Extreme Islamic “Generosity”

This is appalling. The leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq has called for the murder of the Danish cartoonist, and his editor, who “insulted” Mohammed by depicting him in a cartoon. (Story here).

“We are calling for the assassination of cartoonist Lars Vilks who dared insult our Prophet, peace be upon him, and we announce a reward during this generous month of Ramadan of $100,000 for the one who kills this criminal.”

How generous!

How generous toward this cartoonist.

It gets better. He upped the reward to $150,000 if the cartoonist was “slaughtered like a lamb.”

That’s even more generous.

So, peace be upon Mohammed, but slaughter be upon Vilks, because Vilks “insulted” them. How generous of them! My, how they value peace!

The cartoonist is a “criminal,” but they are justice-seeking and “peace” loving? …over an insult? So, insults are worthy of death? What rank hypocrisy and quintessential evil this is!

These extremists are a frightening reminder of how dark the human heart really is at the core – what it is capable of. Hatred, deep pride, and murder – over a cartoon, over a percieved insult, out of fanatical defensiveness of a “prophet” that depends on his followers to go to even murderous extremes to defend his “honor.”

Christ is so very different from the god and prophet of Islam. While being immeasurably dishonored, insulted and unjustly murdered, He loved and prayed for his killers to be forgiven: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Too bad there are extremists like this in Islam that are so insecure over Mohammed’s “honor” that they think they have the obligation to kill those who don’t revere him like they do. It doesn’t compel other people to love their god or their prophets very much does it? That’s why theirs will remain a religion of force and not of desire. There’s no motivation to love their god, only fear to “respect” him. Yes, Christianity has had it’s extremists too. They are to be denounced just the same.

I’m so glad that Christ has died for me, even though I have dishonored him in countless ways. That’s why I love Him and long to live in obedience to him. I’m motivated by gratitude and love, not guilt or fear. He loved me first, despite my sins and insults against him. Grace is an amazing thing.

Christ captures the heart with His forgiving love and then transforms it, something Mohammed can never do.

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19 Responses to Extreme Islamic “Generosity”

  1. […] – A Religion of Peace? Posted on September 15, 2007 by Tom This article (Extreme Islamic “Generosity” « Scott W. Kay) is very telling.  Everyone says that Islam is a religion of peace but I don’t think […]

  2. Christ is so very different from the god and prophet of Islam. While being immeasurably dishonored, insulted and unjustly murdered, He loved and prayed for his killers to be forgiven

    Is Christianity a religion of peace? Forget what “someone” might have said, here’s what JESUS himself said:

    “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household”

    Matthew 10:34-36

    Read more here: http://attendingtheworld.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/religion-love-violence-or-terrorism/

  3. Scott W. Kay says:

    attendingtheworld,

    Ah, yes, the favorite proof text people love to use to “prove” that Christianity is a violent religion. Please, if you’re going to quote the Bible, and attempt to use it against us, at least use verses in the way they were meant to be understood. (Without doubt, we’re guilty of violating plenty of passages of Scripture!) But, if you’re going to use Bible verses, use them according to their context, in light of parallel passages, and according to the intended meaning that the original hearers would have readily grasped. These are simple and widely used rules of basic interpretation. They’ll keep you from building straw-man arguments like this one against Christians.

    Christ isn’t suggesting violence, He’s making plain that there will be divisions even within households over those within them who come faith in Him by becoming His followers. “Sword” is a figure of speech. Jesus is known for this! It’s those NONbelievers who will not be too happy about it and react with anger and violence at the news of their friends and family becoming Christians (as is sometimes the case when a Muslim converts to Christianity). This is the division he speaks about.

    To use that verse as a proof text that Christianity is a violent religion is ridiculous. The parallel passages in the Gospels make that plain….not to mention the multiple places in the New Testament that plainly command Christians to submit to government authority and to love their neighbors.

    Sure, there are those throughout the history of Christianity who didn’t (and don’t) obey those passages and commit violence while calling themselves Christians, but in so doing they show that they are DISobeying the plain teaching of Scripture and MISrepresenting Christ.

  4. alisbasement says:

    Scott, I am a US born/raised Muslim. My family came here over 30 years ago for more opportunities. I can tell you from experience that Islam IS a peaceful religion. I have never been taught hatred in my life, actually the exact opposite, that we should be caring for all people. If you ever look at a picture of Hajj, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, you will see that we have people from every ethic background imaginable.

