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Opinion | Web Update

Response to: Five Shariah insights for students at UR

Published: November 5, 2011, 9:11 pm ET
Westhampton '11

As a 2011 Westhampton College graduate now working as a religion reporter and news editor, I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Qasim Rashid’s Nov. 2 article, “Five Shariah insights for students at UR.”

In America, we have separation of church and state. Islamic law, or Shariah, fuses church and state. Shariah is not culture, as some Muslims claim, but the religion of Islam itself. Shariah encompasses the words of Allah in the Qur’an and the words of Mohammed in the Hadith. Because Muslims believe the Qur’an is divine, its law is divine, immutable and infallible.

Allah says the goal of Islam is to take over the world (Sura 8:39), and Muslims believe human nature must be subject to Shariah. The teachings of Shariah are disturbing, and just a quick glimpse into the Qur’an is enough to discredit the practice of Shariah in America.

For example, the Qur’an says repeatedly that women are not equal to men: Women receive half the inheritance of men in the court of law (4:11); a woman’s role in court is diminished (2:282); men can divorce women but women can’t divorce men (2:229-30); and men can beat their wives if they merely suspect rebellion (4:34). Islamic law also dictates that women must wear burqas to cover their whole bodies except their left eye (33:59) — it is not culture, it is law. Where is the justice, as Mr. Rashid says, in this? The U.S. Constitution says all people are created equal, but Shariah enforces patriarchy and misogyny.

Women are not the only ones oppressed under Shariah. According to Islamic law, the punishment for homosexuality is execution, as stated in the Hadith (Abu Dawud 38:4447). Need I say more?

Islamic law also teaches honor killings. Sura 6:151 says, “Do not kill the soul, which Allah forbids, except for a just cause.” What is the “just cause”? Mohammed says women who commit adultery or any Muslims who kill other Muslims or leave Islam must have their blood shed. Additionally, Muslims are commanded to decapitate Jews and Christians (47:4). They are also commanded to cut off the hands of thieves no matter if one dollar or one million dollars was stolen (5:38) — again, where is the justice in a punishment that does not match the crime?

This is just a small snapshot of the numerous dictates in Shariah that are contrary to our American constitution. American law and Islamic law can never coexist; they are the opposite of each other. Shariah is oppressive to its citizens, intolerant and excessive, whereas America is a land that offers human dignity to all. When our Constitution was deemed to be unfair to women’s voting rights, it was amended, and when case law was deemed racist, it was overruled, so “liberty and justice for all” would prevail.

Immigrants have historically come to America to escape the oppression or lack of opportunity in their countries, and they were quick to adopt the freedom of America and all the benefits that go along with a free and open society. Why, then, are Muslims coming to America and trying to change our laws and Constitution rather than acclimating to them? They are the only people to do this, so obviously they must be doing so for ideological reasons.

Mr. Rashid states that Muslims do not want Shariah to rule in America and uses Sura 2:256 — “There is no compulsion in religion” — to support his statement. What he failed to mention was that this verse has been abrogated by subsequent Qur’an verses. Muslim scholar Ismail ibn Kathir interpreted abrogation as “the removal of a verse or the change of a verse with a newer verse, or to make something lawful which was unlawful, or vice versa.”

Muslims are commanded to live by newer verses (2:106; 16:101), which supersede earlier verses. Sura 2:256, the verse that Mr. Rashid cites, has been superseded by Sura 9:5, which Muslim scholars call “the verse of the sword,” and which states: “So kill the idolaters wherever you find them …” An idolater to Muslims is anyone who worships any god but Allah. Sura 9:5 abrogates a total of 124 earlier verses in the Qur’an that were conciliatory toward Jews and Christians. As you read through the Qur’an, you see increasingly inflammatory and hate-filled language in later verses. More than 265 verses in 71 chapters of the Qur’an have been abrogated — a contradiction to the belief that it is immutable and infallible.

For Mr. Rashid to state that Muslims do not want Shariah to rule in America is simply not true. Shariah encompasses political, economic, social and religious systems and is altogether antithetical to the American way of life. American Muslims should adhere to the U.S. Constitution and laws and stop trying to impose Shariah in this country.

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  • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

    All the more reason to ban sharia from all Western countries.

    • Jason Kennedy

      This article doesn’t offer any reasons for anything. It’s merely a list of scary quotes from the Qur’an followed by a declaration that “Muslims are coming to America to change our laws rather than acclimate to them,” without any evidence to support that claim.

      Also, the Qur’an, Bible, and Torah all feature plenty of quotes that can be nitpicked out of them to make the same argument about any of these religions. (To be clear, my point is that all arguments like this are dumb, because most moderate adherents to all religions don’t take literally this sort of pronouncement.)

      But lets take it one by one. The author points out how the Qur’an repeatedly says women are not equal to men. This is true. But so does the Bible:

      “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” (I Corinthians 11:8-9)

      “Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die.” (Eccles. 25:22)

      “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)

      The article brings up the condoning of honor killings in the Qur’an. Those passages are indeed in there. But once again, we find the same thing in Christianity:

      “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” (Leviticus 21:9)

      So until you present some actual evidence to support your claims about Muslims, there really isn’t any intellectual discussion to be had about this.

      • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

        So what’s your point? sharia was cobbled together from suras in the koran. Your immoral relativism by quoting passages from the Old Testament that Christians don’t follow doesn’t support any argument that you’re trying to present. There is no separate of state and moske under pislam. There are no secular laws in a pislamic state.

        • Jason Kennedy

          The point is that a fundamentalist can cobble together offensive or scary quotes from the holy books of any major religion to justify their actions. But moderate American Muslims are no more likely to adhere to most of the quotes mentioned in this article than a moderate American Christian is to adhere to the Biblical laws I brought up as examples. The overwhelming, overwhelming majority of American Muslims, like the overwhelming majority of American Christians, are moderate, principled, patriotic people. You’re blinded by your own ignorance and determined to paint all American Muslims as if they are undercover agents waiting for Al Qaeda to blow the whistle to begin the revolution. Believe whatever you want, but you’re living in fantasy land.

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            There is no equivalent to sharia for Christians. No Christian country has such laws but every muzzie country has sharia in some form or another. And everywhere they go, they demand it. That’s why there are sharia courts springing up all over Europe and why some US courts (a recent example was in Florida) are trying cases illegally based on sharia rather than the law of the land. So I suggest you leave the fantasy land you’re dwelling in before sharia comes looking for you.

          • Brendan Ellis

            Do you really believe that misspellings and childish insults make you sound credible or even remotely intelligent? YOU are a joke. “You can pretend to be serious; you can’t pretend to be witty.”

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            I see you can’t argue the point. No surprise there. So much for your nonsense about the Spanish Inquisition.

          • Brendan Ellis

            What point? I thought your bullshit was pointless and plainly false. There’s nothing illegal about what Florida did. The only way something gets “tried” in the U.S. is under the “law of the land.” I’m not worried about “Sharia looking for me” either. No reason to fear a practical faith system.

      • Adam Priest

        This article was comparing the U.S. Constitution to Sharia since Americans live under Constitutional law. The article never said we should live under Levitical law or the Bible. Sharia will never overrule or replace our Constitution, as the author said, it is antithetical to America.

        • Brendan Ellis

          Banning any religious practice or book likewise offends the American Constitution and will never happen. Thomas Jefferson rewrote the Bible but I’ve never heard anyone derogate him this way.

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            I’m replying here for obvious reasons.

            I do honestly believe that there is no legitimate reason to fear Islam or Sharia.

            That is obviously attributable to your naivety and ignorance more than anything else. Currently, Christians are being persecuted all over the koranimal-dominated world. Just ask the Copts in Egypt, Christians in Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Irak or Iran.

             have yet to meet a Muslim-American that offends me with un-mitigated hate and violence.

            So you had no problem with Awlaki, eh? Or isn’t his hate and violence as bad as someone merely yelling obscenities.

            As far as Iran is concerned, it’s actually a fairly open and safe place to travel.

            Oh, really? Try telling that to the three hiking dhimmis.

