The Jewish-Christian tradition, upheld in the German Islam debate, is an invention

22 Oct 2010

There is only one main opponent on the current battleground — Islam. It is therefore necessary that Jewish intellectuals and Muslims in Germany engage in a new relationship, writes the philosopher Almut Shulamit Bruckstein Coruh in this essay.
Every day in Germany, one hears talk of the Jewish-Christian tradition in the West. Usually, it is meant in the context of defending our system of the rule of law and the constitution, the liberal values of our society, and even “gender equality and the freedom of artistic expression, opinion, and religion”. On this battleground, there is one main opponent — Islam.
There was never any Jewish-Christian tradition. It is an invention of European modernity and a myth held dear by traumatized Germans. “Jewish-Christian” is a construction characterized by the notion of the dawn of progress, which reached its pinnacle in the reformation and the French Revolution.
In times like these, in which Muslim traditions stand under a cloud of suspicion, Coruh suggests that we need to renew the relationship between Jewish intellectuals and Muslims in this country.