KHALID'S CONUNDRUMBy Tom Marsland
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (ANS) -- An exceedingly polite listener to my daily radio talk show, admonished me in a kind e-mail the other day. His name is Khalid and he attempted to remove a great veil from my eyes and assist me in turning from the obvious error of my ways. He stated Islam means peace and Mohammad it's Prophet, was indeed a man of peace...apparently quite misunderstood though, by the many people falsely killing in Allah's name.
No one has been more intrigued than I, regarding the inestimable (a word, I'm told) differences between the worldviews of our civilization's oft-contested values and that of the third world's theocratic religious regimes. First...a humble admission; so blindsided was I to the dangers of radical Islam, that prior to 9-11, I thought the battle for America's soul was a left-right issue. Sure, the left desires to be perceived as the friend of the downtrodden and the weak, though most are themselves mired in our great systems earned wealth. These said "downtrodden victims" often embrace the world's worst economic principles...in all of human history...this same group is legion within the 'Islamic Republics' of the world.Our President, a man whom I believe in and support in nearly all other matters, has told us that Islam means peace. President Bush is in good company with these heretofore-unproven statements. Logic concludes that the people that really ought to know are those who worship Allah, Islam's God, through their Prophet Mohammad. Frankly, I thought maybe Khalid, again the author of my corrective communiqué, was on to something...so I gave him the benefit of the doubt regarding the purely peaceful intentions of Islam, it's God Allah and it's Prophet Mohammad.
I began my investigation with the purest of methods; using only the writings of Islam and it's history as told by its most revered clergy proper. Here's a sampling of what I came up with...
From the best official English translation of the Qur'an, a version from the devout Muslim Theologian M. H. Shakir. His translation of the Holy Qur'an, as published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc., P.O. Box 1115, Elmhurst, New York 11373...a sampling of the scripture that indicates the manner in which a "fundamentalist Muslim" would exercise his or her obedience:
2.191: And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. 2.192: But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. 2.193: And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.
Two matters, the first a point of clarification; this is taken from a portion of the Qur'an known as "The Cow". Second, a more disturbing revelation...I am the "unbeliever", sometimes referred to as "infidel", which their holy book refers to. It is I who shall be felled at the edge of the sword of Allah's devout. Perhaps you're not Muslim...then these egregious sufferings are waged against your household too, by all that fear Allah (who wouldn't) and hold to the inerrancy of the Prophet's pronouncements.I rested the portion of my investigation regarding the Deity's nature, as postulated in the Qur'an.
I then moved on to investigate the pronounced peaceful nature of this Deity's Prophet, Mohammad. Again, I searched strictly Muslim web site states. The following site seemed to have many or most of the clerical accolades of the devout: www.al-islam.org/restatement/20.htm.
I quote; "Roughly speaking, the Prophet launched 80 campaigns during the ten years from his migration in A.D. 622 to his death in A.D. 632. Some of these campaigns were nothing more than reconnaissance missions...." Now here's a given and official Islamic accounting of the real wars waged and battle fought by the Prophet himself, replete with links to the associated historical stories and timelines:The Battle of Badr
The Battle of Uhud
The Battle of Trench
The Banu Quraizah
The Battle of Khayber
The Battle of Mut'ah
The Conquest of Mecca
The Battle of Hunain
The Battle of Taif
The Battle of Tabuk
I then rested my investigation of the claims made regarding the Prophet's pure pursuit of peace.
Appreciated was Khalid's passion for God, as he understands Him. In fact, I did end up agreeing with his assertions that many evil people are falsely killing in the name of Islam. My study of Islam and it's Prophet's history as told by the Muslim devout and recently my study of the Qur'an, are all telling me a different story than the one we are receiving from Muslim apologists. I have a sense that he (Khalid) and millions like him, really believe recent claims regarding a peace-loving Islam...the world simply has no tangible evidence with which it can rest assured. Provided he's an honest man and I believe he is, Khalid's conundrum is that he has little, if any idea of the content or fundamental instructions of the Qur'an. He also must understand little of conquests and warring history of Mohammad.
All this said; I intend no disrespect for another man's religion. Though a devout Christian, I am a fervent supporter of our Republic's mandatory tolerance for all civil religion, as expressed in our Constitution's First Amendment. This has always been and ought to continue as the very definition of what sets us apart as a people. We fear not the religious differences of our citizenry when malice is not a forethought. If need be, I like our forefathers, am fully prepared to spill the blood of our sons to ensure that even Islam, receives this Godliest of all treatments from this, the most God-fearing of all Nations.Tom Marsland is host of "Tom's Place" on the Salem Radio Network's Minneapolis Christian talk station AM 980 KKMS. You can hear Tom weekday afternoons from 3-6 PM CST on the web at www.kkms.com.
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