Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Not only has Islam transformed Jesus Christ into a Muslim, and a “Palestinian” one at that; Palestinians are apparently trying to transform him into a “heroic martyr”—a term often translated by those on the receiving end of such heroism as a “terrorist.”
As a January 14, 2022 article by PMW explains:
The PA uses many euphemisms and terms to refer to terrorists, and they are applying two of them to Jesus. The first is Fida’i, literally “self-sacrificing fighter.” For example, terrorist Ashraf Na’alwa, who brought a rifle to work, tied up a young mother of a 15-month-old, and then murdered her and another coworker, was called by Fatah: “The heroic Fida’i.” Fatah official Rawhi Fattouh applied this status to Jesus: “Jesus the first Palestinian Fida’i.”
The second term is Shahid – Islamic “Martyr” – the word the PA uses for every terrorist killed during his/her attack, including suicide bombers. Senior Fatah leader Tawfiq Tirawi applied both terms to Jesus: “The first Fida’i and the first Martyr, the messiah Jesus.”
It must, of course, be remembered that for Palestinians and Muslims in general, those who sacrifice their lives for the cause of Allah—and Allah is very much interested in things like land and territorial disputes—are the apple of that deity’s eye, deserving of the highest paradisiacal rewards. As the Muslim prophet, Muhammad, explained in an oft cited and canonical hadith, “the martyr”—the shahid— “is special to Allah”:
He is forgiven from the first drop of blood [he sheds]. He sees his throne in paradise. . . . Fixed atop his head will be a crown of honor, a ruby that is greater than the world and all it contains. And he will copulate with seventy-two Houris [celestial sexual women—“big-bosomed” and “wide-eyed” says the Koran (56:22, 78:33)—created by Allah for the express purpose of sexually gratifying his favorites in perpetuity ].
In this context, Jesus Christ, whom Muslims have appropriated and transformed into “Isa the prophet,” is a great martyr—not because he was crucified for the sins of mankind (Islam teaches someone else was crucified in Christ’s place at the last minute), but because he gives his life to fight infidels and uphold sharia.
To understand the true nature of Islam’s Jesus, consider what some of the most canonical hadiths say about him (translations of the following are from Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period by James E. Lindsay and Suleiman Mourad)
In one, Jesus approvingly quotes Muhammad saying that whoever makes him, Muhammad, Christ’s equal—and thereby contradicts the oldest Christian Creed (1 Cor. 15: 3-7)—will go to heaven: “Whoever testifies that there is no god but God, alone with no partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, and that Jesus is His servant and messenger … Allah will admit him to paradise for saying that.”
In another hadith, a woman says to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breast that suckled you.” To this, a shocked Jesus replies: “No, but blessed is he who reads the Qur’an and follows what is in it!”
But it is only when he returns in Islam’s version of the “end times” that the Muslim Jesus truly shines. According to Islamic teaching, he will return to “break the crosses, slaughter the pigs, end the jizya tax on non-Muslims, making warfare against the People of the Book (e.g. Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, etc.) and others licit.” In the midst of the final showdown between the forces of Allah and the forces of Antichrist (al-Dajjal), Jesus will first appear “praying behind” an Islamic leader. Then, “after Jesus finishes his prayer, he will take his lance, go toward the Antichrist and kill him. Then Jesus will die and the Muslims will wash him and bury him.”
In such a manner is he a “martyr”—no different, for many Muslims, than his supposed Palestinian kinsmen who blow themselves up in the service of Islam.
Here, then, is yet another stark reminder that Islam’s appropriation and subsequent mutilation of biblical figures is not a source of “commonalities” and “bridges” between Islam on the one hand and Judaism and Christianity on the other, as the “ecumenists” insist. Rather, it is Islam’s way of manipulating the figures of Judaism and Christianity for its own agenda and precisely against Jews and Christians.