|The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)|
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Mercury News letter writers a few extra days to sharpen their, um, pointy heads.
When I first read this on Sunday I was annoyed by Appling's assumption that everyone in America was a Yahweh worshipper. What about the Buddhists? What about the atheists? Also, try to imagine how much this sham attempt at ecumenicalism would irritate people who were actually religious. "Hey Muslims, heard you were stuffing your faces today too. Here in America we always eat too much, but on Thanksgiving we really eat too much. Then we drag ourselves to our couches and watch sports. Is that what religion is all about or what? Want some ham?"
But after my annoyance had passed I began to wonder about "People of the Book." The reference is to the declaration in the Koran that Jews and Christians are "people of the book" and should not be persecuted. Is there really anything to this? I suspect not, any more than some randomly selected phrase pulled out of the Bible would tell you whether you were likely to get along with Christians or Jews. All sacred books are to some extent ambiguous and self-contradictory, and anyway people are very good at ignoring inconvenient proscriptions. If it really was a religious duty for Muslims to respect Jews and Christians, why do Arab countries televise such copious amounts of vile anti-semitism?
Here's what Arab Muslims think of Christians and Jews in the real world:
Forget this "people of the book" bullshit. Learn the phrase "dar al Islam" instead.