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Discussion in 'The OT' started by Chris Freeland, May 18, 2002.

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  1. Chris Freeland

    Chris Freeland Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    Found the following posted in another forum that I frequent from time to time. I found this to be a very interesting and informative, what do you guys think?

    PROF. MOSHE SHARON, Professor of Islamic History at the Hebrew
    University, in Jerusalem
    The war has started a long time ago between two
    civilizations-- between the civilization based on the Bible and the
    civilization based on the Koran. And this must be clear.

    There is no fundamental Islam. "Fundamentalism" is a word
    that came from the heart of the Christian religion. It means faith
    that goes by the word of the Bible. Fundamental Christianity, or
    going with the Bible, does not mean going around and killing people.
    There is no fundamental Islam. There is only Islam full stop. The
    question is how the Koran is interpreted.

    All of a sudden we see that the greatest interpreters of
    Islam are politicians in the western world. They know better than all
    the speakers in the mosques, all those who deliver terrible sermons
    against anything that is either Christian or Jewish. These western
    politicians know that there is good Islam and bad Islam. They know
    even how to differentiate between the two, except that none of them
    know how to read a word of Arabic.


    You see, so much is covered by politically correct language
    that, in fact, the truth has been lost. For example, when we speak
    about Islam in the west, we try to use our own language and
    terminology. We speak about Islam in terms of democracy and
    fundamentalism, in terms of parliamentarism and all kinds of terms,
    which we take from our own dictionary. One of my professors and one
    of the greatest orientalists in the world says that using western
    culture to explain Islam is like describing a cricket game by a
    reporter in baseball terms. We cannot use for one culture or
    civilization the language of another. For Islam, you've got to use
    the language of Islam.


    Let me explain the principles that are driving the religion
    of Islam. Of course, every Moslem has to acknowledge the fact that
    there is only one God. But it's not enough to say that there is only
    one God. A Moslem has to acknowledge the fact that there is one God
    and Mohamed is his prophet. These are the fundamentals of the
    religion that without them, one cannot be a Moslem.

    But beyond that, Islam is a civilization. It is a religion
    that gave first and foremost a wide and unique legal system that
    engulfs the individual, society and nations with rules of behavior.
    If you are Moslem, you have to behave according to the rules of Islam
    which are set down in the Koran and which are very different than the
    teachings of the Bible.


    Let me explain the difference. The Bible is the creation of
    the spirit of a nation over a very, very long period, if we talk from
    the point of view of the scholar, and let me remain scholarly. But
    there is one thing that is important in the Bible. It leads to
    salvation. It leads to salvation in two ways.

    In Judaism, it leads to national salvation -- not just a
    nation that wants to have a state, but a nation that wants to serve
    God. That's the idea behind the Hebrew text of the Bible.

    The New Testament that took the Hebrew Bible moves us toward
    personal salvation. So we have got these two kinds of salvation
    which, from time to time, meet each other. But the key word is
    salvation. Personal salvation means that each individual is looked
    after by God, Himself, who leads a person through His word to
    salvation. This is the idea in the Bible, whether we are talking
    about the Old or the New Testament. All of the laws in the Bible,
    even to the minutest ones, are, in fact directed toward this fact of

    Secondly, there is another point in the Bible, which is
    highly important. This is the idea that man was created in the image
    of God. Therefore, you don't just walk around and obliterate the
    image of God. Many people, of course, used Biblical rules and turned
    them upside down. History has seen a lot of massacres in the name of
    God and in the name of Jesus. But as religions, both Judaism and
    Christianity in their fundamentals speak about honoring the image of
    God and the hope of salvation. These are the two basic fundamentals.


    Now let's move to the essence of Islam. Islam was born with
    the idea that it should rule the world. Let's look, then, at the
    difference between these three religions. Judaism speaks about
    national salvation -- namely that at the end of the story, when the
    world becomes a better place, Israel will be in its own land, ruled
    by its own king and serving God. Christianity speaks about the idea
    that every single person in the world can be saved from his sins,
    while Islam speaks about ruling the world. I can quote here in
    Arabic, but there is no point in quoting Arabic, so let me quote a
    verse in English. "Allah sent Mohammed with the true religion so that
    it should rule over all the religions."

