Sep 25, 2004
I hear from a lot of unhappy Muslims these days. Most are unhappy with the views I express about Islam and some are unhappy about the way good or “moderate” Muslims are painted with the same brush as those who regularly show up on television in ski masks, preparing to behead some poor soul or just “celebrating” some new carnage in the streets by shooting off their guns.
Of late, the headlines have been filled with news of the barbarism being perpetrated in the name of Islam. Russian children on their first day back to school are taken hostage along with parents and teachers. Earlier, two Russian passenger jets had been blown up. Also in Russia, a female Jihadist blew herself and ten others at a subway station. In Iraq, French journalists were taken hostage by way of forcing their government to change a law forbidding any outward displays of any religion. Even some Muslim groups denounced that. In Israel, a Palestinian “martyr” killed two busloads of passengers.
In short, the sole source of the murderous attacks on civilians around the world in just the passed few weeks was done by Muslims, Muslims, and Muslims.
The images and the news out of the Middle East are, I suspect, baffling to most Americans and, in particular, so is the religion claimed by 1.3 billion Muslims around the world.
There are certain factors common to the correspondence I receive from Muslims. One is their absolute certitude that Islam is the one, truth faith and, presumably, that all people should convert to Islam. Concomitant with that is a moral and, sometimes, intellectual arrogance that obliquely suggests they are dealing with me as someone who is inferior to their grasp of history and religion. Lastly, despite statements to the contrary, there is a deep contempt for Christianity, Judaism, and any other faith.
Among those Muslims who write to me are those who sincerely urge me to learn Arabic in order to read the Koran in the original language Allah passed it along to Mohammed. Yeah, sure. I will do this right after I learn Latin and Greek to read the early texts of the Roman Catholic Church or Hebrew to read the Torah. Life is short. Use a decent translation.
However, the notion that the Koran can only be fully appreciated when read in Arabic is an example of how central to the Arab culture it is and how well it reflects it. While worshipped now around the world, Islam offers the views of a seventh century Arab, Mohammed, on the way personal and other affairs should be conducted. Everything from the direction in which to spit to the belief that Islam is the only acceptable form of government can found in the Koran or its interpretation known as the Haddith.
The Koran is Arab-centric and, despite the fact that Arabs haven’t enjoyed any success in the world since being driven out of Europe in the late 1600s, its worldwide adherents are convinced Islam is due for a big come-back.
The problem is that they believe world domination can only be achieved through a holy war, a Jihad. Central to that war is the overthrow of the United States of America, a predominately Christian nation. The people who write to me offer plenty of examples of animus toward America, Israel and the West in general.
There is no denying that I do find fault with a religion that is the basis for acts of aggression against the United States, its allies, and anyone else including Muslims. A look at the recent history of Islam reveals it was the excuse used to slaughter thousands of people in Algeria. It is the cause of further slaughter and starvation in the Sudan and it provokes Muslim Africans to slaughter Christians. In India has never ceased to be a cause for strife. Take away Islam and this history of bloodletting would not have been cited.
The US has been subjected to a long series of attacks going back to the 1970s and the final wake-up call, 9-11. I frankly could care less about battles fought long ago by either Christianity or in ancient Jewish history. Watching the Twin Towers collapse was sufficient for me to focus on what new, fresh hell some devout Muslims have in mind for us.
Some Muslims who write to me adopt the tone of pity. It seems I am just too ignorant to understand what a peaceful religion Islam truly is. Moreover, I don’t seem to understand the differences between Shi’ites and Sunnis. And furthermore don’t I understand that neither Saddam’s Iraq, nor the current dictatorship in Syria, are Muslim because it was the Ba’ath Party that was or is in charge. These are, apparently, very bad Muslims who prefer socialism as opposed to Sharia law based on the Koran. The Turks, too, who have a secular, democratic society, are apparently bad Muslims.
To tell the truth, I don’t give a damn about Sharia law. I surely don’t want to have to live under it. It is biased against the human rights of half the population of the world, women. And it has a lot of other stuff in there that doesn’t come close to laws whose basis begins in the Torah and which have been refined through Western culture over the centuries. One thing’s for sure, Saddam will get a fairer trial than the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were tortured and/or summarily executed under his regime.
In Saudi Arabia, you can be arrested for trying to bring in either the Old or New Testament. The practice of any other religion will get you in trouble and publicity renouncing Islam to join another faith will get you dead.
One writer asked me, “Why don’t you write an article about Islam’s respect and reverence for Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and his mother?” One reason I don’t do this is that, while some Pakistani or Iraqi Christians gathered in their churches to worship, some Muslims did their best to kill them. In Afghanistan, while under the control of the Taliban, ancient statues of the Buddha, carved into the sides of mountains, were destroyed. For that matter, synagogues in Argentina, Morocco, and Turkey have also been attacked.
It isn’t that Islam merely disagrees with you if you have another faith. It wants you to convert. Or die.
Muslims are an unhappy lot. It is not their religion, they will tell you, that is responsible for their misery. It is the “oppression” of America and Israel. This is the same “oppressor” that liberated Kuwait when Saddam attacked and then returned to liberate Iraqis from Saddam.
In the same fashion as we are now withdrawing our forces after having brought the former Soviet Union to its knees, freeing Eastern Europe and Russia from Communist oppression, fifty years hence we shall begin to withdraw our forces from the Middle East and elsewhere the peaceful and benevolent religion of Islam currently permits dictators, slavery, and butchery of every description.
Alan Caruba is the author of “Warning Signs” and his weekly commentaries are posted on www.anxietycenter.com, the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.
© Alan Caruba 2004
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