Friday, 1 October 2010

Wahid The Truth, the Whole Truth and Everything but the Qur’an

Wahid The Truth, the Whole Truth and Everything but the Qur’an
By Diane Charles Breslin, Ph.D.
Historian and writer - USA

There has recently been a case raised against the University of North Carolina for the assigned reading of a book about the Qur’an. The choice of the book, The Qur’an: The Early Revelations, by a professor of Comparative Religion, has been seen to be promoting terrorism, or at least, being sympathetic to those who “abhor American freedom.” The three plaintiffs in the case reveal themselves only as “John Doe,” numbers 1, 2 and 3, and are self-described Christian fundamentalists.

I have long waited for the day when, by whatever means Allah decrees, the Qur’an will be challenged legally, and the chance will be given for it to be examined openly and in the full light of the American judicial system. When this happens, the truth of the unity of Allah’s message to all prophets will be known. Then, those very fundamentalist Christians will be challenged to examine their own beliefs. Are they, in fact, now following what Jesus taught? If so, they will recognize the truth of Islam, and admit that Muhammad is Jesus’ younger brother, both sent to bring glad tidings from the same Creator, and to warn of a grievous punishment here, or in the hereafter, or both, to those who turn away.

When we look further at this lawsuit, we must ask, as we would in any similar situation where there is litigation, who stands to gain most by preventing a discussion of the Qur’an in the American classroom? Could it be those “separatists” who promote their respective forms of Judaism and Christianity, exclusive and quite far removed from the original teachings of Moses and Jesus? Hierarchical structures in any organized religion are self-promoting, and have never been willing to be challenged. If the beauty, simplicity, and clarity of Islam were discovered, and its ability to satisfy the heart and soul were recognized, we would find many clerics of all denominations “out of jobs” so to speak.

This is because of the primacy of Islam’s central tenet - Allah’s sole power over His creation. He needs no helper, nor can He be defeated by the combined powers of the universe, as He Himself holds them back or allows them to proceed.
srael’s proceeding against occupied Palestine is occurring by the will of Allah - yes, all is by the will of Allah, as Allah allows evil to exist, to see who will defend justice. It is part of our struggle to defend the weak and speak out against oppression, thereby gaining paradise. This is the real Christianity that Jesus brought.

This brings me to a related point in regards to Muslim-Christian relations. An American Christian exchange student at the American University in Cairo recently appeared on Nile TV to discuss his arrest and imprisonment in Israel - his crime being open defense of the Palestinians during his trip to the Occupied Territories. Appearing with him was a Pakistani Muslim, also an exchange student, who was arrested at the same time. Although they were both extremely well spoken, I felt, as I watched the American, that I was looking at a double of my brother. Yes, this young man of Irish descent could have been taken out of my family album: light hair, blue eyes, small features, and an iron will to avenge oppression; all marks of the Celtic tribes.

Now the Prophet Muhammad has warned us against having too much pride in our ancestors, or in degrading others because of their lineage. Yet, when one hears the truth elegantly put forward by someone who so much resembles one’s former self, I feel it necessary to proclaim solidarity on this point at least. The fifteen minutes I spent listening to Robert O’Neal made me feel ashamed that my Muslim voice had not yet spoken out.

Real Muslims follow the ways of all prophets, and primary facet of this behavior is to speak the truth in the face of a tyrant. We have a perfect role model in the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet Muhammad, in that the latter sums up all that past prophets taught, and the former is the only written document which has survived intact without linguistic alteration or deletions.

Knowledge is freedom; the truth will set you free; fear nothing except fear itself; old adages which still hold true. Yet as Robert said, today, anyone who looks Arab is automatically mistrusted, but when the same words are spoken by a “white,” he or she is listened to. Those purveyors of hate who set races and nations against each other quake at the thought that the human condition can be summed up in one book, eternally preserved intact, in which we are warned against obeying anyone except the Almighty Allah. He is unseen but sees all. He knows what is in our innermost hearts, that intention which remains hidden from all others.

This Qur’an is the book that is being kept away, and only a foolish American citizen would accept this form of tyranny. America is supposed to stand for freedom of thought and expression. Freedom to be hoodwinked? Freedom to be blinded? Freedom to make rash decisions, immediately affecting the security of millions, based on total ignorance? Through the mercy of Allah, the cat is now out of the bag. We can never turn back to our original complacency after September 11. Now we must come to terms with the thorny question regarding what is known in Arabic as qisas (indemnity or avengement).

Those who claim that September 11 was an act of revenge in the name of Islam, justify their killing of innocents in the towers as revenge for America’s bombing of the same in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the saying goes, war is hell, and innocents are always a casualty, yet wars have classically been declared by nation states and carried out by standing armies. We are herein dealing with renegades from their respective nation states, forming “militias,” to use a loaded term which is ever frequently causing more than a fair amount of tension in America’s heartland, at the hands of her native sons.

In any event, it is certain that the overwhelming justice and wisdom which forever characterizes Allah’s ordering of worldly affairs will be shown to all. Allah never allows an evil to occur without bringing forth from it more good to those deserving of it. If those who perpetrated this drastic deed wished to damage the image of Islam, they are now seeing that Allah’s plan is far greater than theirs. Interest in what exactly is in the Qur’an is growing daily.

I trust in Allah that what is worthwhile in the spirit of American freedom and decency with which I was raised will rise to the fore. Strong voices which call for liberty and justice for all will demand that a panel of experts be formed, representing all denominations, but deferring to those Islamic scholars whose command of Arabic allows them to better interpret the verses which deal with any form of killing, as in who, when, where, how, and why.

This brings me to another salient point. Where is the Arabic language in America? One can easily enroll in courses of Sanskrit, Urdu, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, all Oriental languages, and of course your basic Romance languages. Czech, Polish and even African dialects are offered at many colleges, universities, and learning centers all over the country. Yet, if and when one manages to find Arabic, (and this is no easy task) the course is invariably taught by a Christian or Jew, insuring that no Qur’anic references will be used even in passing.

Would we be so rash as to say that we do not care to be informed about the 22 nations who currently use Arabic as their first language, or might it be that the potential inherent in the understanding of the Qur’an is a fearful omen for all those who have deliberately misrepresented Islam for so long? There is a revealing verse in the Qur’an which perfectly sums up our current predicament, and in which we can all find the utmost solace:
{They plot and Allah plots, and Allah is the Best of plotters.}

I do not claim to know who is behind the continuing malfunction of our international security system, but I do know for sure that all of us are encompassed by Allah in everything we do, everywhere, and at all times. Let us all keep uppermost in our mind the concept of intention. Is the Qur’an really being intentionally hidden? It’s then high time for a change.

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