    The thing you have to realize about Islam is that we do not have leaders. We don’t have a clergy, meaning there are no priests, popes or anything like that. So, these so-called “leaders” are just that, so-called, they’ve labeled themselves. They DO NOT represent Islam. They definitely don’t represent me, my family, or any of my friends.

    Like the saying goes, there are bad apples in every tree. There are radicals in every religion including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. One thing to note about those 3 religions is that they are the only monotheistic religions in the world and we all believe in the same God. Allah is just the Arabic term for God, it’s no different. Muslims also believe in Jesus, Moses, Adam & Eve, Abraham, Noah, and the list goes on. Mohammad (PBUH) teaches the same principles as Jesus, they are brothers as they are both servants of God. Mohammad also teaches that God is giving, caring and forgiving, the same as Jesus and Christianity. Don’t you see that we are more alike than different? Why work so hard to seperate us and cause friction. We need to learn to all work together and live as one. Isn’t that what Jesus taught? Do you think Jesus would be happy with you putting down another Prophet, a fellow brother? I would never say anything bad about Jesus because he is a Prophet to me as well. Why not put down the extremist who DON’T represent Islam rather than the Man who’s words they are twisting for their own gains.

    I understand where your fear and extreme views come from, this is a religion and a people who you don’t understand. Please try to do your research and learn a little about the people who so easily put down before writing hatred against a peaceful religion. If you would like to learn about the TRUE Islam and the real facts, please let me know and I can help you with that.

  5. Scott W. Kay says:

    alisbasement,

    Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to distance yourself from the extremists. In fact, you may not have noticed, that I was very careful to use refer to them as “extremists” every time I referenced these self-appointed “leaders” in my post. I did that precisely because, I HAVE done my research, and I DO know that there ARE Muslims like you who, thankfully, denounce these kind of things. I am grateful for that, and was careful not to paint with a broad brush. I did not lump all Muslims in together with this kind of violence. So, yes, I was aiming at putting down the extremists, not people like you. On that we are alike. : )

  6. Scott,

    Re-read your reply to my post. What do you think? You’re quick to defend Christianity and the Bible and the verses, and so on. “Don’t take verses out of context, you say.” Well, in so many words. Yet, you in essence discredit the religion of Islam based on a few insignificant number of people (in the realm of things) when considering over 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. Every Muslim knows that the Koran rejects aggression, let alone terrorism, and I had quoted the verses in the past. But those who watch the 10 minute “show” they call “news” on Fox News, are quick to attack a whole religion based on ignorance and taking certain verses totally out of context. So let this person offer his rewards and what have you. If he’s a madman, does that make Muslims mad?

    ATW

  7. Scott W. Kay says:

    Attendingtheworld,

    No, as I said to alisbasement, I was very careful to be specific in calling these people extremists and therefore not broadly representative of Muslims as a whole. Re-read my post – it does not discredit Islam as a whole based on these extremists actions or intentions. Extremists never accurately represent the religion or the masses of people who hold to it, not in Islam, Christianity, or any other religion. I appreciate your effort to go out of your way here on this little blog to denounce these extremists as not representative of yourself and many of your fellow Muslims. I do the very same thing here on this blog with hypocritical Christians (i.e. televangelists) that do not represent Christianity as a whole. As to the news show, I can’t comment since I didn’t see it, nor was I even aware of it. If they took verses out of context, then I would equally chide them for that just as you do.

  8. The reference to “show” is a sarcastic remark about the so-called Fox News: it’s neither a show nor news!

    But your statement ”

    Christ is so very different from the god and prophet of Islam.

    is the generalization I was referring to.

    Peace.

    ATW

  9. alisbasement says:

    Scott, I understand what you’re saying and I did see that. But, please direct your comments to the “extremists” alone, don’t clump the Prophet in those comments. He is sacred to the TRUE Muslims along with Jesus and the other Prophets. We honor them all as our Prophets and love them all.

    You said “Christ is so very different from the god and prophet of Islam. While being immeasurably dishonored, insulted and unjustly murdered, He loved and prayed for his killers to be forgiven” This is not true, we believe in Jesus, Mohammad, Moses etc. They all have the same teaching, please don’t go off of the twisted views of the radicals. Also, Mohammad went through the same pains as Jesus, if you do your research, he was also dishonored, insulted and people used to throw garbage and feces at him, there were also several attempts at taking his life. They are both brothers who came to Earth to spread the message of God. We should respect them both rather than knock them down.

