Jordanian Christian Men Who Convert To Islam Gain Custody And Inheritance Advantages In Divorce Cases

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Jordan flagAs an example of the perils brought forth in countries having two legal systems, Christian men who intend to divorce their Christian spouse in Jordan receive significant leverage over their wives who remain within their faith.

Under Article 172 of Jordan’s personal status law, a Muslim man automatically receives custody of children aged seven and above when divorcing a Christian woman. This statutory provision provides a husband an attractive advantage in conversion to gain custody where he otherwise could receive an unfavorable determination based upon mitigating factors, such as showing the interests of the children might be better served if they remained within the custody of their mother.


 

According to investigative reporter Nadine Nimri who penned several publications relating to discrepancies in the legal statuses between Muslim and Christian parents before the law. Jordanian courts by statute assume that it is within the best interests of the child to remain under the custody of their Muslim fathers. While there are some limited benefits between the various interfaith marriages with regard to children under seven-years of age, Muslim mothers under the law have the option of guardianship for these younger children during divorce proceedings.

There are an estimated 180,000 Christians living in the Kingdom of Jordan, which is otherwise ninety-five percent Muslim.

This discrepancy provides the father in a Christian family to wield significant leverage over his wife when the probability of divorce arrives. By converting to Islam, the husband is able to place the weight of the law into his favor simply for the professed conversion despite its legitimacy.

The problem is not limited to child custody. Under Article 281 of Jordan’s personal status law [Arabic], Muslims can only receive inheritance from other Muslims. Should the husband then die after conversion or if the marriage was between the two religions, the Christian spouse and other Christian heirs would receive no inheritance.

For some women, much of these legal handicaps or barriers might be removed upon her subsequent conversion but since their Christian identity is integral to her society and personal beliefs it can be a tall order to  choose between one’s faith and one’s family. Of course, the matter is at least in a de facto sense a one way street where a return to Christianity will follow accusations of apostasy and in some cases worse.

Jordan in many ways maintains recognition and protection of her minority communities but this merit remains incomplete in legal aspects such as family or probate law.

One method could be to remove such legal constraints or sanctuaries relating to religion and to focus instead on applying the civil law to “citizens” rather than “religions”.

By Darren Smith

Source:

Al Monitor

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

74 thoughts on “Jordanian Christian Men Who Convert To Islam Gain Custody And Inheritance Advantages In Divorce Cases

  1. Here Po, let me help you out here. Po said,

    “Now, you want to know about Islam?
    Ask yourself, which holy book, 1400 years ago:
    – made it clear that men and women are equal
    -made it clear that human beings are all equal no matter their means and ethnicity
    – offered divorce rules that protected woman through and after the divorce
    – Offered marital rights to women
    – Offered societal protection to women and children
    – Made it part of faith to care for widows and orphans, and to manumits slaves.
    – Established rights for slaves.
    – Offered the original Geneva convention, that protected prisoners from abuse
    -Offered the original magna carta that gave rights to everyone
    – Gave rights to nature, and to animals
    -Established rules of war that protected non-combatants, civilians and property.
    -That prevented preemptive strikes…
    – That prevented torture or abuses of any kind
    -That made it part of faith to revere previous prophets, all of them?
    -That allowed retribution to no more than the hurt caused…and even then, urges forgiveness?

    Which book?
    I challenge you to bring any holy book, any constitution anywhere, any convention anywhere that is as comprehensive in its aim to protect the natural rights of creation, man, woman, child, animals, trees, nature as the Blessed Quran!

    It should be easy to do, right Ralph? Right Nick? right bambam? Right Olly?
    Anything you reply with that doesn’t address this challenge is an acknowledgement of your deceptive nature and intellectual dishonesty, simply!
    Right :)”

  2. Surely that cannot be true!? We’ve been told that Jordan is the good one. When on earth are our leaders going to face facts. Muslim thocracies are not our friends, period!

    While indivual Muslims may view the world differently than the fanatics that run these countries and the terrorist groups that are working hard to to turn the entire world into the hell hole they created In the ME, their faith does not embrace Chrisitna, Jews or apostates. They do not view “nonbelievers” kindly and even if they do, they know that many of their coreligous don’t and in fear of them they toe the line. It’s time to speak truth to Muslims world wide your fanatical brethren are the NAZIS of the 21 century and you must stand against them.

  3. If I were a divorce court judge in California and a Muslim couple was before me and one or the other cross dressed over to Christianity or Judaism then I would probably give that one the nod on child custody.

  4. But if I was a divorce court judge in Missoura and the same thing came my way I would tell em both to get the uckFay out of Missoura and go to California or some place.

  5. Assad celebrated Christmas festivities with Syrian Christians as well as celebrating other festivities with various Muslim sects. He has no history of persecution of anyone for religious reasons. Yet he is demonized while Jordanian and Saudi Arabian sadists are rewarded by US favoritism.

  6. Darren – One sentence in your article reads: “Muslims can only receive inheritance from other Muslims.”

    Did you mean to say “Only muslims can receive inheritance from other Muslims”? I’m not trying to be picky, but from your discussion in that paragraph that seems to be what you are saying. The children and wife could not inherit from the Muslim father/husband because they were not Muslim. In other words, if they all remained Christian, then they would be able to inherit–is that correct–they just can’t inherit from Muslims? If the husband remained Christian, but the wife and children were Muslim, would they be able to inherit? Your sentence as written would seem to imply that Muslims could not inherit from anyone who is not a Muslim. Is that the law? Or is it simply that Muslims cannot leave property to anyone who is not a Muslim.

    Fine point perhaps, but an important one. Not trying to be a grammar curmudgeon, I just want to understand what you meant.

  7. Sally, the Quran allows Muslims to marry people of the book, Christians and Jews…And the quran says that spouses can inherit from each other, so can family… Therefore, per the Quran, there is no prohibition from inheriting between spouses of different religions.
    Now, there are various islamic laws based on culture, tradition and interpretation (all laws are interpretative), so based on the school of jurisprudence, the local and tradition, the islamic rule would vary.

    Olly, are you satisfied? Or are you ready to answer my challenge?

  8. Muslims expect divorce. They have hard hearts. They are lovers of earthly things too. That is why they mention what is mentioned. People who love the world and the things that are in it are not of his.

  9. By the way, let’s make sure we understand that Jordan is a monarchy like Saudi Arabia!
    So to compare it to a democracy sounds a bit…um…fallacious?

  10. Po – My question was directed to Darren concerning a quote from his article. I was just trying to understand what he meant. As a lawyer, he usually writes quite clearly, but I wasn’t sure exactly what he was saying in this context.

  11. Every time I hear how perfectly tolerant the Quran is and Islam is I have to wonder are all the people who practice Islam simply deluded in their interpretations. Let’s face it Islam is a relgion like many others, made by man. As a result, it contains all the faults of man…it is not perfect and should not be treated as such. A relgion can only be judged by the conduct of its adherents and at the moment that makes Islam look none too perfect.

  12. Brilliant deduction Holmes!

    Moderate Muslims flee devout Muslims and seek refuge in Christian countries. Islam flees from Islam. Islam is not a peaceful religion. Islam is hostile even to it’s own.
    But wherever moderate Muslims go, Mosques are built, and the devout follow, and violence ensues. Violence and hate is inherent to the Quran doctrines.

  13. Had Muslims truly be moderate they would reject the book that made what they call extreme Muslims. They are not distaining the Quran. They are codling the same book that violent Muslims use. They are the same. Obama trained what were called Moderate Muslim’s to fight against violent Muslims. When they were out of sight they joined the violent Muslim’s doing what they did. Moderate Muslims is a joke.

  14. One more reason for religious values to be placed way, way, behind secular laws. The systems in Western cultures determine the best result for children in a divorce. Islamic countries are simply several hundred years behind the times as pertains to societal evolution. Another argument for secular governance, not individual religious beliefs.

  15. pound for pound the bible is more violent than the quran. Numerous scholars have verified this to be so, even taking into account it’s a bigger book.

    Secular government and separation of religion and state are the only sane way to go. Period.

  16. What is God to do with people who are like violent Philistines that were like pre flood people? Let them live to wipe out people who don’t think evil continually obeying love works no ill to people/ You want evil people to wipe them out? God did not bash babies on rocks. God saw what would happen to the children of people who did not trust in him trussing in a 300 foot tall wall. Look and see what people trust in. Are they truly trusting in God?

  17. What is God to do with people who are like violent Philistines that were like pre flood people? Let them live to wipe out people who don’t think evil continually obeying love works no ill to people/ You want evil people to wipe them out? God did not bash babies on rocks. God saw what would happen to the children of people who did not trust in him trusting in a wall that was as tall as a red wood tree being 300 feet tall. That wall did not protect them. A river went under that wall. People dammed up the river walking under the wall into the city capturing the city. Look and see what people trust in. Are they truly trusting in God? God wants People to live peaceably with others loving others. People that are against the bible are aginst that.

  18. Please examine this interesting commentary by Dr. William Lane Craig (this is all his writing):

    My interest in Islam was quickened by my study of the history of the cosmological argument for a personal creator of the universe. Early Christian commentators on Aristotle living in Alexandria, Egypt, developed this argument in response to Aristotle’s doctrine of the eternity of the world. They sought to show that the universe had a beginning and was brought into being by a transcendent creator.

    When Islam swept across North Africa in the eighth century, this argument was taken up into Islamic theology and developed during the Middle Ages to a high degree of sophistication. Because of the contribution of Islamic thinkers to this argument, I dubbed it the kalam cosmological argument, the word “kalam” being the Arabic word for Islamic theology. I believe that this is a sound argument for God’s existence, and it has served me well in reaching out to Muslims with the gospel.

    My interest in Islamic theology thus quickened, when I did my doctorate in theology at the University of Munich in Germany, I chose Islam as one of my side areas of specialization. I never dreamt at that time that this might someday become a topic of interest to popular audiences.

    With the attacks of 9/11, Islam suddenly burst into public consciousness in the West, and its profile has risen with each passing year, as Islamic terrorism has spread across the world. This heightened awareness of Islam has piqued people’s interest in Islam and given me the opportunity to speak about the commonalities and contrasts between Islam and Christianity. Today I’ve been asked to speak about the concept of God in Islam and Christianity.

    The question which drives our inquiry is not merely one of comparative religion; rather it is whether the Christian or Muslim concept of God is true. In our day of religious relativism, such a question is incredibly politically incorrect. All religions are supposed to be equally true, right? So what’s the fuss all about?

    Well, the answer to that question, it seems to me, is that religious relativism, which is almost unthinkingly accepted by many people today, is simply not true. In fact, religious relativism is logically incoherent and so cannot be true. For the world’s religions conceive of God, or gods, in so many contradictory ways that they cannot all be true. In particular, the concept of God in Islam and Christianity is so different that both religions cannot be right. Islam and Christianity have different doctrines or teachings concerning what God is like. For example, Christians believe that God is tri-personal, that there are in the one God three persons whom we call the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Muslims deny this doctrine or teaching. They believe that God is a single person. We cannot both be right. We could both be wrong—maybe it’s the Buddhists who are right and God is impersonal—but we cannot both be correct. Therefore, part of the job of evaluating the competing claims of Islam and Christianity will be assessing their differing concepts of God.

    Accordingly, in this morning’s talk I want, first, to look at the principal Islamic critique of the Christian conception of God, and then, second, to examine critically the Muslim concept of God, with a view toward determining its adequacy.

    So let’s look first at the Christian concept of God and ask why Muslims find it rationally unobjectionable. Christians believe that God is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-holy, eternal, spiritual Being who created the universe. Muslims agree with all these attributes (or properties) of God. This isn’t surprising, since Islam, historically speaking, is an off-shoot of the Judaeo-Christian religious tradition. So our understanding of what God is like is in many respects the same.

    But the major objection lodged by Islam against the Christian concept of God concerns the doctrine of the Trinity. In particular Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and shares the same divine nature with God the Father. Muslims reject this doctrine because they believe that it commits the sin they call shirk, which is the sin of associating anything with God. Since God is thought to be incomparable or without peer, He cannot have a Son, as Christians claim. Thus, the Qu’ran denounces anyone who holds that God has a Son as “an unbeliever” and consigns him to hellfire for such a blasphemous assertion. The Qur’an states: “They are unbelievers who say, ‘God is the Messiah, Mary’s son . . . .’ Surely, whoever associates anything with God, God shall prohibit him entrance to Paradise and his home shall be the Fire. None shall help the evil-doers” (5.73).

