Dare to Compare

By Jaime Nava

A pastor friend posted on Facebook that a religion’s beliefs are in line with their founder. So someone calling themselves a Buddhist will follow Gautama Buddha and his teachings. Christians find themselves following Christ. Do Muslims follow the teachings of Muhammed, and do those teachings contain the violence we have seen from recent attacks? Fort Hood saw the deaths of 13 when a psychiatrist proclaimed “Allah Akbar” in 2009. The Boston Marathon was attacked by religiously motivated Chechen Muslims, killing 3 and maiming or injuring another 264 in 2013. San Bernardino suffered the deaths of 14 and another 17 injured at the end of 2015. Now we have Orlando with 49 dead and 53 injured. Are these people claiming to follow the teachings of the Koran, or are they on the fringe?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, now a columnist for Time, recently stated that there are people who claim to represent a religion but in actuality do not. For example, the Klu Klux Klan has claimed to be Christian and, Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and I agree on this, they do not in fact represent Christ or His teachings. He also brings in the Crusades (who can resist?) and how Jews were sacked as self-proclaimed Christians were heading to the Holy Land in the First Crusade. He makes the point that people use religions as an excuse to grab power and rule with Fascism. Interestingly, he didn’t seem to bring up other examples apart from Christianity.

Now, these words of his aren’t actually new. He wrote an entire piece for Time after the Charlie Hebdo murders on this same thing. He said this, “Violence committed in the name of religion is never about religion—it’s ultimately about money…Forget the goons who actually carry out these deadly acts, they are nothing more than automated drones remote-controlled by others. Instead of radio signals, their pilots use selective dogma to manipulate their actions. They pervert the Qur’an through omission and false interpretation…That’s what I and other Muslims long for—the day when these terrorists praising the Prophet Muhammad or Allah’s name as they debase their actual teachings are instantly recognized as thugs disguising themselves as Muslims.”

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Others pick up on Abdul-Jabar’s rhetoric and run with it as well. Refinery29 posted a video on Facebook to give a face to Muslim people. They’re gay or they’ve got kids or they love long hikes and such. The point is that they are human beings and should be treated as such. I agree. The self-proclaimed homosexual fellow reiterated Kareem’s thoughts from his Time peace comparing ISIS to the KKK. I run into a question, though. Does the Koran teach what ISIS is doing? Does Mohammed ever do terrible, fascist things that ISIS is trying to reinstate? If so, the argument becomes wholly different.

According to IslamQA, the argument about homosexuality isn’t if someone should be executed but rather how. That’s absolutely horrible. Sharia Law says this, “Sec. p17.3: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.” “May Allah curse him who does what Lot’s people did.” “Lesbianism by women is adultery between them.”

So how do most Muslims feel about Sharia Law, which is very clear on treatment of homosexuals? From a muslim man who favors tolerant Islam, condemned 9/11, and is considered a moderate who was chased out of Egypt for his views, we hear this, “Muslim jurists have held differing opinions concerning the punishment for this abominable practice [homosexuality]. Should it be the same as the punishment for fornication, or should both the active and passive participants be put to death? While such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements.” You can find more individual examples here. Pew Research details this, “According to the survey findings, most Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God. Muslims also tend to believe sharia has only one, true understanding, but this opinion is far from universal; in some countries, substantial minorities of Muslims believe sharia should be open to multiple interpretations. Religious commitment is closely linked to views about sharia: Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to say sharia is the revealed word of God, to say that it has only one interpretation and to support the implementation of Islamic law in their country.

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I find it hard to believe that the worldwide major Muslim community condemns these horrific acts. The truth is that most Muslim countries support these acts of terror on some degree because they are in line with Sharia Law. These things are happening daily in countries that have Sharia Law in place with the support of the government. I haven’t found where the vocal Muslim minority in the United States, who condemn these actions in our country, are saying a whole lot about it in other countries. I’d wager a gay American Muslim won’t be visiting Iraq with his husband and show public displays of affection any time soon.

Abdul-Jabbar and others compare Islamic terrorists to Muslim as KKK is to Christianity. Here’s the punchline in all of this, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is to Islam as Unitarian Universalists are to Christianity.

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