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Evangelists Against Islam

The increasing level of blatant attacks  on Islam and Mohammad by the self-styled 'holier-than-thou' evangelists is in a very poor taste. Rev. Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of this world should be ashamed of their ignorance about others' religion and faith. The trouble with Falwells and Robertsons is precisely what a recent newspaper editorial had described, "More Falwell foot-in-mouth".  Apparently these TV and radio evangelists are unable to talk anything good unless they are in front of a camcorder or a bunch of hired audience and a quip from the cameraman, 'Let's roll'!

This is not the time or place for me to defend my religion, but I would quote Rabbi Marc Gellman and Msgr. Thomas Hartman who in their article (God Squad: A Storied, Glorious Religion) on January 26, 2002 had the following to say in response to a question, "It's tough to love your enemy. Since Sept. 11, I find myself consumed with anger toward Muslims. I know only a few are terrorists, but I keep hearing that the Quran tells Muslims to kill unbelievers. I don't know what to think about Islam, and I don't know how to control my anger.":

'Islam is not a good religion - it's a great religion. For 1,600 years, it has had no Inquisitions, sponsored no Crusades and had no Holocaust.

In 1492, when the Jewish people were expelled from Christian Spain, they were warmly accepted in Muslim Turkey. The Muslim King Hassan of Morocco, who was allied with Hitler and Mussolini during World War II, refused Hitler's orders to transport even a single Moroccan Jew to Europe for extermination. Islamic translators and philosophers, called Mutikalimun, translated Plato, Aristotle and the Greek classics into Arabic when Europe was in the Dark Ages.

In view of this glorious past, it's particularly tragic that today Islam has been hijacked just like those planes on Sept. 11. A small number of fanatics have used Islam to justify their political agenda and their murderous obsessions.

Islam also teaches that both Moses and Jesus were holy prophets from God. Jews and Christians are not unbelievers (kafirs), according to explicit Muslim teaching. In fact, the clear teaching of Islam is that "to kill one single innocent person is like killing the whole world."

Islam teaches that jihad, which means struggle, justifies holy war only as a defense of one's homeland (very much like the "just war" teaching of Christianity and Judaism). It forbids killing innocent noncombatants and never allows people who are not respected Muslim scholars to issue fatwas, or religious orders.

Osama bin Laden is not a scholar. His version of fatwas, his terrorism and his teachings are against every tenet of Muslim law. So condemning all of Islam for the Sept. 11 attacks is like condemning all of Christianity for the Crusades or the Inquisition.

We non-Muslims must keep hatred out of our hearts and guard against making all Muslims scapegoats for the hateful distortions of a few maniacs.'

Muslim community is tired of reading, hearing and seeing the trash hurled at them by ignorant and learned alike. Maybe this short course in religion from two prominent non-Muslims will serve as a good starter for all the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons around the world. Their little knowledge about Islam (and about anything for that matter) seems to originate from a single source: either HBO or MTV!

In more than 1500 years of its existence, NOT a single abuse has been uttered by ANY Muslim, dead or alive, against either Jesus or Moses or any of the Patriarchs, in whom all Jews, Christians and Muslims believe. In fact, revering each and every Prophet that God ever sent to the mankind, is an essential component of Islamic faith, and no Muslim, ignorant or learned, has ever violated that covenant. This alone is a sufficient testimony of Greatness of Islam - but then, only for those, who have vision and senses.

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