opinion polls. Additionally, the paper examines
nationalism and conflict resolution from 1996-2004 and 2007-2010, in the Middle
East respectively. Kesebir believes secular government is the answer and only
viable solution to religious conflict in the Middle East, while Somer disagrees
and theorizes that a fully Islamic government (based on the Ottoman legal
system and Sufi Islamic principles) can greatly improve the lives of
non-Muslims by offering them a better life than the Baathist/Sunni
dictatorships in the past. By following the Islamic law, and remain in
adherence to the country’s Islamic culture, non-Muslims will be able to live a
satisfying life while practicing their religion. Both theories have
contradicting views, but Turkish society have been vying for both systems to be
enacted, to satisfy both religious and secular parties in Turkey.

minorities in Muslim countries aren’t always silent within the political
system. Take the Kataeb party in Lebanon. It’s a right wing, pro-Christian
political party situated in South Lebanon, which claims to advocate for
Lebanese Christians and Catholics, and their rights in the entire country.
Ceren Belge and Karkoc Ekrem, contributors to the Political Research Quarterly,
provide a different take from An-Naim as well. They detail the many instances
of non-Muslims forming coalitions and political organizations in the Muslim
world. Under what conditions do minorities in the Middle East appreciate despot
coalitions? Research on despot quality in the Middle East has been for the most
part calm on phonetic and religious minorities’ slants over organization sorts.
Here, they dissect whether minorities differentiate in their assistance for
tyranny from the majority in four Middle Eastern states. They believe that
minorities whose status is undermined by a change to majoritarian essential
authority establishments are more disinclined to be consistent with
democratization. They take a gander at how changed cleavages impact the slants
of minorities over organization sort and perceive three real legacies in the
Middle East that have framed these cleavages: the Ottoman-Islamic legacy of
minority settlement, the ethnic class structure that rose as a result of the
area’s coordination to world markets in the nineteenth century, and a post-opportunity
case of dictator secularism. In light of study inspect and a connection of
minorities in Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan, we watch those semantic
minorities tend to be less enduring of oppression while religious minorities
tend to be more satisfied of autocracy.

Persistent Cultural Systems, the topic of ethno-religiosity is brought up often. The
journal, written by E.H Spicer, points out many obvious facts about the
repetition and attributes of societies. He explains that religion has mostly
influenced the solid foundation of many cultural worlds, particularly Western
Europe and the Middle East. Based on religious teachings, cultures may have the
same types of cultural norms and practices. In Islam, Men and Women do not
interact as often with each other than their same sex. This religious teaching
is found in most Middle Eastern societies, like Iran and Egypt.  In Judaism, the Sabbath is days of rest,
where Jews are obligated abstain from sinful things. In modern Israel, many
religious Israelis wear their kippahs on Saturday and abstain from fish and
pork. Muslims do eat fish, so this is seen as an act of defiance against their
Jewish neighbors, which fuels anti-Muslim rhetoric in Israel. In Situational
Ethnicity, J.Y Okamura details the root of ethnic conflict and how it
relates to religious conflict. The book highlights the conflict of ethnic
identities and whether they have the ability to coexist with other identities.
Okamura examines different intersecting identities, and in this case the author
chose religious and political groups. The author questions how ethnic groups
can live amongst each other without devastating conflict, if those ethnic
groups have other intersecting identities which formulate their groups to be
completely different from their neighbors. Those two sources help solidify what
ethnic and cultural issues have to do with religion, and what it means for
intersectionality. This relates greatly with the 2014 Aramean identity
controversy in Israel. In that year, Israel was having a Knesset
“clean-out”, which means that Politicians will be voted out for brand
new ones to represent parties. One politician, an Arab Christian, has voiced
his concern that Christians in Israel are not well-represented.  He argued that they were often labeled as
simply “Arab Christians” and nothing more. He offered a solution that
could benefit the Israeli Christian community. Arab Christians could identify
as “Arameans” rather than “Arabs” on their voter
identification cards. This grew immense backlash from the Palestinian community
as well as other Israelis. People argued that this was a malicious tactic used
to divide the Palestinian community. However, he affirmed in his stance despite
months of scrutiny. This brings up the issue of self-intersectionality. Arab
Christians weren’t satisfied with their label in Israeli society, so they
wanted to register as Arameans. They didn’t want to have a Palestinian identity
while residing in Israel, since that could be considered socially unacceptable.

With ethnic and religious intersectionality,
comes an obstacle, at least that’s what J.V Montville sees. Self-determination
stems from that, and self-determination is the primary cause for resistance
against majority populations from minorities. Conflict and Peacemaking in
Multiethnic Societies details the issues arising from self-determination.
Montville’s article describes the ethno-religious standing in certain
countries, one of them being “Iraq and the Levant”. In that section, he
illustrates how the Levant was surprisingly able to stand as a large
ethnically-diverse society for thousands of years without grappling into major
conflict (this is before the 2000’s). He briefly mentioned the “eastern
Levant” and “Jewish Lebanon”. As I read further, he mentioned that the prior to
the creation of the State of Israel, Mizrahi Jews partially lived in Southern
Lebanon. This is to outline how many ethnic groups lived in the same area for
centuries but have not erupted in major violence until self-determination
became widespread in the 20th century. Ethnic nationalism usually does not
coexist with another nation due to the fact that self-determination plays a
heavy role in it. Muslims in Israel are ethnically different from the Jewish majority.
Palestinians view themselves as simply an ethnic group, and a nation. At times,
Israeli Muslims consider themselves to be an ethnoreligious group. By their
Arab ethnicity and Islamic religion, they marry only those who are like them,
thus having a shared DNA and forming their own ethnoreligious community. This
might have been the reason why Arab Christians seceded from the Arab community
and formed their Aramean coalition. Situations like these almost always embroil
in ethnic conflict.

