Wally Wonders Why

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Islam

Both a right and wrong

No matter how stupid, insensitive, or self-serving we might think it is, the New Yorkers who wish to build a mosque near ground zero do have a right to build it.   As I’ve said in a previous post and comment, I don’t think anyone is questioning that right although I read a lot of partisan comments saying that conservatives are trying to deny this right which they of course are not.

More recently there is a pastor in the Southeast who is making the news because he has said he was going to burn a Koran on the anniversary of 9/11.  And just like the mosque, no matter how stupid, insensitive, or self-serving we think it is, the pastor who wishes to burn a Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 has every right to burn it.

In both cases, the people of our predominantly Christian believing nation affirm the rights of each party to build where they choose and burn what they choose.  Our personal feelings don’t trump their rights no matter how wrong we feel it is.  What a great, peaceful and tolerant nation we live in. 

Yet, from around the world, the collective voice from predominantly Islamic believing nations has warned that if we let the pastor light up his Koran, there will be violence.  And if we stop the mosque from being built near ground zero, there will also be violence.   In our nation people have the right to freely speak and freely practice their religion, but they don’t have a right to threaten violence and harm upon others.   We need to remember this as we are being cajoled into accepting Islam as if it were just another denomination to choose from; it’s not.  To a Christian someone burning a bible will most likely elicit a prayer for the soul of the arsonist, whereas it seems that for a good percentage of Muslims around the world, burning a Koran will elicit a prayer for the arsonist’s death.   Why is it again that Islam is referred to as the religion of peace?

It’s time to keep our mouth open on these issues before violence in the name of Islam becomes a problem within our nation.  Our 1st Amendment keeps our federal government from valuing one religion over another, but we as citizens have every right to our personal views and our opinion.  We have a right to speak out.

Fueling our nation

Engines are designed with specific fuels in mind right from the start. When we pull up to a “gas” station we are faced with many “choices“, yet really no choice at all. If we choose the wrong fuel our vehicle may suffer from poor performance, more mileage, shortened engine life, or with the wrong combination; immediate permanent internal damage.

200px-Octane-3D-ballsWhat some may find interesting is that the same 3 elements go into making all of these fuels; Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O), Carbon (C). That’s it. The difference may be as subtle as odor or price to those of us pumping fuel into our cars. But to the engine, or anyone who has dabbled in organic chemistry, the difference between these fuels is immense.

On average diesel is C12H23. Octane is CH3(CH2)6CH3. Ethanol is C2H5OH. I won’t go into all 18 isomers of octane or who knows how many isomers in what percent make up over the road diesel. The big point is that even though the basic elements are the same carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, they have vastly different combustion characteristics and therefore a humongo difference to your engine. Remember immediate permanent internal damage? A diesel engine will not accept that ethanol as basically the same as diesel and just decide to run fine. If you don’t believe me, please don’t try it.

Nations, like engines are designed to run on different cultures and types of people. Islamic nations require Muslims, while most socialist states require a faith in government above God. Since the start, our nation was designed to run on Christians; various octanes; occasionally a little E85 or other faiths in small percentages. But due to our design, if we want to enjoy a smooth running high performance liberty, freedom and happiness engine, we need Christians in our tank. Our nation’s original designers and a few early mechanics drew up the design based on the Christian type of fuel.

Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. (John Adams)

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; … If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws. (Noah Webster)

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were….the general principles of Christianity….I will avow that I believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are so unalterable as human nature. (Samuel Adams)

There are many other supporting quotes, most probably volumes, also indicating that our nation was designed to run on Christian morals. I’ve read that at least 50, maybe more of the signer of the Declaration of Independence were some variety of Christians. And if my memory serves me at least 2 dozen of them also had Christian seminary degrees. These men were not atheist, agnostics, Hindus, or Muslims etc. When they referred to God or the Divine, they were referring to our Christian God.

So while we may be able to haul around 5 gallon jugs of E85, Islam, diesel or Atheism, our nation was not designed to run on them. If we are stupid enough to start pouring them into the tank we should expect our nation to knock, ping and destroy itself from the inside out.

Unfortunately, we’ve been knocking and pinging for the last 4 or 5 decades, since a couple of courts required us to peel off the “Christian fuel only” sticker on the filler cap. I can’t read the news without praying that we will pull over at the next service station, rather than stomping down harder on the gas, vainly hoping that our engine will stop making so much racket.

