Esav and radical Islam
I mentioned in an earlier post how commentaries in the past have drawn parallels between Esav and Christianity. In that genera of commentary, Yishmael is used as a representative of Islam. I think today, there is a far stronger and more relevant parallel between Esav and Islam.
The Torah forbids us in parshat Ki Tetze from hating Edom because they are the descendants of Esav and Esav is our brother. Rashi points out that the Torah is saying that we must even look past historic struggles with them and learn to love them.
But at the very end of the same parshah we are told to never forget what Amalek did to us when we left Egypt and we are commanded to wage an eternal war against them and blot out their name.
Amalek is also a descendant of Esav. Amalek was Esav’s grandson, and his nation attacked us when we left Egypt.
Why are we not commanded to somehow look Amalek’s actions and love him too? Why is he less of a brother than the rest of Esav?
One reason may be because, unlike Edom, Amalek never stopped waging war on us, and as long as they continue to attack us, we must continue to fight them.
The parallel that I want to point out between Esav and Islam is how the West is trying to differentiate today between Islam and radical Islam. Amalek broke away from Edom. They became a radical strain of what Esav represented. We are commanded to hate Amalek, and recognize that they do not represent the rest of Edom. I imagine that this was as difficult to do in those days as it is today.