In August of 2005, U.S. News and World Report had a special issue on Islam and the World, indicating that Islam is more a way of life than anything else, and is derived from the Syriac word for “making peace.” Islam started in 622 AD, more than half a century after Jesus Christ, and, for all practical purposed, worships a different God from Christianity. First step, then, in Golden Evolution, is to agree on one God.
Muslims controlled much of the civilized globe from North Africa to Indonesia and into Europe from the 7th through 11th Century, but then began to wane, and, like the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, you wonder what happened. There is today no progressive spirit, for terrorism is more an action of jealousy and anger.
Islam has again become a daily headline item. “Beheadings and bombings leave more than 860 people dead.” Baghdad? Afghanistan? Nope, Thailand! About 4000 deaths since 2004. More Muslims live in the Orient than the Middle East. Indonesia’s Muslim population is twice that of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan combined. China has more Muslims than Iraq and Afghanistan, combined. With 210 million adherents, Indonesia is the largest Islamic country. Saudi Arabia has about one-tenth that number of Muslims.
7 million Muslims live in the U.S., half being born here, although various estimates range from 1 million to more than 12 million. As much as 9/11, the assignment of women as second class citizens, allowance of polygamy and range of other cultural variations will make life difficult for Muslims in American, strict adherence to the Koran will especially make integration into the general community difficult. Unlike the Bible, the Koran was never created, but has existed with God for all eternity, therefore, making any adjustment to modern life challenging. For the Golden Evolution to proceed, some combination of educational opportunities, financial advantages and other sociological strategies will need to be administered and maintained for any kind of integration to occur. Europe is a good place to start to see what did not work.
The Islamic God or Allah cannot be visualized, but is present everywhere and will sit in personal judgment of every person, including you, and if you're not Muslim, forget about going to Heaven, which is not much different from other religions regarding who goes. Of course, if there is no God or heaven...
Many Muslims pray 5 times each day, facing Mecca, and end each with salaam, or peace. If you follow His commands, you go to Paradise. If not, you face eternal damnation.
The Koran, or Quran, is the first book in the Arabic and includes Mary’s Immaculate Conception and Noah’s Ark. It was a series of revelations from Allah through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad from which came the Koran. Do you get the feeling that maybe The Bible was the inspiration for Muhammad? He was born in the year 570 AD or CE, and was an illiterate goat herder, who married an older widow, went on to become a successful trader, married his second wife (after the first passed away) when she was 10 years old, and finally rose to conqueror and prophet. At the end, he had 10 wives.
Interesting that Abram (later Abraham), a paltry sheepherder, circa 1792 BC, or roughly 2000 BC, more than 2500 years earlier, in what today is Iraq, was contacted by a similar, but Christian, deity, through which today all monotheism flows. Islam and Christianity might well be the same religion from the same source, for they are nearly identical. You think that is merely coincidental? Well, I already reported on Horus in 3000 BC Egypt from which, perhaps, the writers of the Bible maybe borrowed. Anyway, this similarity might provide a clue to how these religions might unite.
Muslims have an obligation. Once in their lifetime, they must make that pilgrimage to Mecca, but only if it can be afforded. The ritual can be traced back to that same Abraham (who the Bible said lived to the ripe old age of 175) around 2000 BC, even though the religion was founded in 622 AD. In 2007, the Hajj began on December 18. But the previous year, 349 people were crushed to death, the worst tragedy since the 2500 trampled in 1990. Normally a crowd of from 2 million to 3 million descends on Mecca. Males wear two white sheets and women wear their hijab, a normal modest dress, and all walk counterclockwise seven times around the Islam, the Sacred Mosque. No perfume, no sexual intercourse, no killing allowed.
Best as I can tell, only five died during the 2009 Hajj, all from the swine flu! The Hajj this year is from November 14 to 18.
There is then the matter of the two sects: Shiites versus the Sunnis. While Shiites are the majority (60%) in Iraq, worldwide, they represent fewer than 15% of all Muslims, for in Indonesia, almost all of more than 200 million Muslims are Sunni. Shiites were responsible for the Iranian revolution in 1979 and formed the Hezbollah terrorist group. However, suicide bombers today are mostly Sunni. It is even more confusing when you learn that the only real religious difference between the two is that Shiites believe that temporal successors to Muhammad should come from his family line, while Sunnis believe that this caliph need only be a believer, although the former then feels that the Koran should be interpreted for modern times when the latter doesn’t. Shiites do have a fundamental interest in democracy. You need to live in the Middle East to experience the difference.
Why did the war on terrorism and our attack of Afghanistan and Iraq even begin? Say you are truly religious. Add the insult of heathens jerking your country and culture around, and then observing them, through the omnipresence of television, wantonly enjoying life. The thought of sacrificing yourself to live forever among 72 virgins and a river of honey, or insuring for the future fate of your entire family line, can be highly motivational. Our War on Terrorism might not have happened if the hijackers did not believe in the afterlife. If education taught them them that it was not virgins, but white raisins, that, too, could have made a difference.
Finally, there is the matter of denial. Islam is a religion of peace. So is Christianity. But the Crusades? It is all in the personal interpretation, and Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of 9/ll, in the note he left behind, specifically quoted the Koran. Religion, while providing purpose, can also be a convenient excuse.
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