Friday, June 18, 2010

A Message For Muslims: The Miraculous Food From Heaven

God has given us a beautiful universe, amazing in its vastness: the great heavenly bodies hanging on nothing, the tiny parts of each atom of life, the color, the variety, the rhythm and motion of everything. Even with such wonders and beauty all around them, people still find it hard to trust in God. They seek miracles as proof of God’s presence with his messengers and the truth of their messages.

According to the Qur’an, Jesus’ disciples asked him if God could send them a special sign. They requested a table spread with delicious foods as one would find at a banquet. Instead of granting their request, Jesus warned them, “Fear God, if you have faith.”

The disciples persisted in their request. They insisted, “We want to eat from that Heavenly table until our hearts are satisfied. Then we will know you have really told us the truth. We want to be witnesses of this miracle.”

Jesus then spoke to God. “O God, our Lord, send us this table from heaven set with choice foods that will be a festival for us and a Sign for thee. Provide our sustenance for you are the one who sustains us.”

God answered that he would send that table down but warned that if the disciples still resisted believing after that, he would punish them with a penalty that would be harsher than any other people had received.

Thus we learn that the disciples’ faith was not complete. They put an undue emphasis on physical food, and they had a childish desire for miracles or signs. You can read this story in Sura 5:112-115.

Since the Bible is my authority in matters of faith and truth about God, let me share with you a story of a miraculous dinner that Jesus gave.

“Late in the afternoon the Twelve [disciples] came to him and said, ‘Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” He replied, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They answered, ‘We have only five loaves of bread and two fish - unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.’ (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to the disciples, ‘Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.’ The disciples did so and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets full of broken pieces that were left over.” (Luke 9:12-17)

The people were astonished. Some decided that he must be made their king, but Jesus sent them away, and ordered the disciples to leave also, while he went up into the mountains to pray. Later, the same people begged him for food again.

“What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” (John 6:30-31)

Jesus’ reply startled the people and many of his followers left him because of these words:

“I am the bread of Life…I am the bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:35a, 41b, 54)

In this way Jesus discouraged the people from seeking miraculous physical food. At the same time he offered spiritual food to those who would believe.

All Christians regularly celebrate the ceremony called the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. Spiritual truth is experienced and rejoiced in while the participants eat small pieces of bread and drink small cups of wine or grape juice.

Are you tempted to seek miraculous signs instead of trusting God? Consider that Jesus Himself is the bread the Heavenly Father sent down. Consider these words of the prophet Isaiah:

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” (Isaiah 55:1-3a)

(The above information is from "Jesus Gives Peace: Jesus In The Qur'an and the Bible," written by Yusuf Abdallah) and from the book by the same title and author, pp. 29-31.

51 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

'God has given us a beautiful universe, amazing in its vastness: the great heavenly bodies hanging on nothing, the tiny parts of each atom of life, the color, the variety, the rhythm and motion of everything.'

Yes, and many monotheists, at least, can agree on this.

satire and theology said...

Parabnormal

satire and theology said...

I just started taking photos as he was walking up to the front entrance of my 'estate'

Reminds me of a Hare Krishna.

Jeff said...

Reminds me of a Hare Krishna.

Ha, Hare Krishnas are paranormal [parabnormal :)] anyway, I think. I think I heard that they believe they will be pulled up to heaven by their ponytails.

Blog Professional said...

Very often in our day today life we come across situations we find difficult to deal with, but a kind word, a motivational saying, an emotive quote help us to face the situation in an all together different way. These thoughts and sayings are written by people out of their experience, to help others facing the same situation. When we read quotes and sayings they do stir the thoughts running in our mind in a constructive way inspiring us to be a better person.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Blog Professional.

Hmm...Blog spam generated via a Forum spambot? The screen name links to a list of 26 different blogs.

Nevertheless, though obviously generalized and basically impersonal, admittedly a somewhat inspirational and serene comment.

thekingpin68 said...

Serene is better than obscene.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Serene is better than obscene.

Very true. Thanks, Russ.

Jeff said...

Russ, I find it interesting, not only that your latest blog article is on the paranormal, but that the two videos you feature of the toddler who started smoking when he was 18 months old, who is now on 14 cigarettes a day, has a father named Muhammad (a Muslim name---no surprise, since they live in a nation that has the largest Muslim population in the world), who introduced the baby to smoking. And, as stated in the videos, the baby throws violent tantrums and vomits if cigarettes are withheld from him.
Satire and Theology sometimes features some strange (satirical?) characters.

thekingpin68 said...

The Jeff. Cheers.

Jeff said...

Muslims consider it blasphemy to say that Allah has a son.
"And (we believe) that He - exalted be the glory of our Lord! - has taken neither wife nor son." (Sura 72:3)

The prophets that Muslims believe in are mentioned in the Bible, except for Muhammad.

Christians believe that Jesus is God, while Muslims believe Jesus was a mere man, who was a prophet.

Allah and YHWH God have very different characteristics.

The Christian God, YHWH, is one Triune Being. The Muslim Allah is not a Trinity.

Islam's doctrine of absolute transcendence has significantly influenced the divergences between Islam and Christianity. Muslims insist that Allah is wholly other, i.e., dissimilar to contingent beings. The Qur'an declares that "there is nothing like unto him" (Sura 42:11). Christians also hold a doctrine of transcendence, but the Muslim doctrine is more stringent. The Muslim view implies that Allah is unknowable. Christians believe, on the other hand, that God can be known (i.e., John 1:18; 14:7; 17:6). Muslims claim to have a knowledge of Allah, but they mean knowledge of truth about Allah. Christians have a personal, intimate relationship with God. Muslims insist, against the Christian view, that God does not reveal himself to man, but that he only reveals his will. In Islam, there is no analogical relationship between God and man such as you find in the biblical teaching that man is created in the image of God. For Muslims, God's transcendence is absolute.

