This essay provides an empirically grounded and theoretically informed examination of Israeli elites' discourse on Islam, in general, and its conceptualization of the relationship between Islamic sacred texts and the political conduct of Muslims, in particular. It argues that the Israeli elites' discourse, for the most part, is not only unhistorical and lacking in a sociological basis, but, most importantly, emphasizes Islamic religious texts while reducing their Muslim readers into uniquely choiceless beings. This conceptualization, we contend, leads to unnecessary and unjustifiable theoretical inconsistencies concerning the broader topic of the relationship between human agency and religious texts. We conclude by suggesting that the above mentioned Israeli discourse teaches us less about what Islam and Muslims 'really are' than it does about the Israeli self-idealized image as members of a secular western society and the desires and anxieties this image expresses and represses.
- Israeli elites
- political conduct