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Friday, July 15, 2005

Do Muslims worship idols?

Excerpt from Commentary: Do Muslims worship idols? by Sprengler @ Asia Times

Is what divides Islam and the West a minor misunderstanding, or an incipient war of civilizations? One's answer often depends on whether one sees Islam as a variant of Christianity or Judaism, or a pagan conqueror cult. Pat Robertson, the prominent American evangelical, claims, "The struggle is whether Hubal, the Moon God of Mecca, known as Allah, is supreme, or whether the Judeo-Christian Jehovah God of the Bible is Supreme."

President George W Bush and his advisors, by contrast, aver that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, an argument restated recently by Daniel Pipes, a neo-conservative Middle East analyst. "However hostile political relations may be, a common 'children of Abraham' bond does exist and its exploration can one day provide a basis for interfaith comity," wrote Pipes.[1]

No individual can speak for Christendom in such matters, but the most prominent voice belongs to the pope, the leader of the oldest and largest Christian denomination. Although Benedict XVI has expressed sympathy for Islam, he states quite plainly that the "martyr ideology" of Islamist terrorists amounts to an odious form of idol worship. Most Muslims, and emphatically the Muslim clergy, support this "martyr ideology"

... (NB: ommitted loads of "garbage" by the Pope here and there) ...

and in between, I found this interesting phrase "God promised Abraham that he would not destroy the city of Sodom if 10 just men were to be found there"

Question: Does the word "Sodomy" originate from this city? If so, Holy Smoke!

Benedict XVI did not say that Muslims worshipped idols, but he denounced the "martyr ideology of terrorists", which "turns God into an idol by which man worships his own will". Given that the great majority of Muslims, and particularly Muslim clerics, support suicide bombing, the pope in effect averred that idol-worshippers comprise the Islamic mainstream.

"God, or divinity, can turn into the means to make absolute one's own power and one's own interests. An image of God that has been turned thus into an instrument of partisan interests, that identifies God's absoluteness with one's own community or its set of interests, destroys law and morality, by elevating what is relative into the absolute. The good then becomes whatever serves one's own power. The actual difference collapses between good and evil. Morality and law become instruments of partisan policy. This gets even worse when religious fanaticism, the fanaticism of the absolute, informs the will to put everything in the service of one's own interests, and thus turns completely blind and brutal. God has become an idol by which man worships his own will. That is what we see in the martyr ideology of the terrorists, which, to be sure, in isolated cases simply expresses desperation at the injustice of the world. "

Question 1: What is wrong to idolize God in the first place? Another question for God.

Last year, the Pew Global Attitudes Project [5] polled Muslims in four countries, all nominally allied to the United States, as to whether suicide bombings were justifiable. In three of the four countries, substantial majorities declared that suicide bombings were justified not only by Palestinians against Israelis, but also by Iraqis against American soldiers.

Response to Pew Global Attitudes Survey question: "Are suicide bombings justifiable?"

By Palestinians against Israelis
Turkey .........."No" = 67 ..... "Yes" = 24
Pakistan ........"No" = 36 ..... "Yes" = 47
Morocco ........"No" = 22 ..... "Yes" = 74
Jordan ..........."No" = 12 ..... "Yes" = 86

Against Americans and Westerners in Iraq
Turkey ........."No" = 59 ..... "Yes" = 31
Pakistan ......."No" = 36 ..... "Yes" = 46
Morocco ......."No" = 27 ......"Yes" = 66
Jordan .........."No" = 24 ......"Yes" = 70

Because Islam has no centralized religious leadership, it is hard to quantify the extent to which Muslim clergy promote terrorist "martyr ideology", but anecdotal evidence is overwhelming that the great majority of Muslim religious leaders support suicide bombings, for example. Among Sunni Muslims, the leading authority is Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, the Grand Sheikh of Cairo's al-Azhar mosque. Sheikh Tantawi has gone back and forth on the issue several times, but his most recent pronouncement (in May 2004) held that circumstances warranted Palestinian suicide attacks against Israelis, adding that anyone who blew himself up while defending Islam against an aggressor died a martyr's death. [6] A survey of the debate among Muslim clerics about suicide attacks by Haim Malka appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of the Middle East Quarterly, concluding:

Since the outbreak of the current Palestinian intifada, in September 2000, the Palestinian resort to suicide attacks has won widespread Arab public acceptance as a legitimate form of resistance against Israeli occupation. Some Muslim clerics and other commentators justify them on political, moral and religious grounds. Even those attackers who bomb and kill women and children are hailed as martyrs for their heroism in confronting the enemy. [7]

Traditionally and culturally, Semites are known to be some of the most intolerent people, and it looks like it all boil down to just one word: RELIGION ... There must be a mistake along the line, I gotta ask God about this one.

Meanwhile, God bless the Semites and their Holy (or stupid) Wars.

Funny is that the Pope keep using words like Fanaticsm and Fundamentalism over and over again in his talks ... As if Catholic is not a fanatic of fundamentalism?


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