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And so the point is missed: Cynicism makes for the best misunderstandings

Reader comment on item: "Allahu Akbar" Means What, Exactly?

Submitted by Jose Rey (United States), Oct 6, 2009 at 10:37

It is quite easy, with a cynical lens, to see "Allah hu akbar" as only the territory of warmongering extremists. I could as easily declare the Shema or Ein K'Eloheinu the rallying cry of machine gun-toting, settlement-expanding coreligionists of mine, but that would require more cynicism than I care to muster.

I invite us to explore that "Allah-hu akbar"--indeed, "mi khamokha ba eilim, Ad-nai?" (no one is greater, ergo: Allah-hu akbar")--is very much the recognition, within this circle of religious people, that there is nothing greater or more important than that One Divine that binds them. It is the recognition that that One is the same from faith to faith. Having established this, peace in the land can seem only a logical thing. And if it reads as self-parody to anyone, perhaps it is a sign that these good people have a sense of humor. Another essential element for peace, and thankfully incompatible with cynicism.

Best wishes and peace to you, Mr Pipes, and to all. (Oh yes, don't forget: "ein k'Elo-heinu"="la'illah ha illah'Allah." Thank G-d for that one as well.)

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