    The idea, then, is not that the whole world will become a
    Moslem world at this time, but that the whole world will be subdued
    under the rule of Islam. When the Islamic empire was established in
    634 AD, within seven years (640) the core of the empire was created.
    The rules that were taken from the Koran and from the tradition that
    was ascribed to the prophet Mohammed, were translated into a real
    legal system. Jews and Christians could live under Islam provided
    they paid poll tax and accepted Islamic superiority. Of course, they
    had to be humiliated. And Jews and Christians living under Islam are
    humiliated to this very day.

    Mohammed held that all the Biblical prophets were Moslems.
    Mohammed did accept the existence of all the Biblical prophets before
    him. However he also said that all these prophets were Moslems.
    Abraham was a Moslem. In fact, Adam himself was the first Moslem.
    Isaac and Jacob and David and Solomon and Moses and Jesus were all
    Moslems, and all of them had writings similar to the Koran.
    Therefore, world history is Islamic history because all the heroes of
    history were Moslems.

    Furthermore, Moslems accept the fact that each of these
    prophets brought with him some kind of a revelation. Moses, brought
    the Taurat, which is the Torah, and Jesus brought the Ingeel, which
    is the Evangelion or Gospel - namely the New Testament.


    Why then is the Bible not similar to the Koran? Mohamed
    explains that the Jews and Christians forged their books. Had they
    not been changed and forged, they would have been identical to the
    Koran. But because Christians and Jews do have some truth, Islam
    concedes that they cannot be completely destroyed by war [for now].

    Nevertheless, the laws a very clear -- Jews and Christians
    have no rights whatsoever to independent existence. They can live
    under Islamic rule provided they keep to the rules that Islam
    promulgates for them.


    What happens if Jews and Christians don't want to live under
    the rules of Islam? Then Islam has to fight them and this fighting is
    called Jihad. Jihad means war against those people who don't want to
    accept the Islamic superior rule. That's jihad. They may be Jews;
    they may be Christians; they may be Polytheists. But since we don't
    have too many Polytheists left, at least not in the Middle East -
    their war is against the Jews and Christians.

    A few days ago, I received a pamphlet that was distributed in
    the world by bin Laden. He calls for jihad against America as the
    leader of the Christian world, not because America is the supporter
    of Israel, but because Americans are desecrating Arabia with their
    filthy feet. There are Americans in Arabia were no Christians should
    be. In this pamphlet there is not a single word about Israel. Only
    that Americans are desecrating the home of the prophet.


    The Koran sees the world as divided into two - one part which
    has come under Islamic rule and one part which is supposed to come
    under Islamic rule in the future. There is a division of the world
    which is very clear. Every single person who starts studying Islam
    knows it.

    The world is described as Dar al-Islam (the house of Islam) -
    that's the place where Islam rules - and the other part which is
    called Dar al-Harb - the house of war. Not the "house of
    non-Muslims," but the "house of war." It is this house of war which
    as to be, at the end of time, conquered. The world will continue to
    be in the house of war until it comes under Islamic rule.

    This is the norm. Why? Because Allah says it's so in the
    Koran. God has sent Mohammed with the true religion in order that the
    truth will overcome all other religions.


    Within the Islamic vision of this world, there are rules that
    govern the lives of the Moslems themselves, and these rules are very
    strict. In fundamentals, there are no differences between schools of
    law. However, there are four streams of factions within Islam with
    differences between them concerning the minutiae of the laws. All
    over the Islamic world, countries have favored one or another of
    these schools of laws.

    The strictest school of law is called Hanbali, mainly coming
    out of Saudi Arabia. There are no games there, no playing around with
    the meanings of words. If the Koran speaks about war, then it's war.

    There are various perspectives in Islam with different
    interpretations over the centuries. There were good people that were
    very enlightened in Islam that tried to understand things
    differently. They even brought traditions from the mouth of the
    prophet that women and children should not be killed in war.

    These more liberal streams do exist, but there is one thing
    that is very important for us to remember. The Hanbali school of law
    is extremely strict, and today this is the school that is behind most
    of the terrorist powers. Even if we talk about the existence of other
    schools of Islamic law, when we're talking about fighting against the
    Jews, or fighting against the Christian world led by America, it is
    the Hanbali school of law that is being followed.