            And what problem do you have with Ten Commandments? Or are you OK with murder, theft and bearing false witness. Not much of a Christian, are you?

            Lastly, for someone who claims to be a Catholic, you seem to have a remarkable inability to recognise the koran for what it actually is. Rather, you seem to find it a valuable, inspirational and important work. Which is a very strange thing or any Christian to call a work of Satanic deception which is clearly a work of an Anti-Christ.

          • Brendan Ellis

            Now, now, Gary. Your silly antics are amusing and all, but no one really expects you to stop drawing hate filled cartoons or even to be kind to others. I see little difference between you and al-Awlaki, but Ive never met him. I love the Ten Commandments. If trolling forum posts makes your day, at least give honesty a try. You lack credibility here.

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            Really, Bellis? And you think you have any? LOL!!!

          • Brendan Ellis

            Good one, jarhead.

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            Is that all you can come up with, Bellis?

          • Brendan Ellis

            Nope.

  • Anonymous

    In order to twist tailored quotes from the Quran to support your alleged views on Islam and the Shariah, I see you have heavily relied on the abrogation theory. Let me break this to you that no verse in the Quran stands abrogated . The Holy Quran is accepted as divine in its totality by Muslims.

    This article is the reason why Islamophobia is such a reality in present day America. Saddens me to see such massive misinformation and deception being spread against an American community.

    I wish I had time to respond to each of the author’s allegations against Islam. Anna, you need to know a Muslim, start by knowing Mr. Rashid. You’d be surprised how different Islam is than a few twisted quotes, totally out of context and place.

    • Adam Priest

      Are you and Qasim Rashid in agreement with this secular Muslim organization
      which calls on all governments of the world to reject Sharia law? http://www.centerforinquiry.net/isis/ Here
      is what they say:

      We call on all governments of the world to:

      -reject Sharia law, fatwa courts, clerical rule, and state-sanctioned
      religion in all their forms; oppose all penalties for blasphemy and apostasy, in
      accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights;

      -eliminate practices, such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced
      veiling, and forced marriage, that further the oppression of women;

      -protect sexual and gender minorities from persecution and violence;

      -reform sectarian education that teaches intolerance and bigotry towards
      non-Muslims;

      -and foster an open public sphere in which all matters may be discussed
      without coercion or intimidation

      How can you claim to be a moderate Muslim and also want to live under Sharia law? Stop calling Americans Islamophobic when we want to question you about Islam and Sharia law.

      How can you claim to be a moderate Muslim and at the same time want to live
      under Sharia law?

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      You sound like an apostate. And why is it allah couldn’t make up his mind about something? Is he some sort of idiot?

      There are three suras about alcohol in the koran. Two of them are positive about it and one is negative. Why is that? And why is the negative one followed, according to sharia?

      What do you mean by “an American community”? Some imported nonsense totally alien to the American way of life doesn’t not constitute ‘an American community’.

      Lastly, what about the Satanic verses? Does allah have three daughters or not? Isn’t that shirk?

  • Harry Gumain

    Anna Kuta has
    really shown a high level of ignorance in this response. At the very onset one
    of the more revealing statements that demonstrates her fundamental lack of
    knowledge on this subject was her statement that “Islamic law also dictates that women must wear
    burqas to cover their whole bodies except their left eye (33:59)”  
    Wow . . . just wow. I wonder what random anti-Islamic site this
    wanna-be-journalist pulled that “fact” from.  When
    a non-Arabic speaking/reading person like Ms. Kuta with a predetermined bias attempts
    to connect a verse from the Quran to the ridiculous by stretching the meaning,
    what you have is poor scholarship and irresponsible journalism.  Below one can see the English transliteration
    of that verse, pulled from Center of Muslim Jewish Engagement website:

     

    33:59: Ya ayyuha alnnabiyyu qul li-azwajika wabanatika
    wanisa-i almu/mineena yudneena AAalayhinna min jalabeebihinnathalika
    adna an yuAArafna fala yu/thayna wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman

     

    I’m sorry but is the word burqa in this verse?  And also, remind me which Arabic word in
    this verse specifically means the “left eye”? Really Anna?  Really?!  Laugh . . . . out . . . . loud.  Continue to put all your faith in a continuing ignorance of
    Islam among the general American public. 
    That is your only hope.

    • Adam Priest

      No Compulsion in Religion Alert:

      “Government officials in Iran are trying to convince a
      jailed pastor to return to Islam as he waits for the nation’s supreme leader to
      decide whether he should be executed for converting to Christianity, sources
      close to the case told FoxNews.com.

      Iran’s secret service officials recently approached
      34-year-old pastor Youcef Nadarkhani at his prison site in Rasht and presented
      him with a book on Islamic literature, telling him they would be back to discuss
      the material and hear his opinion, the sources said.”

    • Brendan Ellis

      “Poor scholarship and irresponsible journalism” seem to be fairly polite descriptors of Anna’s piece. I’d go so far as to call it hate speech and a terrible reflection on UR’s student community. It embarrasses me.

      • Anna Kuta

        You seem to have missed the point that this was an OPINION piece. You accuse me of bias, yet your bias comes out as personal attacks on my journalism skills, qualifications and legitimacy as part of UR’s community. As for the First Amendment, please realize that the free practice of religion is very different from demanding that others be subject to the laws and political doctrine of your religion, as Muslims want with Shariah. If Mr. Rashid doesn’t want Shariah woven into the American legal system, then why did he write a piece promoting it? If you honestly believe that posting the Ten Commandments in a courthouse is the same as allowing Shariah to be practiced there, you’re sorely mistaken. And, by the way, I find your comments to be very revealing as well.

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          Anna, they are in deed. Bellis claims to be Catholic but the way he’s going out of his way to bat for pislam tells us what he really is. Good to see that few are fooled by his deceit.

          • Brendan Ellis

            Deceit? You’re a master at that, aren’t you? How many internet aliases do you use, by the way?

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            Once again with the aspersions, Bellis? I always use my own account. Unlike you, I have no need of sock puppets to help bolster lame arguments. That domain is entirely yours.

          • Brendan Ellis

            That wasn’t the question… I’m sure every alias is your “own account.”

            Your reputation precedes you, anyway.

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            Your fantasies are growing wilder by the day, Bellis. Next you’ll claim that clown mocking my name by calling himself “Harry Gumain” is me too. If you’re going to create a sock puppet, you should try being cleverer than that.

          • Brendan Ellis

            I haven’t posted under any name but my own.
            If you’re worried about statements being falsely attributed to you, why don’t you identify yourself here, on your blog or any other of your myriad online posts?
            Harry Gumain was pretty clever though.

        • Brendan Ellis

          No one has subjected anyone to anything. You lie.

          Mr. Rashid did not write a promotion, he reached out to encourage understanding and dispel fear.

          I would have no problem with either text appearing in a courthouse.

          I’m glad their revealing… kinda the point.

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            He spouted nothing but takiya. To be expected of an arselifter. They will deceive the kuffar every chance they get. Naturally, you fell for it.

          • Anna Kuta

            *They’re.

          • Brendan Ellis

            Now that’s more like an editor…

    • Michael Li

      There’s no reason to attack Anna. The facts are pulled straight from your random 2nd hand bible, maybe you should read it over again yourselves?

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      Muzzie-Jewish engagement website? LOL! All the muzzies want to do to Jews is kill them. Hence all the nonsense in the koran about talking rocks and silly trees.

  • Keithekennedy

    Well written.  Logic.  Not emotional.  

  • Brendan Ellis

    Great points, Valerie.

  • Brendan Ellis

    I like this and would even add that these lessons of history, among many others – the Crusades, imposition of Christianity on the New World (notice how the fear has turned to an imposition of Islamic law without any reference to the corresponding imposition of Christianity) – should be telling us to engage others rather than hate and isolate. We really can all get along, but morons like Greg Rumain build childish websites to spew hate and bigotry instead of love and tolerance. The Golden Rule apparently doesn’t apply where they choose.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      What’s that about spewing hate and bigotry, Bellis? Look in a mirror much?

