Today's article in the Oregonian, "A war of words over Islam references" by Maggie Hyde tells how our administration is working so hard as to not offend the Muslim religion. Any words used by the government are checked so as not to offend. After 9/11 Bush referred to Islam as "a religion of peace". In 2007 in the State of the Union address, the White House referred to Osama bin Laden and his followers as "just one camp in the Islamist radical movement." This should have been written as "just one camp in the Islamic religion in my opinion.
Now there are Muslims such as Ibrahim Hooper, well-known master of disingenuousness, stating that they don't even understand the word "Islamist". Naming the terrorists as coming from this particular group of religionists has become taboo, when in fact, they have been coming and supported by Muslim countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.
There were 1.82 billion Muslims in the world in 2009. Our USA population is 307,212,123. Of that, about 5 million are Muslims. Muslims have moved out of their many Muslim countries into the rest of the populations such as Europe and the States. Terrorism has happened in Muslim-heavy populations such as the city of Malmo in Sweden. Many come there as hardened anti-semites. Jews are feeling threatened in Sweden. Attacks have happened in other countries as well.
How peaceful is the Muslim religion and what has happened to it to cause us to refer to Islamic terrorists? Mohammed conveyed Islam to the Arabs in the 700's which then became a world religion. It came about as a result of Arab conquests, or by the sword. It has many similarities to Judaism in that it is a combination of religion and law. Both come from a Written Law. For Islam it is the Koran which also has an Oral Law, called hadith, like Judaism has. When the Jews of Medina refused to acknowledge his new religion, Mohammed created laws which emphasized the differences between Islam and Judaism.
Many Jews lived in the Arab world, as they did not stray very far from their ancient homeland of Judea and Israel. They were not called infidels so they weren't attacked in a Holy War but were considered "people of the book". To enjoy religious freedom in a Moslem territory they had to pay a Poll Tax. They were considered as 2nd class or 3rd class citizens called Diminnis . At a time when pogroms raged against Jews in Russia, Jews lived in a fair amount of peace in the Arab countries as long as their money held out. That was up to the time Israel was reborn in 1948. Then we see an expulsion of Jews that matched the fleeing of Arabs from the newly created Israel.
Now we see that the Arab states have not been tolerant of a very teeny Jewish state in the Middle East, though we had been there in ancient days. What has happened to their religion? Somehow, there are parts of it that politicians have gleaned onto that cause terrorism against Jews and Christians or any other unbeliever. It must be a matter of interpretation. They are taking the radical parts, and there are many, to enforce the right of terror.
The three major religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam should be holding onto idealogies of peace. Otherwise, what is the use of religion? But religions are run by man, and man can be more interested in power.
Let's face it. Christianity waged a war against Islam in the 1200's which was called "The Crusades." The European Christians did quite well, fighting their way through Europe to get to Jerusalem. They killed anyone in their way, taking out Jews as well. The Arabs had taken over so much of Spain and the Middle East that their presence is still felt.
I think that this is just about a similar situation. Now the shoe is on the other foot. The Crusaders are the Muslims. The terrorists happen to be from Muslim countries, like it or not. They are not happy with modern civilization as it goes against their credo. Israel fits into the mix of modern civilization. Though we share much with them including our exclusive monotheistic belief, we are at the opposing poles. We are positive and negative in our beliefs. They glorify dying and we will go to at least three doctors before we accept death. We say, "L'Chaim-or to Life" and they look forward to meeting up with their 72 virgins in the afterlife.
Though the United States is not fighting the usual one or two country war such as Germany and Japan, we are finding that our enemy is from one religion found in many countries. It's a hard row to hoe.
Obama is to be admired to want to be sensitive about all religious beliefs in that defacing one allows defacing all. However, I hope that he is also a realist in understanding just what is happening in the world. We must acknowledge just who the enemy is today so as to protect ourselves. His birth father's religion of Islam has been highjacked by the terrorists and the true peaceful people need to speak out against it.
Reference: Oregonian Newspaper 7/26/2010 page A2: Labeling terrorists: A war of words over Islam references by Maggie Hyde from Religioun News Service found in Around the nation section of newspaper.