    This civilization created one very important, fundamental
    rule about territory. Any territory that comes under Islamic rule
    cannot be de-Islamized. Even if at one time or another, the
    [non-Moslem] enemy takes over the territory that was under Islamic
    rule, it is considered to be perpetually Islamic. This is why
    whenever you hear about the Arab/Israeli conflict, you hear:
    territory, territory, territory. There are other aspects to the
    conflict, but territory is highly important.

    The Christian civilization has not only been seen as a religious
    opponent, but as a dam stopping Islam from achieving its final goal
    for which it was created.

    Islam was created to be the army of God, the army of Allah. Every
    single Moslem is a soldier in this army. Every single Moslem that
    dies in fighting for the spread of Islam is a shaheed (martyr) no
    matter how he dies, because - and this is very important -- this is
    an eternal word between the two civilizations. It's not a war that
    stops. This was is there because it was created by Allah. Islam must
    be the ruler. This is a war that will not end.


    Peace in Islam can exist only within the Islamic world; peace
    can only be between Moslem and Moslem. With the non-Moslem world or
    non-Moslem opponents, there can be only one solution -- a cease fire
    until Moslems can gain more power. It is an eternal war until the end
    of days. Peace can only come when the Islamic side wins.

    The two civilizations can only have periods of cease-fires.
    And this idea of cease-fire is based on a very important historical
    precedent, which, incidentally, Yasser Arafat referred to when he
    spoke in Johannesburg after he signed the Oslo agreement with Israel.
    Let me remind you that the document speaks of peace --you wouldn't
    believe what you are reading! You would think that you were reading
    some science-fiction piece. I mean when you read it, you can't
    believe that this was signed by Israelis who are actually acquainted
    with Islamic policies and civilization.

    A few weeks after the Oslo agreement was signed, Arafat went
    to Johannesburg, and in a mosque there he made a speech in which he
    apologized, saying, "Do you think I signed something with the Jews
    which is contrary to the rules of Islam?" (I have obtained a copy of
    Arafat's recorded speech so I heard it from his own mouth.) Arafat
    continued, "That's not so. I'm doing exactly what the prophet
    Mohammed did."

    Whatever the prophet is supposed to have done becomes a
    precedent. What Arafat was saying was, "Remember the story of
    Hodaybiya." The prophet had made an agreement there with the tribe of
    Kuraish for 10 years. But then he trained 10,000 soldiers and within
    two years marched on their city of Mecca. He, of course, found some
    kind of pretext.

    Thus, in Islamic jurisdiction, it became a legal precedent
    which states that you are only allowed to make peace for a maximum of
    10 years. Secondly, at the first instance that you are able, you must
    renew the jihad [thus breaking the "peace" agreement].

    In Israel, it has taken over 50 years in this country for our
    people to understand that they cannot speak about [permanent] peace
    with Moslems. It will take another 50 years for the western world to
    understand that they have got a state of war with the Islamic
    civilization that is virile and strong. This should be understood:
    When we talk about war and peace, we are not talking in Belgium,
    French, English, or German terms. We are talking about war and peace
    in Islamic terms.


    What makes Islam accept cease-fire? Only one thing: when the
    enemy is too strong. It is a tactical choice. Sometimes, he may have
    to agree to a cease-fire in the most humiliating conditions. It's
    allowed because Mohammed accepted a cease-fire under humiliating
    conditions. That's what Arafat said to them in Johannesburg.

    When western policy makers hear these things, they answer,
    "What are you talking about? You are in the Middle Ages. You don't
    understand the mechanisms of politics." Which mechanisms of politics?
    There are no mechanisms of politics where power is. And I want to
    tell you one thing: we haven't seen the end of it, because the minute
    a radical Moslem power has atomic, chemical or biological weapons,
    they will use it. I have no doubt about that.

    Now, since we face war and we know that we cannot get more
    than a temporary cease-fire, one has to ask himself what is the major
    component of an Israeli/Arab cease-fire. It is that the Islamic side
    is weak and the Israeli's side is strong. The relations between
    Israel and the Arab world in the last 50 years since the
    establishment of our State have been based only on this idea, the
    deterrent power.


