A great deal of discussion is to be had when reading through and taking part in blog comments. On one entry in particular, an article on Ke$ha at Beginning and End, things got so interesting it prompted me to dust off the old blog once more.
Yishai320 stated in part:
Bible burnings by Muslims are conducted by only extremists and radicals (It is against Shariah law to destroy any sort of scripture, Islamic or not....
I responded to his post on the subject, saying this in reference to the above quote:
...Muslims do burn Bibles. They actually refer to Christians and Jews as “People of the Book,” and look down upon them for upholding the Scripture of the Bible over the Koran. (Or Qu’ran, if you’d prefer.) Al Jezeera is full of videos of this happening.
This touched off a bit of a storm, it seems. A "Teacher E," whose profile I would link to if they had provided it, quoted the above portion and then stated:
I need to correct you on this. Muslims are not allowed to burn Bibles, and Al Jazeera is not full of videos of this happening. This would suggest that they hate Jesus and Christians, and this is not the case. Whoever you saw doing that, it isn’t Muslims.
Muslims believe in those parts of the Bible that are confirmed by the Qur’an. Muslims believe in the immaculate conception, for example, simply because the Qur’an states that it happened.
What Muslims reject utterly is the belief in the divinity of Jesus – Jesus was one of many prophets sent to remind people that there is only one God. God is unique, eternal and absolute, and such a being has no reason to come down to earth in human form – the mere suggestion is blasphemous. That is the main reason why Muslims regard Christians as having been led astray. And why not? Pure monotheism needs no confusing trinity to try to get your head around, no intermediary priests, no saints and no statues or idols.
Please note a few key phrases used in Teacher's response: "Al Jazeera is not full of videos of this happening," "Muslims are not allowed to burn Bibles," "This would suggest they hate Jesus and Christians, and this is not the case," and "Pure monotheism needs no... saints... or idols."
My response to Teacher read this way:
Say what you like, but Teacher? Educate thyself.
I have seen it happen with my own eyes, and yes, Al Jezeera is full of videos where this is taking place. I will go with you to this extent: They may be less than strict Muslims, and in that regard, don’t see a problem with what they’re doing. Or, they may be following a straying Imam- Regardless of the reason, it does happen.
Secondly, they call Jesus the “perfect prophet.” Mohammed is the “last prophet.” Christ claimed Divinity. Mohammed said Jesus was not Divine. If Jesus were indeed perfect, then there could be no falsehood in his mouth, and He claimed to be God. If Mohammed was only the last prophet, and not perfect, then he could be mistaken, and he could indeed lie. So, here’s a question to wrap your head around:
If Jesus was the perfect prophet, and Mohammed only the “last” prophet, which one was correct?
You'll notice that I address the fact that there are videos, and quite a few in fact, on Al Jazeera of Bible burnings being held by Muslims. I address the point of Muslims burning Bibles, and acknowledge that said Muslims may be considered "fringe" or "straying."
What I did not address was the statement that Muslims do not hate Jews and Christians; and that "Pure monotheism needs no saints or idols."
Firstly, there is the little matter of al-Ḥajar al-Aswad or the Black Stone. Nearly every Muslim one asks about this will state that no true Muslim actually worships this rock- Yet this is what they pray to. Worship is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
2. Reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also an act of expressing such reverenceAccording to Muslim theology, this is a limited viewpoint- Their definition of worship includes this and more. So, with that understanding, what is it that Muslims have no need for? Something along the lines of "idols?" If idolatry is defined as "worship and/or reverence given to any but Allah," then Muslims most certainly DO worship, and make an idol of, al-Ḥajar al-Aswad.
3. A form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
4. extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem
Another thing that I did not point out, on the same topic, was the fact that In Christianity, "Saints" are prayed to solely by those with a Catholic bent. That is, only those who uphold some form of Catholicism do so. This, however, is beside the point.
What is the point, however, is that the "Saints" are held in high reverence- Much like Mohammed.
Lastly, I did not point out the fact that the Q'ran explicitly calls for the murder of Jews and Christians.
"And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah." ~Q'ran (2:191-193)
"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." ~Q'ran (9:29)
"If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter." ~Q'ran (33:60-62)These are only a few of the 109+ verses from the Q'ran alone that speak to violence against unbelievers, and specifically, Christians and Jews. In the last verse, 33:60-62, the phrase "in whose hearts is a disease" refers absolutely to these two faiths; the definition of this term was set up in 5:51-52:
O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people. But you will see those in whose hearts is a disease hastening towards them, saying: We fear lest a calamity should befall us; but it may be that Allah will bring the victory or a punish ment from Himself, so that they shall be regretting on account of what they hid in their souls. ~Q'ran (5:51-52)
Now, unless one believes in honor killings, (Q'ran 18:74,80-81), such slaughter can only be fueled by hatred. Some would say, "no, it's fueled by divine edict." The response to this is that the edict comes from hatred; thus, the true follower of Islam must also be filled with hate. There cannot be one without the other or one is the "hypocrite" referred to in 33:60.
So, in point of fact, they do hate Jews and Christians, and- Here's the kicker- Jesus as a result. How do I arrive at this point? "As you've done unto the least of these, you've done unto Me."
There is a great deal more, but that will have to wait until the next installment. Until then, God bless.