    You also said, “Christ captures the heart with His forgiving love and then transforms it, something Mohammed can never do.” This is also untrue, just as Jesus preached about forgiveness and love, so did Muhammad. These are the messages I have been taught my whole life from my parents and my Sunday school teachers. What a lot of people don’t realize is that we are more similar than different, but there are those radicals among all groups that don’t want us all to get along.

    Scott, I know you’re going to have your opinions and we have our differences. But, you are a person of the book as well as am I and I have nothing but respect for you, Jesus and Christianity. All I ask is that you show me, Mohammad (PBUH) and Islam the same respect. Thank you.

  10. Scott W. Kay says:

    ATW,

    Thanks for the clarification. On that statement I can see how it could sound like I was generalizing Muslims as all being extremists. That was not my intention, as I have stated. I was specifically referring to the difference in the overall orientation toward how to respond to “blasphemy” and “insults” in Islam vs. Christianity (this is a theological and practical question for me). So, is the way Christ responded to his killers the same way Muslims are taught to react to insults toward their god, prophets, and religion? (It’s the way Christians are taught.) OR do the extremists give Islam a bad reputation for making it look like that Islam requires a strong response to such things when it doesn’t? These are honest questions I have.

    alisbasement,

    You are right that we are going to have similarities and our differences. Please understand that mine are primarily theological differences with Islam. I do believe that those quotes you pulled of mine are in fact true – for theological and experiential reasons. I do believe that Christ transforms the heart by His grace like no one else can do, because He does it through faith in the message of the Gospel (not just through preaching forgiveness and love, but the message of repentance from sin and faith in His substitutionary atonement for our sins as the means to being reconciled to God) – a message Muslims do not believe. Christian and Islamic Scriptures give differing accounts of the person and nature of Jesus, the degree and extent of his suffering in comparison to Mohammed’s (namely, Christ’s death by crucifixion), and his message and purpose on earth – these are significant theological differences. Yes, our faiths are similar in some ways, but we disagree in the most theologically fundamental way: how salvation is attained. That is the theological difference that I was referring to in those particular statements. I do not expect Islam and Christianity to be reconciled in these areas of theological disagreement, but like you I do believe that we can and should co-exist peaceably in the world.

    Thanks to both of you for conversing with me on this. I appreciate the chance for clarity in both directions. It has been helpful, at least to me.

  11. alisbasement says:

    Scott, you’re right about the theological differences and those will not change, which is understood. I believe we are all headed in the right direction as long as we are good to God, ourselves, to our neighbors around the world. I still believe the message of peace, forgiveness, and love are the same because they are coming from God spread through select invididuals who came to spread his word. I think far too often, people read posts, get upset, and their first reaction is to be defensive about it. I’m glad that I was able to converse with you to clarify a few things for us and other readers.

  12. Felipe says:

    Well, first of all I would like to say that I’m an atheist, but my whole family is catholic. As an atheist, I have friends from different religions, including muslins. And I can strongly affirm that islamism isn’t what Al-Qaeda made of it. I think it should to be clear that there are thousands of muslins around the world that totally disagree from Al-Qaeda.

    The words I often hear from my muslins friends are the same words I could hear from my catholic family or from my baptists friends, for example. They are always talking about God, Mohamed and even about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Let’s support the cartoonist’s freedom of speech, but let’s take care to not become anti-muslins or anti-Arabs. Al-Qaeda and its lunatic followers can’t be taken as an example to represent the arab/islamic world and philosophy.

    Best wishes, Felipe.

  13. alisbasement says:

    Scott, the fact that you put insulted in quotes kept picking at me, so I actually went back and re-read the article you posted from FoxNews (liars) and you failed to mention in your post that they put the Prophet’s head on a dog, now isn’t that an extreme insult? I sure think so. I’m not saying you would be screaming for murder, but how would you react if they did that to Jesus? Personally, I would take great offense to that as well, as I believe in Jesus just the same. While, I believe in freedom of speech, I don’t think such an image needs to be mass produced and especially not at a time like this. Why as humans do we attack each other like this. What do you think the cartoonist’s intentions were when he drew it, you think he was looking for a controversy? I think so and he got it.

