By Raymond Ibrahim – Special to Coptic Solidarity
Although many in the West insist Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are “brother” religions with a foundation to build on—also known as the Abrahamic Myth—top Egyptian cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb says that Judaism and Christianity are not even religions. In a televised interview, he gave the mainstream Islamic view on “religions”:
There is only one heavenly religion. All the prophets, from Adam to Muhammad, came to call [people] to that one religion. What is the name of this one religion? In the Koran it is named “Islam.” Thus, as the religion, Islam is not only the message that came to Muhammad, but rather the message that came to Muhammad, along with the message that came to Isa [Jesus], along with the message that came to Moses, along with the messages that came to all previous prophets.
Tayeb proceeded to explain that it is acceptable to speak colloquially of separate “religions” that were delivered to Muhammad (Islam), Jesus (Christianity), and Moses (Judaism)—including when in dialogue with the adherents of the latter two.
However, in the language of the Koran, in science, in reality, there is no such thing as “the religion of Islam,” “the religion of Christianity,” and “the religion of Judaism.” No, there is only one religion; Islam is its final form. Christianity was a manifestation of it, and Judaism was a manifestation of it—but all of these are now called Islam.
Now if Judaism and Christianity are not stand alone religions in the eyes of Islam, what are they? They are discarded (and discredited) shells that served their purpose of paving the way for the one final and true religion, Islam; they are, in a word, kufr—infidelity—and those who still adhere to them, kuffar, infidels—precisely what Muslims are commanded to “fight … until the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (Koran 8:39).
From here the unenviable lot of those non-Muslim minorities living under Islam—such as the Copts, Tayeb’s infidel kinsmen—should become self-evident.