The War on Terror
I drive busses for Blacksburg Transit. Recently we had a policeman speak to us about terror, one of the best presentations I have ever heard. He was cogent, timely, humorous at times, interesting, informative, and no-nonsense. I learned an awful lot about terrorism which I shall not share with you over a blog. However, it did make me think a bit about Bush and his policies.
Here is where I net out: Bush may or may not be doing most things right in the war on terror. The war in Iraq may or may not be correct, immigration policies may or may not be correct, etc.
But one thing I do know: I know next to nothing about terrorism. Ja, I learned a bit recently. However, I still know very very little. So who am I to critique Bush about the way he's fighting it? I have very little respect for people who bad-mouth the war in Iraq and insist we pull out immediately (a very bad idea, I should think; that would almost be worse than never having gone in in the first place), and have no constructive alternative. Such people are spineless, and like little children, are trying to get attention in a bad way. So I say, don't give them media coverage. Such people are likely to say that we can appease the Islamic extremists. Really? Apparently we don't remember Neville Chamberlain who almost single-handedly managed to promote Hitler's agenda beyond even his wildest dreams. What was Chamberlain's strategy? Total capitulation. Did it work? Of course not. It's like giving candy to a kid: Hitler was just going to keep at it, asking for more.
One thing I'm not so sure about, and I'd be interested in your opinions, dear readers. The question is this: does orthodox Islam require jihad? Are the extremists really extreme, or are they the ones interpreting the Koran correctly? This is surely not a superfluous question, or an ignorant one. If the liberals are right about Islam being the Religion of Peace, as Ann Coulter would say, then why is it that such a gigantic majority of terrorists are Muslim? There's a special episode of The West Wing which uses the following analogy: Muslim extremists are to Islam as the KKK is to Chrisianity. I submit to you that this may be incorrect. In other words, please comment on the following analogy: these Muslim extremists are to Islam as committed orthodox reformed Presbyterians are to Christianity. Naturally, I'm not accusing Presbyterians of terrorism; what I am saying is that maybe the extremists have it right, according to the Koran.
Here are some quotes to ponder, from the Koran. Now I know that if there are any Muslim readers out there, you will object saying that this is in English. So be it. I don't understand Arabic, and most of my readers probably don't, either.
Surah IX, Repentance. Verse 4. Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfil their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him).
Verse 5. Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Verse 6. And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the word of Allah, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who know not.
Verse 7. How can there be a treaty with Allah and with His messenger for the idolaters save those with whom ye made a treaty at the Inviolable Place of Worship? So long as they are true to you, be true to them. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty.
Verse 29. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
Verse 41. Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew.
Verse 122. And the believers should not all go out to fight. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware.
Verse 123. O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).
What is your verdict? I find Verse 123 to be particularly telling. Christianity says the opposite: turn the other cheek. Furthermore, while it may be there, I do not find instructions in the Koran that say that this fight is spiritual and not physical. Yes, Christianity is a fight; but Paul makes it clear in Ephesians 6 that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual enemies. Consequently, our warfare is spiritual in nature, and not physical. The Koran does not appear to have such mitigating sentiments.