      And the Crusades were caused by over 460 years of constant koranimal aggression against the Holy Roman Empire. You would know that were you not a bigot spewing hate. And Christianity wasn’t “imposed” as you put it on the new World. Most native Americans still follow their animist beliefs. Your rhetoric fails once again. You really must work on your sophistry.

      • Brendan Ellis

        I don’t hate you Gary. You’re a great tool and make many good points.

        Agression? Please. What bigoted hate in particular did I spew? Christians celebrate Christmas on a pagan holiday? So what?

        Good job with the big words. And look at that… you almost spelled everything correctly.

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          How many of those big words, as you so eloquently put it, did you have to look up in a dictionary? I can dumb it down if it all gets too much for you.

          And what is the point of your reference to Christmas?

      • Brendan Ellis

        I read pretty good. No point on Christmas… same as your native American comment.

  • Brendan Ellis

    Christians used the rack, drowned and hung women and countless other methods of torture. See the Spanish Inquisition.

  • Adam Priest

    Brendan Ellis,

    Your comments eloquently demonstrate the ignorance of Catholics about religions in general. It was the Catholic church who killed millions in the Inquisition and the Crusades (although some of the Crusades were attempting to take land back from Muslims who had conquered it.). The Catholic church burned people at the stake just for possessing or reading a bible. Not until after the Reformation did common people actually read the Bible and found out the Catholic church wasn’t following anything written in it. You may have a religion degree but you are ignorant of facts about Sharia and the Quran and religious history.

    • Brendan Ellis

      For clarity’s sake, I am Catholic but do not currently practice. I do know something of the Spanish Inquisition, however, and noticed that you left off the Spanish part. So, here’s a little history lesson:

      The Spanish royal monarchy, a secular government, conducted that Inquisition on its own, completely independent of the Holy See. Although there were certainly other inquisitions, some undeniably endorsed or operated by the church, the Spanish Inquisition is solely responsible for the imposition of Christianity onto the Western Hemisphere’s peoples.

      Your claim that the church condemned owning or reading the Bible is simply laughable. In fact, a special indulgence was granted to anyone who faithfully read the Bible on a daily basis.

      Some Catholics, certainly, are hesitant to read the Bible, not because of any such prohibition, but because they fear misinterpreting its teachings (ironic, no?). Regardless, such a personal sentiment does not reflect a universal Catholic prohibition. Instead, you have decided to believe a common anti-Catholic myth and its propagandists’ rhetoric.

      My guess is that you’re referring to the Council of Trent (1545-1564) as the basis of your claim. If so, you’ve completely missed the mark as the Council only addressed UNAPPROVED and or FAULTY translations of the Scriptures. The Church did not oppose faithful vernacular translations but heretical additions and distortions to the Bible. The Church prohibited these corrupt Bibles in order to preserve the integrity of Holy Scripture, not corrupt it. 

      Pope Innocent III stated in 1199:
      “… to be reproved are those who translate into French the Gospels, the letters of Paul, the psalter, etc. They are moved by a certain love of Scripture in order to explain them clandestinely and to preach them to one another. The mysteries of the faith are not to be explained rashly to anyone. Usually in fact, they cannot be understood by everyone but only by those who are qualified to understand them with informed intelligence. The depth of the divine Scriptures is such that not only the illiterate and uninitiated have difficulty understanding them, but also the educated and the gifted.”

      As you have done, the anti-Catholic critic, when he runs out of material, often harps on the so-called multitudes killed by Catholics and declared heretics. While civil societies did and do engage in much nonsense, both Catholic and Protestant churches equated spiritual murder with physical murder and subsequently confused the penalties. Nonetheless, neither Protestants nor Catholics would want to be classified by the actions of extremists in the way you classify Islam by its own extremists.

      Just as it only takes a handful of bad-eggs to crash planes into buildings, corrupt men have and will twist theology towards their own ends. Machiavelli said as much in The Prince. 

      If the Church truly wanted to destroy the Bible, why did her monks toil a year at a time to make a single copy of it? Before the printing press (1450), copies of the Bible were hand written beautifully and with painstaking accuracy. Those Bibles were chained to the church walls because each copy was precious both spiritually and materially. The chain prevented loss or theft so that all the people of the church community could benefit from it (earning special dispensation through daily reading).

      After the 14th century, as English became the popular language of England, propagandists used the vernacular Bibles to spread heretical propaganda through prologues and footnotes. John Wycliffe, a dissentient priest, translated the Bible into English. Unfortunately, his secretary John Purvey included a heretical prologue, as noted by St. Thomas More. Later, William Tyndale translated the Bible into English complete with prologue and footnotes condemning Catholic doctrines and teachings. St. Thomas More commented that searching for errors in the Tyndale Bible was similar to searching for water in the sea. 

      Even King Henry VIII in 1531 condemned the Tyndale Bible as a corruption of Scripture. According to King Henry’s advisors: “The translation of the Scripture corrupted by William Tyndale should be utterly expelled, rejected, and put away out of the hands of the people, and not be suffered to go abroad among his subjects.” 

      If the Wycliffe or Tyndale Bibles were so good, why do Protestants today use the King James Bible?

      John Calvin, the main Protestant reformer, burned as many copies of the Servetus Bible as he could find since Calvin did not approve of it. Later, Calvin had Michael Servetus himself burned at the stake for being a Unitarian. In those days it was common practice on both sides to burn unapproved books. It is one matter to destroy the real thing and another to destroy a counterfeit.

      If the Catholic Church actually wanted to destroy the Bible, she had ample opportunity to do so for over 1500 years. Your claim that Bibles weren’t read until after the Reformation is bogus, uninformed and just plain false. If it were true, where did Luther get his copy?

      I’m not even going to address the implication that Catholicism is somehow “not Christian.” The idea is just too ridiculous to merit response.

      In the end, the message of a LOVING God calls us to put aside prejudice and hatred and see the goodness in all men (and women). All People of the Book (Jews, Christians and Muslims) believe this. Unfortunately, folks like Anna Kuta missed that part of the New Testament.

      • Adam Priest

        Brendan, dude, history is my thing. I am going to briefly comment on your statements in separate paragraphs. BTW, you are defending Catholicism even though you don’t practice it?

        Historically, there are at least 4 different Inquisitions (Rome, Portugal, France,Spain) which began in the 1200s, of which the Spanish is the most well known. I use the term Inquisition as a general term to encompass them all.

        The church did not want to destroy the Bible, just control it. Yes, the Monks painstakingly copied the Bibles before the invention of the printing press, but unfortunately many monks could not read or understand Latin. The Catholic church did all it could to keep the Bible out of the hands of the people. It was illegal to translate the Bible from Latin into the common language. As you stated correctly, Innocent III would not allow translation to vernacular. In 1229 the Council of Toulouse forbid the laity to possess or read a vernacular translation. The Council of Tarragona in 1234 ordered all vernacular versions to be burned. All this time the Catholic church became the most powerful institution with unlimited political and religious power deposing and setting up Kings and Queens. The church taxed people mercilessly and confiscated property to become the richest institution on earth. Hence, the crusading armies (where the Pope promised the soldiers riches and eternal bliss) to kill heretics and anyone who rejected papal supremacy.

        In 1824, Leo XII, condemned Bible distribution. And, in 1897, Leo XIII, prohibited all versions of the vernacular Bible except those approved by the church. So, for centuries the Latin translation was thought to be the only accurate translation, similar to some Muslims who think you can only understand the Quran if you read it in Arabic.

        During the time when Bibles were chained to pulpits to prevent theft, the common people were illiterate, much less able to read Latin. After the fall of the Roman Empire (around 400), people became illiterate for centuries.

        The Council of Trent only allowed reading of scripture after obtaining proper Ecclesiastical authority. Even the Catholic clergy had to obtain a license from their Bishop before they were allowed to read the bible.

        The King James Bible is used because the language of Tyndale and Wycliff would be like reading Beowulf, middle English, who no one now can understand, like Latin.

