instead of mutual condemnation - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Dialogue
    • 20.09.12 | 13:48 (IDT)

    It seems there is a Western move to counter the threat of extremist Islamists by ridiculing the Muslim Prophet Mohammad, and a point to consider is that probably the majority of the world's Muslims, who reportedly comprise a quarter of the world's population, are peasants and poor people, yet who have strong faith in God and the Ten Commandments. Nevertheless the violence and killing that has occurred is a terrible evil. In the Koran the following verses prescribe restraint and that the sole justification for war is defense (which includes defense against forced apostasy of Muslims by enemy forces) and at the same time, the Koran considers that Muslims have a duty to defend Christians, Jews, and other 'People of the Book' living under Muslim nations' protection: Koran, Sura 22, verse 40: “For had it not been for Allah’s repelling some men by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned, would surely have been pulled down.” Koran, Sura 2, verse 190: “Fight in the way of Allah, those who fight against you, but do not attack them first, for Allah does not love aggressors". Koran, Sura 2, verse 192: “But if they cease, then Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”. Koran, Sura 8, verse 61: “If your enemy inclines towards peace, then you also incline towards peace and trust in Allah: for He is the One who hears and knows all things”. Koran, Sura 4, verse 94: “O you who believe! When you go forth in the way of Allah, be careful to discriminate, and say not unto one who offers you peace: “You are not a believer", seeking the chance profits of this life...." Yet even though Christianity and Judaism over the centuries have introduced an ever more compassionate penal code, in contrast, there are some Muslims who reportedly would legislate the cruel punishment of limb amputation and stoning to death. Yet re the Western penal code in centuries past, the methods of execution were even far crueller than anything in Islam's Koran. On the positive side again, Islam is probably the only one of the great world religions which taught that to free a slave was a religiously meritorious act: Koran, Sura 90, v.4-20: "...Ah, what will convey to you what the Ascent is? It is to free the slave, and to feed in the day of hunger an orphan near of kin or the indigent in misery, and to be of those who believe and exhort one another to perseverance (patience, constancy, and self-restraint), and exhort one another to deeds of kindness and compassion". Koran, Sura 2, v. 177: “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this - to believe in Allah and the last day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and give of your wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars, and to set slaves free; and to keep up prayer and pay the poor-due; and keep a promise when a promise is made, and be patient in tribulation and adversity and in time of stress - such are the people who are sincere and who are the God-fearing.”. Koran, Sura 2, verse 221: "Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe: a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allure you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: a man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allure you..." Probably the reason Christianity, for example, had nothing to say about releasing slaves, was because the whole tenet of Christianity seems to be pacifism. For example, according to the gospel, Jesus says at one point, "Do not resist evil". Islam claims to be the religion of submission to Allah, yet as the first quotation shows, the Koran is transparent about the need for people to take responsibility for shaping their own destiny through defense against evil aggression, and does not teach passive submission in the face of evil, as though that would be God's will, which is what many Christians believe, for example, the Quakers (who are also called The Society of Friends) and also many Jews are pacifists. (According to a news item, Osama bin Laden was educated by Quakers). Of course, if everyone in the world followed a pacifist philosophy there would be peace. However, it is not an ideal world and evil aggression is still a reality.

    from the article: French weekly publishes new cartoons mocking Prophet Mohammed
    First published 10:51 19.09.12 | Last updated 10:51 19.09.12
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