The Disturbing View of Hatred and Forgiveness in the Qur’an

ziggurat in Ur; the location of the Tower of Babel

ziggurat in Ur; the location of the Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:26 When Terah had lived seventy years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sar′ai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chal′deans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there.

Genesis 12

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.”

Terah began to take the family to Canaan but stopped and never made it. Then God called Abraham to go the rest of the way and he obeyed God. God promised to bless Abraham and to make him a blessing and all the families of the earth would bless themselves.  Robert Spencer, in his book Not Peace But a Sword points out that when Abraham is put forth as a model of behavior for Muslims it is disturbing.

When Abraham is leaving Haran for Canaan the Qur’an says,
We are quit of you and that you serve, apart from God. We disbelieve in you, and between us and you enmity has shown itself, and hatred forever, until you believe in God alone. (60:4)
Here, Abraham is honored for the fervor of his faith in the one true God for declaring ENMITY AND HATRED FOREVER toward those who do not believe as he does.
This is a root of bitterness that bears the fruit of murder. This is fundamentally opposed to the Christian doctrine of loving others, evangelizing them but if they do not convert, love them anyway. They are Children of God and loved by God just as much as I am. This is opposed to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is opposed to what Jesus said:
  1. Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

  2. Luke 6:27“But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

An interior struggle we all must wage is against giving in to this very human and Muslim tenent of hating those who hate us. It is easy to hate those who hate, persecute or oppose our points of view. It is difficult and virtuous to love our enemy; to love those who hate us, to love those who persecute us; to love those who disagree with us. But this is not true of Islam.

In the same passage the reader of the Qur’an is cautioned against emulating Abraham when he forgave his pagan father.

Except that Abraham said unto his father, ‘Certainly I shall ask pardon for thee, but i have no power to do aught for thee against God.’ (60:4)

Abraham’s hatred and enmity towards pagans is to be emulated but not praying for forgiveness and  pardon for pagans, even when it is your own father. No doubt there is disagreement on the interpretation of this passage among Muslims. But Spencer quotes the Tafsir al-Jalalayn a venerable and respected commentary on the passage:

This is “an exception where the excellent example (of Abraham) is concerned, meaning that you should not imitate him by asking for forgiveness for unbelievers.”

Here is the root problem. Christians and Jews are to love our enemies but Muslims are to hate their enemies. In addition to this forgiveness of those who do not believe as you do is discouraged. No wonder parents kill their children who convert to Christianity or fathers kill their daughters (honor killing) if they dishonor their fathers. Now I understand the mindset even though it is very scary.
So, voluntary and peaceful reconciliation will not be possible . Only evangelization and conversion could possibly dig up this root of bitterness firmly implanted in the radicalized Muslim mind. The only real protection we have in the meantime is the use of force and hope they leave us alone if we leave them alone.

What do Muslims Believe?

I am reading a fascinating book by Robert Spencer.

Not Peace But  A Sword

Not peace

Ever since Jihad came to America on September 11, 2001 I have been mystified by jihadist Muslim’s murderous hatred of Westerners. My knowledge of the Muslim religion was not enlightened, at all, by 12 years of American media explanations of  events. The intricacies of any religion cannot be explained in soundbites. The American Media, in general, do not get  Christianity, which is right here in their own backyard, let alone the mysteries of Islam shrouded by the centuries and thousands of miles. I hope this book will give me some more insight. Not Peace but a Sword is published by Catholic Answers; an organization I trust.

I In looking for a few pics for this post I ran across this quote:

“There was no clash of civilizations until the Jews took over Israel.”

Was this what set off the raging jihad against the West? In the book Spencer talks about how Vatican II portrays Islam charitably as opposed to popes in earlier ages who spoke of Muslim enmity against Christianity. So, there certainly was a clash of civilization at various times in history. But, for decades, and during the 60’s Islam was at peace with the West and even becoming westernized, in many respects. But seemingly this may have been a historically unprecedented calm before the storm, between the three great world religions. And do not forget, there were alliances between Hitler and some devout Muslim sects in their hatred of the Jews. So, in spite of apparent peace, religious intolerance was very much alive and well at least, in some pockets of Islam.

