Dec 06 2006

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I have heard many statements made about the followers of Islam from the media and from other ignorant or propaganda filled sources. I have heard these same disturbing statements made about people of different races, people of different languages, different sizes and weights and income status. Are we as the human species, so full of hate and rage fueled by groveling ignorance; that we cannot raise our minds away from our most base selves? Are we so lowly a species that we compare with the most predatory creatures? These creatures operate on instinct and act or react for territorial self preservation. If animals know hatred, it is because man has taught it to them.

In my recent research of Islamic culture, I have been trying to identify the main themes, and comparisons; between Western and Middle Eastern cultures, and formulate an understanding of both, so I can convey the findings to my audiences. The rise of hatred and war amongst these opposing societies and cultures warrants serious questioning on behalf of the thinking members of those societies as to what is fueling the conflict.

I will not give any note of specific recognition as to where I have seen the images I am about to mention; other than they are attributed to pro Israel and pro Christian websites. I have seen them and I was reviled and disgusted by them. Many of these images were degrading images of Jesus and Muhammad. These images were from Medieval and modern artists; that defiled both prophets in the most vile and contemptible depictions. Many of these pictures and comments were from famous museums, manuscripts, and mainstream European and American publications.

These soul less promoters of highly profane renditions of the world’s greatest prophets, convinced me of the depravity of men and women throughout the centuries. This depravity is fueled to a great degree by our own spiritual and political leaders. For me to be shocked by the depravity of humanity as a man of my age and experience is rather a rare occurrence. However in recent years with the advent of the Iraq War, and atrocities of the Israeli Zionist occupation and war with Palestine and Lebanon, and the publicized revelations of the heinous deaths, and torture conducted by both cultures against one another I can state with confidence, that very little else can shock me.

In the Qur’an it states that both Jesus and Muhammad will sit in judgment of the world in the end times. The Madhi of Islamic prophecy is the perfect spiritual man; who will come to raise Islam in the final days. In Christianity it is Jesus who will return to earth to rule. Each prophecy resembles the other. Even the physical description of the Madhi states that he will resemble Jesus, and be of the Arabic race.

I have not found clarity for a compromise between both faiths; other than both religions and both prophets were messengers to humanity from the exact same God. Both prophets credited the Father, the one God, the God of Abraham and Isaac. Both prophets claim their God to be the same God of the Jews. What Islam does is condemn the Jews and Christians for their hypocrisy, as well as their unwarranted aggression against Islamic people. The power and message of condemnation is granted to them based upon the message Muhammad received from God’s messenger the angel Gabriel, the same angel who visited Mary the mother of Jesus and told her she would give birth to the Messiah. The Qur’an recognizes Mary as the mother of Jesus the Messiah, and the chosen apostle of God, but it also claims Muhammad as the last prophet of the same God.

Who am I,who is anyone to deny that Muhammad was a prophet? Who is anyone to deny Jesus as a prophet? Almost half of the world’s population believes in one or the other men as being prophets. What most fail to understand is; that both prophets claimed their divine messages from the exact same God. There is no difference between them except 600 years of cultural changes. 600 years of corrupted Christian and pagan values conceived and revised under Roman domination, and coerced upon the known civilizations by the Church of Rome. Is it too difficult to imagine; that God might of been disappointed with the political aspirations, corruption and incompetence of the early church leaders? According to the Qur’an, God was disappointed enough that he sent the Angel Gabriel to speak to Muhammad as another prophet, to try and straighten out the mess that was created. He instructed Muhammad to accept the message of Jesus and spread the teachings, and created new laws for the people of the desert regions, and to spread the truth to the world. Christianity as the world knows it was greatly inspired by the works of Paul of Tarsus. Why do Christian believers believe so devotedly in Paul’s conversion experience, and not believe that Muhammad had a similar experience. How can they believe that Gabriel visited Mary, and not believe he visited Muhammad 600 years later? The same factual and empirical evidence of either visitation is the same. Neither had witnesses, both instances were self proclaimed and later believed by family members and followers. To deny one or the other is based solely on the politics and propaganda of political and religious leadership of the times. This new rise of Jihad is enflamed by the insane foreign policies of the Bush Administration and the global interests he is fronting for. The hatred of the Christians, Jews and Muslims is created by the imperial aggressions of the leaders of the western countries allied with Israel to plunder the oil wealth of the Middle East. This is obvious, except to the most ignorant and blind.

