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Founding of Islam

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?

Submitted by Gene Bearman (United States), Jun 28, 2005 at 13:03

Mr. Pipes:
I was surprised to find you undertaking an exposition on the name of God in order to suggest that Muslims, Jews and Christians have a commonality which could lead to future tolerance and accomodation. I myself believe that the Bible suggests a future day when Israel, Egypt, and Syria will be so close they will be seen almost as a triumverate. This day is not in sight, though an optimist can say the peace accord with Egypt may be a glimmering of hope. The question concerns the importance of the "important details" that Islam teaches are flawed in Jewish teachings and Christianity. Pat Robertson is essentially correct when he said we are in a religious struggle, however the linguistically garbled name "Jehovah" does not distinguish anything concretely. I suggest the phrase "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" as the recurring theme of scriptures is the central focus of the contention with Islam. Indeed, in Exodus 3:15 of the Tanakh(Old Testament) "God said further to Moses, 'Thus shall you speak to the Israelites: The LORD,the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: This shall be MY name forever, This My appellation for all eternity.' The phrase "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" occurs numerous times as the identifier of God, and it is obvious that Islam, with it's teaching that Ishmael was the one offered by Abraham on Mt. Moriah rather than Isaac rejects the God with connection to this lineage i.e.that of the the Jews. The founding of Islam was based on this rejection. So while Allah may be the Arabic name for God, Jehovah the Lutheran name for God, Dieu and Gutt other names for God, the fact of Judiasm's teaching that God wants to be known by His selection of and identification with a certain ethnic group, referred to sometimes as "The Chosen People" is not something that other religions can negotiate and sadly, accomodate. In a sense Christianity has the same issues with this teaching as Islam (not adequately defining the people of God through a Jewish connection though -somtimes- recognizing Jesus as a Jew). What this suggests is that this conflict has an ethnic origin, and religion's role in it has been to accent the divergence of the peoples rather than their common background. This said, I, too, hope that people of different faiths can exhibit patience and love toward one another as we individually and collectively seek to grow in our knowledge of the one true God.
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