Israel was re-established in 1948. Muslims were displaced. No doubt the rage began to bubble to the surface of those pockets and seep ever outward. But, by 1962-1965 when Vatican II took place Islam was still apparently at peace and the Catholic Church’s charitable mention of Islam was deserved; with a hoped for, increase of good will. But this peace was not to last. Two years after the close of Vatican II, The Muslim Arab cry Itbah Al-Yahud, an Arabic phrase meaning “Slaughter the Jews,” was spewing from every Arab regime’s controlled radio and television station.
Egypt’s president, Gamal Abdul Nasser, who at the time was also president of the United Arab Republic, a union between Egypt and Syria,  said: “I announce on behalf of the United Arab Republic that we will exterminate Israel.”

Beginning in late May and early June 1967, Nasser sent 80,000 Egyptian troops and 900 tanks across the Sinai Desert to attack Israel, with air cover provided by 400 jet aircraft.  Soviet-made Syrian guns and artillery on the Syrian-occupied Golan Heights were already pounding Israeli farmers and villagers in the valley below and firing on Israeli fishermen in the Sea of Galilee.

At the same time, indiscriminate shelling of Jerusalem by the Arab Legion from the Jordanian-occupied West Bank had killed scores of Israeli civilians and wounded 1,000 despite pleas from Israel to Jordan to stay out of the war.

Faced with all this, Israel struck back — and won a stunning victory.

In a surprise move, the Israeli Air Force attacked while the Egyptian pilots were having breakfast and destroyed all 400 Egyptian planes on the ground.  The Israeli armored and infantry units, though outnumbered, rolled up the huge Egyptian army, forcing it back to the Suez Canal; drove the Syrian forces from the Golan Heights; and reunited divided Jerusalem, liberating all the Jewish holy places in the Old City, which the Jordanians had desecrated and destroyed.

A mere 10 years later, in 1977, the Iranian Revolution began with the eventual overthrow of the Shah (who was backed by the US) and the resurgence of conservative Islam with the rule of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Then in 2001, no doubt, after many failed attempt, the Muslim Jihad against the west came crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Why?

I do not mean to imply here that all Muslims kill in the name of Allah. I am pro-life and understand how irritating it is to be lumped together with “Christians” who assassinate abortionists. So, I am not talking about Muslims who are loving, kind, and peaceful. But, why do the self-proclained, devout and pious Muslims hate us so? The idea that the most devout Muslims are the most deadly is counterintuitive. They always claim to do the violence in the name of Allah. So there is no doubt that it is their religion that inspires their actions. I don’t know yet, why they do what they do. But as a devout Protestant turned devout Catholic I do understand devotion to God and the sacrifice of my will in submission to Our Lord. But I don’t understand the killing. Perhaps I never will.

But first I need to have a better understanding of Islam.  Next post—>

What do the Muslims Believe About Abraham?


What do the Muslims Believe About Abraham?

abraham_familyAbraham. The father of Ishmael and Issac. Muslims trace their race back to Abraham through Ishmael.

 To Hagar Sarah’s maidservant: 

Genesis 16:11-“Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name Ish′mael; because the Lord has given heed to your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

The Jews trace their lineage to Abraham through Issac.

Genesis 17:18 And Abraham said to God, “O that Ish′mael might live in thy sight!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.20 As for Ish′mael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.”

Later, in Genesis,

Genesis 22 After these things God tested Abraham, ….“Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori′ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took … his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. …And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. …And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!”…, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. Abraham11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place The Lord will provide; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

This is the Biblical version of Abraham’s obedience to God. But the Muslim version, instead,  has Abraham nearly sacrifice his firstborn son, Ishmael. What interests me about this is that the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is the third most holy site for Muslims. I always thought they built it there just to spite the Jews. But, with this information it makes more sense. The mountains of Moriah, where the Lord directed Abraham to sacrifice his son is the very place where Jerusalem is built. Therefore, for Muslims it is the site where Abraham, in obedience to God was willing to sacrifice Ishmael. Therefore, they built the Dome of the Rock and a mosque.

For Jews and Christians it is the sacred site also. The Holy City of Jerusalem was built in the mountains of Moriah.

2 Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Mori′ah…

And it was also here, that God provided the Lamb of sacrifice for the salvation of the world through the death and resurrection of Jesus, His Son, who like Isaac carried the wood of sacrifice up the mountain. Therefore, we have the Church of the Holy Sepluchre a Christian Holy site and a huge church that encloses both the mount of crucifixion and the tomb where Jesus was buried.

Previous post–>

What do Muslims Believe?

-Next post–>

The Disturbing View of Hatred and Forgiveness in the Qur’an