    Unfortunately the Qur’an’s denunciation of the doctrine of the Trinity seems to be based on a gross misunderstanding of that doctrine. First, a bit of history here: Early Christian creeds had adopted the language of speaking of Mary as “the Mother of God” because she bore Jesus Christ. Now to someone not familiar with the theology of the early Church Fathers, such an expression as “the Mother of God” is almost guaranteed to be misleading. What the Church Fathers meant is that the person whose human nature Mary bore is a divine person. Mary did not give birth to the divine nature of Christ; nevertheless, Mary could be called the Mother of God, since Christ, whose human nature she bore, was a divine person.

    But Mohammed evidently thought that Christians believed in a Trinity composed of God the Father, Mary, and their offspring Jesus. It’s no wonder that he regarded such a ridiculous doctrine as blasphemous! Mohammed’s misunderstanding of the Trinity is evident in passages such as the following found in the Qur’an:

    God will say: ‘Jesus Son of Mary, did you ever say to mankind: “Worship me and my mother as gods besides God?”’

    ‘Glory be to you,’ he will answer, ‘I could never have claimed what I have no right to.’ (5.117)

    The Creator of the heavens and the earth—how should he have a son, seeing that He has no consort, and He created all things . . . ? (6.102)

    The doctrine that Mohammed rejected, namely, that God the Father should consort with a human female to sire a son and these three should then be worshiped as gods, would be rejected by any Christian.

    According to the Bible, Jesus is called God’s Son because he had no human father, but was miraculously conceived of a virgin. In the Gospel according to Luke, the angel says to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1.35 TEV). What makes this ironic is that the Qur’an affirms the virgin birth of Jesus! In the Qur’anic account the angel says, “I am but a messenger of your Lord and have come to give you a holy son.” Mary answers, “How shall I bear a son when I have neither been touched by any man nor ever been unchaste?” The angel replies, “Thus did your Lord speak. That is easy enough for me . . . . Our decree shall come to pass.” (19.20-22). Whereupon Mary conceives Jesus. Thus, no Muslim should object to calling Jesus God’s Son in the sense of his being miraculously conceived.

    So if the doctrine of the Trinity is not the caricature rightly rejected by Mohammed, what is it? It is the doctrine that God is tri-personal. It is not the self-contradictory assertion that three Gods are one God, nor again that three persons are one person. That’s just illogical nonsense. Rather it is the claim that the one entity we call God comprises three persons. That is no more illogical than saying that one geometrical figure we call a triangle is comprised of three angles. Three angles in one figure; three persons in one being!

    Perhaps the best way to think of this is to say that in God there are three centers of self-consciousness. I am a being with a single center of self-consciousness. God is a being with three centers of self-consciousness. Each of these three persons is equal in glory and divinity; but we call them “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit” because of the different roles they place in relation to us. The Father is the person who sends the Son to Earth; the Son is the person who takes a human nature and becomes incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth; the Holy Spirit is the person who stands in Christ’s place until Christ returns.

    Although this doctrine may seem strange to Muslims, once it’s properly stated, there’s nothing rationally objectionable about it. It is a logically consistent doctrine and seems rationally unobjectionable.

    In fact, I’d like to finish out my first point by offering an argument for why it’s plausible to think that God is a Trinity. To begin with, God is by definition the greatest conceivable being. If you could conceive of anything greater than God, then that would be God! Every Muslim who dies with the cry “Allahu akbar!” on his lips agrees with this point: God is the greatest being conceivable.

    Now as the greatest conceivable being, God must be perfect. If there were any imperfection in God, then He would not be the greatest conceivable being. Now a perfect being must be a loving being. For love is a moral perfection; it is better for a person to be loving rather than unloving. God therefore must be a perfectly loving being.

    Now it is of the very nature of love to give oneself away. Love reaches out to another person rather than centering wholly in oneself. So if God is perfectly loving by His very nature, He must be giving Himself in love to another. But who is that other? It cannot be any created person, since creation is a result of God’s free will, not a result of His nature. It belongs to God’s very essence to love, but it does not belong to His essence to create anything. God is necessarily loving, but He is not necessarily creating. So we can imagine a possible world in which God is perfectly loving and yet no created persons exist. So created persons cannot be the sufficient explanation of whom God loves. Moreover, science tells us that created persons have not always existed. But God is eternally loving. So again created persons alone are insufficient to account for God’s being perfectly loving. It therefore follows that the other to whom God’s love is necessarily directed must be internal to God Himself.

    In other words, God is not a single, isolated person, as Islam holds; rather God is a plurality of persons, as the Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds. On the Islamic view God is a person who does not give Himself away essentially in love for another; He is focused essentially only on Himself. Hence, He cannot be the most perfect being. But on the Christian view, God is a triad of persons in eternal, self-giving love relationships. Thus, since God is essentially loving, the doctrine of the Trinity is more plausible than any unitarian doctrine of God such as Islam. Why? Because God is by nature a perfect Being of self-giving love.

    In summary of my first point, then, we’ve seen that the classic Muslim rejection of the Christian concept of God is based on a drastic misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Trinity, and that once that doctrine is properly understood, it is not only rationally unobjectionable, but quite plausible as well. Therefore, the Christian concept of God is rationally unobjectionable.

    That brings us to my second point, that the Muslim concept of God is rationally objectionable. Now in claiming this, I’m not trying to put anybody down or attack someone personally. I’m just saying that it seems to me that the Islamic conception of God has real problems which render it rationally objectionable. Let me share just one of those deficits, namely:

    Islam has a morally deficient concept of God.

    We’ve seen that Muslims and Christians agree that God by definition is the greatest conceivable being and that besides being all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present, and so forth, the greatest conceivable being must also be morally perfect. That means that God must be a loving and gracious being. Therefore, God, as the perfect being, must be all-loving.

    And this is exactly what the Bible affirms. The Bible says,

    God is love, . . . In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the sacrifice for our sins (I John 4.8, 10).

    Or again it says,

    God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5.8).

    Jesus taught God’s unconditional love for sinners. We see this in his parables about the prodigal son and the lost sheep, in his practice of table fellowship with the immoral and unclean, and in his sayings like those of the Sermon on the Mount. He said, for example,

    You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends his rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, . . . what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5.43-48)

    The love of the Heavenly Father is impartial, universal, and unconditional.

    What a contrast with the God of the Quran! What I’m going to tell you now is something that you will never hear in the media or from our public officials, for they dare not say such things. They cannot risk alienating hundreds of millions of Muslims by saying anything critical of Islam. But honesty compels me to say candidly and without rancor that the God of the Qur’an is not the loving God revealed by Jesus. According to the Quran, God does not love sinners. This fact is emphasized repeatedly and consistently like a drumbeat throughout the pages of the Qur’an. Just listen to the following passages:

    “God loves not the unbelievers” (III.33)

    “God loves not the impious and sinners” (II.277)

    “God loves not evildoers” (III. 58)

    “God loves not the proud” (IV. 37)

    “God loves not transgressors” (V. 88)

    “God loves not the prodigal” (VI. 142)

    “God loves not the treacherous” (VIII.59)

    “God is an enemy to unbelievers” (II. 99)

    Over and over again the Qur’an declares that God does not love the very people whom the Bible says God loves so much that He sent His Son to die for them!

    Now this may seem paradoxical in light of the Qur’an’s calling God “al-Rahman al-Rahim”–the All-Merciful–until you realize that according to the Qur’an what God’s mercy really cashes out to is that if you believe and do righteous deeds, then God can be counted on to give you what you have earned, plus a bonus. Thus, the Quran promises,

    Work and God will surely see your work. (9. 105)

    Every soul shall be paid in full for what it has earned. (2. 282)

    Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and perform the prayer and pay the alms–their wage awaits them with the Lord. (2. 278)

    According to the Qur’an God’s love is thus reserved only for those who earn it. It says,

    To those who believe and do righteousness, God will assign love. (19. 97).

    So the Qur’an assures us of God’s love for the God-fearing and the good-doers; but He has no love for sinners and unbelievers. Thus, in the Islamic conception, God is not all-loving. His love is partial and has to be earned. The Muslim God only loves those who first love Him. His love thus rises no higher than the love which Jesus said even tax-collectors and unbelievers exhibit.

    Now don’t you think this is an inadequate conception of God? What would you think of a parent who said to his children, “If you measure up to my standards and do as I say, then I will love you”? Some of you have had parents like that, who didn’t love you unconditionally, and you know the emotional scars you bear as a result. As the greatest conceivable being, the most perfect being, the source of all goodness and love, God’s love must be unconditional and impartial. Therefore, the Islamic conception of God seems to me to be morally deficient. I therefore cannot rationally accept it.

    Undoubtedly, this difference between Jesus’ Heavenly Father and the God of Mohammed is most clearly exhibited in the attitude we’re commanded to have toward non-believers. Jesus said that we should love unbelievers, just as God does, even if they are our enemies. Mohammed’s attitude and teaching were quite different. Early on in his career, when he himself was in the persecuted minority, Mohammed had a very positive attitude toward Jews and Christians, whom he called the “People of the Book” because of their adherence to the Bible. He believed that once the Jews understood his message, they would willingly convert to Islam. Passages in the Quran from this early period of Mohammed’s life are quite positive toward Jews and Christians.

    But when the Jews did not convert, but opposed Mohammed, he became increasingly embittered against them. As Mohammed acquired political and military strength, the persecuted prophet changed to the ruthless politician. He began to have the Jews in Medina, where his base of operations was, either killed or dispossessed. In the year 627, after an unsuccessful attack on Medina by the Arab army from Mecca, Mohammad rounded up hundreds of Jewish families in Medina. 700 Jewish men were put to the sword, and Mohammad had their wives and children sold into slavery.

    Mohammad realized that in order to unify the fractious Arab tribes, outward expansion was necessary. So he turned his eyes toward Syria and Iraq as obvious targets. At this time he lifted all protection from pagans. Unless they submitted to Islam, they were to be exterminated. The ninth chapter of the Quran comes from this period of Mohammad’s life. It states that for four months pagan idolaters shall be left alone unmolested. Then comes this chilling command: “When the sacred months are past, kill the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. [But] If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way . . . . they are your brothers in the Faith” (9.5, 11). Not only pagans, but even Jews and Christians, the once respected People of the Book, now also came under Mohammad’s ban. Unless they submitted, they were likewise to be eliminated. Chapter 9 goes on to command Muslims: “Fight those from among the People of the Book who . . . do not embrace the true Faith until they pay tribute out of their own hand and are utterly subdued” (9.29). This chapter goes on to rebuke in the harshest terms any Muslim who refuses to go forth to fight: God will punish him and replace him with others (9.38-39). Muslims who refuse to fight will be smitten by God, either directly or — ominously—at the hands of faithful Muslims who do fight (9.52) “Wait if you will,” the hesitant are told, “We too are waiting.” But those who go forth in God’s holy war are promised either victory or martyrdom (9.52). Those who die in God’s cause are promised a Paradise of sensual delights: green gardens with flowing waters, silk couches, abundant wine, and voluptuous, dark-eyed virgins for their pleasure ( ).

    These are the last commands in the Qur’an with respect to unbelievers. Mohammad died shortly thereafter in 632 with plans before him for the attacks on neighboring nations. His successors carried out those attacks. In 633 the armies of Islam took Persia; in 635 Damascus fell; in 638 Jerusalem succumbed; in 640 Egypt was taken, and so on, right across North Africa to the Atlantic Coast.

    We in the West with our democratic, liberal values tend to think that every religion surely shares our values. American officials have repeatedly said that we should not refer to the terrorists as “Islamic fundamentalists” because they are murderers, and no major religion advocates murder. I wonder if these officlas have ever read the ninth chapter of the Qur’an. The truth of the matter is Islam is a religion which enjoins violence and which, historically, has been propagated by violence.

    Contrary to what you hear tirelessly repeated in the media, the word “Islam” does not mean “peace.” That claim is simply linguistically false. “Islam” is the Arabic word for submission or surrender. That is what Muslims are called upon to do: to surrender everything to God. Thus, contrary to Western ways of thinking, Islam is not a church. It is crucial that we understand this. Islam is a total way of life: everything is to be submitted to God: the government, the economy, social mores, every aspect of society is submitted to God. Islam is thus all-consuming. The Western idea of separation of church and state is meaningless in Islam. For everything is to be submitted to God.

    What this means is that it is really the so-called moderate Arab states like Egypt and Turkey, where you have a secular government distinct from Islamic law, in effect a separation of church and state, which are the ones who acting inconsistently with Islam. They have adopted a Western model of governance, a separation of church and state, which is fundamentally incompatible with Islam. And that’s why Islamic fundamentalists hate these moderate Arab regimes and want to overthrow them. The fundamentalists understand more accurately the true nature of Islam.

    But of course our public officials dare not say such a thing. We need the support of these moderate Arab states if our war against terrorism is to succeed. Therefore, moderate Muslims must be courted and reassured. And thus we get all these politically correct, revisionist statements in the media that Islam means peace, that Muslims only fight in self-defense not aggression, that Islam condemns violence, and so forth. All of this is politically motivated revisionism which betrays the true character of Islam.

