The ongoing debate over the nature of Islam and the level of threat that it may pose to America has been loud and vitriolic. On one side, there are those who proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace, and that anyone who sees it as a danger to our way of life is wildly overreacting to the ravings of the extremist fringe of those professing to follow the teachings of Islam. On the other hand, there are those who insist that Islam is intrinsically antithetical to western society, and view those who desire peaceful co-existence as delusional.
Which is correct?
Perhaps Dragnet’s Joe Friday had the best approach. When Sergeant Friday was interviewing a witness or a victim, he insisted that he be spared opinions or assumptions. He always wanted just the facts.
So, where does one go to find the facts of what Islam teaches about how its adherents are supposed to interact with those professing other faiths?
The answer seems obvious. The tenets of the faith of Islam are written down in a book called the Quran. It is available in any public library, and in any bookstore. It is available in English.
No one has to guess what Islam teaches. Mohammed wrote it down. The Quran addresses how Moslem men are supposed to deal with each other, with Moslem women, with children, and with unbelievers. It details the proper relationship between Moslems and People of the Book (Christians and Jews). It describes how a Moslem attains eternal salvation, or its opposite. Mohammed was quite specific in his descriptions and his mandates to his followers.
The Christian Bible is widely distributed because the thinking of Christian evangelists is that the best way to learn the Christian faith is from the Holy Book. Christ said it best. When there is a dispute about what Christianity teaches, everyone refers to the Bible. The interpretations don’t always match, but everyone agrees that the best source is the original one.
Yet in the public discussion over the nature of Islam, both in the public arena and in the schools, no one actually cites the words of the Quran. The obvious question is, "Why not?"
In the Christian Bible, there are many directives on dealing with others. Most Christians can quote several with no effort, from turning the other cheek, to loving your enemies, to doing good to those who hurt you. In fact, there are Christian denominations who interpret the Scriptures to mean that they may not engage in any violent actions and remain faithful to the teachings of Christ.
It should be disturbing that no one claiming that Islam is a religion of peace is providing similar citations from the Quran that outline what Moslems are supposed to believe and follow. It should be disturbing that our high schools and colleges are not having students read and analyze the Quran, so they will know, first hand, what Islam teaches. It should be disturbing that American adults are more interested in learning about the details of the latest Hollywood scandal than in learning about the source of the beliefs of those who are espousing our destruction.
Those who follow the teachings of Mohammed know exactly what they believe. If we are to protect our nation and our way of life for our children and our grandchildren, it’s time that we do, too. It’s time that we learn "just the facts" about the religion and way of life called Islam.