    Thanks Felipe, I appreciate your input. You’re absolutely right, we talk about all the same things: God, Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah, The Ark, Adam & Eve, Virgin Mary and the list goes on. We all have so much in common yet everyone is always trying to tear us apart. Why can’t we just coexist in peace.

  14. Scott W. Kay says:

    alisbasemet,

    This is the trouble with the printed word, it gets assumed you mean something other than you do – especially when you are engaged in a debate such as this one. Let me be clear: the quotation marks were an attempt to convey to readers that the term “insulted” was a quotation of the Al-Qaeda leader. It was not meant as a mockery of Muslims being insulted. I used the same word without quotation marks in my 7th paragraph, so as to show that an insult – even a true one – does not warrant such an extreme reaction as these Muslims have made. It bewilders me that my words are taken issue with more than his.

  15. alisbasement says:

    That’s fine, I thought I’d just point out the fact that the actual insult was not mentioned. That’s not even my real issue, my serious issue is with these words and I would ask you to refrain from making such statements as:

    “Christ is so very different from the god and prophet of Islam. While being immeasurably dishonored, insulted and unjustly murdered, He loved and prayed for his killers to be forgiven: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
    That’s why theirs will remain a religion of force and not of desire. There’s no motivation to love their god, only fear to “respect” him.
    Christ captures the heart with His forgiving love and then transforms it, something Mohammed can never do.”

    Please do not make statements about a Religion you do not understand fully. Our Prophet was also insulted and dishonored. Our faith is not one of force, that is made up by the extremist, and our God (who is the same, we believe in the Father, but don’t acknowledge the Son or the Holy Spirit) is also forgiving and loving. We have never worshipped out of fear, but rather it is out of love just like yours.

    Also, you said “Yes, Christianity has had it’s extremists too. They are to be denounced just the same.”

    Don’t you think REAL Muslims denounce the extremists in our religion? They’re giving us a really bad name, so of course we denounce them. They are not even considered Muslims to us.

    Scott, I see you as a reasonable person and I think you can understand what I’m trying to say here and I hope that you will show Islam the same respect that I have shown Christianity. The majority of us just wish to coexist.

  16. Scott W. Kay says:

    alisbasement,

    You continue to fail to understand that this entire blog post WAS, in fact, about the extremists, and THEIR approach to Islam. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly, after I have repeatedly tried to do so. See here for further evidence (especially the dialogue I’ve had with Muslims in the comments): https://scottwkay.wordpress.com/2007/09/15/why-christians-wont-kill-kathy-griffin/

    I DO realize that the extremists do not accurately represent Islam, which goes to show that I DO understand Islam at least well enough to make that distinction. Please recognize that I do make the distinction and everything in this blog post was premised on that distinction, and directed at the extremist’s mentality.

    Therefore, the statements you quoted, and with which you have such a problem, remain true in my thinking. I will not retract them. I DO realize that Mohammed was dishonored, and I didn’t deny that anywhere, I only made the clear distinction between the way Christ responded to insults and the way the extremists respond to them. And it cannot be denied that these extremists DO use fear, rather than loving desire as the motivating factor in seeking to win converts to Islam. Here’s just one little piece of proof: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6990811.stm

    I respect you for trying so hard to denounce the extremists, their actions, and their wrongheaded approach to practicing Islam. I am not disrespecting Islam as you say. I am disrespecting the extremism – just as you are doing. I likewise see you as a reasonable person, and I hope you will understand what I’m trying to say here as well. That will aid in achieving the peaceful co-existence we both long for.

  17. amtog says:

    At an old blog address, I did a series of posts that I think are relevant to this thread. I simply put (decontextualized?) teachings from Mohd and Jesus side by side. My point in each of these posts was this: these two people were NOT delivering the same message. It’s up to everyone else to decide which message to accept or reject.

    http://amtog.blogs.ie/category/comparative-religion/

    (FYI: that address is no longer being updated and could be deleted by the host at any moment.)

  18. Scott W. Kay says:

    amtog,

    Thanks for the link. The differences shown on the post “Concerning Those Who Do Wrong to You” is especially relevant to this discussion. Those who continue to say that Jesus and Mohammed taught the same message, simply haven’t made themselves familiar with Jesus’ message in the New Testament.

  19. Sandra says:

    this is one group – the extreme al quaeda – not the entire muslim voice
    you definitely are generalisaing…you can find extremists etc. in every group

    peace

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