    The reason that we have what we have in Yugoslavia and other
    places is because Islam succeeded into entering these countries.
    Wherever you have Islam, you will have war. It grows out of the
    attitude of Islamic civilization. What are the poor people in the
    Philippines being killed for? What's happening between Pakistan and


    Furthermore, there is another fact that must be remembered.
    The Islamic world has not only the attitude of open war, but also the
    method of war by infiltration. One of the things which the western
    world is not paying enough attention to is the tremendous growth of
    Islamic power in the western world. What happened in America and the
    Twin Towers is not something that came from the outside. And if
    America doesn't wake up, one day the Americans will find themselves
    in a chemical war and most likely in an atomic war-- inside the U.S.


    It is highly important to understand how a civilization sees
    the end of days. In Christianity and in Judaism, we know exactly what
    is the vision of the end of days.

    In Judaism, it is going to be as in Isaiah -- peace between
    nations, not just one nation, but between all nations. People will
    not have any more need for weapons and nature will be changed -- a
    beautiful end of days and the kingdom of God on earth.

    Christianity goes as far as Revelation to see a day that
    Satan himself is obliterated. There are no more powers of evil.
    That's the vision.

    I'm speaking now as a historian. I try to understand how
    Islam sees the end of days. In the end of days, Islam sees a world
    that is totally Moslem, completely Moslem under the rule of Islam.
    Complete and final victory. Christians will not exist, because
    according to many Islamic traditions, the Moslems who are in hell
    will have to be replaced by somebody and they'll be replaced by the

    The Jews will no longer exist, because before the coming of
    the end of days, there is going to be a war against the Jews where
    all Jews should be killed. I'm quoting now from the heart of Islamic
    tradition, from the books that are read by every child in school. The
    Jews will all be killed. They'll be running away and they'll be
    hiding behind trees and rocks, and on that day Allah will give mouths
    to the rocks and trees and they will say, "Oh Moslem come here, there
    is a Jew behind me, kill him." Without this, the end of days cannot
    come. This is a fundamental of Islam.


    The question which we in Israel are asking ourselves is what
    will happen to our country? Is there a possibility to end this dance
    of war. The answer is, "No. Not in the foreseeable future." What we
    can do is reach a situation where for a few years we may have
    relative quiet.

    But for Islam, the establishment of the state of Israel was a
    reverse of Islamic history. First, Islamic territory was taken away
    from Islam by Jews. You know by now that this can never be accepted,
    not even one meter. So everyone who thinks Tel Aviv is safe is making
    a grave mistake. Territory, which at one time was dominated by
    Islamic rule, now has become non-Moslem. Non-Moslems are independent
    of Islamic rule; Jews have created their own independent state. It is

    And (this is the worse) Israel, a non-Moslem state, is ruling
    over Moslems. It is unthinkable that non-Moslems should rule over

    I believe that Western civilization should hold together and
    support each other. Whether this will happen or not, I don't know.
    Israel finds itself on the front lines of this war. It needs the help
    of its sister civilization. It needs the help of America and Europe.
    It needs the help of the Christian world. One thing I am sure about,
    this help can be given by individual Christians who see this as the
    road to salvation.
  2. Chris Freeland

    Chris Freeland Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    Oops! I posted this on Saturday and just discovered I did not post the entire article. This article really sums up why this war on terrorism is likely to last for a very long time. I do not no what the answer is but this does explain why Israel is so tough on the Palestinians and why their will never be a permanent peace in the Middle East. Are we in danger of giving up some of are religious freedoms in this country in order to fight radical Muslims? How do we fight this religious war without endangering the basic freedoms that this country enjoys?
  3. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

    Mar 23, 2002
    Whew! That was an interesting read, albeit a one-sided one. Really the only thing that I would question about that article is Prof. Sharon quotes the Koran and the other Moslem teachings - he doesn't provide enough context for the casual reader to determine if the quotes are taken in or out of context.

    The Bible that I read says very clearly that there will never be peace between the children of Isaac (Israel) and the children of Ishmael (the Arabs). Armegeddon will happen between these groups of people, in that area of the world, and it will bring about the end of the world as we know it. I believe this to be coming. Now, I'm all for doing everything that we can to broker or generate some kind of temporary peace between the factions, but it can't last. 5000+ years of blood between them isn't easily let go.
  4. RichW

    RichW Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Mar 29, 2002
    Well lets see:

    Muslims make up about 20% of the world's population.
    Jews make up less than 1%.