The Christian God exercises unconditional love. Unconditional love is not one of Allah's characteristics.

Muslims believe that everyone is a Muslim from birth, but they are led astray. Christians believe that it is impossible to be a true Christian from birth.

Islam holds that people are essentially good and pure (Sura 95:4), although weak and forgetful (Sura 4:28; 20:115). In the Qur'anic account of Adam and Eve, they did not intend to disobey; they simply forgot God's command. Islam categorically rejects the biblical doctrine of a moral fall.

Muslims insist that our present separation from God is due to God's transcendence, not a sinful human nature. Although we do sin, the Islamic perspective is that this results from ethical misperception and not sinfulness. Muslims do not believe that we need salvation, but rather that we need guidance. They believe that, with divine guidance, we are able to live a life of submission that pleases Allah.

Biblical Christianity teaches that God did not create us as we now are, nor does He intend that we stay in this condition. In Christ, we have the hope of being liberated from the creation's present bondage to decay and experiencing the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:21-23). Islamic eschatology does not offer any hope of freedom from sin.

One of the central themes of the Qur'an is that Allah has provided guidance, which was found in the books of Moses and of Jesus (Sura 3:3), but above all in the Qur'an, which is frequently called "a guidance and a mercy for believers." (Sura 27:77) The Qur'an, together with the Traditions (Hadith) and certain other sources, constitute religious law (the Shariah), which Muslims believe to be the very "Law of God."

The biblical teaching about religious law is quite the opposite. Romans 8:3 suggests that religious law (in this case, the Mosaic law) is powerless to help us live in true submission to God because it is weakened by the sinful nature.

Jeff said...

For the sake of argument, you might acknowledge that the Shariah is basically good. Some of its provisions are unjust, but much of it is worthwhile and good, reflecting the general moral law of God (i.e., it forbids killing [of other Muslims, at least], stealing, adultery, etc.). The point of Romans 8 in the Bible, however, is that even if the Shariah, like the Torah of Moses, were the very law of God, it would still be powerless to effect true submission to God. (Sort of like what some have said: 'You cannot legislate morality.') Reliance on law to produce submission assumes, gratuitously, that humanity is constitutionally good. On the contrary, human nature is hostile to God, according to Romans 8:7-8. Islam fails to recognize that the problem is with the human nature.

By itself, however, doctrinal comparison cannot explain the Muslim viewpoint. Despite the similarities between Islam and Christianity, the two communities operate on very different wavelengths. Doctrinal comparison ignores a fundamental difference between the two religions in their attitudes toward doctrine itself. Islam is law-oriented rather than theology-oriented. Doctrine is viewed in Islam as a preamble to Islamic law, the Shariah (Shari'a). It is a comprehensive code governing every aspect of life, both the inner thought life and overt actions. The Confession (Shahada) defines 'right-thinking' and the Shariah defines 'right-acting.'

But since the Middle Ages, there has been little original thinking in Islam, comparable to what we would call theology. Creative intellectual energy has been directed into other channels, such as Qur'anic exegesis and legal theory, political science, and ideology (i.e., the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program). To understand the Muslim mind, you have to look beyond doctrine to its total worldview.

The principle idea in Islam that integrates everything into one cohesive system is found in the word 'Islam' itself, which means "submission." And the term 'Muslim' means "one who submits." The model community in Islam is said to be superior to other types of social organizations (i.e., capitalism, communism or socialism), since it is based on the very law of God, and not on man-made law codes derived from custom and human legal reasoning. The model requires a Muslim governmental apparatus that provides the legal and social conditions necessary to facilitate observance and enforcement of the law. Islam teaches that Muslim government is necessary for there to be true submission. There is no separation between the sacred and the secular, between church and state. This 'Community of Submission' (i.e., Shari'a law) is one, universal and cohesive, and represents the kingdom of Allah on earth.

Jeff said...

Interesting Links

THE TRUE FURQAN

'Son of Hamas' faces deportation

Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean

Eye 2 Israel: Israeli Inventions & Devlopments

Jesus To Muslims Publications

Jesus To Muslims: More Than A Mosque

Former Muslims

Muhammad or Jesus — Muhammadanism.org

Answering Islam: A Christian-Muslim Dialog

Michael Youssef - Political Islam - Islam vs. Christianity Comparison

Welcome to Koome Ministries - Arise!

Refuge From Islam

Google, Yahoo, YouTube offend Muslims, blocked in Pakistan

Sharia in the UK: Dog barred from London buses for fear of offending Muslims

Bringing Nazism back in Germany: Muslims stone Jewish dance group

In the Name of Allah

UK: "Dad" wearing Islamic garb and chanting "Allah" fights off gas, blow from police van and nine cops as he marches down street with 12-inch knife

White House welcomes Shariah finance specialist

Jeff said...

Frequently Asked Questions About Islam

Jeff said...

For anyone who has friends who are Muslims, and you say that your Muslim friend is nice, polite, etc., let me point out that, whenever I have talked about the problems with Shari'a law or the teachings of Islam, I'm not attacking your friend or anyone who calls himself a Muslim. I'm talking about Islamic doctrine. I'm talking about what a devout Muslim is supposed to do, according to Mohammad, and what millions of Muslims in fact do.

Is that person (your friend) who is a Muslim, a practicing Muslim, or a Muslim in name only? If he is a practicing Muslim, jihad is obligatory. But keep in mind, jihad means struggling toward the political goal of the dominance of Islamic law. Violence is only one of many ways to work toward that political goal. Also, if he is a practicing Muslim, he cannot be friends with you, according to the Qur'an. He can pretend to be your friend if it serves the goals of Islam, but if he actually feels affection for you and really considers you a friend, he is doomed to burn in hell according to the Qur'an.