    This is not to say that Islam sanctions all of the atrocities perpetrated by group like ISIL. I am not aware of anything in the Qur’an or in Sharia law that would sanction the rape of women or the execution of children in the name of Allah. Nor am I saying that Muslims are violent people. I’m talking about theology, not people. We can be thankful that the vast majority of Muslims are not fundamentalists, but are nominal Muslims, whose lives are far better than their theology. Indeed, they may know very little about Islamic theology. Asking a nominal Muslim what Islam teaches is rather like asking a nominal Catholic or Episcopalian what Christianity teaches!

    So I trust you can see how absurd is the claim that the God of Mohammed is the Father of Jesus Christ. The Father of Jesus Christ loves sinners and commands us to love even our enemies, not to mention our neighbor. The God of Mohammad loves only those who love him, and he is an enemy to unbelievers. His followers are commanded to hunt down and kill unbelievers unless and until they submit. The God of the Qur’an is a defamation of the Heavenly Father proclaimed and revealed by Jesus.

    To wrap up, then, we’ve seen, first, that the Christian concept of God as a Trinity is rationally unobjectionable and, second, that the Muslim concept of God is, by contrast, rationally objectionable because the God of Islam is morally deficient and therefore not the greatest conceivable being. As one theologian has rightly exclaimed, “Thank God for God!”

    Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/concept-of-god-in-islam-and-christianity#ixzz3wpFIk615

  19. I love it when people cherry pick their scriptures. I’m sure it’s what god intended. /sarc off

    It’s far too much to torture people with by copying and pasting here, but if you’re interested, here’s a little summary of the horrific violence from the bible:

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html

    And if intolerance is your thing:

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/int/long.html

    They have another page showing how much more violent the bible is than the quran but I think there is a limit on how many links one can post here.

  20. PhillyT,

    Noone (at least, I am not, Darren, Dr. Craig, or even most Biblical scholars) believes that the Bible has less acts of violence than the Qur’an. This not even the point expressed by the article I ‘copied & pasted.’

    One of the points of the article is to explain to everyone that the Qur’an encourages violence against non-believers. My only question (and the answered, that I was given by a few Muslim apologists/theologians was shocking) was Mohammed’s teaching or quote meant as an everlasting covenant to all Muslims, including current (time of his writings and/or life) and future Muslims? Or was it just for the people/nations that he encountered during his lifetime, and he and/or other Muslim, (later on, received a new revelation) disciples issue a new covenant with non-believers and/or believers?

    A few Muslim apologists/theologians responses: Yes. Mohammed’s teachings were meant as an everlasting ‘covenant’ for all Muslims (Hence, the Crusades and there are a few historians and politicians who believe the Crusades have never ended). There are a few Muslim apologist/theologians who have stated that Mohammed meant this for his time period due to the Jews and Christains not wanting to believe his teachings. However, these Muslim apologists/theologians were unable to provide me with historical and/or more recent literature stating that there was a new covenant issued by Mohammed and/or his immediate followers (Also, does this response go against what Mohammed originally asserted in the Qur’an? Too many of the Muslims and Muslim nations in the Middle East, this response is totally against Mohammed’s teachings as stated in the Qur’an).

    Did Jesus Christ encourages his disciples (and future followers) to become ‘violent’ with non-believers who refuse to believe? No (Although He did go into the Jewish Temple and violently overturned merchants and stockbrokers’ tables and booths, because the Jews turn the house of the Lord into a modern day Walmart, and not to mention the Jews were breaking/violating the Mosaic Law/Covenant about keeping the Temple of the Lord as a house of worship, He never encouraged His disciples to do this-violently disrupt wrong doing anywhere-and His disciples obeyed.😉).

    What’s even more interesting about this incident is that Jews Regilous Leaders knew they were in the wrong, and didn’t do anything to stop Jesus from chasing the merchants out of the temple? Some theologians have explicated that the Jewish Priest were being secretly paid by the merchants to sell in the temple (since the temple was the place were everyone visited?), and everyone knew it. However, they were afraid to speak out against the Jewish Leaders for fear of being kicked out of the Temple?

    When He returns, will Jesus Christ violently dispose of (place in the Lake of Fire for all eternity) anyone who refused to believe that He is the Christ and obey His teachings? Yes!

    Revelation 20:11-15 ‘Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were open. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.’

  21. Study the divorce settlement of Donald Trump and Ivana Trump.

    They were married in New York during Easter of 1977. NYC Mayor Beame attended the wedding at Marble Collegiate Church. Donald had already made his alliance with Roy Cohn,
    who would become his lawyer and mentor. Shortly before the wedding, Donald reportedly told Ivana, “You have to sign this agreement.” “What is this?” she asked. “Just a document that will protect my family money.”

    Cohn gallantly offered to find Ivana a lawyer. “We don’t have these documents in Czechoslovakia,” Ivana reportedly said, but she told friends that she was terrified of Cohn and his power over Donald.
    The first agreement gave Ivana $20,000 a year. Two years later, Trump had made his own fortune. “You better redo the agreement, Donald,” Cohn reportedly told him.
    “Otherwise you’re going to look hard and greedy.” Ivana resisted. “You don’t like it, stick to the old agreement,” Trump is said to have replied.

  22. Some comments on religion get quite long. Like the one quoting some Lang fellow. But I will put it simply: On The Eight Day God Created Dog and Sent Dog To Earth To Give Guidance To Mankind.

    There ain’t no dogs dumb enough to embrace Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or the rest. Any human too dumb to get a dog so as to get guidance should become one of those idiot religious nitwits.

  23. RWL
    Your interpretation of what Jesus taught and/or what he meant is simply that: your interpretation. Wars, murders, slavery, subjugation of women, child rape, bombings, invading other countries and so much more, have all been committed in his name.

    When I read the bible, I came up with a very different interpretation that you, and god never told me otherwise. See, I always thought that the essence of Jesus’ teaching, and what REALLY got him into trouble, was that he said the kingdom of heaven is within you, and the path is available to everyone—that he was god, but that so was everyone if they would just wake up.

    Strange, isn’t it? That god always turns out to have the same thoughts, wishes and hatreds that we do? Could it just be something else at work?

  24. Wow. Just six weeks until Spring training. Don’t those guys get a rest? I remember when the WS was over around a month earlier. I guess I will have to get the dates of my first WS game in 1944.

  25. On migration. One never calls it “immigration”. The end result of the Muslim refugees flooding into Europe might be Christian and agnostic Europeans coming to America. We could use them up on the Great Lakes. The current generation of slugs is not interested in sailboating. They play with smartphones all day. Give us your tired of Muslims, not so poor and not huddled masses. Those who avoid Mass. By that I mean Catholic Mass not Massachusetts.

  26. PO wrote: “all laws are interpretative”

    Hence the impotency of any religion as an objective system of truth or government.

  27. Justice Holmes

    “Let’s face it Islam is a relgion like many others, made by man. As a result, it contains all the faults of man…it is not perfect and should not be treated as such. A relgion can only be judged by the conduct of its adherents and at the moment that makes Islam look none too perfect.”

    Exactly, that is why a society must evolve away from religious laws and towards secular laws based on the fabric of the society. Most Western countries are inhabited by adherents of many religions. It has proved impossible to rule all from one church. The most evolved and humanistic societies on earth are those that rule from secular laws. Those frozen in time such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, etc seem to be where the problems originate.

    The communist countries could be included in the religious group as they are fixed in time as well, adhering to quasi religious doctrines and slow to evolve. However, societal evolution does take place as in the case of the USSR.

    The glue that holds the world together is commerce, as it has always been. Otherwise why would Western nations have anything to do with those countries frozen in time. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose.

  28. Yet another tragic example of the persecution of other faiths under Islamic rule, and the quality of women.

    Philly T:

    “pound for pound the bible is more violent than the quran”. This is the same quagmire many people get into.
    1. How often does anyone follow the Old Testament in the West, a predominantly Christian region. Burned a bull on Sunday? Stoned anyone? We occasionally see cultists like fundamentalist Mormons from Yearning for Zion who practice polygamy and forced child marriages, and they get arrested.
    2. The New Testament replaced the Old Testament

    Why do people inevitably proclaim that Christianity is just as bad each and every solitary time a Muslim theocracy murders gay people, take children away from Christian women, lash women for meeting with an uncle without her father’s permission, stone people, etc, etc, etc or engage in terrorism in the name of extremist Islam.

    In order for it to be considered just as bad, Christianity would have to have people following the Old Testament, stoning people, everywhere that it is a majority faith.

    What we actually have are the Crusades, which were fought according to the customs of the times to combat the Muslim Expansion which was conquering Europe, without which this news story would be happening here in America and all us women would be wearing niqabs. And we have the Puritans of hundreds of years ago. And we have occasional cultist nuts who do insane things and get arrested. Other than that, nothing.

    Instead of pretending that extremist Islam is not a threat, we should stop being afraid of the facts. If a moderate, Westernized Muslim tells me theirs is their true version of Islam, I believe him. If an extremist with some journalists severed head in his hands tells us his is the true version of Islam, I believe him. Because we each get to choose what, if any, faith, to follow and how to do so. Uncomfortable, or not, the fact remains that extremist Islam is the norm, not the exception, in every Middle Eastern Muslim theocracy. Extremist, by most definitions, includes the murder of apostates, giving a husband the power and the right to beat his wife, not permitting women to travel without the permission of their husband, the murder of gays, the murder of anyone who criticizes a religious figure or holy book, and forcing people through the threat of jail time, beatings, or executions to follow religious law. That sounds pretty extreme to most people. Yes, of course, Islam can and is followed in peace by many Muslims living here in America. For them, it is a source of peace, and the sword verses and other extreme passages are considered either anachronistic or metaphors. Just like Christians ignore the dictates in the Old Testament to burn a bull in sacrifice, etc, as it was replaced by the New Testament.

    These modern, Westernized Muslims living happily in peace with others are reformers.

    What apologists do not realize is that in their rush to proclaim that Christianity is just as bad, they appear to be defending the very people who kill gays, take children away from Christian women, beat women for seeing their uncle without permission, etc. What in the world are you defending? Why soften criticism that is justly earned?

    The Catholic Church justly earned global condemnation for its pedophilia scandal. It would have been absurd to interjet, but (insert other groups of pedophiles) are just as bad. It is immaterial to the criticism and need for reform for the Catholic Church.

  29. RWL
    “”I am not aware of anything in the Qur’an or in Sharia law that would sanction the rape of women or the execution of children in the name of Allah. Nor am I saying that Muslims are violent people””
    ——————————
    For someone who seems to know so much what is in the quran and about Islam, shouldn’t he know with certainty that none of such is in the Quran?

    Anyone wants to compare holy books?
    Ask yourself, which holy book, 1400 years ago:
    – made it clear that men and women are equal
    -made it clear that human beings are all equal no matter their means and ethnicity
    – offered divorce rules that protected woman through and after the divorce
    – Offered marital rights to women
    – Offered societal protection to women and children
    – Made it part of faith to care for widows and orphans, and to manumits slaves.
    – Established rights for slaves.
    – Offered the original Geneva convention, that protected prisoners from abuse
    -Offered the original magna carta that gave rights to everyone
    – Gave rights to nature, and to animals
    -Established rules of war that protected non-combatants, civilians and property.
    -That prevented preemptive strikes…
    – That prevented torture or abuses of any kind
    -That made it part of faith to revere previous prophets, all of them?
    -That allowed retribution to no more than the hurt caused…and even then, urges forgiveness?

    Which book?
    I challenge you to bring any holy book, any constitution anywhere, any convention anywhere that is as comprehensive in its aim to protect the natural rights of creation, man, woman, child, animals, trees, nature as the Blessed Quran!

  30. RWL, prof Lang’s conclusion i based on a false premise, that Muhamad’s attitude towards Jews and Christians changed when he started gaining power. In that, he quotes the verse out of context, which is incredibly deceptive for someone with such knowledge of the Quran. But I understand that he had no choice but to, for to otherwise quote the verse in context would make his whole argument fall to pieces.
    Watch:
    ———————————-

    Qasim Rashid Become a fan
    Prophet Muhammad’s Rules of War

    Prophet Muhammad is history’s first major figure to condemn collateral damage in word and deed. His advanced rules of war established 1,400 years ago a yet unmatched humanitarian standard. And herein lies the solution to modern conflict. The Quran first describes when fighting is permitted:

    Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged… Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is God’ — And if God did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down temples and churches and synagogues and mosques… (22:40-41).

    Thus, the permission — not commandment — to fight is defensive. And that fighting protects temples, churches, synagogues, and mosques — which is to say, universal religious freedom.