        I never said the Catholic church wanted to destroy the Bible in the Middle Ages. I said common people, unlike clergy, were unable to read Latin. Luther was a Catholic priest, theologian, and professor of biblical theology; so of course had access to the Bible. He taught seminary students. Beginning with Luther, the vernacular Protestant Bibles were translated from original Hebrew and Greek, unlike Catholic bibles which were translated from Jerome’s Latin translation, around 400.

        A friend of mine was Catholic and prior to Vatican II, he was instructed not to read the Bible except in the direct presence of a Priest, lest it be misinterpreted. Even a little child can understand the basic teachings of Jesus and salvation found in the New Testament.

        Instead of ad hominem attacks on Anna Kuta, why don’t you try to refute her article with facts, which you have not done. Her article is factual on Shariah, the Quran, and Muslims, especially women, who live under  oppression every day.

        • Brendan Ellis

          History is your thing, huh? Exclusively yours or does some authority guide your ramble? While you used the term “Inquisition” in reference to the many, I specifically referred to the Spanish Inquisition.

          I don’t undertake to defend Catholicism. It is what it is. I simply dispute your contention that Bibles were, at any point in the history of the church, banned from common readership. It simply never happened. I first referred to the effects of the Spanish Inquisition on the Western Hemisphere as a comparison to the already stated, though unfounded, fear that Muslims today are attempting to impose Islam on Americans. Simply put, if you don’t believe Islam, you won’t follow it. There’s no more wrong in practicing Islam in America than in following Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism or any other faith. My relationship with God and how I practice faith, thankfully, has nothing to do with yours. Neither does any Muslim’s. That is the triumph of liberty over theocracy.

          As you said, the church did not destroy (ban, prohibit or burn) the Bible. It never refused to permit vernacular translations and it certainly waged no war against the “common illiterate man.” It simply worked towards preserving what Pope Innocent III described as a difficult text for even scholars to comprehend and teach. Every translation includes distortions in meaning, much less the editorialized propagandizing of secretaries and Reformists.

          While you recognize that many monks were illiterate, therefore copying by tracing rather than by memory, this only preserved the text’s integrity better than it might have otherwise been if rogue monks began making “corrections” (to history, theology, what have you). However, after recognizing this, you jump to the conclusion, without support, that the church “did all it could to keep the Bible out of the hands of the people.” It’s quite a leap, hardly supported by the historical record (where do you keep that, by the way? under your bed?).

          Pope Innocent’s reluctance to allow vernacular translations seems entirely reasonable given the far reaching influence of the text, sacred as it was. Small discrepancies in the text can easily lead to distorted meanings in the teachings. Calling attention to the fact that the common people, for a time, were illiterate, the Church membership undoubtedly included all sorts of talented folks, many of whom could read. People who can read (and actually do) become teachers. One translation leads to many and mistakes or intentional deviations easily impact subsequent thought.

          You failed to state the fact that the vernacular translations you’re referring to were specific translations written/edited by specific authors. One, even two, does not mean all. Even granting that all vernacular translations were banned in 1234 (I doubt it), this again only serves the goal of preserving the text (in monasteries) prior to the invention of the printing press. I appreciate requiring clergy to be licensed before professing faith to the masses. The state requires that I be trained to read the law before offering legal advice, why shouldn’t religious/moral advice be similarly safe-guarded? Your mention of the political uses of religious authority throughout the ages doesn’t really warrant a response, but what do you think of politics and religion in the U.S. much less any other country for that matter? Machiavellian all the way, no?

          In 1824, Leo XII, condemned distribution of the Protestant Bible, not the Bible itself. This is no different than pointing to the existence and prevalence of other Gospels during the early Christian era, despite their exclusion from the Canon. You like to change around this history thing of yours a bit, huh? Then, what’s really wrong with a Church approved Bible for its followers? I mean, I trust Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary over most any other… except maybe Black’s Law Dictionary. Greek has always been the original source (the Septuagint). Latin came later (like, after Constantine declared Christianity the state religion of Rome). I’ve read the New Testament in its original Greek and found it very enlightening. Does it surprise you that Jesus is quoted more than any other individual in the Qu’ran, which must necessarily have relied on the Greek source material?  I haven’t read the Quran in Arabic (can’t), but there are reliable English translations available for free.

          Why do you attack the Catholic Church’s treatment of the Biblical text while simultaneously advocating the same treatment for the Quran in America? Seems self-defeatest to me. 

          As for the King James Bible, it only exists because the alternatives were incomprehensible, flawed and editorialized (according to the King of England). I actually prefer the New Oxford Annotated Bible myself. By the way, I understand much of the Latin as well and can easily read middle English.

          I’m familiar with Luther and his likely access to the Bible, but then how do you account for his difference in theology? If the translations were all controlled by the Church, what was different about his copy? Or was he just a rogue monk/scholar? Protestant Bibles can hardly be called the “first translations” of the Hebrew (some Aramaic) or the Greek. I’ve never heard of Jerome’s Latin translation, but how can you say that Catholic Bibles were translated from Latin? The source material for Mark alone would have been 400 years old at the time… therefore translated into Latin. Do you concede that a translation of 400 year old sources would likely be more accurate than translations from 18 centuries later? Are you a gnostic?

          I’ll let you have the point that even children can understand Jesus’s teachings. I was taught by teachers, including priests, but if its so easy for children, why have you grown to draw such unfounded conclusions from Jesus’s simple Word? Love your neighbor and all will be well.

          In closing, I’m not attacking Anna Kuta. I’m simply frustrated by the idea of Anna Kuta… that, somehow, any American deserves less than any other to practice his faith in peace.

          • Adam Priest

            There are too many errors here to dispute them all because this rabbit trail is off message. HOWEVER, here are a few facts you truly need to know. History is indeed my area of expertise and ad hominem attacks seem to be yours.

            The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the original Hebrew and Aramaic Old Testament (only about 8 chapters are in Aramaic which are in Daniel and Ezra). The Septugiant is NOT the original language. The Septuagint was written in the 200s BC. Jerome translated the Greek Bible to Latin around 400 AD and this translation was known as the Vulgate, which was the authorized translation of the Bible for centuries. (This information is easily found in history textbooks.)

            You mistakely say that Mohammad used Greek source material to write the Quran. According to the Quran he received his revelations directly from the Angel Gabriel. Many sources even say Mohammad was illiterate.

            All later Catholic Bibles (late Middle Ages) were translated from the Vulgate (Jerome’s translation of Greek into Latin) into the local vernacular. For example the Douay-Rheims Bible was translated from Latin Vulgate into English by the Catholic church around 1600.

            The Greek source material was 400 years old when Jerome translated that into Latin. Modern biblical tranlsations use the earliest Greek sources available (for example, Textus Receptus). This is much better than using Jerome’s. The Catholic church stopped using Jerome’s translation in the last 200 years.

            Luther based his theology upon reading the Latin Vulgate where he realized the Catholic church did not teach salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Romans 3:28 was an important verse to him, but Ephesians 2: 8-9 say the same thing). The selling of indulgences, veneration of relics, veneration of Saints, and penance were not biblical and Luther, being a well-educated Catholic theologian and teacher, attempted to remove those aspects from the church and reform it.

            You put words in my mouth when you say I draw unfounded conclusions and do not love my neighbor as myself. The very fact that I am spending my time answering you is evidence to disprove that statement. I could blow you off and ignore you but I am not. You have also implied that I do not like Muslims and that is not true. I do not want Sharia to come to America or spread around the globe for reasons I have mentioned in other comments.

          • Brendan Ellis

            You’re absolutely right about the Septuagint. I wasn’t clear… the New Testament was written in Greek (by all four evangelists and Paul). Their copies of the Old Testament would likely have been the Septuagint. My bad. I also agree that it was error to say “Greek source material” where I should have said “common source material, likely Greek.”

            I’m familiar with the Vulgate, but wouldn’t you agree that Christianity existed for 400 years, preserved by texts found in and out of the Biblical Canon? I thought that was the point we were discussing.