In Religious Causes of Discrimination
against Ethno-Religious Minorities, J. Fox of the International Studies Quarterly
explains the root causes of mistreatment against ethnoreligious groups. Most
existing extensive cross-sectional investigations of ethnic conflict concentrate
on the conduct of the ethnic minority instead of the conduct of the state. That
is, they tend to endeavor to foresee or clarify the level of dissent or
resistance in which ethnic minorities connect with to the detriment of deciding
the reasons for the conduct of the legislature of the state in which these
minorities live. Past examinations have confirmed that victimization minority
bunches are one of the real reasons for ethnic dissent and insubordination.
Likewise, a significant part of the writing on ethnic clash does not adequately
manage the religious reasons for that contention. In like manner this
investigation concentrates on the reasons for separation with a specific
accentuation on the religious causes. This investigation dissects two populaces
from the Minorities at Risk informational index: the 105 religiously separated
minorities and the 163 minorities that are not religiously separated. The
outcomes demonstrate that religious variables impact the procedure that prompts
segregation and that the reasons for religious separation are unmistakable from
the reasons for different sorts of separation. Furthermore, the flow of this
procedure is particularly extraordinary between the two populaces examined
here. The greater part of this, alongside different variables, infers that
religion isn’t simply an impression of general social contrasts, but instead
affects ethnic conflict. Fox alludes to Yugoslav war during the 1990’s and the
genocide against Bosnians and Croats. During that time the Serbian army have
created and expulsion of non-Christians and non-Serbians out of what they
believed to be “the rightful Serbian borders”. This, of course,
heavily affected the Bosnian Muslims and the Croatians, resulting in genocide
and mass deportations. The cause of this is the failure of bi-nationalism and
the extremist upholding of self-determination. The article summarizes this area
well and carefully, as it shouldn’t de-legitimatize an ethnic groups’ need for

Bi-nationalism and religious coexistence in a singular
society can be difficult to achieve, especially when crammed in a small space
on a holy land. Two journals, both written from Arab perspectives, outline what
bi-nationalism is and how religious coexistence of Muslims and Christians in
Israel/Palestine should operate. 
Haddad’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Anglicans in
Palestine/Israel and Christian-Muslim Relations and Ghanam’s Seeking an
Egalitarian State in Palestine/Israel: The Recent Debate about Binationalism. I
chose to pair both of these articles together because there are similarities
between them on an ethnoreligious level, in relation to Muslims. Haddad’s
article is a brief introduction on the current Christian-Muslim relations in
the geographical regions encompassing Palestine and Israel. The study examines
the challenges of establishing a dialogue between the people of Palestine and
Israel while being under the Israeli occupation. The article has brought focus
on the disaster of establishing of the State of Israel on Christians in the
Holy Land, the oppression that it brought on the them due to their expulsion,
the Israeli anti-goyim policies, and the current theology being taught by the
Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, as well as the effect of Israeli advocacy by
Western Christians in support for dialogue. Ghanam’s journal examines the
concept of “binationalism” as the answer to bring an end to the Arab-Israeli
conflict following the non-fulfillment of the Oslo agreement.  The article explores the support of bi-nationalism
by Palestinians who believe this may compensate the injustice that was done
during their expulsion from their lands. In contrast, the paper discusses the
opposition by the Israeli Jews believing this may lead to their persecution. As
a Jewish state will preserve their right over the country’s laws and culture,
and will prevent the “Islamization from the Arabs”.

Muslims have been a minority in Israel since the 60’s, as
this is when the Jewish population has overtaken the Muslim one. It was not
until the 1980’s was when Muslims were able to participate in Israeli politics,
due a vote in the Knesset. This is a staunch difference to other religions in
Israel. Despite being larger in population size than Christians or Druze,
Muslims are often discouraged from participating in politics or anything that
is crucial to Israeli society, like the military. Islam is the majority
religion of Palestinians, and so Israeli-Muslims have a label of being
“Arabs” or “Palestinians”, which further isolates them from
the society. Unlike Muslims, the Druze are known to be heavily involved in the
Israeli government and the Military. They are technically Arabs, but they refer
to themselves as Druze so they can distance themselves and launch ahead in
Israeli society without reaching obstacles regarding their religion or

To conclude, the minority status of Muslims in Israel has
resulted because of the major population exchange in the 20th
century. From mass emigration of Palestinian refugees out of Palestine, to
large numbers of Jews making Aliyah to Israel; the Muslim population in Israel
has shrunk because of it. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the way I see it,
is of ethnic dispute. Ethnic-hatred of the other side is the prominent issue.
Israelis disliking Palestinians because they are Arab, and Palestinians
returning the favor because they are Jewish. It cannot be a religious conflict,
because Jews and Muslims have lived together for centuries without dispute. Of
course, there was persecution of Jews by Muslims at one point; however Jews
lived very comfortable lives in Muslim countries, long before Israel showed up.
If this were to be a conflict grounded on religious means, then the Muslims
world would have been chaotic from the very beginning, which it wasn’t thanks
to the peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims. Muslims are
mistreated in Israel because they are seen as Arabs, “Non-Israelis”, and
invaders. This is an ethnic division, with religion playing a small role in it.