Jeff said...

Again, for anyone who says, "I have friends who are Muslims, and they are very nice" (like this one guy on Facebook who keeps arguing against me, whenever I say anything about Islam), it's good if the Muslims you have met have truly been nice people. But the Muslims following Islamic doctrine (esp. the worldwide advancement of Shari'a law) still need to be stopped, and one very important thing that needs to happen in order to stop them is for non-Muslims to be educated about what is in the Qur'an and the Hadith. Non-Muslims need to be made aware of the game plan of the enemies dedicated to destroying our Western way of life. By trying to stop people like me from educating non-Muslims about Islam, you are actually helping Islamic supremacists with their political goals.

And it could also very possibly be that those Muslims' apparent goodness is only taqiyya. Taquiyya is something which is advocated in Islam, and constantly practiced.

Another possibility is that they are simply ignorant of what their religion really requires of them.

It's entirely possible that whichever Muslim you are thinking of, does not follow the whole teachings. However, does he pay his zakat (alms)? Then he is probably contributing to Islamic supremacists who are following the whole teachings (the zakat usually goes to the local mosque, and most mosques in the U.S. are owned and run by dedicated Wahabbis). Does he pray five times a day? Does he fast for a month during Ramadan? Has he read the Qur'an? If he had to choose between Shari'a law and the U.S. Constitution, which would he choose? Do you have any idea? Or are you simply basing your opinion on what appears to be the case on the surface?

Again, when I talk about problems with Islam I am not talking about people who call themselves Muslims but do not follow the doctrine. I'm talking about the actual Islamic doctrine — what it says in their holy books and what nearly all the Islamic authorities have decreed for the last 1400 years — and that is being followed faithfully by Muslims all over the world. Those who are following the teachings of the Qur'an and who faithfully follow Mohammad's example are a danger to the free world, and they must be stopped. Shari'a is totalitarianism.

The existence of a nice Muslim does not invalidate the statement that Islamic teachings advocate intolerance and violence toward non-Muslims. The fact that you may know a Muslim who knows how to get along with non-Muslims does not mean he would not also advocate imposing Shari'a law on non-Muslims, and does not mean he is not actively striving toward that goal. The fact that he is really nice does not mean he repudiates the supremacist nature of Islamic teachings. The existence of a Muslim who happens to be charming does not discredit a single thing I've said.

Muhammad Salah was a very nice man too. But he was also the leader of the worldwide military wing of Hamas, a brutal terrorist organization.

Jeff said...

A Facebook friend, who is also an Atheist and a homosexual, told me that "the SUFI are extremely peaceful, loving and progressive." However, there are many different Sufi movements, and many dimensions of Sufism. Sufis, in general, cover many different "stripes" of Islam. Some Sufi followers consider themselves as Sunni or Shi'a, while others consider themselves as simply 'Sufi' or Sufi-influenced. The Islamic brotherhood in Egypt and Al Qaeda are both Sufi-based movements. The Traditional Sufis are actually people like the Wahhabiyyah and Al Qaeda.

Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949) in 1928 founded the Egyptian Society of the Muslim Brothers (also known as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Brotherhood, Brothers), which is Egypt’s oldest and most influential fundamentalist Sunni Muslim group. An offshoot of the Muslim Brothers, called the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (led by Sunni Egyptian Ayman Zawahiri), fused with Al Qaeda (led by Sunni Saudi Osama bin Laden) to form Qaeda al-Jihad in June 2001. What is less well known to some people is that the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda—and their fusion group Qaeda al-Jihad--are Sufi-based Islamist movements and that they became so through the influence of Sufi-Sunni Egyptian Hasan Al-Banna. The strong Sufi influence helps explain the “disciplined emotionalism” of Qaeda al-Jihad leaders and their disciples, and its rejection of science, knowledge, and learning as the way to better the lives of Muslims around the world.

Qaeda-al-Jihad is organized as a Sufi-type brotherhood around Osama bin Laden who is the brotherhood’s spiritual leader or Shaykh. Members of al-Qaeda take bayat [an oath of allegiance] to their sheik, Bin Laden, as an act of initiation. Al-Qaeda is a secret society without acclamation or public bayat to him. The number of actual members pledging bayat is unknown, but al-Qaida is said to have trained as many as 5000 militants in camps in Afghanistan and perhaps Indonesia. The Sufi aesthetic practice of wandering and withdrawing and living in caves is consistent with the way in which Bin Laden and Zawahiri have been living. Some may say that they have been forced to the caves by Coalition forces, but the ease with which they have adapted to this barren and difficult way of life supports a Sufi influence.

The Sufi Order 'Tijaniyah' is strongly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The goal of the Muslim Brotherhood was the establishment of an Islamic state based on Shariah. After World War II, the Muslim Brotherhood acquired a reputation as a radical group prepared to use violence to achieve its religious goals. The group was implicated in several assassinations, including the murder of one prime minister. The Egyptian government accused the Brotherhood of complicity in an alleged 1954 plot to assassinate the president and imprisoned many of the group's leaders. In the 1970s, the Brotherhood was divided into at least three factions. The more militant faction was committed to a policy of political opposition to the government.

Jeff said...

Regarding Muslims making friends with non-Muslims, here is what the Qur'an says:

Qur'an (5:51) - "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."

Qur'an (5:80) - "You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide."
Those Muslims who befriend unbelievers will abide in hell.

Qur'an (3:28) - "Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them..."
This last part means that the Muslim is allowed to feign friendship if it is of benefit. Renowned scholar Ibn Kathir states that "believers are allowed to show friendship outwardly, but never inwardly."

