Reposted from 6/10/07
Today's NYTimes has a lengthy and thoughtful review of the Islamic philosophy of Jihad.
There is something wrong in this article. The pieces is an effort to find out how a religion of peace can justify killing. I am, however, bewildered by why anyone would consider Islam a religion of peace. The prophet was, after all, a general. He conquered Arabia and his immediate followers , presumably those best informed about the Quran, swept out of Arabia with the most successful effort at conquest over a very short time in all of history. Within a hundred years the Islamic rule had extended itself from Spain to India ... a span equal to that of the Roman empire but achieved in a far shorter time.
This does not make Islam a bad religion. Religious conquest in intrinsic to Christianity and I suspect more folks have died impaled on the sharp point of the cross shaped sword than sliced by the edge of the moon shaped scimitar.
What is new and different abut modern Islam is that murder has become form many a doctrine. Like the crusaders of a millennium ago, the modern Muslim, or at least a large number of them, sees killing of others as acceptable, even noble behavior. A recent pole in the US found that 25% of American Muslims feel this way.
Bush's disaster is that he has be incredible stupidity put the secular world into a religious conflict. Our, secular, world wide morality should reject islamo fascism as much as we reject National Socialism. We need to celebrate the tendrils of humanism In Islam as much as we can. Where are the liberal Muslims?