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Deeper knowledge of two "Good Books" leads in different directions

Reader comment on item: [The Search for Moderate Islam:] A Reply to Lawrence Auster

Submitted by D Patterson (United States), Jan 28, 2005 at 10:36

Daniel states" .... I view premodern Islam by the standards of its time, not ours....., I subscribe to the wide scholarly consensus that during the first half of Islam's history, its adherents were less "aggressive, collectivist, genocidal, and tyrannical" than their Christian counterparts in Europe. The consistent pattern of Jews fleeing Christendom for Islamdom provides one indication of this reality."

We know that these two religions claim to have God's words in their Holy Books: the Koran for Islam and the Bible for Christianity. Interestingly, I have heard some "scholars" say that as individual followers of these two religions gain greater knowledge of their "Book" and strive to live according to its teachings behave almost oppositely toward those who differ from them in religious and political views. The converse is that those followers who have little knowledge of their "Book" (and faith) tend to behave oppositely than their more knowledgeable bretheren.

One "reality check" would be to go back to the two founders (most knowledgeable) of the religions and determine how they behaved toward those who held differening views and how they used violence. One Book teaches that the "founder" willingly gave up his life so others could live and taught that his followers should turn the other cheek. Consequently, those "followers" who tormented the Jews (or Muslims) could not have been following the teachings of the "Book". On the other hand, one Book introduces us to the term "Jihad" we have so often heard today. Its founder was not only viewed as the Messenger but also as a great military leader.


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