Muhammad and America/ part 1/3
Posted by Parsin on May 20, 2008
Analysis of Some of the Propaganda Attacks Against Islam
The above title is the subject of a speech given by priest Max Lucado in one of the churches in San Antonio, Texas, about a month and a half after the September 11th tragedy. The text of the speech has been published in writing.
The above article mentions a series of tragedies in the history of the United States of America and points to the aerial assaults on the World Trade Center and follows with the following questions:
Why do the present peoples (the Arabs) of the lands of the birth place of our holy book (Bible), rich with history of Christianity (instead of respecting us) consider us their enemies?
Why do they use phrases such as holy war, martyr and Paradise and consider us as Pagans?
Why do they sacrifice their own lives in suicidal missions and the Islamic millionaire (Bin Laden) plots against us and our children?
After introducing these questions, he tries to find the answers from the holy book by introducing three major religious figures: Abraham, Mohammad and Jesus (peace be upon them.) Certainly, if the speaker would analyze these divine authorities honestly and impartially he would answer his own questions, but unfortunately, with patriarchal and religious prejudice, and narrow-minded prejudgments one can never realize the truth.
In introducing Prophet Abraham, the writer, instead of using grace to characterize this prophet whose efforts and endeavors were nothing other than unconditional surrender to God and implementation of justice, monotheism and eradication of polytheism, he has found disunity and prejudice and has drawn the following two conclusions:
Palestinians have no right to the lands that the State of Israel has conquered and, even prior to that, God had given to Prophet Abraham, and his generations after him to the present generation of Jews who are legally and judicially the heirs and owners of these lands and the Arabs (Muslims) who claim to have conquered the land of Palestine in the past centuries, according to the divine adjudication, have no rights.
Of the two children of Prophet Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, the latter is more genuine and more important since he was born of Abraham’s wife Sara, while Ishmael is the son of Hajar, Abraham’s maid, who during her time of infertility and because Sara had had a son, presented Abraham with a child. Therefor, the divine faith in the creation of the great religious sect has been verified with Isaac, and this prophet’s generation which ultimately concludes with Jesus, is more genuine than that of Ishmael of whom the Muslims are the descendents!
Such judgements, no matter how consistent and compatible with today’s contemporary and materialistic standards which consider material wealth a sign of power, are non-the-less inconsistent with the intellectual and spiritual standards of Jesus whose disciples and followers were mostly from the low casts of the society, and also with the claims of the Christian missionaries regarding egalitarian manifestation of classes among peoples.
The author briefly introduces Prophet Mohammad and by closing his eyes on the blessings of his mission, like the self-centered biographers, to his own satisfaction, describes the Prophet’s birth date, marriage, escape (!) (Hejrat, historical departure,) return to Mecca, and death…and presents the Prophet’s purpose, after settling in Medina, as conquering the Arabian Peninsula by slaughtering the masses, ransacking of property, forceful possession of women, and terrorist activities. He points out the slaughter of eight hundred men of a Jewish tribe 1 and enslaving women and children 2.
In the same section the author displays his deep anxiety with regards to the growth rate of the Muslims in the United States and the future of the world with the following numbers:
“There are more than a billion Muslims (about 1 out of every 5 people on the planet); the UN projects that by 2055 at least half of the global birthrate will be Islamic.”
“Muslims have targeted the United States with an aggressive missionary program. Saudi Arabia has given millions of dollars to Harvard and the University of Arkansas to fund Islamic study centers.”
“There are already more Muslims than Episcopalians in America, and, within ten years, Islam may be the second largest religion in the United States.”
“Between 1989 and 1998 the Islamic population in this country grew by 25%; there are now estimated to be between 4 and 7 million Muslims in the U.S.”
What is required for a sociological program and scientific research for discovering the roots of different societal problems is abstinence from presumption of guilt and avoidance of bigotry. Unfortunately the writer has not been ale to overcome such feelings and perceptions in the text he has presented.
After the above introduction, in the section regarding the Prophet Mohammad (ISLAM) the writer, in his own opinion, has offered three fundamental criticisms of the Islamic Canonical Law:
1. Lack of Guarantee of Salvation
According to the writer’s opinion, Christianity, in which Jesus sacrificed his life to take on the sins of his followers, and the cross as a symbol of the savior of the followers and the love of Jesus and believing in his role as the son of the Holy Father, are the guarantee of salvation. The writer considers the Islamic Cannon Law void of such guarantee and that exclusive reliance on good deeds and actions for the good of humanity is incomplete in itself and testifies that even the highest religious figures in Islam to the end of their lives will not be certain of entering heaven and attaining eternal salvation, and that one’s actions are purely judged according to that which is recorded by the angels and which shall be presented in the divine court. He says:
“…we have a cross-less and Christ-less religion. These people have never known a God of love. They have never known the sweetness of salvation. The only hope of salvation is good works. The only guarantee of salvation is death in a holy war. …Christians can look to Jesus and rejoice. The contrast between Christ and Mohammad is refreshing: Muslim offers no security of salvation, but Christ does. …Jesus offers a cross on which he died to pay for them.”
This judgement and reasoning is one hundred percent correct and acceptable by Muslims. Tens of verses in the Qur’an attest the fact that humans have their own actions as their pledge. There is nothing for humans other than their own actions, and heaven and hell are the natural consequences and harvest of the actions of humans.
The Qur’an considered the son of Noah as one of those who should drown since he was not pious, and considered the wives of the Prophets Noah and Lut as traitors and included them as deserving punishment. On the other hand, the Qur’an has considered the wife of Pharaoh, the most despotic historical figure but one who had good conduct, as one of the greatest women of the world.
The writer’s reasoning, from the point of view of the wishes and expectations of human beings, is totally understandable. If you give any human being the guarantee of salvation and not restrict his actions in any way, he will welcome you. That is to say, if we eliminate testing and the chance of failure from an academic class and give everyone the guarantee of passing to he next level, everyone would be happy and such school or college would be overwhelmed by the number of students who wish to register there! …But aside form our wishes and human understanding, in reality which one of the ways portrayed above is more compatible with human reasoning, logic, and experience?
How is it possible for the sacrifices of one person to replace and compensate for the probable crimes of the millions into the future? Even then many of the followers of Jesus and many other human beings who came before and after Jesus, sacrificed their lives for their faith in more dramatic ways. How can it be that it is only the effect of Jesus’ sacrifice that has salvation?
Yes, in Islam growth and perfection and one’s belief in God are only attainable by one’s own endeavors.