Our fourth book is authored by the Canadian scholar Ronald Nettler. In Past Trials and Present Tribulations, Nettler's objective is to portray the Islamic doctrinal dimension of Muslim‑Jewish relations. He argues that Muslims have developed a sophisticated and rich doctrine of hatred towards Jews (including modern‑day Israelis) since the foundation of the Islamic state during the Prophet's time in 622. Undoubtedly, Nettler's assumptions are bounded by an interest, context, and subjectivity. It seems to me that his objective in essence is to justify the hegemonic and colonialist nature of the state of Israel. Since his context is that of Israeli scholarship, which is antagonistic to both Arabism and Islam, his personal interest would be to show that the real problem is not between Christendom/Europe and Judaism, but between Islam and Judaism.
Nettler does not draw any analytical distinction between Judaism, Zionism, and Israel.  He considers Zionism to be the product of Judaism and Israel the culmination of both. Understood in this light, if Muslims oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine, they, then, oppose both Zionism and Judaism.
It is the contention of many specialists on Jewish history that Zionism and the Jewish Holocaust have to be understood against the socio≠economic, political, and nationalist‑chauvinistic European background of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The European persecution of Jews did not only culminate in the Holocaust but in the creation of Israel too. The writer is oblivious to this significant historical phenomenon, and, instead, considers the West to be the true liberator of the Jews when it supported the creation of the state of Israel.
It is clear that Nettler cannot see the anomalous consequences that the creation of Israel has brought upon Palestinian society, its total disintegration, and the dispersal of its people. What he discusses, instead, is the alleged "darker side of Jewish life under Islam, which redefined the erstwhile conception of Islamic `toleration' as having been more problematic than could before have been imagined."  With no historical evidence in hand, the writer rushes to prove the "evil Muslim treatment of the Jews." 
Nettler aims at proving his thesis of "Muslim animosity to Jews" by treating some of the works of the leading Egyptian Muslim thinker, Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966). He uncritically accepts Wilfred Cantwell Smith's argument that "the modern period of Islamic history... begins with decadence within, intrusion and menace without; and the worldly glory that reputedly went with obedience to God's law only a distant memory of happier days."3o He argues, in an absolute manner, that the West has nothing to do, directly or indirectly, with the "decline" of Islam in the modern world. Yet, Modern Islam, in the writer's view, suffers from a fundamental malaise. The only justifiable explanation, then, has to be sought within the Islamic religion.
Nettler proposes that the leaders of modern Islamic resurgence, and in particular Sayyid Qutb, propogated an "emotional hatred which [is] uniquely modern as part of Muslim thinking on the Jews."  To him, this supposed Muslim hatred is a metaphysical a priori; it is fixed, absolute, and unchanging, and beyond the rules of history. Nettler does not treat Qutb's ideas in their totality as a comprehensive dynamic. Instead, he singles out one dimension of his thought: his stand on Zionism and the State of Israel. 
To better understand Qutb's ideas, one has to relate them to the influence of foreign powers on the leading Egyptian intelligentsia of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Early in his professional career as a man of letters in the late thirties, Qutb wrote a number of articles on colonialism and Westernization. He linked these two phenomena to the British attempt to create a state for the Jews in Palestine. Nettler does not refer to these significant phases in the history of the Middle East: colonialism and the creation of Israel. He treats the Qutbian "doctrine of hatred towards the Jews" in an absolute political, and historical vacuum.
Qutb's philosophy, which is succinctly summarized in his main works, Social Justice in Islam, and Islam and the Battle between Islam and Capitalism, placed him at the center of Egyptian intellectual life during that period. He was never a neutral interpreter of events, but an involved theologian, philosopher, and social thinker. His social commitments equalled his political and theological concerns. It was quite natural for him, therefore, to respond, analytically at least, to one of the main dangers that the Muslim world was facing: Western colonization and its culmination in the creation of the state of Israel.  Qutb's theoretical formulations were very much shaped by those practical concerns.
. Ronald L. Nettler, Past Trials and Present Tribulations: A Muslim Fundamentalist's View o f the Jews (Published for the Vidal Sasoon International Center for the Study of Anti‑Semitism, New York: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem by Pergamon Press, 1987).
. One of the best books on the subject is Benjamin Bei‑Hallahmi, Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel (New York: Olive Branch Press, 1993), especially chapter four.
. In this regard see the following. Marc H. Ellis, Ending Auschwitz: The Future of Jewish and Christian Life (Louisville: Westminister/John Knox Press, 1994); Marc H. Ellis, Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation (Markynoll: Orbis Books, 1988); Marc H. Ellis, Beyond Innocence and Redemption: Confronting the Holocaust and Israeli Power (New York: Harper and Row, 1990), and Isma'il Raji al‑Faruqi, Islam and the Problem of Israel (Islamic Council of Europe, 1990).
. Nettler, p. ix.
. Many Israeli writers nowadays are propagating this theme. In this regard see the following major article of the Israeli scholar, Hanna Rahman, "The Conflict Between the Prophet and the Opposition in Madina," Der Islam, Vol. 62 (2),1985, pp. 260‑297.
. See. W. C. Smith, Islam in Modern History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962? p.16.
. Nettler, p. 51.
. For a comprehensive analysis of Sayyid Qutb's ideas on imperialism and Israel, consult the author's study: The Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World, to be published by State University of New York Press.
. See Sayyid Qutb, al‑'Adalah al‑ijtima iyyah fi al‑Islam (Cairo, 1948). English Translation by J. Hardy, Social Justice in Islam (Washington, D. C,1952).
. Sayyid Qutb, al‑Ma'rakah bayn al‑Islam wa al‑ra'smaliyyah (Cairo, 1952).
. For an elaboration on this theme see John L. Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).