            I don’t know if Mohammad could read, whether Angel Gabriel wrote the Quran (or the Bible) or if he used Greek, Chinese or Jewish source materials. The point is that all of these texts share common sources… not that they all used the same one.

            I’m not fact checking your information about the Catholic Bible and take your word there. There have been countless versions of every book in the Bible, but we don’t need to go through each one for this discussion. So, too, I’m in general agreement with your summary of Luther’s position on those church practices.

            I did not intend to imply that you don’t love your neighbor… only that Jesus’ message boils down to that sentiment. I have appreciated your contributions here and applaud your willingness to directly (and fairly) engage the Muslim folks here. The hate-monger on this board has a long history of trolling the internet with his wife and they commonly use several aliases. My apologies for any offense to you from my language in response.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      I’m sorry Adam but you are mistaken. Millions were not killed. The figures are unknown for the Crusades but they are documented for the Inquisition. If you bother to look it up, you’d be surprised at how low the numbers actually were. Please don’t buy into the lies of the Left without questioning them.

      As for the Crusades, they were in response to over 460 years of constant muzzie aggression. The details can be found here -

      http://www.historyofjihad.org/italy.html?bl=readerschoice

      You’ll notice that they attacked Rome twice. The first time in 846 AD. That’s well before the Crusades started in an attempt to reclaim parts of the Holy Roman Empire invaded by the koranimals.

  • Katherine Wyatt

    I’m sorry, I thought this was America, where the free and open discourse of ideas prevails. You may not agree with the author’s point of view, but last time I checked we had freedom of speech in this country, and everyone is entitled to their opinions. Maybe you should pay attention to these valid concerns about Sharia (there is obviously a reason for them) and think of how to address them instead of personally attacking the author when you don’t even know anything about her.

    • Brendan Ellis

      Last I checked, the guarantee of free speech appears in the exact same Amendment that guarantees the free practice of religion. I have yet to encounter a “valid” concern about Shariah in America. That’s like saying the KKK’s concerns are legitimate simply because the organization exists.

      As far as knowing anything about the author, I actually find her piece very revealing. Even still, I did Google her before posting anything. I learned that she graduated just this past May and became the Editor at http://www.crosswalk.com. Their tagline: “The Intersection of Faith and Life: Christian Living Resources, Bible Study Tools, Jesus Christ.”
      Yeah, that sounds like unbiased, objective reporting.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      Bellis reserves the right to free speech only for himself and for those who hold the same opinions as him. For everyone else, he acts like the fascist he is and denies them their fundamental rights.

      • Brendan Ellis

        Except yours, Gary. You get to keep all of yours. Everyone else, no rights for you. Post-away, my friend.

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          Oh, thank you so much, Bellis. That’s most gracious of you.

          • Brendan Ellis

            Any time. I’d ask only that you pay it forward. Maybe even to a Muslim/Arab.

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          When they stop spouting takiya and showing disrespect to the kuffar, then I’ll consider it.

  • Katherine Wyatt

    Of course there’s a movement to adopt Sharia in the United States. Just a quick Google search reveals elementary schools all across the nation teaching children the benefits of it, courts allowing it as precedent (a Florida appeals court just cleared the way for a lawsuit over a monetary dispute at a mosque to be determined by Sharia), not to mention thousands of people personally promoting it. You don’t see any movement to implement Levitical law or Biblical law in this same way, do you? And do you honestly not believe there’s any basis for people to be afraid of Sharia? Maybe you should take a closer look at the legitimate concerns people have about it… and while you’re at it, maybe you should move to Iran and see how much you enjoy your freedom there.

    • Brendan Ellis

      I have no idea what “adopt Sharia in the United States” is supposed to mean. We have a Constitution that establishes our particular form of government.

      Personally, I find the Qu’ran to be a valuable, inspirational and important work; no less than the Torah or New Testament. You cite a Florida case as a problem, but I can’t find anything wrong with the notion that contractual disputes depend on what the parties to the contract intended. Jewish people in America do the exact same thing, which by the way, helps our court system operate more efficiently than it otherwise might. Further, I find nothing wrong with the fact that Islam’s faithful adherents number, as you put it, in the “thousands.” Do you feel there should be a limit on the number of Mormons in America, too?

      Next, do you honestly believe there is no movement to implement Levitical or Biblical law in America? What about Evangelical television or the Ten Commandments in courthouses? What about our currency?

      I do honestly believe that there is no legitimate reason to fear Islam or Sharia. I have yet to meet a Muslim-American that offends me with un-mitigated hate and violence. On the other hand, I’ve heard too many stories about Americans yelling obscenities and non-sense at people who appear Muslim or Arabic. It’s embarrassing. This is supposed to be a pluralistic society.

      As far as Iran is concerned, it’s actually a fairly open and safe place to travel. Even today, Americans safely vacation there, despite the State Department’s warnings: 
      http://www.iranian.com/Sep95/American_Iran.html“Many Iranians, especially young women, express a growing aversion to their own culture, certain attributes of which, in their eyes, impose on them a specific social behavior. The occasional slogan bashing America can be seen scrawled on walls, but so goes the nursery rhyme, “Sticks and stones . . .” In fact, I found them humorous because if actions can be used to gauge a people’s like or dislike for another people, then the actions of the Iranians I met and lived with gave no substance to the slogans. Even the state TV news possesses the indelible stamp of the U.S. — 80 percent of the international news footage is picked up from CNN. In each city and town I visited, I was met with stares, smiles and the obvious, “He’s a foreigner.” Of the many curious onlookers who ventured to speak to me, one of the questions most frequently asked of me was, “What do Americans think about the Iranian people?” Honorable, resilient, giving people who ask little in return.Also: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2004/jun/12/userstraveladvice2
      and http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1368681It’s leaders might be lunatics, but its people are friendly and the biggest threat to an American traveler’s safety is the traffic.

    • Jake Morrison

      I hate to break it to you Katherine, but you can’t believe everything you hear on the internet.

  • Michael Li

    THANK YOU ANNA FOR THIS ARTICLE.

  • Amaar Ahmad

    “Islam is to take over the world (Sura 8:39), and Muslims believe human nature must be subject to Shariah.”
    Islam only asks goodness to be spread through peaceful means.  The way the author has posed is simply isnt true. The verse only refers to a fight in which Muslims are involved in self-defense. The very previous verse says that Muslims must cease and desist a fight if their opponents do not engage them (8:38). Plz be honest in quoting from Quran.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      That’s why pislam was spread by the sword from its very inception. Nowhere has it spread peacefully. It’s always convert or die.

      • Brendan Ellis

        Islam made it to Indonesia on trade ships. No war or forced conversion there. Today, over 88 percent of Indonesians are Muslim. This is but one example of a peaceful Islamic movement.

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          And you can prove that, can you, Bellis? So explain why there’s always friction between the koranimals and the kuffars in all parts of Indonesia.

    • Adam Priest

      During the Iranian revolution Ayatollah Khomeini said, “The governments of the world should know that Islam cannot be defeated. Islam will be victorious in all countries of the world, and Islam and the teachings of the Quran will prevail all over the world.”   Sounds like world domination promise to me….

      • Brendan Ellis

        But he probably never met Greg Rumain…

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          Greg? Who’s that, Bellis?

          • Brendan Ellis

            A typo.

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            You appear to have a systemic problem with little things like that.

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            You appear to have a systemic problem with little things like that.

          • Brendan Ellis

            Nobody’s perfect. You’ve certainly proven that for all of us.

  • Brendan Ellis

    So, you cited a Fox News report about the Iranian government (not Islam in general) forcing a book (not the Qu’ran) onto a prisoner… I thought we were talking about the alleged invasion of Islam in America?

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      Oh, now you want to stay on topic, Bellis. Why is that? It wouldn’t be because the same thing happens all over the pislamic world would it? Killing apostates is de rigeur in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Soddy Barbaria and coming soon to Egypt, Libya and elsewhere.

      • Brendan Ellis

        but not in America, right? or does it matter that the book might be Moby Dick?