It must be understood that actions of Muhammad must be placed in the context of the times he lived in and the region of the world. This was a war filled world with conquering tribes and organized bands of lawless marauders; that pillaged villages and settlements and terrorized populations. Peace came from military victory and brutal enforcement of regional laws. It was the same in Europe during the dark ages. These were feudal times; when paganism and polytheism still flourished throughout the world. Monotheism was a new concept, a new idea that had begun to capture Mankind’s imagination. The grand concepts of compassion, mercy, love, forgiveness of one’s enemies, love for one’s neighbor, Heaven and Earth and the end of man’s sufferings, or an eternity of suffering. These were great and new concepts; that swept through the world on the words of the prophets. Grand visions and ideologies, communicated to men and women with out the aid of mass communications, without the aid of computers or telecommunications, without the combustion engine or steam power, and limited written communications. All was transmitted verbally from teacher to student, from apostle to priest, from priest and political leaders to the general public. It is miraculous that the words and visions of Jesus and Muhammad have survived two millenniums. The possibility that deliberate or innocent, misinterpretations derived from poor translations of the words of the prophets might have skewed some of the true message is highly probable. In fact ,it is highly improbable, that the perfect message of God to man hasn’t been garbled in translations, and used as it is today for political manipulation of the masses. Many skeptics believe that religions were designed by the ruling elite for population control used to insight populations to enter into war, or create fear of the afterlife so their subjects willingly pay tithing to the King or government controlled church.

We can not underestimate the powers of the ruling elite in any society to pursue covetously any means of controlling their societies, or gaining control of more people and resources to enrich their societies. This has to be understood for anyone to grasp the complexities of our most recent struggles between cultures. The use of religious and racial hatred to inspire people to war is an ancient and extremely effective tool used by rulers since the first civilizations. It creates a false belief that one race, or one religion is superior to another by manipulating the words of the prophets to confuse and control the masses of devout believers. The Christian leaders are as guilty of using this tactic as are the Muslims, as are any religious leaders in the world past or present.

The only way that an individual can ever discern or identify the meaning of God’s message is by true and honest reflection of God’s message as it is spoken directly to us. We cannot fully trust that the words of the Prophets of any faith have been accurately translated, and passed down from generation to generation without either some major or minor alteration. Just as every constitutional government has had to amend its constitution to include or clarify a certain issue, that could not have been imagined by its original writers, and definitely not comprehended by those it was meant to govern. How could any mortal man or woman have seen 2000 years into the future, and describe their vision effectively to their own generation, and hope it is cherished and preserved by the countless generations of the future?

Yes, I believe that these immortal words of the Christian and Islamic holy books were divinely inspired. I believe that the courage and faith of those who spread and preserved the words of the prophets were divinely inspired, proven by their suffering and dying for their beliefs. Must the martyrs of Islam be considered any less courageous or less devout than the martyrs of Christianity? Who can judge these prophets who gave their lives for their faith in the same God and lived and died for the purpose of bringing eternal salvation to Mankind? It is the discord caused by the deceptions or ignorance of their spiritual and political leaders, that inflame humanity against itself and condemns the message of its prophets.

As I study and compare the Islamic religion and the culture with my own I find myself being drawn to a conclusion. That conclusion is the finite definition of my own faith. To believe in either Jesus or Muhammad, Moses or Buddha or the many other divinely inspired men and women of great faith depends solely upon the individual. God’s endless diversity can be understood more clearly simply by looking at our own surroundings. We have created our surroundings through the graces of God and his gift of Nature. His laws given to us by his prophets state that; if an individual’s faith is derived from in his own evidence of the one true God, he or she will be indistinguishable from any of the prophets. He or she will have love and compassion for their fellowman. The prophets have taught us what we inherently know. Mankind must consider itself a marvelous and mysterious creation, and must have a collective and unified faith in the compassionate omnipotence of the One True God if we hope to continue to exist.


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