Abstract

The South Asian Muslim groups of Pathans, Kashmiris, Qidwais, and Bani Israil, in spite of being antagonistic towards Jews, Israel, and Zionism, claim Israelite descent, which is seen by some scholars as an attempt on their part to distance themselves from their pre-Islamic polytheistic past by fabricating fake genealogies ascending to the founders of Semitic monotheism, the supposed patriarchs, accepted by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. Their antagonism towards Jews stems from the negative interpretations of Quranic references to Jews and also from the Arab-Israel conflict. The religious Jews who take their claims seriously are those who perceive themselves as Jews as part of a larger group of Israelites, which also includes people who according to them have descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel. Unlike the B'nei Menashe from northeast India, these Muslim groups have no desire to migrate to Israel. However, many religious Jewish organizations are keen on penetrating into their world and persuading them to do so. The involvement of religious Jewish organizations with these Muslim claimants of Israelite descent in South Asia can have some interesting ramifications for Jewish-Muslim relations and the world at large.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 1-14
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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