    While critics and extremist groups both love to cite Quranic excerpts like “kill them where ye find them,” they ignore that such verses clearly refer to treatment of those who would violently persecute Christians, Jews, or any person because of his faith. Indeed, Muhammad commanded the following uncompromising rules of war:

    O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well… for your guidance in the battlefield! Do not commit treachery, or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.

    Thus, Muhammad’s rules of war permit defensive fighting against active combatants while forbidding harm to anyone or anything else — human, animal, or property. Contrast this with Hamas rocket attacks and PIJ terrorist attacks — the distinction is clear. Likewise, as Gaza’s death count rises, Israel also has blood on its hands. According to Muhammad’s rules of war, no justification exists for either side to attack civilians, property, animals, or anyone who is not an active combatant.

    And even against combatants, Muhammad put Muslims on notice. Once, Usama bin Zaid overcame an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. The soldier implored Usama for amnesty just as Usama prepared to deliver the deathblow. Usama heard but ignored the plea and killed him anyway. Learning of this, Muhammad vociferously condemned Usama’s act as repulsive to Islamic rules of war.

    Mind you, this combatant persecuted Muslims, helped exile them from Mecca, pursued them to murder them, and even then Muhammad required Usama to accept his amnesty plea — knowing full well the plea could be a lie.

    Muhammad assumed this risk because he refused to forsake any opportunity for peace. After Muhammad, the Khalifa Umar, and centuries later, the legendary Muslim General Salahuddin, again demonstrated these principles. Both insisted Jews return to Jerusalem — as equals — whereas they suffered immense persecution under Christian rule.

    Even ardent critics of Islam such as Sir William Muir admit that Muslims treated POWs with immense dignity. Captives were well fed and ransoms were according to their means. Indigent captives, meanwhile, “were allotted ten boys to be taught the art of writing” as a ransom.

    A ransom of education — an example Hamas and PIJ have forgotten, and one Israel doesn’t know.

    History demonstrates that Muhammad’s rules of war — when applied with justice — lead to peace. If applied today, Muhammad’s rules can end not only collateral damage, but war itself.

    mbers.”

  31. Jesus in you loving people is heaven in you. God got rid of people who wanted to kill people who had heaven in them. God was protecting them. God did not dash anything aginst anything. God saw what would happen to the children of people who did not trust in him trusting in the devil through their body in what it could do.

  32. Sorry Karen, but your version of your religion might say that the new testament replaces the old one, but there are plenty of modern day christians who would disagree, and who “quote” Jesus as saying that he did not come to do away with the OT but to fulfill it, and in their mind that means that Leviticus is still in force, you know, for the rules they want to enforce.

    For what it’s worth, I think that extremist muslims have the upper hand in terms of modern day terrorism and overall violence in the name of their god. But give them the 700 year head start that the christians have and maybe they’ll have a reformation. Of course, the problem is we don’t have time to wait. It’s not just horses and swords, bows and arrows any more. So yes, something needs to happen.

    But I’m not letting christians off the hook. They still shoot clinic doctors, print bible verses on their rifles before they go shoot “towel heads”. They still shoot black men for no reason. They still occupy and blow up federal buildings. They randomly beat up sikhs and hindus thinking they are muslims. Oh, and you did forget to mention the Inquisition. And they are constantly trying to infiltrate our schools and governments, trying to subjugate and undermine the Constitution and laws of our nation, and are largely responsible for our backwards-ass attitude on science and global climate change. So, yeah, they have a lot to answer for.

  33. Then again, aren’t we a theocracy anyway?
    Isn’t the bible our constitution…?
    Activist judge anyone :
    ——————————–
    METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday the idea of religious neutrality is not grounded in the country’s constitutional traditions and that God has been good to the U.S. exactly because Americans honor him.

    Scalia was speaking at a Catholic high school in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Louisiana. Scalia, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 is the court’s longest serving justice. He has consistently been one of the court’s more conservative members.

    He told the audience at Archbishop Rummel High School that there is “no place” in the country’s constitutional traditions for the idea that the state must be neutral between religion and its absence.

    “To tell you the truth there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition. Where did that come from?” he said. “To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another but can’t favor religion over non-religion?”

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    He also said there is “nothing wrong” with the idea of presidents and others invoking God in speeches. He said God has been good to America because Americans have honored him.

  34. Po states: ‘For someone who seems to know so much what is in the Quran and about Islam, shouldn’t he know with certainty that none of such is in the Quran?’

    Dr. Craig was being rhetorical. He agrees to this.

    Po states: ‘RWL, prof Lang’s conclusion i based on a false premise, that Muhamad’s attitude towards Jews and Christians changed when he started gaining power. In that, he quotes the verse out of context, which is incredibly deceptive for someone with such knowledge of the Quran. But I understand that he had no choice but to, for to otherwise quote the verse in context would make his whole argument fall to pieces.’

    You challenged Dr. Craig on his statement for the reason why he believed Mohammad and his followers began his political and/or military conquest , but you ignore the historical facts right afterwards:

    ‘He began to have the Jews in Medina, where his base of operations was, either killed or dispossessed. In the year 627, after an unsuccessful attack on Medina by the Arab army from Mecca, Mohammad rounded up hundreds of Jewish families in Medina. 700 Jewish men were put to the sword, and Mohammad had their wives and children sold into slavery.’

    Now, do you deny that this historical event transpired? Nowhere in middle eastern historical records does it state that 700 Jewish men tried to kill Mohammad because he tried to convert them to Islam. Nowhere does it state that Mohammad and his followers were defending themselves. If you have a different piece of historical evidence that contradicts what Dr. Craig has posited about the Jews in Medina & Mohammad’s encounter in 627 AD, then please feel free to share it.

    Let’s also look at other historical info about Mohammad and his military conquest that you did not mention:

    After taking control of Jerusalem (from the Byzantines) in 638 AD, Mohammad’s followers did allow the Jews and Christians to practice their (Judaism and Christianity) religion. However, 50 years later, Mohammad’s followers built a Mosque on top of the Jewish Temple (which was destroyed earlier by the Persians); the Jews and Christians (of the time) thought that the Muslims were rebuilding the Jewish Temple. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit too well with the Jews and Christians. Why is Jerusalem so important to Muslims? Shouldn’t it be Mecca? Please read the following excerpt from an article ( http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/jerusalem.htm) for a few answers:

    Islam’s late mystical claim on Jerusalem

    It is a fact that Muhammad never entered Jerusalem in a down-to-earth way, with boots on the ground, as it were. It is also a fact that the Quran never mentions Jerusalem once.

    However, according to the prolific Muslim scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, Muhammad transforms Jerusalem into a holy site for Muslims primarily in three ways (“The Spiritual Significance of Jerusalem: The Islamic Vision. The Islamic Quarterly. 4 (1998): pp.233-242).

    First, while in Mecca the prophet used Syria (i.e. Jerusalem) as his first qiblah (prayer direction); then, after Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina, Allah permitted his prophet to turn towards Mecca in prayer sixteen months after he arrived (Sura 2:144, 149-150). For Nasr, this permission therefore provides a “mystical” link between Mecca and Jerusalem.

    Second, while Muhammad was still living in Mecca, he reports that he took a Night Journey to a farther location in a vision, even though Jerusalem is never mentioned by name. According to MAS Abdel Haleem’s translation for Oxford University Press (2004), the two passages in the sura (or chapter), itself entitled Night Journey, read:

    17:1 Glory to Him who made His servant travel by night from the sacred place of worship [Mecca] to the furthest place of worship [Jerusalem], whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him some of Our signs . . . .

    17:59 . . . We send signs only to give warning. 60 Prophet, We have told you that your Lord knows all human beings. The vision We showed you was only a test for people . . . .

    This non-empirical revelation contains two basic ideas: First, as the context around verses 59 and 60 show, Muhammad was undergoing some persecution in Mecca; the polytheists were asking for a sign of Muhammad’s prophethood. He replies that he is only an ordinary man, so he cannot perform them. The only sign Allah gives him is a vision. Second, this revelation parallels the one in 2:144, which permits Muhammad to take over the Kabah shrine before he actually does. The two passages are mutually supportive. Sura 17:1 reads: . . . “whose surroundings We have blessed” . . . . Allah blesses the location (Jerusalem, though the Quran never says this), as He will bless Mecca a few years later. It should be noted that later tradition says that while in Jerusalem Muhammad was taken up to the seventh heaven from the Temple Mount, giving the vision extra significance for Muslims today.

    This is why the al-Aqsa or “farthest” Mosque has been built on top of the Jewish Temple—not near the Temple. But is a non-historical revelation that does not mention Jerusalem by name sufficient justification for building the prime symbol of Islamic imperialism on the historically Jewish holy site? So it seems that in the first and second reasons Allah grants a spiritual link to Mecca and (unnamed) Jerusalem—how much better can religious revelations become for Allah’s favorite prophet?

    The third factor, says Nasr, is the Muslim belief in the Second Coming of Christ to Jerusalem. Therefore the city is sacred to Muslims and to Christians—according to Nasr. But this is misleading, for Muslim theology erroneously says that Jesus will return as a leader of Muslims and break the cross to show how wrong Christians have been, in following their Lord (Bukhari; and Muslim no. 289). Also, these hadiths say nothing about Jerusalem. Rather, traditional belief says that he is supposed to return to Damascus, as this Islamic website asserts. But let us assume, only for the sake of argument, that Nasr is correct about Jerusalem. Then his assertion still fails, for the reasons explained now.

    The empirical and political implications of these three non-empirical factors (the qiblah, the Night Vision, and the Second Coming) are enormous: Muslim ownership over Jerusalem. With these three factors combined, Jerusalem is now the third holiest site for Muslims and therefore a place of pilgrimage and alleged ownership.

    According to this dubious epistemology (a term that means the study of how we acquire our knowledge), revelation takes priority over historical facts; indeed, revelation makes or creates history. Even Nasr accepts this disembodied, ephemeral epistemology:

    Not all the Palestinians nor all the Arabs nor even all the over one billion two hundred million Muslims now living in the world could give Jerusalem away for no matter what amount of wealth, power, land, or any other worldly compensation. The attachment to Jerusalem is permanent and will last as long as human history itself. (p. 234)

    Po,

    You also mentioned one statement/sentence from Dr. Craig’s article that has nothing to do with how he arrived at his conclusion(s) about the religion of Islam on the subject matter of the concept of God as compared to the Christian Doctrine (Bible) and Islamic Doctrine (Qur’an) and the Trinity Doctrine:

    The Muslim Concept of God is rationally objectionable because the God of Islam is morally deficient, and therefore not the greatest conceivable being.

    Mohammad (and therefore, millions of Muslims) misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Did you read his entire article?

  35. PhillyT:

    “Sorry Karen, but your version of your religion might say that the new testament replaces the old one, but there are plenty of modern day christians who would disagree, and who “quote” Jesus as saying that he did not come to do away with the OT but to fulfill it, and in their mind that means that Leviticus is still in force, you know, for the rules they want to enforce.”

    Right. OK. So please point out to me the plenty of Christians who are burning a bull on the Sabbath, and otherwise literally following the Old Testament. “Doing away with” or “fulfilling it”, either way the OT is no longer followed, in regards to laws and customs.

    The only scenario I can come up with are those cults that pop up from time to time, where everyone gets arrested for abuses.

    “But give them the 700 year head start that the christians have and maybe they’ll have a reformation.” That is a common argument, and I can see the logic. However, anyone can start a new religion in the US. And yet, you will not be excused for 700 years if your new religion murders gay people or otherwise abuses human rights. If you declare your new God to be named Bob, and worship an idol made out of a purple cotton ball, you cannot engage in human sacrifice with the explanation that, hey, shouldn’t I get 700 years to live up to modern standards?

    It’s not because it’s a comparatively new religion. It’s because it operates within the framework of a region that never moved beyond tribal warfare and fighting, or recognized human rights. I suspect that the region could somehow turn Buddhism into an extremist warrior religion. Without respect for life, equality, and what Olly would refer to as natural rights, there can be no peace, whether it’s a religious or secular government. Respect for liberty and equality and tolerance for other faiths would go far to reform the extremism. But how to achieve it?

    The sad truth is that entire regions are lightyears behind the US in terms of freedoms and equality. I hope we don’t screw up our own country, because many do not appreciate how lucky we are. Take Germany, for example. They’re moving in the wrong direction in terms of free speech, attacks of roving gangs on women that you can get arrested for criticizing, apparently, and economically.

  36. Karen I certainly agree with a lot of what you say. Islam is tied up with a lot of ancient cultural carryovers. It’s a huge problem. At the same time I know a lot of very modern very peaceful muslims who are wonderful people. Same with christians actually. But the violent extremists are a big problem, and with bombs, viruses, nuclear waste, etc. available in addition to the millions and millions of lethal weapons sold every year, it is something that needs to get solved quickly.

