Below is a piece I wrote for my hometown newspaper, "The Gallatin County News" (of Warsaw, Kentucky), which
will run--hard-copy only--on Wednesday, September 19. I thus take the liberty of posting it here:
Wars, rumors of wars and burning American embassies seem a regular occurrence in the Middle East, Africa
and South Asia, even with a US President whose father was Muslim and who has labored mightily to heal the breach between the
world's two largest religions (Christianity, 2.2 billion; Islam, 1.6 billion) and their civilizations. Are the
embassy attacks in Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan and even Iraq, as well as the killing of American diplomats in Libya, due
solely to the comical anti-Muhammad video-as the Obama Administration claims? Or are they because of US foreign policy
in the Islamic world, as administration critics allege?
Islam began six centuries after Christ with Arabia's Muhammad,
who claimed Allah told him to correct the mistakes of the Jews (that they were the "Chosen People,"
for example) and Christians (among others, that Jesus was the crucified and resurrected Son of God). After Muhammad's
death the Qur'an (Koran) was written down and is revered by most Muslims as the literal word of Allah-to be followed in every
detail, even today. While much in the Qur'an is admirable, even more is not: Sura al-Nisa'[IV]: 33 says a man
can beat his wives (yes, plural) for misbehaving; Sura al-Anfal [VIII]:36 mandates war until Islam "reigns supreme;"
Sura al-Tawbah [IX]:5 orders Muslims to "fight, besiege, ambush, slay the unbelievers wherever you find them."
There are countless other examples-all quite different from "love your neighbor as yourself" and "when someone
strikes you, turn the other cheek." And unlike the Old Testament, which limits violence in time and scope, the Qur'an
mandates Muslims wage jihad until the entire world "submits" ("Islam" means "submission," not
"peace"). Also, Muslims adhere to "Hadiths," alleged sayings and actions of Muhammad, which
portray him as militaristic, intolerant and downright lecherous-quite unlike Jesus or even, say, Buddha.
in Muhammad's revelation, especially jihad, propelled the Arabs, and other Islamic converts (such as the Turks), to conquer
in Allah's name from Arabia eastwards to India and westward across North Africa and Spain. Thus the Crusades, which
started in 1096, were actually failed attempts to fight back. But by the 18th century Western Christian powers
(Britain, France, Russia and, later, the US) were militarily more powerful than even the greatest Islamic one, the Ottoman
Empire, and in the 19th and 20th centuries much Islamic territory was ruled by "infidels." For 200 years Muslims
have tried two major ideologies to catch up-imitating the West, and "reforming" Islam by incorporating ideas
like democracy or socialism, but neither has worked: Muslim countries, particularly Arab ones, are still mired in high
unemployment and illiteracy, lack of scientific expertise and rampant violence. Since 1979, when Iran's Islamic Revolution
re-legitimized religious rule and terrorism, a third route-total rejection of Western concepts, and "returning"
to Islam-is all the rage.
This ideology has borne fruit: today 31 of the 51 groups on
the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations are Islamic; in 2011 over 12,000 people were killed by
Islamic terrorist attacks (compared to 77 by "Neo-Nazis/White Supremacists," about whom Homeland Security obsesses);
and since 9/11, 82% of the people convicted of terrorism in the US have been Muslim. The minority of Muslims who
decry violence get lost in the militant mob. US foreign policy has been adduced by Ron Paul's followers to explain 9/11
and Nidal Malik Hasan's shooting rampage at Ft. Hood-and no doubt, now, Ambassador Stevens' murder. But the US didn't
even exist when Muhammad started jihad, Rome was sacked by Arab Muslims in 846 AD, and the Ottoman Empire conquered
Constantinople or besieged Vienna three times. And the fledgling US had no presence in the Islamic world in the early
1800s at all when the Barbary pirates seized US ships and enslaved American "infidels"-as is legal under Islamic
law. Obama's UN Ambassador Susan Rice is closer to the truth when she blames the violence on that infamous video.
But thereby the administration tacitly accepts that Muslims are justified in having violent tantrums whenever Muhammad
is "insulted"-agreeing with Sura al-Ma'ida[V]:33 that "those who war, or make mischief against, Muhammad should
be murdered, crucified or have their hands and feet amputated." Neither Obama, Rice nor Secretary of State Clinton
can bring themselves to acknowledge that Muslim "extremists" are only able to gin up murderous mobs because
they push legitimate buttons, drawing upon Islam's own history of violence. Perhaps some day, before it's too late,
we'll get an administration that can handle the truth.
Although this may greatly resemble what's being done to American embassies by Muslim mobs right now,
it's actually a 15th c. Persian MUSLIM artist's rendering of evil women--i.e., with long, uncovered hair--burning
in Hell while the approving "prophet of Islam" looks on (astride his supernatural steed al-Buraq). As
an aside, note Muhammad's clearly-depicted visage--yet another example refuting the Salafi/Wahhabi claim, repeated endlessly
and brainlessly by the Western media, that it's "forbidden in Islam to ever show 'The Prophet.'"