Qur'an (3:118) - "O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people, they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand."
This verse not only warns Muslims not to take non-Muslims as friends, but it establishes a deep-seated paranoia in them that the rest of the world is out to get them.

Qur'an (9:23) - "O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Whoso of you taketh them for friends, such are wrong-doers." Even family members are not to be taken as friends if they do not accept Islam. (This is the mildest interpretation of this verse from the 9th Sura, which also advocates "slaying the unbeliever wherever ye find them").

Qur'an (53:29) - "Therefore shun those who turn away from Our Message and desire nothing but the life of this world."

Qur'an (3:85) - "And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers."

Qur'an (3:10) - "(As for) those who disbelieve, surely neither their wealth nor their children shall avail them in the least against Allah, and these it is who are the fuel of the fire." Those who do not believe in Muhammad are but fuel for the fire of Hell (also 66:6, 2:24, 21:98).

Qur'an (7:44) - "The Companions of the Garden will call out to the Companions of the Fire: "We have indeed found the promises of our Lord to us true: Have you also found Your Lord's promises true?" They shall say, "Yes"; but a crier shall proclaim between them: "The curse of Allah is on the wrong-doers" Muslims in heaven will amuse themselves by looking down on non-Muslims in Hell and mocking them while they are being tortured (see 22:19-22).

Qur'an (1:5-7) - "Show us the straight path, The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray."
This is a prayer that Muslims are supposed to repeat *each day.* "Those who earn Thine anger" specifically refers to Jews and "those who go astray" refers to Christians (see Bukhari 12:749).

Jeff said...

And from the Hadith:

Muslim (1:417) - Taken to mean that one's own relatives should not be taken as friends if they are not Muslim.

Abu Dawud (41:4815) - "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend."

Abu Dawud (41:4832) - The Messenger of Allah [said] "Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious."

Bukhari (59:572) - "O you who believe! Take not my enemies And your enemies as friends offering them (Your) love even though they have disbelieved in that Truth (i.e. Allah, Prophet Muhammad and this Quran) which has come to you."

Ishaq 262 - "Some Muslims remained friends with the Jews, so Allah sent down a Qur'an forbidding them to take Jews as friends. From their mouths hatred has already shown itself and what they conceal is worse."

Ishaq 252 - The story of a young man who converts to Islam after hearing Muhammad. He then tells his own father that he can no longer have anything to do with him because, "I have become a Muslim and follow the religion of Muhammad." (To maintain a relationship with his son, the father "converts" as well). This is an important passage because it establishes that the principle of shunning is based merely on the status of non-Muslims as unbelievers, not on their relations toward Muslims. In this case, the father desperately loved his son and meant him no harm.

Jeff said...

Even though they are explicitly kufr (unbelievers, Qur'an 5:17, 4:44-59) Jews and Christians are given special status in Islam. So, if Muhammad warned believers against taking them as friends, then it surely is not permissible for Muslims to befriend atheists or those of other religions.

Some Muslims interpret this to mean that they should not even act friendly toward nonbelievers. (Most, fortunately, do not). Even a modern-day fatwa that warns Muslims against taking unbelievers as "sincere friends" permits infidels to be dealt with "in a kind manner in the hope that they might become Muslim."

Regarding this one, which I mentioned before:
Qur'an (5:51) - "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."
Some Muslims are embarrassed by verse 5:51 and have gone to elaborate lengths to modify its intent by interpreting the word 'friend' as "guardian" or "protector" - which are just two of several legitimate translations of the Arabic word. According to these apologists, the verse is referring to a Muslim's allegiance to a non-Muslim government (which is not all that comforting either). This appears to be refuted by the verse itself, which distinguishes between friends and protectors and instructs Muslims to avoid both.

Other apologists point to verse 60:8-9 which says that Allah doesn't necessarily forbid showing kindness to unbelievers, but to shun the ones "who warred against you on account of religion and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out." This is a definite reference to the Meccans, whose leaders expelled Muhammad and his handful of followers from Mecca (following his declaration of war against them). The verse was narrated shortly after their arrival in Medina, when it was necessary for the Muslims to build alliances with non-Muslims in order to survive. The verses quoted previously from Suras 9 and 5 are given much later, when Muslims had power, and they expand the scope of unfriendliness to include those who are not Muslim.

Modern apologists such as Jamal Badawi try to cloud the straightforward interpretation of verse 5:51 by pointing out that Muslims are allowed to take non-Muslims as marriage partners, thus implying friendship. In fact, verse 2:221 explicitly forbids Muslims from marrying unbelievers, even though verse 5:5 allows it (Allah's change of mind corresponded somewhat curiously with Muhammad's own desire to marry a non-Muslim woman). Yusuf Ali reconciles the contradiction by saying that non-Muslim's wives are "expected" to become Muslim.

In any event, only Muslim men are allowed to marry outside the faith. The women they marry relinquish control over their own lives, even to the extent that they cannot raise their own children in their own faith. All children must be raised Muslim. The non-Muslim woman also agrees to a lifetime of sexual servitude, and may be beaten if she does not submit.

This certainly doesn't sound like friendship to me. If your local Muslim 'cheerleader' tries to pretend otherwise, then simply ask if a non-Muslim man may enter into this sort of "friendship" with a Muslim *woman*... then sit back and watch the backpedaling.

On the whole, Islam is very clear in teaching that there is no equality between believers and unbelievers, and hence no basis for a relationship of peers. Those who do not profess Muhammad are intended to exist in subjugation to those who do, then spend eternity in Hell. This does not preclude Muslims from acting friendly toward others, of course, but this does not constitute friendship as it is generally understood in the modern world.

Jeff said...