    We are in many ways more advanced and “civilized” if you will, but if you peel back the veneer just a little, it exposes our history of slavery, overthrow of other governments, colonialism, and rampant misbehavior overseas in the name of the dollar. Combine that with the history of European colonialists and it makes understanding current world problems more complex. This mess didn’t just arrive here, we played a big part in creating it, supporting it, and allowing horrible regimes to flourish because it furthered our needs and goals. Now the chickens are coming home to roost and it’s not pretty.

    I won’t argue modern christianity in America with you–all one needs to do is look around and it’s obvious that folks pick and choose what they want to believe. From Kim Davis to David Duke. Ken Hamm to Rafael Cruz
    to Jim Inhofe. I’ve always liked Jesus, liked his teachings. But his followers, not so much. The history of things they do in his name is shameful at best.

    I hope we can remain a secular nation. A theocracy by any name and under any flag is bound to be a disaster.

  37. Philly T:

    The Inquisition happened hundreds of years ago. It is anachronistic to apply today’s values and mores to judge what occurred hundreds of years ago. There was also slavery, plague, children were executed for theft, people starved in the hedgerows, women had very little rights, forced arranged marriages, piracy, said pirates were executed by tying them to a stake at low tide for them to slowly drown as the tide came in and their bodies were left until the crows and crabs shredded them from the poles. There were also witch burnings hundreds of years ago.

    Moral relativity is false logic, especially when you compare events from hundreds of years ago. True, there are occasional cultists, as I’ve mentioned, and I’ve heard of maybe a couple or several attacks on abortion clinics that were perpetrated by Christian extremists, although one does not have to be religious to oppose abortion. I have also never heard any quote from McVeigh stating that he committed domestic terrorism because of any Christian faith. I thought he was anti-government. But, for the sake of argument, even if I give that to you, that’s one single person.

    How does a couple of abortion attacks, which are prosecuted, in any way compare with the violence sweeping the globe in the name of Islam? The extremism that is the norm in every single Muslim theocracy, in which gay men are executed, insulting the Qu’ran or the Prophet is a death sentence, etc?

    There is NO COMPARISON. I’ve agreed with you that there is plenty of violence in the Old Testament, such as Cain being cast out by God because he murdered his own brother. But the New Testament replaces the Old (or is fulfilled, pick your semantics.) Regardless, if Christians were just as bad as extremist Muslims, then that infamous “art show” in which they displayed a crucifix in a jar of piss would have been blown up. Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” video would have caused world wide riots. That facts are just not there to support this.

    Oh, and as for people engraving religious quotes on rifles – most people pray when they are faced with a life or death situation, whether they are Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Hindu. A soldier going off to Vietnam prayed really hard that he would make it home in one piece. He was not in a Holy War. He was praying for guidance, safety, and to hold on to his sanity. A Christian gun manufacturer engraving a religious phrase onto rifles because they believe we are on the right and just side does not mean that wars fought with such rifles are fought because our religion forces us to war with non believers.

    I do not believe the facts agree with you.

  38. PhillyT:

    “At the same time I know a lot of very modern very peaceful muslims who are wonderful people. Same with christians actually. But the violent extremists are a big problem, and with bombs, viruses, nuclear waste, etc. available in addition to the millions and millions of lethal weapons sold every year, it is something that needs to get solved quickly.”

    I agree. I’ve known many lovely Muslim people. I’ve been to Muslim events, visited with Muslim women friends while they bundled up and prayed, have a Farsi and an Egyptian nickname, know numerous phrases in Farsi and Arabic. I have zero problem with modern Muslims. They certainly do not want the extremism from which they fled to infect the West. The people most against extremism would be those who survived it.

    Yes, we do have the good, the bad, and the ugly in our history. What I urge people to remember, however, is not to judge our history anachronistically. At the same time that we had slavery, the Dutch and the Portuguese were some of the world’s most prolific slavers. Charles Dickens was writing about the abject misery of the poor in Great Britain. The Royal Navy kidnapped men on their way home to work to press them, leaving their families to starve.

    It’s all relative.

  39. Totally agree. Radiolab did a show a while back about the history of the British in Kenya. Horrific torture, slaughter and abuse, all coming to light now because of their version of FOIA.

    The Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese were no better. And don’t get me started on Denmark. It is indeed all relative. Thanks.

  40. phillyT,
    you said it all!
    A rational mind can link issues, address the proximate causes and the dismal causes, and to speak of Muslim issues without the role others have played in those issues is so hypocritical as to be concussive.
    Shia and Sunnis lived harmoniously before we invaded Iraq.
    All groups lived harmoniously in Syria before we tried to take out Assad.
    There was no extremist groups in Libya before we took out khaddafi…
    Then to turn around and blame Muslims for immigrating out of their countries that we destroyed…priceless!

  41. Plus there was the extermination of the Aborigines in Australia. No one’s a sweetheart in history by today’s standards.

    The past happened, and it’s important, but I don’t judge our past by modern standards. I just count my lucky stars that I didn’t live back then. It would be interesting to visit but wouldn’t want to live there. No wonder children’s fairy tales were traditionally so dark and violent. You were lucky to live until you were 30.

  42. Today is “”Correct karen day (every other day actually)””
    Karen S
    1, January 10, 2016 at 11:51 am
    Yet another tragic example of the persecution of other faiths under Islamic rule, and the quality of women.
    When was the last time anyone of a different faith was prosecuted in…Eenie meenie miney mo… Iran?
    What is the country where currently people, including elected government officials are calling for the persecution of fellow Americans based on their faith?
    And where is it that Christians attack the law and constitution for giving “natural rights”to homosexuals?
    Yes, the United States of America.

    “Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?” Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner on the Ten Commandments ruling, June 27, 2005

    In 1773, the Rev. Isaac Backus , the most prominent Baptist minister in New England, observed that when “church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued.”

    1. How often does anyone follow the Old Testament in the West, a predominantly Christian region. Burned a bull on Sunday? Stoned anyone? We occasionally see cultists like fundamentalist Mormons from Yearning for Zion who practice polygamy and forced child marriages, and they get arrested.

    How often does anyone follow shariah law in the West? Less often than other religious laws, biblical, Judaic, mormon, Amish…? More?
    Don’t we think that had Biblical law been implemented here, that women would be subject to these rules (which is what Michelle Bachman urges…):

    Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.
    Titus 2:4-5
    Teach the young women to be … obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
    1 Peter 3:1
    Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.

    2. The New Testament replaced the Old Testament

    Why do people inevitably proclaim that Christianity is just as bad each and every solitary time a Muslim theocracy murders gay people, take children away from Christian women, lash women for meeting with an uncle without her father’s permission, stone people, etc, etc, etc or engage in terrorism in the name of extremist Islam.

    <Because whenever the Lord'Resistance army, a Christian army, kidnaps children, maim civilians, rapes young girl…or Israel, a Jewish state massacres civilians…or gays are lynched in Uganda, a christian country, spurred by a law sponsored by… yes, American evangelists with tax exempt money… or American bible toting terrorists conduct mass shootings… or a US president starts an illegal war based on a religious premise…or American army generals go to jihad spurred by their Christian faith… you and your lot claim that Islam is worse!
    Which is a lie, obviously, because the Iraq war alone, conducted on so called Christian principles, claimed more lives Islam has ever claimed.
    More rapes have been committed in history based on bibical claims than Quranic claims…
    More people have been enslaved and mistreated in history based on biblical claims (yes, the new testament) than quranic claims.
    By the time women obtained the right to vote in the US, Muslim women had already the vote in many places.

    In order for it to be considered just as bad, Christianity would have to have people following the Old Testament, stoning people, everywhere that it is a majority faith.
    <What happened in the US? What is the number cause of death for pregnant women? Murder by their partner.
    Uganda, stoning and lynching for homosexuality.
    1100 people murdered by police officers in 2015
    How many people were murdered by our bombs, drones, weapons of any kind around the globe?
    Imprisoned more people currently than the population of many countries.
    We don't stone people anymore, we still murder them, just more efficiently.
    In Mexico, a Christian country, women are murdered at a rate unmatched anywhere
    Same as in El Salvador, a Christian country
    What about the Rwandan genocide
    And in Serbia?

    And in order to see the deception present in karen’s arguments, one must notice that she is creating an arbitrary standard for Christianity by splitting the old testament from the new testament.
    It is a typical islamophobic argument, one taught in those circles, as addressed quite well here :
    When we published articles showcasing the violence of the Bible–especially after our article about“the Bible’s prescriptive, open-ended, and universal commandments to wage holy war and enslave infidels”–pro-Christian elements were quick to throw the Old Testament (and their Jewish comrades) under the bus: The God of the Old Testament was a god of war, whereas the New Testament is a god of love.

    In order to prove their claim against Islam, the anti-Muslim ideologues must prove the “uniqueness” of the Quran’s violence. Certainly, this is Robert Spencer’s clear-as-daylight argument on p.19 of his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades):

    The Qur’an is unique among the sacred writings of the world in counseling its adherents to make war against unbelievers.

    Short of proving the uniqueness of the Quran’s violence, Spencer et al. have failed in what they set out to do. If it can only be proved that the Quran is only as violent as the Tanakh (or the Torah)–or that Islam is just as violent as Judaism–then what big deal is this? If Spencer wants to fear-monger about Islam, and if–using the same standards–it can be proven that Judaism is just as violent as Islam (nay, more violent)–then will Spencer also fear-monger about Judaism? Can we expect aJewWatch.com website coming soon?

    In fact, such a site already exists, and it looks like JihadWatch, just against Jews instead of Muslims. Indeed, if the same conclusions about Islam were applied to Judaism, then all this would be exposed for what it really is: wholesale bigotry. But it is much easier to get away with bigotry against Muslims than it is against Jews.

    How can Robert Spencer hide behind the “But That’s Just the Old Testament!” Defense when his comrade-in-arms is Jewish? Pamela Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog is a partner in crime with Spencer and company. Clearly, the anti-Muslim Christian right is linked at the hip with Zionist Jews in their shared hatred of Muslims. Why is one side of this unholy alliance willing to throw the other under the bus, and why is the other side ominously quiet when they hear arguments such as “But That’s Just the Old Testament”?

    What apologists do not realize is that in their rush to proclaim that Christianity is just as bad, they appear to be defending the very people who kill gays, take children away from Christian women, beat women for seeing their uncle without permission, etc. What in the world are you defending? Why soften criticism that is justly earned?

    Nope, that is is not the aim, those who defend islam against islamophobes like you are those who defend islam against islamic extremists. Matter of fact, the only ones to claim that those islamic extremists represent islam are themselves and the islamophobes. When the great majority of Muslims deny them an islamic status, why would a non-muslim give it to them? I never would give an abortionist murderer the status of a christian, why would you give islamic status to a muslim murderer? When the letter to Baghdadi, signed by countless recognized islamic scholars tells us that what they do is unislamic, why would you give them that distinction? Unless they suit your purpose that is.

  43. Please discard the previous post.

    Today is “”Correct karen day (every other day actually)””
    Karen S
    1, January 10, 2016 at 11:51 am
    Yet another tragic example of the persecution of other faiths under Islamic rule, and the quality of women.
    When was the last time anyone of a different faith was prosecuted in…Eenie meenie miney mo… Iran?
    What is the country where currently people, including elected government officials are calling for the persecution of fellow Americans based on their faith?
    And where is it that Christians attack the law and constitution for giving “natural rights”to homosexuals?
    Yes, the United States of America.

    “Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?” Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner on the Ten Commandments ruling, June 27, 2005

    In 1773, the Rev. Isaac Backus , the most prominent Baptist minister in New England, observed that when “church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued.”

    1. How often does anyone follow the Old Testament in the West, a predominantly Christian region. Burned a bull on Sunday? Stoned anyone? We occasionally see cultists like fundamentalist Mormons from Yearning for Zion who practice polygamy and forced child marriages, and they get arrested.

    How often does anyone follow shariah law in the West? Less often than other religious laws, biblical, Judaic, mormon, Amish…? More?
    Don’t we think that had Biblical law been implemented here, that women would be subject to these rules (which is what Michelle Bachman urges…):

    Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.
    Titus 2:4-5
    Teach the young women to be … obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
    1 Peter 3:1
    Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.

    2. The New Testament replaced the Old Testament

    Why do people inevitably proclaim that Christianity is just as bad each and every solitary time a Muslim theocracy murders gay people, take children away from Christian women, lash women for meeting with an uncle without her father’s permission, stone people, etc, etc, etc or engage in terrorism in the name of extremist Islam.