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          Rifqa Bary would disagree with you. Honor killings are appearing all over North America. No doubt your familiar with this recent example from Canada -

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOyyFTXzcog

  • Adam Priest

    Thank you KashifMD for answering my questions about Shariah. I appreciate you doing that. I am glad to see that you are a peaceful person and do not agree with the hard line teachings of the Quran. I do feel a lot of American Muslims believe as you do. My legitimate concern is this: I have read most of the Quran and I have studied the life of Muhammad and Islam. It seems to me as if you do not follow Shariah to the letter of the law even though you say you do. You must be ignoring the harsher interpretation of the law. You then would not agree with the 2005 ruling in Iranian court which sentenced a man to have his eye removed for throwing acid on another man’s face and blinding him. Don’t say I’m naive about Islam when the law of retaliation is practiced under Shariah today. Since the Quran does in fact contain vitriolic verses of oppression against human rights how do you reconcile that? The harsh and outdated laws come directly from Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and are in his Quran and in his examples in the hadith. It seems to me you are ignoring the harsh truths of Islam.

    You sited witch hunts and child sex in Christianity and said my understanding of Islam is like someone defining Christianity by witch hunts and child sex. The difference is this; the Bible does not command its followers to engage in witch hunts, child sex, crusades, jewish pogroms, inquisition, mass slaughtering of children (Norway) etc., whereas the Quran commands oppression, beatings, whippings, violence, executions, etc. Madmen who do such things in the name of Christianity are following their own evil ideas, not the teachings of Christianity. I will tell you this, Christians honor and revere the Old Testament as inspired by God (Yahweh) in its own era, but they also believe that Jesus fulfilled this sacred text, so people no longer were stoned to death for a sin like adultery. Sins are dealt with in a new way under the New Covenant – forgiveness and restoration.

    These are the issues with which Americans like myself have against Shariah. Muslims must stop attacking those who know what the Quran says. How can we not be concerned when we see daily news stories of oppression and human rights violations on TV and internet in Middle Eastern countries that live under Shariah? You say radicals have hijacked your faith. If Muslims in America would come out and openly reject many passages in the Quran and hadith rather than whitewashing hard truths embedded in Islam them you would have more of an American audience. Are you also not concerned that conservative or strict Muslims will cite numerous violent verses and passages in the Quran and hadith in order to defend the infliction of a harsh law? Either Shariah must be reformed or it must never spread.

    • Brendan Ellis

      Adam, I hope KashifMD (or Qasim) has the time to respond to your post as his would likely be far better than mine. I do think you have some good questions here and pose them fairly. Regarding Jesus’s fulfillment of the Old Testament, what is your feeling then on Judaism in America and the concept of “sin?” Do you perceive Islam as a reversion to pre-salvation ideals?

      I suspect historical context helps explain many of these verses. It’s important to remember that war characterized much of the early Muslim (and Christian) experience. Similarly, The Book of Revelation describes much of the political and military turmoil experienced by early Christians, but no one is seriously hoping to bring about Armageddon. Similarly, bin Laden’s declarations of jihad (and those like him) carry no more real religious authority than Fred Phelps’s vitriolic use of the Christian faith against homosexuality.

      I totally agree with your sentiment that evil works done in the name of Christianity are despicable. I believe faithful Muslims feel the same revulsion for terrorists. As such, I agree with your focus on reform/progress, but must disagree when you say “[Shariah] must never spread.” There is harshness even in American secular law today… the death penalty for example, but there we leave religious doctrine and enter politics.

      Just as an aside (and I’ll finish, promise), “infidel” originated as a Christian word later popularized in English during the 16th century (to convey contempt for outsiders who rejected Christ, but not for those merely ignorant of his Word). Nonetheless, Christians and Jews ARE believers… not infidels. Islam doctrinally views Jews and Christians as fellow believers, instead calling them “People of the Book (Ahl-e-kitab).” It’s improper to describe a Jew or a Christian as an “infidel.” In its proper sense, believers use the term for atheists and polytheists. It is a rejection of pagan practice and an affirmation of monotheism.

      Individual verses from the Bible, Torah or Quran, by themselves, are not the truth. They teach this truth: there is but one God.

      • Adam Priest

        Islam, Judaism, and every other world religion, except Christianity, believes in a works based salvation. (I’m not trying to be offense here but this does distinguish Protestant Christians from Catholics). Muslims are never quite sure if they have done enough good works to be pleasing to Allah. They worry if the scales are tipped in the wrong direction. If you ask a Muslim if their sins are forgiven, they might say, “Only Allah knows.”  They rely heavily upon works including fasting during Ramadan and even pilgrimage to Mecca. Only Christianity offers assurance of salvation through faith alone by repentance, forgiveness and restoration. This is the only path to peace with God.

        Since I don’t believe in universal salvation, I believe Mohammed constructed his religion from a confused understanding of the Old and New Testament and other pre-existing material in pre-Islamic Arabia.

        Muslims believe Christians are polytheist because of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. This is fact.

        You seem to heavily quote from early Quran verses but Islam must be understood in its totality; all of the Quran is Islam, including all the violent verses and misogynistic verses
        play_w2(“M0339450″)
        Anna Kuta used in her article.

        At least you and I agree on some things. Thank you for responding.

      • Brendan Ellis

        Adam,

        For some reason I can only respond here but not to your last post…

        No offense taken. Catholics also repent (after confession) and seek restoration (usually through an intermediary, the priest), but your point is well made.

        You’ve called attention to some important differences between the theological doctrines that developed over long periods of history. Jesus’ life starts the clock for Christians and Muslims while Jews still await the messiah. Christianity commonly believes in Jesus’ birth to a virginal mother, that He is humanity’s savior and will return. Protestants believe Jesus has already given them salvation through resurrection (cannot lose it) and anticipate Christ’s return (rapture). Catholics believe that sinners who refuse to repent and accept Jesus’ salvation will suffer for eternity. Judaism’s salvation theology differs in that their messiah has not yet arrived.

        Muslims also recognize Jesus’ ministry, including His birth to the Virgin Mary and miracles (the Quran affirms the virgin birth and his miraculous healing powers), but see God as giving those powers to a mortal man; i.e. God working through man, not as man. There are some differing views within Islam regarding Jesus’s ascension into Heaven, some holding that Jesus ascended into Heaven but was not crucified beforehand, others believing that Jesus actually survived crucifixion before dying of old age. Finally, Islam teaches that Jesus will return (or already has) to defeat the Anti-Christ before judgment. Jesus is a revered prophet in Islam… the last of God’s messengers sent to the Children of Israel. This sentiment, that Judaism and Christianity missed Christ’s message to follow “the straight path,” can be troubling to the faithful of those religions. History can’t really fault anyone for this – when it comes to matters of faith, no one likes to hear they’ve gotten it wrong.

        I honestly do not know what sources were available to Mohammed, but we don’t have the original source materials for the New Testament either. Historians often refer to this common source as “Q,” knowing that it must have existed because the four Gospels all contain overlapping pieces of it. Mark, the shortest, is thought to be the earliest.

        We’ve taken a turn from where we started with policy questions about the textual material to more theological questions. They can really only be answered by the individual heart. I simply take the position that trying to honestly understand (and hopefully appreciate) another’s faith only makes mine stronger.

        Understanding the Trinity as monotheistic involves more discussion than possible here, but I’ve heard this said before about Catholics, even by other Christian groups. The Trinity seems unique to Catholicism (I know it’s not) and might not have been unknown before Islam. A number of Christian groups existed early on and were later unified under Paul’s teaching, preserved in his letters to different church communities around the Mediterranean, each dealing with their own problems of interpretation and practice. Until then, no centralized authority existed  and each community pretty much disagreed with the others until Paul set them straight. (we’re right, you’re wrong syndrome). One of these sects, the Gnostics, buried the scrolls found at Nag Hammadi, probably to protect them from a rival Christian group. Their ideas on Christ’s message are interesting… they believed Jesus possessed “secret knowledge” lost to us today. We call this “knowledge” Jesus’s spoken Word, recorded in the four Gospels, amongst other places (the Gospel of Thomas, for example, is a list of Jesus’ quotes but contains no narrative). All of these groups thought of themselves as “Christian” even though we might not recognize them as such today.

