The hardline Wahhabi version of Islam has been the official religion of the Saudi state since 1932. All Saudis are required to be Muslim. The law of the land is sharia. The Qur’an is the constitution. In fact, life is so tough for “infidels” there that the state outlaws freedom of thought because “freedom of thinking requires permitting the denial of faith,” according to the Center for Religious Freedom.
The Saudi stance is severe but common in Muslim majority countries, where Christians in particular are persecuted. In fact, Christians are the most ill-treated religious group in the world today, according to studies by the Vatican, Pew Research Center, the Economist, and others. Christians are the victims of three-quarters of the world’s recorded acts of religious intolerance.
A surviving waiter, quivering as he looks up from the carnage, asks, “Why?”
Before walking out the door, the panda tosses the waiter a poorly punctuated wildlife manual and replies, “Look it up.”
The waiter searches for the relevant entry and reads aloud: “Panda. Large, black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”
This joke serves as the namesake for Lynne Truss’s best-selling book, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.”
It also reminds us how easily our language may be mangled – or manipulated – so that two people using the same words can intend totally different meanings.
Islam is the youngest and fastest-growing major religion in the world. But how much do you know about the beliefs and practices that Muhammad and his followers began exporting from the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century?
Here’s a chance to test your knowledge. The correct answers follow the quiz.
Muslims have a high regard for Jesus. They believe He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, and spoke prophetic truth. He is in heaven today and is poised to return triumphantly to earth.
Yet it is Muhammad to whom Muslims pin their hopes. While they confess Jesus as a prophet, they say Muhammad is the greatest of Allah’s messengers and the one through whom Allah chose to reveal supreme truth in the Qur’an. Therefore, Muhammad, not Jesus, is the ultimate role model.
Okay. So let’s look at the record. We’ll focus on three areas.
Last month’s terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, brought the Muslim doctrine of “jihad” back into our living rooms as we watched in horror the murderous rage of people acting in the name of Allah.
But what, exactly, is jihad? The Arabic term means to endeavor, strive, struggle, or fight. It is sometimes translated “holy war.”
There are two ways in which Muslims embrace jihad.