    Because whenever the Lord’Resistance army, a Christian army, kidnaps children, maim civilians, rapes young girl…or Israel, a Jewish state massacres civilians…or gays are lynched in Uganda, a christian country, spurred by a law sponsored by… yes, American evangelists with tax exempt money… or American bible toting terrorists conduct mass shootings… or a US president starts an illegal war based on a religious premise…or American army generals go to jihad spurred by their Christian faith… you and your lot claim that Islam is worse!
    Which is a lie, obviously, because the Iraq war alone, conducted on so called Christian principles, claimed more lives Islam has ever claimed.
    More rapes have been committed in history based on biblical claims than Quranic claims…
    More people have been enslaved and mistreated in history based on biblical claims (yes, the new testament) than quranic claims.
    By the time women obtained the right to vote in the US, Muslim women had already the vote in many places.

    In order for it to be considered just as bad, Christianity would have to have people following the Old Testament, stoning people, everywhere that it is a majority faith.
    What happened in the US? What is the number one cause of death for pregnant women? Murder by their partner.
    Uganda, stoning and lynching for homosexuality.
    Here, 1100 people murdered by police officers in 2015
    How many people were murdered by our bombs, drones, weapons of any kind around the globe?
    Imprisoned more people currently than the population of many countries?
    We don’t stone people anymore, we still murder them, just more efficiently.
    In Mexico, a Christian country, women are murdered at a rate unmatched anywhere
    Same as in El Salvador, a Christian country
    What about the Rwandan genocide
    And in Serbia?

    And in order to see the deception present in karen’s arguments, one must notice that she is creating an arbitrary standard for Christianity by splitting the old testament from the new testament.
    It is a typical islamophobic argument, one taught in those circles, as addressed quite well here :

    When we published articles showcasing the violence of the Bible–especially after our article about“the Bible’s prescriptive, open-ended, and universal commandments to wage holy war and enslave infidels”–pro-Christian elements were quick to throw the Old Testament (and their Jewish comrades) under the bus: The God of the Old Testament was a god of war, whereas the New Testament is a god of love.

    In order to prove their claim against Islam, the anti-Muslim ideologues must prove the “uniqueness” of the Quran’s violence. Certainly, this is Robert Spencer’s clear-as-daylight argument on p.19 of his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades):

    The Qur’an is unique among the sacred writings of the world in counseling its adherents to make war against unbelievers.

    Short of proving the uniqueness of the Quran’s violence, Spencer et al. have failed in what they set out to do. If it can only be proved that the Quran is only as violent as the Tanakh (or the Torah)–or that Islam is just as violent as Judaism–then what big deal is this? If Spencer wants to fear-monger about Islam, and if–using the same standards–it can be proven that Judaism is just as violent as Islam (nay, more violent)–then will Spencer also fear-monger about Judaism? Can we expect aJewWatch.com website coming soon?

    In fact, such a site already exists, and it looks like JihadWatch, just against Jews instead of Muslims. Indeed, if the same conclusions about Islam were applied to Judaism, then all this would be exposed for what it really is: wholesale bigotry. But it is much easier to get away with bigotry against Muslims than it is against Jews.

    How can Robert Spencer hide behind the “But That’s Just the Old Testament!” Defense when his comrade-in-arms is Jewish? Pamela Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog is a partner in crime with Spencer and company. Clearly, the anti-Muslim Christian right is linked at the hip with Zionist Jews in their shared hatred of Muslims. Why is one side of this unholy alliance willing to throw the other under the bus, and why is the other side ominously quiet when they hear arguments such as “But That’s Just the Old Testament”?

    What apologists do not realize is that in their rush to proclaim that Christianity is just as bad, they appear to be defending the very people who kill gays, take children away from Christian women, beat women for seeing their uncle without permission, etc. What in the world are you defending? Why soften criticism that is justly earned?

    Nope, that is is not the aim, those who defend islam against islamophobes like you are those who defend islam against islamic extremists. Matter of fact, the only ones to claim that those islamic extremists represent islam are themselves and the islamophobes. When the great majority of Muslims deny them an islamic status, why would a non-muslim give it to them? I never would give an abortionist murderer the status of a christian, why would you give islamic status to a muslim murderer? When the letter to Baghdadi, signed by countless recognized islamic scholars tells us that what they do is unislamic, why would you give them that distinction? Unless they suit your purpose that is.
    On the other hand, one cannot join a thread here that features a Christian or Jew without it turning very quickly against Muslims, a charge which is always led by you.

  44. Jesus whom is forgiving merciful and kind long suffering is not in it. Religions are godless oppressing people with the bible calling it good having people think giving death to sexuality names is good. I defend them. Devils curse at me and want me to die. Jesus did not cruse at people wanting them to die. God made the nude form. People who claim his name want people to look narrowly upon it. God who made it would not do that. Defiled religious minds run hand in hand with the state. Jesus is freedom and life working through a person.

  45. Jesus who is forgiving merciful and kind long suffering is not in it. Religions are godless oppressing people with the bible calling it good having people think giving death to sexuality names is good. I defend them. Devils curse at me and want me to die. Jesus did not cruse at people wanting them to die. God made the nude form. People who claim his name want people to look narrowly upon it. God who made it would not do that. Defiled religious minds run hand in hand with the state. Jesus is freedom and life working through a person

  46. I raise you one, karen, from a so-called “”the only democracy in the ME””
    I noticed you failed to answer any of my points… as usual.
    By the way, Prof Turley, please, please please, allow a debate between me and karen to, once for all, finish this back and forth. Whatever topic of her choosing…which, based on precedent, will be shariah law or Islam …
    I’ll let her set the rules, the only thing I ask is for one to support any argument one makes.
    —————————
    “”Rarely has my email inbox come under great attack than in the run-up to Pope Francis’ visit. Israel’s multiple lobbyists have donned the mantle of Christian saviors. They highlight the safe haven Israel offers the Middle East’s – rather than “Arab”– Christians in contrast to their Muslim tormentors. Fleeing “persecution,” as one email put it, Palestine’s Christian population, they say, has fallen from 10 percent to 2 percent. Palestine’s Muslim masters pursue a program of Sharia-ization in the West Bank as well as Gaza, and the little Christian town of Bethlehem is now a Muslim morass.
    What they do not say is that Israel’s population of native Christians has fallen by roughly the same amount. From 8% in 1947 in all of mandatory Palestine, it numbered 4% in 1948, and is now less than two percent today. The reasons for the decline are largely the same. Jewish, as Muslim, birth-rates are much higher. More importantly, while many Palestinians long to escape the yoke of occupation, Christian-led administrations from Beirut to Bueno Aires, prioritize Christian applicants over Muslim ones.
    “Very few Christians are appointed to senior positions by the PA”, says one briefing, “in what is perceived as routine discrimination.” In fact, the PA’s record is far better than Israel’s. The president’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, is a Christian. So are two cabinet members, for Finance and Tourism, and two members of the PLO’s executive committee. The deputy speaker of the Palestinian National Council, Qonstantin Qurmush, is a priest. Christians abound on boards of banks and chambers of commerce, and head its largest company, CCC. Despite their falling numbers, nine municipalities, including Ramallah and Bethlehem, stipulate their council should have a Christian majority and a Christian mayor. Christmas and Easter are official Palestinian holidays. President Abbas attends three Christmases (the Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian) in Bethlehem and would celebrate Easter in Jerusalem, if Israel let him in. On St. George’s Day, Muslims join Christians to commemorate his martyrdom at his shrine in al-Khadr, near Bethlehem.
    By contrast, in its 66 years, Israel has had no Christian presidential spokesman, government minister, or bank chairman. Where Palestine has eight Christians in its parliament, Israel has two. Where Palestine has at least five ambassadors, including to London and Berlin, Israel has none (although its deputy ambassador to Norway is Christian). The Knesset bans Christmas trees which sprout all over Palestine from public display on its premises. Israel’s prime minister does not go to Church for Christmas, and in his first term in the late 1990s aroused Christian ire by backing construction of a mosque next to Nazareth’s Basilica of Annunciation, while his Palestinian counterpart, Yasser Arafat opposed it.
    For sure, some Palestinian movements claiming to represent the downtrodden deride the outsized role that Christians and Western powers wield over their economy and politics. In the early days of Hamas rule in Gaza, some militants firebombed a church and attacked its worshipers uncannily close to a police station. But the Islamists have since clamped down on their own; their prime minister, Ismail Haniya, pointedly attended church to honor a local Christian politician.
    Israel does give its Christians native citizenship, but when its leaders endlessly trumpet their status as a Jewish state, many feel they have second class status. They are not spared strip-searches at Israel’s airports. Exacerbating Christian anxieties,hate-graffiti – such as “Mary is a prostitute” – is daubed on church doors, and increasingly rife. Priests in Jerusalem say spitting on their habits has become well – a habit. The country’s most prominent Christian politician, Azmi Bishara, was hounded out of Israel amid cries of treachery after he dared to suggest that Israel should be a state for all its citizens. Ameer Makhul, founder of the Haifa-based umbrella group of NGOs, Ittijah, is in jail for spying for Lebanon’s Shia group, Hezbollah. Nervously, Christians in Israel as elsewhere in a region sunk in rampant religious nationalism look for surer climes.
    As they finalize plans for Pope Francis’ visit, there’s something slightly comical about both sides claiming Jesus as their own. Israel hails him as a Jew, the PLO proclaims him Palestinian. Neither yet dare to muse that he might have been both. Palestine is preparing to greet the Pope with hordes of well-wishers, Muslims and Christian alike, while Israel – less sure that Jews might not price-tag his convoy – is preparing to close the streets.
    So before those Israel lobbies send me another email celebrating Israel’s integration of Christians and Palestinian persecution of them, perhaps they might take a leaf out of the Gospel. “First cast the log out of your own eye, that you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s.” Or for those who find it hard to take non-Jewish scriptures seriously, try Proverbs – “Deceive not with thy lips.”
    Nicolas Pelham is a correspondent for The Economist based in Jerusalem. He has been based in Cairo, Rabat and Baghdad and is the author of A New Muslim Order (2008) and co-author of A History of the Middle East (2010). “”
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.590027

  47. Yes, RWL, I read the article.
    Though you say that Dr Craig’s was being rhetorical (metaphorical?), he used the quranic verse as his primary source in order to build his whole argument. If it is found that the verse was quoted out of context and is therefore inadmissible (which it is found), quoting a historical “”fact”” as secondary source does not do the trick.
    The whole quran, actually, in context, opposes Dr Craig’s claims. The permission to fight was given only under very strict guidelines, summarized as:
    Fight only those who fight you
    Fight only to the measure of how much their fight you, and stop when they stop
    Respect your treaties unless they break it first.

    Now regarding the Banu Qurayza, if the Prophet decried the death of the men in the tribe, it would go against not only the aim of the quran, but it would also go against the historical precedent of how were treated the previous tribes guilty of treason.
    The historical record states that the Banu qurayza asked for arbitration from their own allies, according to social rules in effect at that time, who chose the arbitrator, who, himself decided of the sentence according to Jewish rules in effect.
    And that is if this event was documented as it happened.
    But here is a good breakdown of the topic.
    ——————————————-
    “”Banu Qurayza – Massacre or Myth
    Who Were Banu Qurayza?

    Before the Prophet of Islam arrived in Medina there were primarily two groups in Medina, the Jews and Pagans. The Jews were subdivided into three clans, the Banu Qainuqa, Banu Nazir and Banu Quraiza. The other inhabitants of the town were the Aws and Khazraj. Of the two chief clans of the Jews, the Quraiza were the allies of the Aws, while Banu Nazir joined the Khazraj. Fighting frequently broke out between the Aws and the Khazraj , and their Jewish allies however once the Muhammad (SAW) arrived in Medina the Aws and Kharzaj both converted to Islam.

    In an effort to unite the city in peace, the Prophet Muhammad drafted the Covenant of Medina (mithaq-i-Medina) in 622 CE, whose general terms were – Muslims and Jews shall live as one people, each one of the parties shall keep to its own faith, and neither shall interfere with that of the other. In the event of a war with a third party, each was bound to come to the assistance of the other, provided the latter were the aggrieved and not the aggressors. In the event of an attack on Medina, both shall join hands to defend it and peace, when desirable, shall be made after consultation with each other.

    Battle of the Trench (Ghazwah al-Khandaq)

    In 627, the Quraish (the chief aggressors towards Muhammad) decided to go against the Prophet Muhammad once again, after failing at the battles of Badr and Uhud. The level of duplicity in which Banu Qurayza dealt with these circumstances varies with reports, but whether or not it was responsible for instigating the confrontation between the Quraish and Muhammad or merely betrayed the Prophet they did openly align themselves with the Quraishi campaign . This act of treason was designed to encompass the Muslims in battles on all sides, one that would eventually fail them.