    If "Armegeddon" were inevitable between only these two groups, it would have happened already. While I agree that peace is hard to achieve, both sides need to step back from the "God is on our side" philosphy. I have musch more hope for a lasting peace. Sixty years ago, no one would have thought that any nations in the then United Arab Republics would have any ntion than the complete destruction of Israel. Fortunately, the leaders of countries such as Jordan and Egypt see that the conflict is self-destructive. Even the Saudis are moderating their hatred of the Jews. Wars end when the combatant have more to lose in war than in peace. Right now the Palestinians continue to live in squalor. The Arabs are as much to blame as the Israelis for this condition. The rich Arab states use Palestinians for menial labor and exploit their poverty. And of course, some countires like Iraq and Syria openly egg on the terrorists.
  5. John Corn

    John Corn Hall Of Fame

    Mar 21, 2002
    Mideast For Dummies

    A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need. Don't thank me. I'm just a channel. Here we go:

    The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "WIC," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, and there were no "Palestinians" then, and the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians" then. As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians" weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation."

    So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" anymore to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs From The Same General Area Who Are In Deep Denial About Never Being Able To Accomplish Much In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death." I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN.

    How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters." Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't. They could've had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David. But if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living. That's no fun.

    No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course-that's where the real fun is-but mostly they want Israel. Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel-or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it-for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth, you know that's really saying something. It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Mideast. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

    Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals. Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.

    My friend of mine made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting. No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

    Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that with vital operations coming up against Iraq and others, it's in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can't be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of supermodels who've just had their drugs taken away. However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger of losing moral weight. We've already lost some.

    After September 11 our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day) start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint. If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, would we be listening to fair weather "friends" screaming for the administration to show restraint?
  6. Chris Freeland

    Chris Freeland Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    I agree with you John, I am also aware of the Palestinian myth and do understand why the Israelis are so tough on the Palestinians. I too agree that the United States needs to stick with are Israeli friends. I hope that a cease fire can be accomplished for a time but like Mark I too have my doubts that a lasting peace can ever be achieved in the Middle East until the 2nd coming of Christ. Even though there are a few leaders in some of the more moderate Islamic countries that seam to be willing to co-exist with Israel ( at least for now ), as long as there are states such as Iran, Iraq and others still around along with the radical views of many of the common people in even the more moderate states, the Middle East will continue to be a thorn in the side of Israel, the United States and all its allies.
  7. Guest

    Probably not much good will come out of this so far highly biased thread.

    A few points:

    Besides religion there are major class differences between generally affluent Americans, Europeans, Israeli's and huge numbers of relatively poor Muslims.

    Muslim countries do not generally have democratic ideals as part of their culture. The United States and Israel encourage the current status quo in most Muslim countries. If Muslim countries were controlled democratically Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and many others would be extremely hostile to the West and Israel and the West depends too much on the region's oil.

    Both Jews and Muslims have their share of religious extremists who would kill for victory over nonbelievers.

    Religious nuts at least believe in something and are willing to act on their beliefs. God has never interfered. We Westerners are so polite and "legal" and superior when we authorize our "moral" retaliations against other culture's more earthy battle styles.

    Israel is not exclusively a country for Jews but being a homeland for Jews is the basic reason for its existence.

    Israel was created in part as a reaction to the Nazi WW II atrocities by a UN resolution largely supported by European countries which could politely solve their displaced persons' problems by encouraging them to go to someone else's backyard. Jew hatred survived WW II and the creation of Israel alleviated domestic conflicts in European countries in a politically correct way.

    Pro Israel Zionists used and believed in terrorism to further their goal of a Jewish state.

    There is no conflict between being sympathetic to the plight of largely poor uneducated Arabic Muslim peasants and being hostile toward anti-semitism. There is no conflict between being critical of Israel's position regarding the region's political resolution and being opposed to anti-semitism.

    We're a long way away from the Middle East. It's very easy to forget that many of those who believe in and use terrorism there are opposed to all current political authorities in the region including the Palestinian Authority and King Saud. They want to see peace negotiations fail for peace signifies domination to them.

    And why not. Jews were out of power in Palestine for 2000 yrs. They use the fact that they once held power there to justify the current state of Israel.

    "God's will."

    Israel is the strongest military power in the region and is the only country in the Middle East west of Pakistan with atomic weapons--weapons of mass destruction. But, of course, Israeli bombs are "moral" bombs.

    Poor Muslims have all the time in the world. There's no reason to agree to anything.
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