Monday, September 18, 2006

What Would Mohammed Do?

In remarks he made last Tuesday when he spoke to professors in Germany, the Pope quoted 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus as saying:
“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached, Benedict quoted.”
Muslim leaders were quick to attribute the 14th Century quote to Pope Benedict himself and thus fuel an incensed and irate reaction from around the Muslim world. Italian police were forced to raise the alert level at the Vatican as a result.

In Basra, Iraq, an indignant al Qaeda linked militant group vowed a war against the “worshippers of the cross” in response to the pope's speech (as if the war this group called for was not already underway). In defiance of the Pope’s outrageous claim – which suggested that the “evil and inhuman way” of Mohammed was to “spread his faith by the sword,” – these Muslim leaders showed the extent of their disgust for such an idea by issuing the following statement:

“We tell the worshipper of the cross (the Pope) that you and the West will be defeated, as is the case in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya,” said an Internet statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella group led by Iraq's branch of al Qaeda, according to the Reuters news agency."

“We shall break the cross and spill the wine. ... God will (help) Muslims to conquer Rome. ... God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the mujahideen.”

… a statement that might be summarized to say, “we will use evil and inhuman ways to spread our faith by the sword.”

As a follower of Christ, who is repeatedly forced to explain and defend the Crusades, the witch trials, and the Inquisition to those who bash the Christian faith for its hateful intolerance, let me say that I do not defend any of those things. Nor do I deny their historicity.

What I do point out, however, is that each of these was a corruption of the teachings of Christ. They each involved sinful human actions that in no way represent what Christ taught. They are a bastardization of Christianity.

Conversely, the Muslim clerics quoted here, who vow to “slit our throats, break our cross, and spill our wine,” are expressing the unequivocal religious philosophy of their prophet Mohammed whom I quote from the Koran:

Surah 2.191: And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers
It is a fact that many Muslim believers denounce the tactics of these militant groups. They should be applauded for doing so. But when we ask, “What would Mohammed do?” the answer is clear, not only from his writings, but from his actions. The clerics of Basra, and their terrorist minions, are committed to spreading the word by the sword – just as their religious mentor taught them. The sooner we admit this, the better off we’ll all be – Muslims, Christians and Jew alike.

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