chapter  28
13 Pages

Sibling Rivalry Between Islam and the West: The Problem Lies Within

ByTerence Lovat

A species of liberal Western scholarship recognises the legitimacy of Islam’s ‘Arabizing’ of the Abrahamic story, with the notion of Abraham’s first-born, Ishmael, being seen as the first Muslim, and so Islam’s claims to be an ancient part of Abraham’s progeny being legitimated. Beyond current tolerance levels of most Western scholarship, however, lie more radical claims to be found in modern day Islamism that would suggest the above interpretation is not one of ‘Arabization’ but indeed of re-capturing the original Abrahamic story. Such claims can then serve to establish Islam as the authentic Abrahamic religion, and Judaism and Christianity as having advanced their causes illegitimately. The chapter will explore the basis of such claims and their cogency, as well as make application to current sore points in the political rivalry between Abraham’s sibling traditions.