Often, whenever Muslim violence is pointed out, Muslims or others will quickly point to the violence in the Old Testament. Of course, there are no New Testament verses inciting violence. And, as far as the Torah, at no time did such violence go on to become standardized or codified into Jewish law. In short, biblical accounts of violence are descriptive, not prescriptive.

I am not saying that a person should not befriend Muslims. I am not against individual persons or people. I am against an evil political ideology. And educating yourself about something is not the same as cowering in fear about something. But knowledge is power. And knowledge and awareness are the first steps to PROTECTING AGAINST tyrrany.

Again, individual Muslim friends are not what I am talking about. I could have friends from all sorts of religions, political agendas, etc. But just because I am friends with them does not mean their beliefs are necessarily good or right.

There might possibly have been some German officer who worked in a WWII Concentration Camp who befriended some Jewish prisoner, and may have treated that Jewish prisoner nicely---maybe snuck extra bread to him, etc. Maybe there was even some German officer who worked in some Concentration Camp who felt sorry for the Jews, and who treated all Jews nicely. Who knows? It's possible. But that doesn't mean that the Nazi political agenda, which included the attempted extermination of Jews, was not evil and wrong and dangerous.

Jeff said...

If the media, politicians and Americans don't educate themselves on this issue and wake up, at some point there may no longer be any freedoms to defend.

Example: Islamic honor killings in America are merely chalked up to domestic violence. (Here is one example of an honor killing: in 2007, Aqsa Parvez was murdered by her father in Toronto for not wearing the hijab, or Islamic head covering.) Muslim wives or daughters who are beaten, punched, kicked, etc., for things such as refusing to wear the proper Islamic headgear, is chalked up to wife battering or child abuse, ignoring the fact that such actions are taught in the religious books of Islam. Families that kill for honor will threaten girls and women if they refuse to cover their hair, their faces, or their bodies or act as their family's domestic servant; wear makeup or Western clothing; choose friends from another religion; date; seek to obtain an advanced education; refuse an arranged marriage; seek a divorce from a violent husband; marry against their parents' wishes; or behave in ways that are considered too independent, which might mean anything from driving a car to spending time or living away from home or family. Ignorant Westerners tend to think that this is merely a cultural thing, but in Islamic countries, culture and religion are inseparable. There is no separation of church and state. The religion is the culture. In Islam, the women are the ones who mainly carry the family's honor, and if they do things that go against Islam, they are often killed. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 5,000 women are killed each year for dishonoring their families, and this is likely an underestimate, since most honor killings are not reported, or are reported as something else.
There are very few studies of honor killing, since the motivation for such killings is cleansing alleged dishonor and the families do not wish to bring further attention to their shame, so do not cooperate with researchers. Often, they deny honor crimes completely and say the victim simply went missing or committed suicide. Nevertheless, honor crimes are increasingly visible in the media. Aamir Latif, a correspondent for the Islamist website "Islam Online," who writes frequently on the issue, reported that in 2007 in the Punjab province of Pakistan alone, there were 1,261 honor murders. The Aurat Foundation, a Pakistani nongovernmental organization focusing on women's empowerment, found that the rate of honor killings was on track to be in the hundreds in 2008. Yotam Feldner, a researcher at the Middle East Media Research Institute, quotes a psychiatrist in Gaza who describes the honor killing culture as one in which a man who refrains from "washing shame with blood" is a "coward who is not worthy of living ... as less than a man." Therefore, it is no surprise that the Jordanian penal code is quite lenient towards honor killers. As Feldner puts it: "Some important Islamic scholars in Jordan have even gone further by declaring honor crimes an Islamic imperative that derives from the 'values of virility advocated by Islam.'"

Jeff said...

In just the year since Obama's pledge for a "new beginning" with the Islamic world, Muslims in America have: 1) Plotted to set off a car bomb in Illinois, 2) Plotted to blow up a skyscraper in Dallas, 3) Attempted to detonate an airplane over Detroit, 4) Murdered an army recruiter in Arkansas, 5) Planted a car bomb in Times Square, and 6) Massacred thirteen people in Texas. And these are only six brief examples.

More people are killed by Islamists each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined. Islamic terrorists murder more people every day than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 50 years. More civilians were killed by Muslims in two hours on September 11th than in the 36 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. 19 Muslims killed more innocents in two hours on September 11th than the number of American criminals executed in the last 65 years.

Islam has been slowly infiltrating all the infrastructural aspects of our country, including educational institutions, financial institutions, law enforcement, prisons and jails, major businesses, media, the military and the government itself.

Some say that most Muslims are peaceful. Well, what about India and the Sudan and Algeria and Afghanistan and New York and Pakistan and Israel and Russia and Chechnya and the Philippines and Indonesia and Nigeria and England and Thailand and Spain and Egypt and Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and Ingushetia and Dagestan and Turkey and Morocco and Yemen and Lebanon and France and Uzbekistan and Gaza and Tunisia and Kosovo and Bosnia and Mauritania and Kenya and Eritrea and Syria and Somalia and California and Kuwait and Virginia and Ethiopia and Iran and Jordan and United Arab Emirates and Louisiana and Texas and Tanzania and Germany and Australia and Pennsylvania and Belgium and Denmark and East Timor and Qatar and Maryland and Tajikistan and the Netherlands and Scotland and Chad and Canada and China and Nepal and the Maldives and Argentina and Mali and Angola and the Ukraine and pretty much wherever Islam is taken seriously:
"O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty" (Qur'an, Sura 9:123)

Jeff said...

If Islam is really peaceful, then why did the following events occur in just the last few days?:

Friday, June 25, Uruzgan, Afghanistan: Eleven civilians were murdered by the Taliban, six of whom are beheaded. Also, the same day, yesterday, in Stah Guenter, Algeria: Five members of a wedding party were cut to pieces by Islamic gunmen.

