Recently MSNBCs political show, “Hardball”, did a report on the massacre that took place over the weekend in which a 20,000 person mob of Muslims stormed the U.N. embassy in Afghanistan, killing at least 12 UN workers including 4 Americans. The alleged reason for this rampage was that it was a response to the burning of the Quran by the “Reverend” Terry Jones in Florida.
Hardballs host had on, as his guests, two Muslim authors, Bobby Ghosh and Jim Zogby. One of Mr. Ghosh’s comments caused steam to come out of my ears. He said…
“The Quran, to Muslims is not the same as the Bible to Christians. The Bible is a book written by men. The Quran, if you are a Muslim, is directly the word of God. The act of burning the Quran is much more inflammatory than burning the Bible.”
Of course, the pseudo Christian on Hardball nodded his head and performed his compensatory “uh huhs” through these comments as he gave this Muslim his platform, throwing softballs at him, while assuming that he (the host) was representing me.
And so, I, in my little “corner of the world” blog, shout out the truth hoping that Goliath hears it…
What Mr. Ghosh said, first of all, was a matter of opinion, and I qualify it even further. It was Muslim opinion. He used the assumption that the Quran is the Word of God according to Muslims, as an excuse for this unruly, violent, truly despicable behavior exhibited in Afghanistan as a result of the disrespectful behavior exhibited by the “Reverend” Jones.
Let’s face it. That is an EXTREMELY feeble excuse. I, on the contrary, believe that the Bible is the Word of God and the Quran was compiled by Satan through a false prophet by the name of Muhammad. Furthermore, I know that there are a lot of people who concur with me on that opinion. Nevertheless, I and my compatriots would not use our belief system as an excuse for plotting to kill Mr. Ghosh.
Perhaps, the Muslim mind might regard my response (or lack thereof) as evidence that the Bible is not the Word of God... not worthy of defending. My contention is that the Bible can and has, through the millenia, adequately defended itself. People simply need to read it for themselves. On the contrary, I would use my response to Mr. Ghosh’s comments as a means of illustrating the contrast between what the Bible teaches and what the Quran teaches to those adherents who, in their lemming-like fashion, displayed utter and despicable contempt for human life.
The Bible tells me
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” (Rom. 12:18),
“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.” (Lk.6:29).
Jesus, Himself, did not fight and forbad fighting for the purpose of defending oneself. In Matthew 26, for example, after Peter cut off the ear of a man coming to arrest Jesus, Jesus said "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Mt. 26:52-53).
Elsewhere Jesus said "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Mt 5:44).
In contrast, the Quran teaches…
"Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of God; whether he dies or triumphs, We shall richly reward him. ... The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan ..." (4:74,76)
"The believers who stay at home––apart from those that suffer a grave impediment––are not the equals of those who fight for the cause of God with their goods and their persons. God has given those that fight with their goods and their persons a higher rank than those who stay at home ..." (4:95,96)
"Those that make war against God and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter: except those that repent before you reduce them ..." (5:34,35)
"Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme" (8:39)
"Prophet, rouse the faithful to arms. If there are twenty steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding." (8:65)
"Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. ... lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way ..." (9:5)
"Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given ... and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (9:29)
"As for those who are slain in the cause of God, He will not allow their works to perish. ... He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them." (47:4-6)
Now, these are not my words. They are commonly available for anyone who can read. My big concern, however, is that the majority of people who watch MSNBC don’t seem to know the meaning of the word “research”. They would just prefer to take someone like Mr. Ghosh’s word for it than investigate the texts themselves.
Clearly there is a difference between the Quran and the Bible. And the fruit, both in spirit and in conduct is quite different between the adherents of the two books.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many good Muslims. But I would argue that they are good, not because of but in spite of Islam.
Now, I anticipate that the onus for this tragic event in Afghanistan is going to fall on Terry Jones (and I don’t know the theology of his “fellowship”) and Evangelical Christianity, in general. The onus should really fall, however, on the world view created by that book which so blatantly demonstrates a contrast with the behavior commanded by the Bible. The adherents of that world view, I would think, ought to have the temerity to develop somewhat of a thicker skin so that they can use reason as the means for the defense of their faith (if it can be defended via reason).
Sadly, however, from the mountains of Afghanistan, the purveyors of Islam have begun to regulate America’s domestic policy concerning speech. Not only has innocent blood been spilled as a result of this incident but we have begun to allow Muslims to regulate our first amendment rights. And the means they use for accomplishing this is nothing less than extortion.