    After the siege ended, the Quraish defeated again, Banu Qurayza submitted to the Prophets judgement for betraying the Muslims and going against virtually every principle outlined within the Covenant of Medina. The tribe of al Aus (al-Aws) stepped forward on behalf of their former allies (The Battle of Buath) and asked for the same favor the Prophet had shown Banu Qaynuqa when Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul. An ally of Banu Qaynuqa and member of Banu Khazraj as well as being an prominent and influential leader in Medina, Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul
    pleaded for leniency for Banu Qaynuqa. The leader of al-Aus was asked “Will you be satisfied, o Aus, if one of your own number pronounces judgement on them? When they agreed he said that Sa’d b. Mu’adh was the man…Sa’d said, Then I give judgement that the men should be killed, the property divide, and the women and children taken as captives”

    This incident if often recounted as the mass slaughter of between 800-1000 ‘innocent’ Jews, and is given credence as being documented by a Muslim historian. The events are often twisted and manipulated, however, when one looks deeper it becomes clear that there were extenuating circumstances.

    Documentation – Questionable Methodology

    This incident is primarily noted, or cited as recorded in Sirah Rasul Allah (Sīrat Nabawiyya) by Ibn Isḥaq (Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār, 704-767 CE). While this work has been lost it has been recounted, at least in recensions, by that of Ibn Isḥaq’s student Ziyad al-Bakka’i (which has also been lost) and that of Ibn Hisham (Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Malik bin Hisham) whose work had been based upon the work of Ziyad al-Bakka’i; Ibn Hisham’s recounting is the only version to have survived and subsequently has become the basis for any editions of Sīrat Nabawiyya by Ibn Ishaq.

    Before we enter into discussion regarding the events surrounding Banu Qurayza we must approach this from the view of Islamic sciences. In the Islamic sciences (such as Hadith collection) there are very clearly defined and stringent rules regarding authenticity, and the validity of the isnad (chain of narration) was based upon these rules. While these rules were meticulously followed by some (most famously by the likes of Al-Bukhari and Muslim) it was not followed by all, which is why there are varying classifications of hadith based on their isnad.

    “A Sahih hadith is the one which has a continuous isnad, made up of reporters of trustworthy memory from similar authorities, and which is found to be free from any irregularities (i.e. in the text) or defects (i.e. in the isnad).” As defined by Ibn al-Salah

    Since the writing of Sirah (history) did not have to meet the same standards that hadith or fiq (jurisprudence), the collection of its sources did not require the same standards of verification and consequently the Sirah itself could not be classified as sahih as hadith are. While the intentions of Ibn Ishaq may have been good, the veracity of his work can be called into question, in particular his use of questionable sources. This use of questionable sources was openly condemned by one of the most well known mujtahid (authoritive Jurist), and author of al-Muwatta, Imam Malik ibn Anas who called him unequivocally a liar and an impostor . Later scholars such as Ibn Hajar and Ibn Taymiyyah also spoke out against the work of Ibn Ishaq due to his use of questionable or spurious narrators. The validity of many of the hadith and stories relayed by Ibn Ishaq have been called into question due to lack of source material or chain of narration. Further complicating the issue is that Ibn Hisham’s work is based upon that of al-Bakka’i who had been viewed as an unreliable or weak narrator by Abu-Hatim, Al-Nasa’i, and even Ibn-Madini (the teacher of al-Bukhari).

    There are other issues which arise upon closer inspection of ibn Ishaq’s sira and the subsequent retelling of it, most notably “There never existed a unified text for the traditions of ibn Ishaq to which the transmitters and later authors could have referred” because ibn Ishaq often delivered them orally according to Sadun Mahmud al-Samuk. This led to different people taking different aspects of his work and creating their own; notably, besides al-Bakka’i’s recension used by ibn Hisham, there was that of Salama al-Fadl al-Razi used by Tabari. Having noted the potential for errors, we cannot however overlook the fact that Ibn Ishaq was known to have relied primarily on the descendants of Banu Qurayza for details of the prophets campaign against them as handed down by their forefathers, causing Ibn Hajar to then reject the stories in question in the strongest terms: “such odd tales as the story of Qurayza and al-Nadir”

    In a more generally historical perspective one can look at the allegations made regarding this incident and wonder why an incident of this caliber was not preserved. The significance of such an act, and its implications would be indelibly inscribed in the works of Muslim and Jewish historians alike; instead it was preserved primarily in the questionable integrity of one persons work. Having firmly established the qualifications of the very foundation of which the story of Banu Qurayza has been built, let us now turn our attention to the actual events in terms of Islamic precedence.

    The Islamic Perspective of Banu Qurayza

    From the Islamic point of view, the issue of Banu Qurayza was addressed only 3 times, which we will examine now:

    Noble Quran Surah Al-Ahzab (33:25-26)

    And Allah turned back the unbelievers for all their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of strength, able to enforce his will. And those of the people of Al-Kitab who aided them Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts, so that some you slew, and some you made prisoners.

    Sahih Al-Bukhari (Volume 5, Book 59, Number 443)

    Narrated ‘Aisha: When the Prophet returned from Al-Khandaq (i.e. Trench) and laid down his arms and took a bath, Gabriel came and said (to the Prophet ), You have laid down your arms? By Allah, we angels have not laid them down yet. So set out for them.” The Prophet said, “Where to go?” Gabriel said, “Towards this side,” pointing towards Banu Quraiza. So the Prophet went out towards them.

    Sahih Muslim (Book 019, Number 4370)

    It has been narrated on the authority of A’isha who said: Sa’d was wounded on the day of the Battle of the Ditch. A man from the Quraish called Ibn al-Ariqah shot at him an arrow which pierced the artery in the middle of his forearm. The Messenger of Allah (may peacce be upon him) pitched a tent for him in the mosque and would inquire after him being in close proximity. When he returned from the Ditch and laid down his arms and took a bath, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and he was removing dust from his hair (as if he had just returned from the battle). The latter said: You have laid down arms. By God, we haven’t (yet) laid them down. So march against them. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) asked: Where? He pointed to Banu Quraiza. So the Messenger of Allah (may peace he upon him) fought against them. They surrendered at the command of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), but he referred the decision about them to Sa’d who said: I decide about them that those of them who can fight be killed, their women and children taken prisoners and their properties distributed (among the Muslims).

    From the Quran we have only a very brief mentioning of the subject, and in it we learn nothing of slaughtering the masses, on the contrary, we actually see the word of Allah stipulate only “so that some you slew, and some you made prisoners.” which can in no way be seen as an endorsement for mass slaughter.

    Once the view is shifted towards the hadith one will notice that of the only two hadith available referencing of Banu Qurayza incident, one mentions nothing of killing leaving just one reference towards the punishment faced by the tribe. This hadith as related in Sahih Muslim refers to the punishment as “that those of them who can fight be killed, their women and children taken prisoners and their properties distributed (among the Muslims)”

    The punishment at first glance seems brutal, and would tend to lead credence to the stories of a wholesale slaughter, however there is more to this below the surface. When the enemy had surrendered, the Prophet of Alah did not immediately saly them all. Instead it was asked of the Jewish leader, “Will you be satisfied, o Aus, if one of your own number pronounces judgement on them? When they agreed he said that Sa’d b. Mu’adh was the man” The significance behind this was simple, Sa’ad b. Mu’adh was a Jewish convert to Islam. As a former Jew, Sa’ad knew the Jewish law and according to al mithaq-i-Medina Jewish law dictated the Jewish community, which meant handing down a sentence in accordance with Jewish law:

    Deuteronomy 20: 12-14

    “And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword but the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee”

    If in fact this event happened as described, perhaps the fact that this was a application of Jewish law on a Jewish community for the crimes of treason, may well explain why this incident was not recorded or preserved by other contemporary scholars, nor does it offer precedence in Islamic jurisprudence. An incident of this magnitude, had it been truly the deaths of nearly a thousand people, surely would have either had precedence or set it however the contrary is actually presented by Islam:

    Noble Quran Surah Al’An’am (6:164)

    “Say: “Shall I seek a lord other than Allâh, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing.”

    Amongst the reasons that this account of Banu Qurayza can clearly be refuted are:

    1.) As stated above, the authority of Islam, al Quran clearly states the rule in Islam is to punish only those who were responsible for the sedition.
    2.) Qur’anic refence to this event is minimal. An event of magnitude would have surely been expounded upon for matter of jurisprudence.
    3.) Had this slaughter actually happened, jurists would have adopted it as a precedent. In fact exactly the opposite has been the case. The attitude of jurists, and their rulings, have been more according to the Qur’anic rule in the verse, “No soul shall bear another’s burden.”
    4.) In the story of Qurayza specific people were named as having been put to death, thus it is a reasonable conclusion that those were the ones who led the sedition and who were consequently punished – not the whole tribe.
    5.) The veracity of the work must come under scrutiny after the authenticity of such events, and the integrity of the authors or their work has so clearly been shown to have substandard quality.

    While there are numerous other reasons to refute this account of the Banu Qurayza, I will simply leave off with the fact that nowhere before, or after has such an event happened. The very idea of such an event is diametrically opposed to the principles of Islamic justice. In the end there will be those who continue to perpetuate a story of hate and violence, to further their own virulent ideologies and promote hate and fear, and there will be those who fight such malicious intent. I hope this information will rest in the latter category.””

  48. Po,

    Really? You are avoiding/side stepping Dr. Craig’s conclusion(s) about Islam (concept of God & the trinity doctrine), and you know it. Everyone knows what you are doing.

    Then, you believe that since it is not in the Qur’an, then the reliability of how the events transpired (even from a Muslim source outside of the Qur’an) must be questioned???

    Next, you use a source, favorable to the Qur’anic traditions & beliefs (which Dr. Craig and the Arlandson’s article delineated as being rationally objectionable when it comes to the Concept of God and the Trinity Doctrine) that you believe due to ‘extenuating circumstaces’, Mohammad had to do what he had to do (for lack of better words), and therefore, punished the Jews for sedition???

    We can back and forth over the credibility of an event (Mr. Arlandson has a very interesting article entitled ‘Muhammad’s atrocity against the Qurayza Jews: How Sad made him glad’. Everyone should google it, because Mr. Arlandson even consents-not whole heartedly though but only to make a point-to Po’s point that the Jews ‘instigated the attack’, but then completely shred Po’s line are reasoning on this ‘now questionable historical fact’. But I am sure Po is going to find other Qur’anic supporting sources to refute Mr. Arlandson’s article as well).

    However, this ‘questionable historical event’ has nothing to do with Dr. Craig’s points about the Islamic Concept of God is rationable objectionable (a fancy term for flawed) and Mohammad’s misunderstanding of the Trinty Doctrine.

    Po cannot refute Dr. Craig’s line of reasoning on the Islamic Concept of God and/or Mohmmad’s misunderstanding of the Trinity Doctrine. So, instead he uses a debate tactic of Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them.

    Karen et all;

    Read the sources that I mentioned above, including a source from a famous Muslilm scholar named Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University (Prof JT’s college) who wrote the article entitled

    ‘The Spiritual Significance of Jerusalem: The Islamic Vision. The Islamic Quarterly. 4 (1998): pp.233-242).

    You will see how the religion of Islam is based upon Mohammed’s misunderstanding (or demonic distortion of) of the Bible, including Mohammed’s and his followers belief in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! (this info comes from a Muslim Scholar who teaches at Pof. JT’s school!?!?!). Therefore, Mohammed and his followers had to capture Jerusalem for Jesus.

    ‘Muslim theology erroneously says that Jesus will return as a leader of Muslims and break the cross to show how wrong Christians have been, in following their Lord’ (Bukhari; and Muslim no. 289).

    We have been deceptively inform (or grossly misinformed) that Mohammed was God’s greatest prophet/spiritual leader, but Mohammed and his followers were capturing or recusing Jerusalem for Jesus’ Return (not Mohammed’s return, since it would make no sense due to the fact he was currently leading the charge against Jews and Christians and deceptively built a Mosque on top of the demolished Jewish Temple site for Jesus).

    Now, I am sure Po is going to say that Dr. Nasr (prominent, well known Muslim scholar) is liar, distorts the Qur’an, etc…..

    Make sure you google Mr. Arlandson article entitled ‘Muhammad’s atrocity against the Qurayza Jews: How Sad made him glad’ and visit Mr. Arlandson’s website.

    Make sure you google Muslim no. 289 and the Bukhari (to see for yourself if Muslims believe in Jesus Christ’ return). Now, I am sure Po is going to say that not all Muslims believe what a few Muslims believe/make-up or it was written by a group that Mohammed and his followers rejected or killed due to ‘extenuating circumstances.’ etc…..

    Also read (but I recommend you purchase) Dr. Craig’s book entitled ‘Reasonable Faith’, 2008 ed. It is very informative.

    I am done. I will let Po have the last word.The floor is yours Po.

