The religion of Islam has been for the vast majority of Christians just another religion about which was not much known beyond facts that their god was being called Allah, his prophet was Mohammed who lived in the seventh century and the equivalent of the Christian bible was the Koran. Their holiest places were in Saudi Arabia called Mekka and Medina. Members of this religion were called Muslims and generally considered peaceful people. As proof for the peaceful nature of Islam we saw in the past prominent sports icons such as Cassius Clay (now Muhammad Ali) and Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and many others convert from Christianity to Islam. These conversions were fully accepted by the general public.
Even though there were numerous acts of terror committed by Islamists (airplane hijackings, the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich just to name a few) since the early 1970’s, these were isolated incidents and we, the general population did not consider there to be a trend. More recent events also did not really wake us up until the horrible events of September 11, 2001. Wow, this was unthinkable until then. Four commercial airplanes being hijacked and used to slam into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the intended attack on the Capitol Building or the White House that was spoiled by some brave passengers when that plane was downed in a field in Pennsylvania. We had been attacked on our soil by 19 terrorists of Arab descent, all of them Muslims.
This definitely got our attention and since that fateful day in 2001, we have been fighting the War on Terror with some success. But this war is far from over and is expected to last quite a long time into the future. As a result of these events, the general population has spent time trying to deal with this new threat. The acceptance of so-called ‘Multi-culturism’ in the past several decades in our country has had the effect that we have tried not to be judgmental and condemn all Muslims for these terror acts. Far from it, we have been told continuously that Islam is a very peaceful religion and that these terrorists are just a very small band of extremists. Anybody who has stated otherwise has been viciously attacked in the media as intolerant and hateful. We have been told that we should continue to embrace our Muslim brethren and accept the fact, that even they, the vast majority of Muslims, cannot do anything about these terrorists.
This brings us to the fundamental question: Who are these terrorists and what produced them? One essential element to be a terrorist is ‘Hate’! It is the fuel that lights their fire and sustains them in their agenda to attack Israel and the West, especially America. We are the central focal point of their attacks. Now then, where does this hatred come from? A new-born baby does not bring hate into the world, it must be taught to hate. Are there parents who bring up their children and tell them from the earliest moment on to hate Americans and all Jews? We find this hard to believe and outright reject this possibility. There must be something more compelling at work to teach young Muslims from an early age to hate.
Enter those who are the early teachers of young Muslims…the religious clerics be they Mullahs, Ayatollahs, Imams or whatever else they might be called. We all have seen on television some of them in their mosques or even in public places spouting very strong rhetoric against the enemies of Islam, the so-called ‘Infidels’. While we did not understand a word they said (and had to rely on accurate translation of their words), their demeanor was more than convincing. They were spewing Hate as they whipped up their followers during speeches and rallies, which too often were followed by violent acts of terror against mostly innocent people. Of course, we fully realize that one or two such speeches does not possibly produce these kinds of results and we have to check a little deeper by going into the teachings at the religious educational institutions such as schools like the Madrasah and others as well as the mosques where for all we know, the sermons include hateful speech. One similarity that Christians and Muslims share is the fact the religious leaders mostly read and quote from the Holy Book, be it the Bible or the Koran. Is it unreasonable to think that the Koran might include some hateful passages against us Christians, the infidels?
Could someone in the know shed some light on this by having open discussions on the subject for us ill informed average citizens? We have heard on numerous occasions that the Koran teaches only such things as peace and justice and encouragement to worship Allah. If that is true, then where is the hate coming from? Are there passages in the Koran that might include encouraging believers to attempt to convert us non-believers to Islam? Are there limits to these conversions, do they have to be peaceful attempts or are there options in methodology that can be applied for those of us who are not willingly want to become members of Islam and can we therefore be eliminated, i.e., be killed in the name of Allah? Did the prophet Mohammed encourage his followers to go out into the world and convert all infidels, even if it means to do so by the sword? And while we are at it, can someone please clear up the so-called myth about the seventy some virgins who are waiting for every martyr in heaven? Is any kind of terrorism an accepted form of martyrdom?
We are told that the Islamic extremists are just a very, very small group in numbers compared to the overall Muslim population of well over one billion people. If that is true, then why do we not see a stronger effort on the part of the peaceful Muslims to fight these outcasts? Most certainly, the extremists do not have their own mosques, or do they? Can we not assume that they are members in many mosques all over the world where they go and pray to Allah several times every day and if so, how come the good Muslims tolerate them in their midst? Is it against the Islamic religion to report on them? Can we not expect in exchange for our tolerance towards them some cooperation in the fight against these terrorists? Multi-Culturism should be a two-way street and as a rule, it should apply to everybody who lives not only in America, but for that matter anywhere in the Western world. If we are to accept their customs, i.e., dress code etc, should we not expect them to tolerate our customs without prejudice?
These are all questions in our opinion that we should try to address and get answers to from those in the know. A stronger dialogue between Muslim and non-Muslim leaders should possibly be started in a more open way and in public between the various groups, be they Christians, Jews, Muslims or members of other religions, and not just here in America and Western Europe but also in the Islamic countries where for instance, the wearing of Christian symbols such as crosses are forbidden! These efforts should all be coupled with an immediate organized campaign worldwide to flush out those places where terrorists are being trained and indoctrinated. If this means reporting these extremists to the authorities by fellow Muslims, then so be it. As Christians, we cannot enter and violate their mosques and other places of worship; it has to come from within. Otherwise, the great divide between Islam and the other religions will remain if not grow. To remove existing and growing doubts about the peaceful nature and character of Islam, we here at ‘Back to Common Sense’ strongly believe that a major burden falls on the Muslims who want us to believe that.
This article and others on Back to Common Sense are designed to provoke further thought and investigation. It is not the intent for the articles to be politically biased. Sources are referenced in each article to encourage readers to delve into the supporting material. We welcome all readers to participate with their point of view either in support or contrary with additional information sources.