        Like you, I do not share Islam’s faith. The Quran is a religious text and we agree it should always be considered in total, just as the Bible. The New Testament can only be understood in light of the Old and both feature sex, violence and even a little humor. The Quran is best understood in light of those texts, too. This is humanity and we all share in it… whatever faith we follow.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      Adam, I’m replying to your following comment, below, here for obvious reasons.

      You may wish to watch this video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz7QwOAf4Ww

      That should give you a better understanding of why they deny Christ’s divinty as well as the Trinity. At the same time, consider the Satanic Verses and the problem this poses for pislam.

  • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

    While you’re at it, can you explain why allah can’t do fractions?

  • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

    If you reject sharia and the penalties for apostasy and blasphemy then you are not a true muzzie and must be dealt with according to sharia by your fellow muzzies.

    It’s also funny you should mention witch hunts and child sex because the latter is perfectly OK in pislam (Mahound himself was a pedofile) and the former happens to this day in the Middle East – if all the many reports in arabic newspapers are to be believed. It’s a good thing there are plenty of religious police on hand to combat this rampant witchcraft and punish sharmutas who have been raped and cannot produce 4 witnesses.

    • Brendan Ellis

      Gary, you’ve confused me here: “You are not a true Muslim and must therefore become one.” (Yes, I paraphrased). Who are you to define who is and is not a “true Muslim?”

      How do you justify condemning the very same code that you, in all your wisdom, invoke for the appropriate punishment? How do you chastise a believer for his faith but require that he conform anyway?

      • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

        Your paraphrasing needs a lot of work, Bellis. And nice to see that you fell for that ploy. That’s one the koranimals often use between themselves. As far as I’m concerned, I can judge them just as easily as they do themselves.

        So please explain how koranimals can judge each other and decide who is and who isn’t a true believer of allah’s lies? Feel free to discuss how sunnies and shi’ties use this to justify killing each other.

      • Brendan Ellis

        At least you admit to ploys. Must make for a busy day at the office.

        You don’t mind then, being judged yourself? Care to share what sort of standard you’d like to be held to?

      • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

        No standard you would set, Bellis. You’ve established your credentials as a fraud.

      • Brendan Ellis

        Fraud? How many aliases have you used when trolling? Maybe we should invite you to the live debate, too. 

  • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

    LOL! If gambling is unpislamic, explain why they allow betting on horse racing in Iran of all places.

    And why don’t you tell us your views on honor killings while you’re at it? Also, why is rape so prevalent in the Middle East? Surely the sharmutas there are modestly dressed. And yet rape there is as common as it now is in Norway.

    As for your left eye takiya, a fartwa was issued by a leading cleric in Soddy Barbaria about sharmutas showing both their eyes. Since you are obliged to follow all the fartwas, you must now cover your right eye.

    Lastly, if arselifters don’t want sharia in the US, why is CAIR (the leading body in the US representing arselifters) always challenging anti-sharia laws in court? It seems that the majority of arselifters do want it, your takiya aside.

  • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

    Bellis will tell you that only Christians do this. He’ll also claim to be a Catholic but all his comments suggest that he’s actually an Anti-Christ.

  • Brendan Ellis

    Thanks again for the help, Gary, but no need. I’m perfectly capable of speaking for myself.

  • http://twitter.com/ThePhoenixQuill Ashley Joyce Andem

    Thank you for this. The overwhelming level of bigotry is so tiring, but I commend you for stepping up to it regardless. It’s truly appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/ThePhoenixQuill Ashley Joyce Andem

    Anna Kuta, I’d love to know if you’ve actually read the Qur’an, as in held the book in your hands and READ it for yourself. More importantly, I want to know if you can read Arabic, and have read the Qur’an as such. I am not Muslimah, but even I – an agnostic – know more about that text than the breathtakingly false information you’ve quoted here. As a UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND student? I’m pretty disappointed in this article. I’m sure you’ve turned in better to your professors.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      Why do you need to physically hold it in your hands? How does that make its lies any better?

      If you know so much about it, yet you are not one, perhaps you can refute this in an unbiased manner -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhHDgKnE9r0

    • Adam Priest

      Ms. Andem, you are good at insulting. Ms. Kuta’s article was well written. Your disagreement with content doesn’t change that.

  • Adam Priest

    Qasim Rashid’s article was blatantly false in most of its statements, but it is permissible to lie in Islam. I am going to correct a false statement Rashid made in the first paragraph of the article.The root word for Torah is not yarrah and does not mean “a path to life-giving water.” Rashid is wrong. The root word for Torah is the verb yara which means to “throw,” ”shoot,” “cast,” or “direct,” or even, ”point out,” “teach,” or “show.”  Taken from: A Hebrew & English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Brown, Driver, Briggs). No where does yara imply “path to live giving water.” Therefore, you cannot claim these disparate meanings show Shriah is ingrained in Abrahamic tradition.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      On the other hand, sharia does mean a path to a well. Basically, its more takiya from arselifters, trying to imply pislam is an Abrahamic faith. All part of allah’s deception and substitution. For example, claiming that Ibrahim was to sacrifice Ismael and not Issac and that it was a goat and not a sheep and that Issa (not the real Jesus) was not crucified but someone else was made to look like him and put in his place.

      Consider this news report -

      http://www.ellesmereportpioneer.co.uk/ellesmere-port-news/local-ellesmere-port-news/2011/11/09/muslim-festival-to-be-held-at-ellesmere-port-civic-hall-on-remembrance-sunday-55940-29741598/

      Or the gullibility here -

      http://www.chron.com/opinion/king/article/The-ties-that-bind-Christians-Muslims-and-Jews-2261013.php

    • http://twitter.com/MuslimIQ QasimRashid

      1. The ridiculous theory of “taqiya” is one of the most baseless allegations against Islam ever leveled. Here is a sound, well-cited, well-referenced with authentic unbiased sources, rebuke to this misguided concept: http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/08/taqiyya-the-ultimate-intellectual-cop-out/

      2. I do not lie. You may disagree with my faith, but Adam, you are being quite dishonest in your accusation. You call me a liar, yet deliberately left out the primary authentic lexicon definition of yarrah. Here is what the full meaning is.

      The
      word Torah used in the Old Testament or Tanakh means, as per the Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon:l. instruction, doctrine; law.  It is from the word yarah, a primitive root meaning
      “to flow as water (i.e. to rain); to lay or throw (an arrow), i.e. to shoot: to point out (as if by aiming
      a finger), to teach – archer, cast, direct, inform, instruct, lay, show, shoot, teach.” 

      So it is in fact ALSO the definitions you listed, but according to the Gesenius Hebrew-English
      Lexicon, “flow as water” is the PRIMARY meaning, just as I truthfully presented it in my Op Ed.
      Either you somehow missed the primary definition as listed in the authentic Gesenius Hebrew Lexicon dictionary, OR you deliberately are trying to  misguide people reading your comments by only including the latter definitions (and defame me while you are at it). Either way, this is really a shame.
      And if you do not have that dictionary, here is a Biblical lexicon cite that verifies the definition I cited precisely. http://lexicon.scripturetext.com/exodus/19-13.htm

      • Katherine Wyatt

        You’re seriously citing a website called “Loon Watch” as a legitimate source? Folks, this is how the website describes itself:
        “Loonwatch.com is a blogzine run by a motley group of hate-allergic bloggers to monitor and expose the web’s plethora of anti-Muslim loons, wackos, and conspiracy theorists. While we find the sheer stupidity and outrageousness of the loons to be a source of invaluable comedy, we also recognize the seriousness of the danger they represent as dedicated hatemongers. And so, while our style reflects our bemusement, our content is fact checked and our sources well vetted making sure loonwatch.com is a reliable educational – if entertaining – resource on the rambunctious underworld of Muslim-bashing.”Sure, Qasim, that’s real authentic and unbiased.

        • http://twitter.com/MuslimIQ QasimRashid

          The actual article cites Sun Tsu, US Government training documents, sahi Bukhari, the Torah, and the New Testament. If these works are not authentic to you, then you are right to not read the article.

