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To Joe

Reader comment on item: "Moslem States Represent a Potential Threat to World Peace"
in response to reader comment: Two Islams, Muhummadians and "real" Islamists: De jure v. De facto

Submitted by Farid (Germany), Feb 17, 2006 at 20:24

Hmmm... there's probably one little logical flaw with this reasoning. May I try pointing to it? Muslims are believing that God made use of Mohammed as a messenger (prophet) to talk to them. According to Islam and what muslims believe (and that's a very deep-rooted central belief) Mohammed was the *only* intermediary between God and muslims.

If Mohammed (dishonestly or not) twisted God's words, there would be no way to know what the "true Islam" (whatever that may be) may have looked like. Perhaps it was just the same teachings that had been handed down to Moses. Perhaps it was a reiteration of Christian faith. Perhaps it was a reconciliation between Jewish and Christian faiths, a kind of clarification... Perhaps it was nothing of all this but something completely else. And, finally, perhaps it didn't even happen and was all just made up. Who knows for sure? Nobody can be certain. We're deeply in speculation territory here.

The central point is this: if you don't trust the messenger, how could you trust the message? God didn't digitally sign his message and we've got no way to verify that the message is authentic and has not been tempered with (sorry for using cryptographer's slang here -- it's not meant to be disrespectful!). This is actually the case with every (not only monotheistic) religion. It's a matter of belief, not of mathematical proof. You don't prove a religion, you feel it inside and let it influence you, or you don't.

The way I see it (and this is a purely personal opinion) is that every faith has a mixed crowd of followers: you've got very kind, tolerant, open-minded people; and you've got fundamentalists, bigots and extremists. You've got people who are genuinely interested in the other religions, and you've got people who hate non-believers. And you've got a huge amount of people who won't give a d*mn. Maybe, developing your interesting theory a bit further (if you kindly allowed this for a minute or two), God's "true message" may have been: "I gave you brains to think for yourself, and a heart to feel joy and pain, and a concience to discriminate between right and wrong, just and unjust, ...: use all of this wisely to make a better world on earth." Everything else may have been just some kind of folklore, a kind of heavy symbolism for people who need imagery and more precise guidance to get what this is all about.

As I've said, that's just my individual way of seeing it. In this sense, if that may have been the message, we're at the same time Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc... so long as we remain open-minded, caring and loving people. At least, that's the kind of world I'd love to live in. Currently looking like an utopian fiction, far, far away; but I don't want to give up hope! Especially not now, in this troubled world of ours.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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