D’accord, Sled! Deeds trump words (political implications notwithstanding.)
About a decade ago, I had an interesting discussion with a Muslim motel owner, in, of all unlikely places, central Wyoming. He presented the view, much as in the commentary to GS’s food for thought article, that Jesus is revered in Islam (at least in the version to which he subscribed) as one of the prophets, just not the final prophet. Cut off, as he was from a large, politically organized Muslim community and mosque, he could afford to be the relatively easy-going, reasonable business-owner he seemed to be. He certainly wasn’t about beheading non-believers, nor planting bombs. Who knows how he might have behaved under different influences? But as we departed, he wished my wife and I well, as we did him.
That is what has always bothered me. If a muslim is following the religion as it was created, they either fall in line or get a fatwa and punishment. It doesn’t matter what country that muslim is in. The only non Orthodox variant of islam is the “Nation of Islam” in the US. Their leaders have been targeted by other Islamic groups (especially considering that the NoI uses the sunni teachings) due to the way that they allow a “loose” interpretation of the quran and don’t follow it literally. The NoI has now included lots of scientology teachings and is now a meld of the two, thus not truly islam, but I went on a tangent. If that innkeeper was truly muslim and followed the muslim faith as the actual religious books say, he was doing what he was supposed to do. He was deceiving nonbelievers as a way to win over their trust. Where can you draw the line and say “This is not a lie, but this is?” when the basis for the faith is wrapped around deceiving and killing nonbelievers?
Where I stand on things is quite simple: I am anti-oppression. If any group or person tries to oppress another, I am completely against it. Oppression in my mind includes taxation (stealing from me to fund their own projects), many religions (yes, many Christian denominations are included), government, traffic tickets/license/registration, city codes, socialist based politics, blah, blah, blah……. Since the very teachings of islam allow for no interpretation and it is written as a requirement to oppress others, I hate the islam faith.
Why must it be so derned difficult? I wish these arsehats would just shut up, go away, and leave the rest of us alone…… Now off to make some tea – caffeine is good.