          Regardless, my purpose in posting was to let Mr. Priest know (and the readership community at large) that he was deceiving everyone on the definition of yarrah. I am curious to see his response. If he accepts his mistake, I will appreciate it as a genuine, innocent mistake and move on.

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          LOL! Hysterical isn’t it? Loonwatch is the epitome of liberal fascists who attack anyone opposing pislam. How unsurprising that a deceptive arselifter would try and cite it as reputable.

          • Brendan Ellis

            You’ve been mentioned there, no?

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            Did you bother looking, Bellis?

          • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

            Did you bother looking, Bellis?

          • Adam Priest

            Brendan, for some reason I cannot post a message to you where I want to so am doing it here. I want you to know I have enjoyed our discussion on this thread. You have given me insights to your religion degree at this University. I meant to have told you I am definitely not gnostic and am quite aware of gnosticism. I do not subscribe to anything from the Jesus Seminar or Higher Criticism Theory. I believe the gnostic gospels were not inspired and filled with myth and legend. I also believe the Canon largely came about due to the need to acknowledge inspired scripture and to distinguish it from the gnostic writings floating around. The 27 New Testament books, as you most likely know, were formalized in the mid-100s but canonized in the 300s, when the gnostic writings made their appearance.

          • Brendan Ellis

            Gnosticism coulda been pretty cool… Though I’m not much into secrets and magic tricks either.

      • Adam Priest

        Mr. Rashid, Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon, which I use, is an expanded and updated Gesenius and is the basis for modern Hebrew scholarship used in Seminaries. I will concede that yara can mean “to flow as water” as taken from Gesenius. However, the meaning of “to flow as water” does not in any sort of way imply, suggest or mean “a path to life giving water,” as you claim. Also, Yara is a verb, (to flow), not a noun (path.) Your interpretation of Shariah and Torah meaning “a path to life giving water” is an extreme paraphrase not supported even by your source, Gesenius.

        • http://twitter.com/MuslimIQ QasimRashid

          Adam. You wrote, ” I will concede that yara can mean “to flow as water” as taken from
          Gesenius.”

          Yes, this is the primary meaning according to Gesenius.

          That you consider “to flow to water” somehow materially different than “a path to life giving water” is astonishing.

          Anyway, I sincerely hope Ms. Kuta will take me up on my offer to have an open discussion before the surrounding community.

          I am all for open dialogue. I hope you guys are too.

          • Adam Priest

            Qasim, “to flow to water” could mean anything such as “to flow (verb) to swamp water,” “to flow to an ocean,” to flow to a puddle,” etc. When you say “a path (noun) to life-giving water,” life-giving implies divine or miraculous, if it’s “giving life.” I’m suprised you do not see that. To imply those 2 phrases are the same is not supported in an English understanding. It’s not even a good paraphrase.

          • http://twitter.com/MuslimIQ QasimRashid

             You’re really stretching Adam. Really stretching. I’m not going to dignify your last argument by arguing back. But I will say this. I would have respected you had you simply admitted you made a mistake, but for you to compound it with this is quite telling.

            I have made my point, and have nothing more to add. Fair minded people can see my point. I will give you the last word on this. Knock yourself out.

          • Adam Priest

            We must agree to disagree on this interpretation then, we both made our points. I do not see my interpretation as a mistake and neither do you.

          • Brendan Ellis

            And that is fair enough. At least you and Qasim didn’t stoop to name calling and typographical editing to reach a fair disagreement.

        • http://twitter.com/MuslimIQ QasimRashid

          Adam. You wrote, ” I will concede that yara can mean “to flow as water” as taken from
          Gesenius.”

          Yes, this is the primary meaning according to Gesenius.

          That you consider “to flow to water” somehow materially different than “a path to life giving water” is astonishing.

          Anyway, I sincerely hope Ms. Kuta will take me up on my offer to have an open discussion before the surrounding community.

          I am all for open dialogue. I hope you guys are too.

  • Erik Lampmann

    To anyone from the community or great populace reading this — please know not all UR students, faculty, staff, and alumni are thins bigoted and xenophobic. I apologize for this representation of my school and those who claim to represent its general attitudes. 

    • Adam Priest

      Erik, who do you find bigoted and xenophobic, those who would stifle religious debate? Perhaps you refer to those who hurl ad hominem attacks when they face an opposing point of view? Perhaps you find anyone who questions another person’s religion a bigot? If my faith cannot stand up to scrutiny, then perhaps I’m following the wrong god, and I would be the first to want to know that. You don’t have anything to apologize for. Open forums are still the American way. It’s how we learn.

      • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

        However, there is a common trait of the Left, visible here, which goes out of its why to stifle free speech and opposing viewpoints. These are traits common to socialism, fascism, communism and other political systems the Left has and may come up with.

        This video illustrates it well enough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmTMIjkMoLk

        Also, you’ll now notice someone using the handle “Rob_non_Luna” appearing. He’s got the Left’s desire for controlling others so bad that he’s taken to stalking me and appears to have followed me here. 

      • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

        However, there is a common trait of the Left, visible here, which goes out of its why to stifle free speech and opposing viewpoints. These are traits common to socialism, fascism, communism and other political systems the Left has and may come up with.

        This video illustrates it well enough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmTMIjkMoLk

        Also, you’ll now notice someone using the handle “Rob_non_Luna” appearing. He’s got the Left’s desire for controlling others so bad that he’s taken to stalking me and appears to have followed me here. 

      • Brendan Ellis

        I only reply here after noticing that Erik hasn’t yet responded. Just guessing, but I don’t think he was referring to you, Adam. You’re hardly xenophobic and I can’t recall reading any blind hatred from your posts. Thanks for keeping your eyes, ears and heart open, even if you don’t agree. That’s all anyone can really ask.

        Besides, you’re absolutely right… There’s nothing wrong with questioning faith… any faith. Blind faith is no better than blind hate.

        • Adam Priest

          Brendan, dude, thanks, we are in agreement here.

  • Adam Priest

    A good article making the case for banning Shariah in America

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/11/the_case_for_banning_sharia_law_in_america.html

  • Adam Priest

    This short video sums up every American concern with Islam and Shariah. Mr. Rashid, Mr. Ahmad and Ms. Suleri-Latif and all other peaceful Ahmadi Muslims, which are not radical and intrepret the Quran differently, should be just as concerned as non-Muslim Americans about Shariah creeping into America. Ahmadis are a tiny minority of Muslims and their version of a peaceful Shariah will never overrule the majority of radical Islamists who dominate Islam and promise they will subjugate all non-Muslims AND all peaceful Muslims like the Ahmadis. This is why no religious law, Shariah, should ever be used in Amerian courts.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEXWjlgJ83E&feature=player_embedded

  • http://www.facebook.com/allisonakhan Allison Khan

    Ms. Kuta is correct that the punishment for homosexuals is severe. What she doesn’t mention is that the bible clearly states that in Sodom and Gomorrah, the homosexuals were punished with death by God. If God doesn’t like it, He doesn’t like it. Why doesn’t she complain to Him, instead of the Muslims?

    • Adam Priest

      Ms Khan, you are correct in God calling homosexuality a sin, both Old and New Testament (then and now). What you don’t understand is this. From her writings, I’m certain Ms. Kuta is Christian. Christianity (Jesus’ New Covenant) deals with sin differently than the Old Covenant (Testament); no longer is stoning or death used as punishment for any kind of  sin. Homosexuality is just one of many sins that separates people from a Holy God. Muslims like yourself do not understand that Christians are under a New Covenant and do not punish sin with death. There is no longer an eye for an eye, like in Islam today or the Old Testament back then. The coming of Christianity changed how sin was dealt with.  For Christians, sin is dealt with by confession and repentence and New Testament scriptures tells us God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” when we repent of our sin. Jesus paid once and for all the sins of mankind, past, present and future BUT, to be forgiven of our sin and not be separated from a Holy God, we must put our faith and trust in Jesus as God and the only way to God.