Saturday, October 21, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

ISLAM AND THE POPE


Well, I finally decided to write about the pope's speech in a German university that included some comments about Islam and rationality and his quotes from a book in the 14th Century.
First, here it is :
A transcript of the pope's remarks obtained by The Associated Press television network reads: "In the seventh Sura (chapter) of the Quran, the emperor comes to speak about Jihad, holy war.

"The emperor certainly knew that Sura 2, verse 256, reads: 'No force in matters of faith'. It is one of the early Suras, from a time -- as experts say -- in which Mohammed himself was still powerless and threatened.

"However, the emperor of course also knew the requirements about the holy war that were later formulated in the Quran. Without going into details like the handling of the owners of the scriptures, or non-believers, he (the emperor) turned to his interlocutors -- in a surprisingly brusque way -- with the central question after the relationship between religion and violence.

"He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

I am a Muslim man who has studied Islam, and have continued to practice it. I hope that you will read my response to the Pope's speech, then perform your own research without being biased. I know this is very hard to do these days when all we here about Islam and Muslims is very negative. But I also know there are well-educated, open-minded people out there who are willing to read and search for truth.

First, the Sura (chapter) 2 in Quran verse 256 says clearly "Let there be no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clearly from error." This message was intended for prophet Mohammed and for every Muslim, that we understand that you or I cannot force people to believe in God. He wants us to come to him willingly. The Pope instead interpreted the Quran to say that Mohammed and his followers when to God when they were weak, the spread His word by the power of the sword once they were strong. This is a false statement because if the pope did his homework before he said this, he would find that the Quran states clearly through history books (that the Pope himself could not deny) that Mohammed and his followers were kicked out from their homes and were not allowed to even take their personnel belongings with them to a different city called Madina. Madina is about 500 kilometers away from Mecca (their home town) by the powerful leaders during this time that rejected His message.

Ten years or so later, Mohammed's followers were in the thousands and it was time for the Muslims to reclaim their homes back in Mecca. With a group of approx. 10,000 men, Mohammed marched into Mecca and let the leaders know he was not there to fight, because this is a holy place for Muslims and their houses were here. They wanted their home back peacefully. He also said to them that the emperors and their inhabitants could remain there safely, and Mohammed regained Mecca without a fight. Later on, many of the inhabitants of Mecca began to practice and study Islam. And this is how Islam began to spread among the people of the Arab peninsula.

I would like the pope to imagine a group taking over his church, banning him and his followers, not allowing them to take any of their belongings. Wouldn't he try to reclaim it?

In response to the Pope's misunderstanding of Jihad (holy war), it was asked of Muslims to join Jihad only if they or there land was invaded by others; meaning that we as Muslims cannot invade others in the name of Jihad, or kill or even hurt innocent people in the name of Jihad. In fact, it is forbidden in Islam to hurt women, children or elderly people during war. Whoever does this will and should be punished. I know this does not happen these days, namely the crazy fanatics who interpret Islam by doing exactly the opposite of the above.

Nonetheless, the Pope as a high figure in Christianity should know this and attempt to bring together people of different faiths, as opposed to attacking them in what they believe. Bottom line, he shouldn't put them down because it makes him appear ignorant, especially when compared to his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who always tried to spread the love message of Jesus.

In closing, if Jesus himself was giving this speech in Germany, would he have put Islam or Mohammed down? I don't think so.