  49. It is obvious that Mr. Turley knows nothing about marriage in Israel or ignores it. There is no civil,marriage in Israel and every religion is authorized to impose its own laws. As a result there is a very large number of citizens which cannot legally marry.
    Every Soviet Jew who has “no religion” has a marriage problem in Israel. That is a large number of people.
    Here is a case which I witnessed. One of my research assistants, an Israeli, wanted to marry an American woman here in the USA. No problem if he had remained here. However his bride was not Jewish. She converted here even though neither he nor she were practicing Jews. When I asked him why she had converted to Judaism he told me that their US marriage would have been invalid in Israel.

  50. RWL
    I am not avoiding anything… you parroted Dr Craig’s main claim, which I dismissed logically, factually. Then you replied with another issue different from the original one but linking the latter with the former. Sure, could have answered it specifically, but having been gone all day, came home late, needing to eat dinner, do my ablutions and prayers, reply to my emails then get some sleep, I addressed solely the more salient point made, and the one you were still arguing.
    If you think I avoid issues, you have not been reading me much here.
    If we want to have a serious debate, let us not conflate different issues, and let us not battle through proxies. Am I debating you or debating Dr Craig? Make your case using his argument if you must, but be the one to make them.
    We also must have some clear framework for this discussion. What are the allowed sources? Do we go with Dr Craig’s attempts to use the quranic words themselves to make his point or is he using the historical record? You went from stressing the former to using the latter, in that, you are undermining Dr Craig’s own aim to use the quranic words themselves as the proof that We in the West with our democratic, liberal values tend to think that every religion surely shares our values. American officials have repeatedly said that we should not refer to the terrorists as “Islamic fundamentalists” because they are murderers, and no major religion advocates murder. I wonder if these officlas have ever read the ninth chapter of the Qur’an. The truth of the matter is Islam is a religion which enjoins violence and which, historically, has been propagated by violence.

    Now what was the aim of Dr Craig in establishing Islam as a violent religion per the Quranic verse? To support his subsequent and prime argument that the god of Islam is not the god of Christianity. Why? Because to acknowledge that there is one sole god would fatally undermine his attempt to otherize Muslims.
    AS for the concept of God and the trinity, ain’t it ironic that Dr Craig relies on the islamic concept of kalam cosmologic argument in order to even be able to build the groundwork for his argument?

    Additionally, you are asking me to take a historically accepted event as factual, and unless I accept that Muhamad was responsible for the death of almost a thousand Jews, I am deceptive.
    Why?
    That event was first narrated by who? A Muslim.
    In that, it is no different from the hadiths attributed to Muhamad, just without the structure around it that is meant to insure those statements are indeed attributable to Muhamad. The necessary conclusion of you demanding we accept that narration as factual is that you are demanding we accept all narrations as factual, considering that this one is less vetted than other ones.
    But, that is a secondary point, because the main point is that the Quran is the ultimate source, not the hadith and not a third hand narration by a scholar (which is why Dr Craig quotes teh quran to make his argument). There is no Muslim that accepts all narrations, why should I accept this narration when:
    -It counters the Mercy of God
    -Counters the mercy of the Prophet
    -Goes against precedents
    -Is not stated in the quran

    Now, let’s assume that the event happened as stated.
    If so, would we not consider any historical fact in the light of its times? What was the standard of that time? That treaties between the tribes were the only real social tool between parties. That a treaty between tribes, akin to NATO today, was what insured tribes remained allies and did not betray one another.
    The “”historical record”” states that :
    1-the BAnu qurayza already betrayed the muslims once and got a pass
    2- The banu qurayza were working on betraying the muslims anew, and the prophet sent 4 different men there to insure they didn’t
    3- The Banu qurayza gave themselves up after a siege
    4- When taken prisoners, the Prophet gave the banu qurayza a choice for arbitration, based on Jewish laws (which has a precedent as the Prophet judged the Jews based on Jewish laws)
    5- The banu qurayza chose their own arbiter…they made the choice of their own arbiter based on their alliances with that tribe
    6- That arbiter chose the sentence to kill the men of the tribe, which bears noting again, was according to Jewish laws.
    7- Worth noting again that when the previous treasonous Jewish tribes appealed directly to the Prophet for leniency after their betrayal, he was lenient to them.

    Regarding the trinity, Dr Craig’s stance is that Muhamad himself wrote the Quran, not God, which is why he stresses that Muhamad misunderstood the concept of trinity. In order to even debate that I would have to accept that premise. I don’t. I believe that God himself revealed the quran to Muhammad, who has no role in writing it, just in passing along the message. Hence, unless Dr Craig is making the claim that God Himself did not understand the concept of trinity, what is there to debate?
    Additionally, it is fallacious to state that because the God of the Quran seems less loving that the God of the Bible, therefore, the two Gods are not one and the same. Muslims believe that all three books, Torah, Bible and Quran are from the same Revelation, and as I like to say, Judaism is of atonement, Christianity is of goodwill, and Islam is of balance between the two. Judaism offered an eye for an eye, Christianity offered turn the other cheek, and Islam offered an eye for a eye BUT to forgive is better.
    Are you suggesting that the God of the old testament is not the god of the new testament because the god of the old testament is not as loving as the new one?

    Some views on Dr Craig’s points:
    Dr. Craig went to pains to illustrate himself as an honest exegete of the Qur’an, but I think his Christian and philosophical biases may be affecting his ability to remain honest. I shall now look to more of his statements in the lecture that I believe any honest person would find problematic.

    I found it interesting that Dr. Craig feels that ‘the Church’ has failed to speak clearly about Islam. It is difficult for me to respond to this accurately, as I am not sure what ‘church’ Dr. Craig belongs to (is there a Reformed Molinism Philosophical Church?). But, regardless, he must have a very narrow view of what ‘the Church’ is, because he has ignored the many statements the Catholic Church has made about Islam in the last 60 years (we’re ignoring the bulk of the last 1400 for now), as well as the statements made by the Anglican Church and the plethora churches that have and continue to make statements about Islam, such as the ministries that host Dr. James White (including his own). From all of these statements I could glean a very clear and unified comment from ‘the Church’ if I needed to. What exactly does he mean here?

    Dr. Craig suggested that Islam is false because it must rely upon ‘metaphysical explanations’ to refute the ‘fact of the crucifixion’. A ‘fact’ he supports with a statement from a Jesus Seminar affiliated scholar. Surprisingly for a philosopher, there are two key errors with this assertion. Firstly, Dr. Craig has committed the fallacy of appealing to authority. Beliefs held by scholars affiliated with the Jesus Seminar are not by virtue ‘facts’. Facts are established by evidence. Moreover, Dr. Craig has suggested that metaphysical explanations are inferior to natural ones. I wonder how he establishes the ‘truth’ of the resurrection without a metaphysical argument? Indeed, if he can establish the resurrection with independent and objective ‘natural’ evidence, then wouldn’t he be better served using that as a proof of God, as opposed to his borrowed Kalam Cosmological Argument (yes, borrowed from Muslims). I was very confused by these comments, given these inconsistencies.

    http://thedebateinitiative.com/2013/01/08/william-lane-craig-and-islam-is-he-getting-it-wrong-on-purpose/

    And the views of Dr James White on Dr Craig’s view, which you espouse.
    William Lane Craig Comments

    Packing up to head back to Phoenix (via Frankfurt and Chicago) and ran across some recent William Lane Craig comments that truly amazed me. Right before identifying Jimmy Dunn as one of his favorite NT historians (that alone says a lot—Dunn’s work is simply acidic to believing Christianity, and is based upon a thoroughly non-Christian mindset when it comes to matters of inspiration and Scripture), Craig said this, “I don’t really have any favorite theologians, at least systematic theologians, for I find most of them to lack the philosophical training to do really good systematics.” This kind of “philosopher’s arrogance” is common for Craig. He was once heard telling a group of young men at a conference, “If you want to do good apologetics, you have to stop reading so much theology and start reading more philosophy.” This kind of inversion of the biblical norm (it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom, not the fear of Plato, and before Adam did philosophy, Adam heard from God—revelation precedes, conditions, and grounds, man’s thought, not the other way around) is standard fare for Craig and his disciples. As one who just recently had a Muslim apologist here in South Africa use Craig’s many mis-steps in theology against me (citing both his Cerberus and Avatar examples—both mind-numbing errors of theology propounded by Craig), I have been reminded once again of how important the saying is, “Theology matters.” But for Craig to deride the tremendous works that have been provided for not being “philosophical” enough is just beyond the bounds, as if theology is determined by philosophical training! Amazing.

    Then more recently Craig seemed to promote a view of God’s love that is “unconditional.” What does that mean? Since his material is so thin on biblical argumentation, we can’t tell, but not once in his discussion did he address the rather obvious biblical fact that God’s love, like man’s love, is capable of differing objects, differing purposes, and differing results. Can God have redemptive love in Craig’s view? We can’t tell, though, I must confess, when you really think through the implications and results of Molinism, you are left with a deity that is far more computer and “possible universe considering prowess” than you are with a God about whom discussions of love are even relevant. So maybe that doesn’t come into the philosophical thought process. But in any case, his comments again were marked by the massive imbalance created by starting with philosophy and only then considering theology.

    About James White

    James White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of more than twenty four books, a professor, an accomplished debater, and an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.
    View all posts by James White →

  51. Another entry, karen, fresh off the press:
    ————————–
    The leader of the extremist anti-assimilation group, Lehava, recently renewed his calls to torch churches in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli media sources revealed.

    Lehava’s leader, Bentzi Gopstein (pictured left), told the Israeli TV Channel II that Israeli Jews practically prevent Christians from entering Jerusalem, saying that Christian presence in Jerusalem was not welcome.

    He also called for “making obstacles towards the expansion of Christianity and Islam in the Palestinian occupied city of Jerusalem,” said the Days of Palestine on its website.

    Gopstein has previously “called for a ban on Christmas celebrations in the country and the banishment of Christians, who he referred to as ‘blood-sucking vampires’, from the land,” reported the International Business Times.

    Gopstein is the head of the notorious extremist Israeli Jewish group of Lehava, which is responsible for insulting and harassing monks and nuns in the occupied Palestinian holy city.

    “Several Israeli groups are active in the occupied holy city regarding Judaization activities, including confiscating Islamic and Christian properties,” said Days of Palestine.

    In 2014, a group of mostly Jewish youth attacked the Church of the Multiplication’s outdoor prayer area along the Sea of Galilee, pelting worshippers with stones, destroying a cross and throwing benches into the lake.

    WAFA further reports that Israeli settlers, late Saturday night, torched eight Palestinian-owned cars in al-Thawri neighborhood in Jerusalem, according to media sources.

    The Israeli radio said that settlers set a car on fire in al-Thawri neighborhood, before the fire extended to seven other cars parked nearby.

    It said that Israeli police registered the attack against an “unknown” suspect, although surveillance cameras in the area prove that it was carried out by settlers.

    According to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), there were 369 attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians from January 2015 to July 27, averaging more than 12 each week.

    According to an October 2013 UN report:

    “[…] Since 2009 the number of settler-related incidents resulting in casualties has more than doubled, and the number of casualties caused by settlers has increased by 30 percent; while the number of settler-related incidents resulting in property damage has more than tripled, and the number of trees destroyed or damaged has increased almost four-fold.”

    The report added:

    “From January to August 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, the number of casualties caused by Israeli security forces increased more than four-fold, as security forces intervene in settler attacks or resulting clashes between settlers and Palestinians to disperse Palestinians, rather than to protect them from attacks by settlers.”

    The original source of this article is International Middle East Media Center
    Copyright © International Middle East Media Center, International Middle East Media Center, 2016

  52. Zionism was a political movement to establish a Jewish “homeland” in the British Mandate of Palestine. Today there is in that former Mandate more than a homeland namely the state of Israel. Ergo Zionism is dead and there are no more Zionists. Another word is needed for those Jews who want to incorporate all of the area of the former Mandate into Israel. “Irredentists”? “Landrobbers”? Despite all of his denials Netanyahu is an Irredentist/Landrobber.

  53. Muslims are they that are evil obeying the false god Allah who says he hates the king of kings. Allah claiming to be God is hating himself. God does not do that. Allah talks like Satan

  54. Will you believe my honest guileless spirit? Allah is Lucifer who fell like lightning becoming Satan. Allah is the one who possessed the winged serpent in the garden. Allah is the one who impersonated Gabriel. Allah is this. 2 Corinthians 11:14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
    This is Satan in more detail. Satan was Lucifer before he fell.
    ◄ Ezekiel 28:13 ► 13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thytabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so:
    thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

  55. Jonathan, Allah simply means God, in Arabic. kinda like God means Dieu in French, or Dios in Spanish.
    Christian Arabs call God Allah. Pagan arabs used to call him Allah.
    That is all it means, God.

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