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Finally! Somebody Important And Muslim Speaks Up!
Osama Bin Mass Murderer's mentor has finally awakened from his Rumplestiltskin-like slumber and noticed that a whole lot of people are being brutally murdered in the name of Islam. His awakening was, apparently, a reaction to Bin Laden's recent TV appearance, writes Sarah Lawrence professor Fawaz A. Gerges in the IHT.

And, sure, this is a good thing, this denunciation. After all, better very, very, very late than never. Here's an excerpt from Gerges' piece:

In an open letter, one of bin Laden's most prominent Saudi mentors, the preacher and scholar Salman al-Oadah, publicly reproached bin Laden for causing widespread mayhem and killing.

"How many innocent children, elderly people, and women have been killed in the name of Al Qaeda?" asked al-Oadah in a letter on his Web site, Islamtoday.com, and in comments on an Arabic television station.

"How many people have been forced to flee their homes, and how much blood has been shed in the name of Al Qaeda?"

...In his statement, al-Oadah holds bin Laden personally accountable for the occupation of Muslim lands in Afghanistan and Iraq, the displacement of millions of Iraqis and the killings of thousands of Afghans, and for deluding young Muslims and tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims all over the world.

"Are you happy to meet Allah with this heavy burden on your shoulders?" al-Oadah asks bin Laden. "It is a weighty burden indeed - at least hundreds of thousands of innocent people, if not millions [displaced and killed]. And it is all because of the 'crimes' perpetrated against civilians by bin Laden's Al Qaeda on 9/11."

Al-Oadah also reminds his former disciple that Islam prohibits the killing of any bird or animal, let alone "innocent people, regardless of what justification is given."

The open letter to bin Laden has received considerable publicity in the Arab media, including the Al Jazeera network and Islamonline.com, and has already elicited angry reactions from Al Qaeda supporters.

Indeed, the attack on bin Laden and his group by a respected religious authority is lethal, especially coming at a critical juncture for Al Qaeda and like-minded militant factions worldwide.

So...is Al Oadah right about what a nice, sweet peaceful religion Islam is? Well, Gordon Nickel, in the National Post of Canada, is bending over backward, and then some, trying to give Islam and Muslims the benefit of the doubt, but still, he ends his piece with a few passages from the Koran. Here's a short list:

- al-Taubah (9):123 - "O believers, fight (qaatiloo) the unbelievers (kuffaar) who are near to you, and let them find in you a harshness (ghilza)."

- Baqara (2):191 - "And slay them (aqtuloohum) wherever you come upon them"

- Baqara (2):191 - "But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then if they fight you, slay them (aqtuloohum) -- such is the recompense of unbelievers."

- Nisaa' (4):89 - "then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them (aqtuloohum) wherever you find them"

- Nisaa' (4):91 - "If they withdraw not from you, and offer you peace, and restrain their hands, take them, and slay them (aqtuloohum) wherever you come on them; against them we have given you a clear authority."

- al-Taubah (9):5 - "Then when the sacred months are drawn away, slay (aqtuloo) the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush."

- Nisaa' (4):74 - "So let them fight (yuqaatil) in the way of Allah who sell the present life for the world to come; and whosoever fights (yuqaatil) in the way of Allah and is slain, or conquers, we shall bring him a mighty wage."

- Muhammad (47):4 - "When you meet the unbelievers, smite (darba) their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads."

That's the second time this week they've made me want to sing Kumbayah!

Posted by aalkon at September 22, 2007 11:16 AM

Comments

"After all, better very, very, very late than never."

Yes.

It is problematic when a belief system sanctions killing the enemy, because the definition of "enemy" can shift to include anybody.

