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Expounding On Ambiguity?

Reader comment on item: A Key Change to "The Pope and the Koran"

Submitted by orange yonason (United States), Jan 31, 2006 at 16:08

BS"D


"Note first that it was the Koran that was referred to, not Islam." (Fessio)

...as if there can be an "Islam" without "the Koran?"

No doubt what he is referring to as "Islam," as opposed to "the Koran," is the oral tradition necessary to interpret the written material? I do not know for certain what Islam claims for whatever oral tradition(s) it has, and whether the clerics have to decipher it on their own or if they are given help 'from above', but it has been my belief that they have to derive new rulings from existing material, and 'inspiration' (i.e., prophecy) is hardly possible if Mohammed was their last. My guess is that Fessio is just attempting a little 'damage control', and relying on ignorance of the masses (no pun) to give his sophistry a pass.

As to Christianity, the Pope himself admits that he has no fixed interpretation of his doctrine, and so must rely on an alleged divine inspiration, which conveniently comes through him and his fraternity at the Vatican. Interestingly, in order to 'validate' that approach, he imputes the same belief to Judaism, despite the fact that anyone even cursorily familiar with Orthodox Jewish belief knows that nothing could be further from the truth. Although the Rabbis with the authority to "Interpret" the Torah do derive "new" rulings, these must be consistent with both Written and Oral Torah, otherwise they are invalid. No ouija boards are involved: only knowledge of, and a strict and faithful adherence to, our immutable Tradition.

For the Pope to deny knowledge of Christianity's rejection of the Jewish Oral Torah, a seminal event in Church history, is either historical revisionism at it's lowest, or gross and irresponsible ignorance of his own roots. Either way, they make an excellent case for the Pope and company's irrelevance as reliable authorities in these matters. Even if he doesn't agree with us, he should at least correctly acknowledge what we Jews believe. The only reason I can think why he might not is that it would weaken the Church's claim to being the next logical step forward in an existing continuum, rather than a profound backwards plunge.

Continuing with the question of expecting any of the big three to "change" "for the better" without defining what specifically needs to be changed and why it's better, sounds too much like one of those 'cart before the horse' deals that only work in one's imagination. Sorry Daniel, but you are still way to vague on what you think needs to be done.

Oh, yes. And one more not so minor detail. Why put the onus of change on Islam? There is no a-priori reason that this should be the case, other than they are uncivilized barbarians by our standards. Unfortunately, without invoking an immutable morality to point the way, who can say it's them and not us who are the problem? In order to do that, one would have to have access to an absolute value scale from the Source of creation, not a sliding scale based on human perceptions of self-interest. And, since most of Islam doesn't seem too disturbed by their treatment of us, indicating that they see no problem that requires their attention, exactly how do we persuade them that they alone should shoulder that enormous burden merely to humor those who's values they hold in contempt?
Submitting....

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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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