Since It’s the Holidays

If you have read my “About Me” you know that I’m Jewish. However, I’m an extremely open minded Jew. I’m so open minded in fact that I’ve just downloaded the Quran to my iPad. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I’ve read enough so far to understand that it was written after the Bible since it makes references to both the Torah and to Jesus, and that it acknowledges Abraham, Moses, and Jesus as prophets. It also goes on to say that Allah is the one and only (and from what I can tell he’s the same one and only), and that the Quran, at least so far is very defensive.

It basically says that we (Jews and Christians) did not listen to the prophets and are not following the word of Allah. It then goes on to explain exactly what that is, and says that the non-believers will burn in Hell (sound familiar), and that they will be displeased with Muslim’s. And then I got to the controversial part.

– Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight you, and do not transgress. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.

This reads to me, “If you are being attacked, defend yourself, but do not continue to attack once you are safe.” The next one is a doozy.

– Kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out, for Fitnah (to create disorder) is more severe than killing.

Yeah, taken out of context this looks pretty bad, but read the verse before it again. In other words, “When you are being attacked, kill your attackers if you must, but if you can, create disorder, because this is worse than death.”

It then goes on to say that if the attackers desist, Allah is most forgiving, but to fight them until there is no more disorder, and again it says if they desist, then aggression is not allowed except against the transgressors.

So basically, although it’s not really clear unless you read the 4 verses in context, it says to

1) Avoid aggression.
2) Defend yourself, but be fair about it.
3) Create disorder rather than kill your attackers.
4) Kill them as a last resort.

Hmmm… I think we sometimes overreact to what a few radical extremists have taken out of context, and generalize it to an entire religion. Hitler certainly was able to take a few facts out of context, blaming Jews for Germany’s loss in WWI, and for hoarding all of the money as lenders (we weren’t allowed to have any other profession really). He used this to create mass paranoia, which created fear, which got distorted into hate, and then attempted genocide.

We’ve all been killing each other in the name of God for thousands of years, and why? If you truly believe that the bible is history, then the three big religions all started with Abraham. The prophets lived a long time ago, and I’m just thinking, it could be possible that there was a little bit of the telephone game going on, especially since finding a scribe was not an easy task back in the day.

Am I saying that anyone is wrong. Absolutely not. I’m saying that we are all right! I’m saying, give people a break. I’m saying don’t fear your neighbor, but instead smile at them.

So far the Quran has said that Allah will punish the nonbelievers, but I haven’t read anywhere yet that he was leaving that task to his people. It basically says they will burn in fire when they die. It doesn’t say anything about killing them unless they are going to kill you. Christianity says the same thing about being punished in the afterlife if you are a nonbeliever. We are much more the same than we are different. Keep that in mind this holiday season. Get beyond the stereotypes, and the assumptions, and open up a book or ask a question.

Happy holidays, no matter who you are!

3 thoughts on “Since It’s the Holidays”

  1. I’m glad you commented on my post. It gave me the opportunity to read this, and I really like what you have to say here. I especially liked your comment, “we sometimes overreact to what a few radical extremists have taken out of context.” So true. But these days, it doesn’t just apply religious radical extremists. It happens in the media (especially at Fox News) and in politics (the Tea Party), as well. Instead of meeting in the middle, our society (and many others around the globe), are migrating towards the extremes. It’s unfortunate, and as you pointed out, we are much more the same than we are different. Well done.

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