Thursday, June 24, Mosul, Iraq: Dedicated Fedayeen suicide bombers take out eight Iraqis in two attacks. Another nineteen were injured. Same day, in Khalis, Iraq: A woman and two brothers are among seven Sunnis shot to death by suspected al-Qaeda in three attacks.

Wednesday, June 23, Karachi, Pakistan: Two lovers are gunned down in an honor killing. That same day, in Basilan, Philippines: Four mini-bus passengers are machine-gunned to death by your so-called "Religion of Peace" advocates (followers of Islam). Again, that same day, in Uruzgan, Afghanistan: Seven construction workers are blown to bits by Taliban bombers.

Tuesday, June 22, Orakzai, Pakistan: Seven security personnel are slain in two Taliban ambushes. Another twelve were injured. Same exact day, in Kupwara, India: An Indian officer succumbs to injuries (dies) from a militant terror attack. Again, same exact day, in Fallujah, Iraq: A critic of al-Qaeda is assassinated by the Islamist group. Same day again, Mosul, Iraq: Two women and a man are reported killed by Sunni bombers. That exact same day in Dneprovka, Ukraine: A Muslim fanatic yells 'Allah Akbar' as he stabs a 5-year-old boy to death.

And that's just this past Tuesday through Friday, as a very brief example. I could go on and on.

Jeff said...

I used to do business over the phone with a couple who were Muslims from another country. Though the husband was very business-like, a bit stand-offish, and not all that personable (though he was polite), the wife was very friendly and very nice. I also did business over the phone with two men who were Muslims, and they were very friendly---and at one point, I met them in person. I knew and met another Muslim, a woman, who was extremely nice; she even refused to wear the hijab. But the fact that they were nice, friendly and polite does not change what Islam teaches. I have had discussions online with several Muslims at various times, and one told me that I will be slaughtered along with all the other Jews and Christians. Another, who I consider to be what you might call a very "moderate" Muslim, who lives in the U.S. and even does things that go completely contrary to what most Muslims believe (he seems to be very 'Westernized'), said that he is completely and very strongly FOR Shari'a law, which surprised me.

thekingpin68 said...

'I have had discussions online with several Muslims at various times, and one told me that I will be slaughtered along with all the other Jews and Christians.'

Telling...

satire and theology said...

terror at 6

Jeff said...

terror at 6

Thanks, Russ. The parents being on that list could be understandable, but not a 6-year-old.

satire and theology said...

Puppet Blogger Template

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Puppet Blogger Template

Cool, thanks Russ. That looks like it would be appropriate for my "Puppet Head" blog. The only problem is, I don't see a way to add custom themes on Blog.com. I only see theme templates. Still, I will save that, just in case I find a way. Thanks again.

satire and theology said...

Replace the html code of the old with the new. If a straight swap does not work, you may be able to copy and paste code from the new template onto the old one as replacement in part.

Jeff said...

Replace the html code of the old with the new. If a straight swap does not work, you may be able to copy and paste code from the new template onto the old one as replacement in part.

Thanks, Russ. I have been busy, but I will hopefully have time to experiment with that very soon.

Jeff said...

THE QUR'AN IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER in PDF format, suitable for printing (since the Qur'an, as written, is not in chronological order).

Jeff said...

Christianity and Islam---Apples to oranges

Today, more people are killed in the name of Islam every year than were killed in the entire 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition. In the 1400-year history of Islam, 270 million people have been killed in the name of Islam. No other religion even comes close. Communism doesn't even come close. Nazism doesn't either. The reason we don't know this is that Islamic supremacists have infiltrated the textbook publishing business in America and have massively edited the history of Islam. They also heavily influence Western media.

Plenty of people in America and Europe are already aware of the political dangers of Christianity, and have long ago taken steps to prevent it from taking over governments. In contrast, very few people in America and Europe know about the dangers of Islam, and, in fact, people are so reflexively against Christianity, they tend to favor Islam and give it the benefit of the doubt.

Islam is different in an important way: Muslims have a religious duty to work for political goals — it is a form of devotion and worship — and Muslims don't get to choose what goals they should strive for; the goals have been decreed by Allah. Mohammad was against living in monasteries or living a contemplative life. Muslims do not meditate. The way to show devotion to Allah is to fight for Islam. Literally (and politically). Many Jihadis have openly expressed the desire to kill all Americans, many Americans have already been killed by them, and they have plenty of doctrinal support from the Qur'an to justify this killing.

Another difference is that a Christian can leave Christianity any time they want, while the penalty for leaving Islam is death.

When Christians kill, it can only be in spite of Christian teachings. When a Jihadi kills, it is likely because of Islamic teachings, and they will tell you so openly and proudly.

Christians sometimes push for the spread or protection of Christian ideas. Jihadis push to do away with hard-earned freedoms and replace the laws of free countries with a repressive, backward system (Shari'a law). It is a religious duty for a Muslim to relentlessly strive for the establishment of Shari'a wherever they are. Allah considers "man-made" governments (democracies, for example) to be illegitimate. The only legitimate laws are Allah's.

Christian morality insists they tell the truth to all people. Islam's morality insists they tell the truth to fellow Muslims but to lie to non-Muslims if it can further the political goals of Islam.

In battle, Christians will try not to kill innocent bystanders. Jihadis don't believe any kafir is innocent, and they deliberately kill ordinary (non-military) citizens.

Christians voluntarily try to follow Jesus' example, and he was peaceful and kind. Muslims must follow Mohammad's example (it says over seventy times in the Qur'an that they must do so) and Mohammad tortured and killed people.

For sinning, Jesus advocated forgiveness. For sinning, Mohammad advocated stoning and beheading.