Radical Islam: Turning the corner

MosqueFor centuries there has been only one way a nation could get along with Islam; convert to Islamic rule, pay tribute tax to an Islamic nation, or fight. Nations can talk and cut deals, but history had shown that when they become inconvenient or not beneficial to the Islamic nation; prepare to fight. Islam is a theocracy, both a religion and a government, that has spread since it’s inception by terrorism, military revolution and conquest. Not surprisingly most wars in the world today share a common theme; one side or the other is Islamic. There aren’t historical precedents for Muslim nations working and playing well with non-Muslim nations. But that may be changing.

I, and many others more learned than I, have said that the only way the world can live peacefully is if Islam goes through a reformation.

For the rest of humanity to get along peacefully with Islam, Muslims must enact reform from within. Unfortunately Islam has a built in guard against reformers; death sentences. By us being out there taking care of the worst while helping to maintain the peace, those who are trying to enact change within Islam, just might live long enough to turn things in a positive direction.

Wally Wonders Why: I can’t go there

Our participation in the UN can help maintain temporary peace, but short of genocide against Muslims, no force will cure Islamophobia. Islamophobia is a real fear, not unreal or over reaction, but a real healthy fear that demands mitigation. How ever there is only one way to mitigate that fear and that is for Islam to change.

To bring an end to Islamophobia, we must employ a holistic approach that treats the core of the disease. It will not suffice to merely suppress the symptoms. It is imperative to adopt new Islamic teachings that do not allow killing apostates (Redda Law). Islamic authorities must provide mainstream Islamic books that forbid polygamy and beating women. Accepted Islamic doctrine should take a strong stand against slavery and the raping of female war prisoners, as happens in Darfur under the explicit canons of Shariah (“Ma Malakat Aimanikum”). Muslims should teach, everywhere and universally, that a woman’s testimony in court counts as much as a man’s, that women should not be punished if they marry whom they please or dress as they wish.

Islamophobia could end when masses of Muslims demonstrate in the streets against videos displaying innocent people being beheaded with the same vigor we employ against airlines, Israel and cartoons of Muhammad. It might cease when Muslims unambiguously and publicly insist that Shariah law should have no binding legal status in free, democratic societies.

Wall Street Journal: How to end ‘Islamophobia’

Turkey has been an unstable mix of Muslims and a secular government, but that instability may be changing, and changing in the right way. The Turkish government is not cutting useless deals or converting the whole nation to Islamic law. They are the first nation I’ve ever heard of who is attacking the Islamic problem at it’s roots; at it’s doctrinal roots. The Turkish government is preparing to publish the first reinterpretation of Islam. They are attempting a revolutionary modernization of Islam.

According to Fadi Hakura, an expert on Turkey from Chatham House in London, Turkey is doing nothing less than recreating Islam – changing it from a religion whose rules must be obeyed, to one designed to serve the needs of people in a modern secular democracy. They have also taken an even bolder step – rejecting a long-established rule of Muslim scholars that later (and often more conservative) texts override earlier ones.

“You have to see them as a whole,” says Fadi Hakura. “You can’t say, for example, that the verses of violence override the verses of peace. This is used a lot in the Middle East, this kind of ideology.

BBC: Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts

I certainly pray that this will be the start of Islam turning the corner. I have a limited knowledge of Islam, but I have to agree that the Koran is a bit more spiritual, more forgiving and more peaceful than the Hadiths. Not entirely peaceful, but more peaceful than we live with today.

The argument is that Islamic tradition has been gradually hijacked by various – often conservative – cultures, seeking to use the religion for various forms of social control.

Leaders of the Hadith project say successive generations have embellished the text, attributing their political aims to the Prophet Muhammad himself.

BBC: Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts

An earlier BBC story suggested that Turkey’s reformation work was aimed at bolstering it’s citizen’s freedom of expression and allowing civilian control over their military so that Turkey might be accepted as an EU nation. I hope, like this India news article touches on, that this reformed Islam catches on in other Muslim nations around the world.

What in essence is believed to emerge is a reformed Islam relevant to the 21st century social, political and economic context. The 21st century Islam will be an amalgamation of modern European critical thoughts and traditional Muslim Ottoman beliefs. New Islam will be less orthodox and more liberal. In Turkey, the reformed Islam is paying dividends in the form of abolition of death penalty, campaign against honour killings, education of women and training and appointment of hundreds of women as Imams. Now what remains to be seen is whether this liberal democratic Islam finds acceptance in other Muslim countries of the world as well.

MeriNews India: Turkey modernising Islam

Even after the Protestant Reformation began, it was centuries before the power of the Catholic Church was significantly reduced. So even though Islam may be turning a corner, we may have to hang around for a few hundred years to reap the peace.

By the way, in a nation at war with radical Islam, it was sure tough to find any hint of this revolutionary news in US media. Imagine all the people, living life informed.

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