In Response to: War & Words

I read with interest the article “War & Words” in the December issue. 

Few non-Muslim people are aware of a Quranic verse that obligates Muslims to reconquer any land that was formerly controlled by Muslims. This is stated in Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Surah 2, Verse 191: “Expel them from where they expelled you” (A.J. Arberry translation). This clearly applies to the entire land occupied by the State of Israel. Muslim armies conquered Palestine in the 7th century CE. Osama bin Laden stated that reconquering the land even applied to Andalusia.

For those (and there are many) who hold by a literal understanding of their religious obligations, there can be no compromise, no peace, no two-state solution. The only possible solution is for the entire land now ruled by the State of Israel to be recaptured and ruled by Muslims. 

Further, to those who claim that Jews are Western colonizers who took traditionally Arab land in the 20th century, I recommend the book Palestina Ex Monumentis Veteribus Illustrata by the noted Oriental scholar Adriaan Reland, a professor at Utrecht University, who traveled in Palestine in 1695 and recorded a detailed census of each settlement therein. He found that the land was sparsely settled, and the occupants were mostly Jews, with a scattering of Christians and Bedouins.

Unfortunately, this is a religious war, not a war of being oppressed. May we somehow find a less bloody solution.

Leon Sutton *70
Long Beach, N.Y.