Jesus encouraged his followers to turn the other cheek when people criticized Jesus. Mohammad encouraged his followers to assassinate people who criticized Mohammad. Several people who had criticized Mohammad or Islam were killed by Mohammad's followers with Mohammad's consent and approval. One was even assassinated at his request.

According to Christianity, the guaranteed way of getting into heaven is to believe Jesus died for your sins. According to Islam, the only way to guarantee your passage to heaven is to die while fighting for Islam.

By the way, these points I'm making about Islam are not a twisting of Mohammad's teachings; they are not an "interpretation" of Islamic doctrine. This is all based on mainstream Islamic theology.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

All other major religions were started within an already-existing state. Islam is an historical exception to this rule. Islam arose in Arabia when there was no central ruling power. The whole area was comprised of individual tribes. Under those circumstances, the most efficient way to gain converts was by force. And that's how Islam came to be.

Mohammad borrowed many ideas from both Judaism and Christianity, and that's why it bears a superficial similarity to familiar religions. But it is fundamentally different. The circumstances of its time and place of origin led to teachings that were written down and declared sacred, and those teachings now rule 1.3 billion people.

Mohammad's life itself is an example of the principle that when you don't have power, you cannot promote violence. When Mohammad first started Islam, he was one man with no political power, surrounded by many others with their own religions and lots of power. He could not be belligerent or start any wars, so he used persuasion. In the first half of his career, using his persuasive skills, he gained 150 converts. In the second half of his career, he used warfare more and more as he gained numerical and financial strength. Using the "conversion by the sword" method, he gained tens of thousands of converts in the same amount of time. Converting by force is a more effective method, if you can get away with it, especially if you can reinforce it with total control of government and the law.

Mohammad created a complete system that rules every aspect of life. But in order to make the system work, Islam must be the law of the land. It doesn't work, for example, to cover all your women so Muslim men are not sexually tempted by their bodies or faces, if half the women in the country are not Muslims and walk around in shorts. For the system to work, every woman must be covered. And for that to happen, the government has to follow Shari'a law.

Mohammad used force to gain converts, and all his decrees and justifications for his actions were written down in the Qur'an, which are now memorized and studied by over a billion people, many of whom take the teachings to heart. The result is a powerful, unrelenting push for Islamic political power all over the world. Their percentage of the world's population keeps increasing.


from:
Why I'm Worried About Islam But Not Christianity


Also see:
Answers to Objections When You Talk About Islamic Supremacism

And:
What Can a Civilian Do To Stop Islam's Relentless Encroachment?

Jeff said...

Sura 4: The Treatment of Women (Investigate Islam)

Jeff said...

One one side is the Muslim teaching about Paradise (i.e., 72 virgins).
Compare that to Jesus' simple words:
"For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven." (Mark 12:25).

In Islam, there is an insistence on ritual cleanliness when one comes to God.
Compare that to Christianity, where there is a concern that the heart of the worshipper be clean. John 4:24 says, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." Jesus talked about cleaning the outside of the cup (regarding the Pharisees) when the inside is still dirty, even calling such people "whitewashed graves."

Jeff said...

Regarding Jesus' crucifixion:

In Sura 4 verse 157 in the Qur’an, it says, “We slew the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, Allah’s Messenger. They slew him not but it appeared so unto them.”

Now, Islam says that it is an awful disgrace for a prophet to be killed, and therefore, for Jesus to be crucified would have been intolerable. But in verse 154, the reference to the Jews’ unbelief and slaying of the prophets is very clear: " But for that they broke their compact, and for their misbelief in God’s signs, and for their killing the prophets undeservedly, and for their saying, ‘Our hearts are uncircumcised,’- nay, God hath stamped on them their misbelief, so that they cannot believe except a few." So, how could a prophet not be a prophet, simply because he lost his life in this calling? If anything, it would seem an honorable thing.

So then, what is the truth concerning Christ’s death? The answer is in the Bible, the same Bible that so many Muslims disbelieve; yet at the same time, they use it for their own commentaries and references. The answer is in Acts 2:22-36. For example: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words…let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Muslims disagree about this. Some say that Judas Iscariot was slain in His place. Others say it was Simon of Cyrene. But if it was Judas Iscariot, as many Muslims say, and if God made his face to look like that of Jesus at that moment, so that people were ‘taken in,’ wouldn’t this be an intolerable deception? Why did Judas not cry out or make some noise? Is God a fraud that He should engage in such a charade?

Or what about Simon of Cyrene? Many Muslims believe that, because he was carrying the cross of Jesus, the people were confused and thought that it was Jesus Himself, and therefore they crucified Simon instead. But, if this were the case, then how could Jesus, the true Prophet of God, have allowed such a terrible deception? That would be unthinkable!

And, if the story of Jesus’ crucifixion is just a story, then what do you make of the character of the disciples? How could they lie like that? How could they preach about love and obedience to God if they knew that they were agreeing to a lie of such immense proportions? That is unthinkable as well! How could such hypocrites have any fruit on this earth or in Paradise?

Jeff said...

Regarding women:

Muslims say that Islam has freed women. But, is that the real freedom that God intended for the women that God made? Is that freedom for women demonstrated when Muslim women have no right to divorce their husbands, yet they themselves can be divorced by the three-fold repetition of the formula “I divorce you”?

What about all the divorced women in Muslim society---those women who are now spending their days in their parents’ house? Or those in the Middle East who are in the streets, begging and prostituting themselves since they have no one to care for them? What about those women who have been kicked out of their homes by their husbands, unable to live decently and rightly because they are not accepted? And what about their children’s anguish and needs? Or what about those women whose husbands have married many wives and therefore cannot support them properly? Is it right for an Islamic society to do all of this? Is this not lawlessness in the name of the purity of Islam? Shouldn’t a Muslim cry out, when thinking about all this injustice, “O, God, show me the straight path”?

