Islam, The Muslim Religion Today
by Nadene Goldfoot
Most Americans have been of the opinion that Islam is a religion of peace such as Judaism and Christianity and do not know what to make of the acts of jihadists who have become violent. They think that just because the twin towers were hit by a few odd balls who happened to believe in violence and were of the Muslim religion is no reason to think that all Muslims now have violence in their hearts and plan future actions of violence against us.
To understand Islam, one must study the history of this religion. Its leader and prophet was Mohammed who lived from 570 AD to 632 AD. He followed the Meccan trade caravans where he met Jews and Christians. He really felt bad that he wasn’t one of the people of the book, and started asking questions of them. He was an illiterate man and depended on his memory at this time. By age 40, he was always thinking about G-d, the hereafter, and the Day of Judgement.
Somehow he decided that he was chosen to be the Arab prophet and started proclaiming his revelations from the angel Gabriel, which finally became written down as the Koran. He said that his version was the corrected form of the Old and New Testaments.
His Koran reveals that it was copying Judaism. Both are purely monotheistic faiths. Islam allows that Jesus was a prophet, so makes that concession. Both religions have systems of religious law; both have daily prayers, only where Jews pray three times a day, Mohammed outdid us with five times a day. Both have dietary laws and do not eat anything from a pig. In the Koran, it is Abraham's son Ishmael that is to be sacrificed, not Isaac as Ishmael's line became the Arabs.
When Mohammed was 25 years old, he married a wealthy 40 year old woman,Khadijah, who set him up so that he didn’t have to worry about money. He wound up marrying either 11 or 13 women during his life, which was not uncommon at this period for his people. Many of these marriages were of convenience for the women. One of his wives, Safia, was said to be of Jewish origin.
He married a six-year-old girl named Aisha but allowed her to live with her parents until he consumated the marriage when she was about nine or ten. Virginity was important in those days.
He thought that Jews would accept his faith being so much of his was copied from the Jews, but they didn’t. They remained faithful to their own religion of Judaism, which angered him immensely. When he realized his attempts failed, he was most angry and changed some of his rites and became very hostile towards the Jews of Medina, who were either killed as a result or expelled. Hatred for Jews is peppered throughout the Koran. When I read the Koran, obtained through the public library while living in Eastern Oregon, I was totally shocked to find so many hateful references to Jews. If you see a Jew under a rock (hiding?) Kill him. I see the Palestinian jihadists referring to these lines in their hatred of us. They take this seriously and have embellished on it. His religion spread basically by conquering with the sword. He believed in beheading his opponents. Many Jewish tribes were wiped out this way or converted.
Even President Bush was under the opinion as most all Americans that Islam was a religion of peace. This belief continued even after seeing jihadist Muslims win elections in the Palestinian Authority and elsewhere. The new Iraqi and Afghan constitutions have included sharia, Islamic law which includes the death penalty for Christian converts as the highest law of the land. Sadly, the majority of peaceful Muslims are not showing signs of resisting or condemning a global Islamic jihad. They’re probably afraid of being killed if they do so.
There is Talaal Eid, 59 year old Lebanon born, a Boston Iman who is so moderate that he even visited the Pope and prayed for Bush. He says he is against jihadists, who are Wahhabi extremists. He received his degree from Harvard. He is not liked or respected by many Muslims in Boston. Today he is a chaplain in Brandeis.
Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed was an open supporter of Osama bin Laden who preached jihad in Britain for a long time and finally left during the jihad bombings in London of July 7, 2005. He said that Muhammad himself would want the cartoonists who made fun of Muhammad dead. Some Muslims point out how peaceful Muhammad was while others show otherwise. As for the cartoonist, they cite: "and the messenger Mohammed said, whoever insults a prophet, he must be punished and executed". "This man should be put on trial and if it is proven to be, executed".
Since there is to be a mosque very near the site of the twin towers promoted by Iman Feisal Rauf, New York is divided about its need to be in that one spot. Many cite the fact that this shows an Islam win of building mosques in places, such as the Cordoba mosque in Spain, built when Muslims took over the country and ruled there. . This proposed mosque will also be named "Cordoba House". Others see no reason to be sensitive and feel we are showing that we are different and better than they by our religions accepting theirs in our midst. They just don’t think about the meaning of the site picked.
Now more and more Americans have chewed over the idea of what Islam might stand for and are ready to burn Korans. This is angering the many Muslims in the world and we might find our remaining soldiers in the Middle East in danger for their lives because of this. Remember what happened to the Danish cartoonists and the threats to them.
There are 48 Muslim majority countries. The total world population of Muslims as of 2009 is 1.82 billion. Of Christians, there are about 2.1 billion, and of Jews, there are only 14 million of us. (There are about 6 million in Israel, 6 million in the states, and the others are scattered throughout the world.) Remember your math: it take 999 million plus one more to make one billion. That makes our possible 14 million look mighty small.
Reference: The Jewish Standard Encyclopedia
What Does Judaism Say About...? by Louis Jacobs
The Truth about Muhammad by Robert Spencer
Islam, The Muslim Religion Today