The Many Faces of Islam

by | Oct 16, 2001

“The terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including women and children.” So said President Bush in his September 20th address to Congress and the nation. “I also want to speak tonight directly to Moslems throughout the world. We respect your […]

“The terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including women and children.” So said President Bush in his September 20th address to Congress and the nation. “I also want to speak tonight directly to Moslems throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.”

I would respectfully disagree with the President. Little in Islam’s history, dating back to 610 AD, when Muhammad began preaching, and 622AD, from which Islam dates its calendar, has demonstrated an inclination towards peace and, for decades now, its imams have preached hatred against Israel and the United States. Despite suppressing militant Moslem movements in their own nations, most of the Middle East leadership also contributed to their upkeep and permitted their media to validate their fanaticism.

While Americans are accustomed to expressing ourselves plainly and openly, one of the difficulties to be faced in the days ahead is that the opposite is true of Arab culture. The plain language of the President’s address, understood instantly by Americans, is still being parsed by our enemies. In addition, Arabs live with too many boogieman fantasies about Jews. It clouds their ability to see things as they are. Regrettably, this can be also said of some Christians.

There is, however, a very big difference between Islam and Christianity. Writing in “Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 2lst Centuries”, historian Paul Fregosi documented the history of Islam and its attacks upon European nations. “‘The sword is the key to heaven and hell,’ Muhammad told his followers. Six hundred years earlier, Christ had said, ‘He who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword.’ It can be said that Moslems who kill are following the commands of Muhammad, but Christians who kill–and there are many–are ignoring the words of Christ. Therein”, wrote Fregosi, “perhaps lies one of the basic philosophical differences, as well as one of the basic ethical differences, between Islam and Christianity.”

To ignore these differences–and they exist between Islam and all other religions–is to ignore a terrible truth, one that has been articulated by the leaders of Islam since its beginning. The late Ayatollah Khomeini whose Islamic revolution overthrew the Shah of Iran is a saint to millions of Moslems around the world. This is what he said of Jihad: “It means the conquest of non-Muslim territory. The domination of Koranic Law from one end of the earth to the other is

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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