Jeff said...

Islam wants to tell you how you can keep God happy with you, but Christianity emphasizes what Christ did, one and for all, to reconcile mankind with God. Your sinful nature makes it impossible for you to please God yourself.

The Qur’an portrays itself as guidance for those who are pious, those who are not bad or evil, but the Bible makes it abundantly plain that it is the Word of Life to sinners, of whom even the great Apostle Paul could say, “I am the chief.”

The person of Christ is the focal point of Christianity. But Muhammad is portrayed in the Qur’an simply as “a messenger [the like of whom] have passed before him” (Sura 3 verse 144). There is a huge difference in their personalities.

Islam offers legalism, but Jesus Christ says, “Follow Me and I will give you rest.”

Muslims believe in submitting to God. However, Christians also believe that man must submit to God. It is clearly written that Christians must submit to earthly authorities (1 Peter 2:13-14), they must honor their parents (Exodus 20:12), and they must believe and trust in the one true God (Matthew 22:37).

For any Muslim that may read this, may God open your heart and mind to the straight path, the way He chose before the creation of the world through which mankind could be reconciled with Him---Jesus Christ, Who shared in our humanity so that by His death He might destroy Satan and free those who, all their lives, have been held in slavery.

Jeff said...

This is kind of interesting when writing (in English) about various things in Islam, regarding the spellings of such words as 'kafir,' 'Muhammad,' etc., which you will see written with various spellings in English:
Transliteration and Phonetic spellings of Arabic into English

thekingpin68 said...

A lot of research...congrats.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Russ.

Jeff said...

Some basic terms in Islam (some of these, such as the last two, may only apply to certain countries, such as Pakistan):

Kafir – unbeliever/infidel

Kalima – Word/Logos (Jesus) to Christians; and to Muslims, the words of the Kalima are: “In the name of Allah, the great and merciful, I believe that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is his prophet.”

Injil – Gospel

Zabur – Psalms

Da’wa (or dawah) – Muslim missionary activity

Taquiyya – lying for the sake of Islam (seen as an act approved by Allah)

Kitman – lying by omission (seen as a holy act for the sake of Islam)

Ruh’Allah – the spirit of God

Allah-o-Akhar, Allaho Akbar – ‘God is great, God is great’

Ashhado anna Muhammadar Rasuluilah (or, probably more commonly here, Ashhadu anna Muhammad rasulullah) – ‘I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God…come to prayer…no one is worthy of worship but Allah.’ Or, ‘I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.’ For a fuller explanation, see: http://www.change.freeuk.com/learning/relthink/shahadah.pdf

Ashhadun La Ilaha illallah (or, probably more commonly here, Ashadu La Ilaha illallah) – ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.’ This is called the Shahada.

Muhammadar Rasulullah – ‘Muhammad is the apostle of Allah.’

Mawlawi – preacher

Al-Furqan – the Truth

Mujaddid – a reformer (for a more complete explanation, see Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mujaddid )

Khalifa – successor
(Also see Caliphate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khilafah
Or Caliph http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalif
Or Khalifatul Masih http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalifatul_Masih )

Hijab - both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general.

A Facebook Friend of mine who lives in Indonesia (who is a Christian) uses the term 'jilbab.' The Arabic word 'jilbab' is translated as "cloak" in some passages. Some insist that the jilbab (which is worn over the Kimaar and covers from head to toe) worn today is the same garment mentioned in the Qur'an and the hadith; other translators have chosen to use less specific terms.

The four major Sunni schools of thought (Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali) insist that the entire body of the woman, except her face and hands (though many say face, hands, and feet) must be covered during prayer and in public settings.

It has become traditional that Muslims in general, and Salafis in particular, believe the Qur'an demands that women wear the garments known as the jilbab and khumur (the khumur must be worn underneath the jilbab). However, Qur'an translators and commentators translate the Arabic into English words with a general meaning, such as veils, head-coverings and shawls.

Burqa (or burka) - the garment that covers women completely: either only the eyes are visible, or nothing at all. Originating in Pakistan, it is more common in Afghanistan.

Chappals – open sandals

Kamiz – long, baggy shirt and trousers common to the Pathans and Punjabis

Interesting article regarding transliteration and phonetic spellings of Arabic words and names:
http://www.al-bab.com/arab/language/roman1.htm

thekingpin68 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Thanks, Russ, but the link seems to be broken/incomplete or something. It's not working for me.

thekingpin68 said...

I think it was right, but perhaps there was a bug. It looked fine in the preview.

Previously today when I tried to look in your comments there was an error message.

Here it is again:

Stoning

Jeff said...

Thanks, Russ. It is clickable for me now. I do know that Blogger has been having problems.

Good video. I will post that on my Facebook page. Thank you for that.

Hannah said...

This is Hannah Bevills, Editor for Christian.com which is a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians, to directly fulfill Christian's needs. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the ENTIRE christian community an outlet to join together as one (no matter denomination) and better spread the good word of Christianity. Christian.com has many great features aside from the obvious like christian TV, prayer request or even find a church/receive advice. We have emailed you because we have interest in collaborating with you and your blog to help us spread the good word. I look forward to an email regarding the matter, Thanks!

God Bless
|Hannah Bevills|Christian.com|
hannah.bevills@gmail.com

thekingpin68 said...

I joined this already Jeff, they have emailed me twice and I joined after the first time.

It is like a Christian Facebook but much smaller of course and much less professional.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

I joined this already Jeff, they have emailed me twice and I joined after the first time.

It is like a Christian Facebook but much smaller of course and much less professional.


Cool, thanks, Russ, for that info. I will check them out. I have been busy lately with work and studying for work at home, which is why I have not written a new blog article in a while.