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Response to commenter Ashok Chowgule

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?
in response to reader comment: Three different gods

Submitted by A [Keen] Student of Islam (India), Jul 3, 2005 at 16:33

I do not agree with Ashok Chowgule when he states that the three gods are different only because one does not validate the prophets of the other two. Actually, all three are one and the same biblically-fashioned utility. It was spokesmen of those gods, and not the gods themselves, that were instrumental in rejecting prophetic claims of the others. Further, it was a natural consequence of the need to dominate.

Just consider this:

1. When the Jews conquered the "promised land", they simply put to death "everything that breathed". And this was done by Joshua in pursuance of "divine" command which ONLY he claimed to have received. Incidentally he is hailed for this act.

2. During the Christian conquest, first of pagan Europe and then of the Americas, this same "jealous" god of the OT inspired enslavement and utilization of the captive manpower as free labor. Rather than merely kill off "unbelievers" for their sin of disbelief, their manpower was used.

3. In Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) time, or immediately thereafter, it became necessary to not merely conquer and convert, but also keep neophyte populations within the Islamic fold as believers. Within days of the Prophet's (PBUH) death in 632 CE, many of those who had become Muslim raised the banner of religious revolt and returned to their traditional faith. During most of his caliphate, Abu Bakr was mainly occupied in wars and attendant massacres to ensure that these religious rebels remained Muslim. The hadith that prescribes the death penalty for apostasy contributed immensely towards Abu Bakr's success.

While the commandments of these gods changed to suit changing circumstances, their basic intolerant nature remained entirely unaffected. Even today, after all the bloodshed and human misery that has been perpetrated as a pious duty in the name of god, these gods have not shifted an iota from their original stand.

Ultimately, it is not the name but the underlying principles that matter in identifying so nebulous a concept as god. Because those underlying principles have been the same, the argument that they are different gods does not hold water.
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