Posted by: doombuggy at September 22, 2007 5:51 AM

The most horrible atrocity I've read about recently is the 5-year-old boy the terrorists poured gas over and set on fire. Some American soldier, I believe, started a fund for him, and he's now in America getting medical care. From their society comes primitivism and death, from ours, the science, medicine, and technology to at least mop up some of the pieces.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 22, 2007 10:46 AM

A question about writing style. Why is it that translated passages - from the Koran especially - keep bits of Arabic in parentheses? It's either translated or it's not. As a reader I am not terribly interested in the various forms of "slay" in Arabic, though I might be if I was learning Arabic. Is it for people who are learning Arabic?

Posted by: Norman at September 22, 2007 12:03 PM

I think it's probably for Arabic speakers. I just skip over them, much Iike I eventually began to do with all the "Napoleon's men are cold!" interstitials in "War & Peace."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 22, 2007 1:30 PM

islamtoday.com is a very interesting website.

Posted by: winston at September 22, 2007 4:17 PM

We really should give the "Good Book", the Bible, some equal time here least the Christers claim discrimination:

HOSEA 13:16... Samaria will be held guilty, for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, their little ones will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open.

NUMBERS 31:17...Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

2 CHRONICLES 15:12...And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; that whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

For serving other gods; Deuteronomy 13:15...Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

Jesus: Luke 19:27....But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Bible, Koran; what's the difference?

Posted by: Bill Henry at September 23, 2007 3:31 AM

The difference is that Christian preachers don't get up on the pulpit every Sunday and tell their flock to go kill people who aren't Christians. Muslim Imams do. In fact, I've previously linked to footage of that from a mosque in London. And then there are all those sweet videos of Muslim children being taught to murder the Jews.

Of course, I'm no fan of any belief, without evidence, in god, and the ensuing bullying of the rest of us that so often comes out of it.

But, Islam is deadly.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 23, 2007 3:45 AM

"Bible, Koran; what's the difference? "

Bill Henry, you should not be happy with this kind of moral relativism. Christianity today does not embrace the martial aspects of the Bible. The few who do are ten standard deviations from the mean.

Islam, on the other hand, embraces the "struggle", and a high percentage of Muslims think violence is okay when advancing Islam.

Posted by: doombuggy at September 23, 2007 7:08 AM

> Christianity today does not
> embrace the martial aspects
> of the Bible

True true, and it's important to say that. Not all religions are the same, and if we have to be patient with them at all, we should calibrate patience to favor the less intrusive ones.

OTOH- In this month's "Osama" video, he quoted Hammurabi with great relish, knowing that he was speaking to the dim in their favorite language, simplicity. That humanity has progressed to more nuanced approaches to justice is irrelevant to him.

As Hitchens said: "[T]he literal mind does not understand the ironic mind, and sees it always as a source of danger." Any given moment in a church's history doesn't really give you any idea what the faith will mean to people over time. When there are oppressive strictures in unimprovable texts, we can't count on present fashions to represent a permanent trend. I can't find the specific quote in the Hitchens book, but it goes like this: The bad stuff in religious will always be festering in a shallow underground, waiting for a new fanatic to rediscover and champion.

Posted by: Crid at September 23, 2007 1:33 PM

"Jesus: Luke 19:27....But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

Jesus was telling a story and quoting someone else. He was NOT commanding people to be killed. (I wont bore you with the entire quote in context but his oration of the story begins at Luke 19:11)

Posted by: winston at September 24, 2007 8:36 AM

There is much viciousness in the old testament (much less in the new) In the old testament, God commands many slaughters (the Canannites being a good example). However these are limited in time.

The Jews are not commanded to fight against all non-Jews for all time until they submitt to Jewish law.

Posted by: winston at September 24, 2007 8:43 AM

I apologize for the multiple posts but here's a good forumn if you want to talk to Muslims.

http://www.ummah.com/forum/index.php

They are usually very open in their beliefs. It's quite amazing, really.

Posted by: winston at September 24, 2007 1:47 PM

Jews don't even try to convert you. They just want to be left alone. Look up dhimmitude to see how that plays out -- in the non-violent sense, just for starters, in Muslim countries.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 24, 2007 2:00 PM

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