As if we don’t have enough troubles already with chronic unemployment, cascading stock market values, and home ownership in serious jeopardy, now we have a multitude of Fundamentalist Muslim Jihadists out to destroy us, both figuratively and literally.
Why do they hate us so? For at least some of the answers I have gone to both the Old Testament and Hal Lindsay’s new book, The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad. I recommend both very highly.
Is it that troublemaker Mohammad, and the Koran that espouses his teachings, that created all the problems? Oh no. It goes back further than that. Much further! All the way back to the dawn of recorded history. To Abraham, Isaac, and Isaac’s three sons, Ishmael, Jacob, and Esau. It all began as a personal family feud.
As you may recall, God spoke to Abram (Abraham) telling him that this wife Sarai (Sarah) would bear him a son, through whom “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” But Abraham was already 75 years old, and his wife 65 . . . well past child bearing age.
More than a decade passed, and nothing happened. So Abraham did the next best thing; he impregnated his Egyptian house servant who provided him with a son, whom they called Ishmael. So far so good. Only trouble was that the Lord had said that Sarah would bear him the son “through whom God would create a “great nation,” and who would also be “a light to the Gentiles (that’s us).”
Eventually Sarah did become pregnant, and bore him twin sons; Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel, which has created much confusion between the name of the individual and that of the nation) and Esau. They didn’t get along with each other, nor did Jacob get along with Ishmael, who was in fact Abraham’s first born, and felt entitled to God’s promise — a belief greatly stressed by the Arabs and Muslims. Esau felt upstaged by his younger brother Jacob, so he sided with Ishmael (you know, the enemy of my enemy, etc.).
So that’s the family feud that started it all, and continues to this day. Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and his descendents — the Jews (named after Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and his first wife Leah) settled in the fertile land of Canaan. Ishmael, his followers and descendents — the Arabs, were relegated to the desert wastelands of the Arabian Peninsula, fulfilling the prophesy that Ishmael would be “a wild ass of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” An early Arab poet gave expression to the Ishmaelite’s guiding principle: “Our business is to make raids on the enemy, on our neighbor, and on our own brother, in case we find none to raid but a brother.” And so they did.
Mohammad, who gets blamed for all of this as the legendary head of the Muslim religion, was not born until A.D. 570 and died in A.D. 632, more than two centuries after the time of Abraham. His god was Allah, and upon his death, Mohammad was said to have ascended into Heaven upon a winged horse, named Barak!
The historic enigma is how an illiterate orphaned child, thought of as being either insane or demon-possessed by his own family, become the inspiration for a book, the Kur’an (Koran), that is revered as being the most beautiful and majestic of all Arabic literature, and who is even now the patriarch of the fastest growing religion in the world. Of course that begs the question of how Christianity could be based upon the life of the illegitimate son of a Jewish carpenter, and the inspiration for the #1 selling book in the history of the world. But that is another story for another time.
The present day Ishmaelites, or Arabs, are the people who make up the nations of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Syria and Iran. They are linked together by a common enmity toward the nation of Israel. They are joined to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Indonesia, and other such nations by a common adherence to a belief in Islam, or Muslimism.
So that brings us to the central point. What have the fundamentalist Muslims got against us? We weren’t even around at the time!
Well, it seems that the Jews eventually got a little crowded living in Canaan, and began expanding into the Arabian Peninsula. . . the land of the Ishmaelites.
While the descendents of Ishmael were out fighting; the Jews, and as has always been their custom, stayed at home and built businesses, shops, banks, and maybe even a pawn shop or two. In essence, while the Ishmaelites remained nomadic plunderers, the Jews became responsible landholders and controllers of Arabian finance and trade. Jealousy ensued. Not unlike pre-Nazi Germany, with about the same results.
The followers of Mohammad either killed or made life unbearable for the Jews in Arabia and confiscated all their property, much of which had been accumulated over a period of 2,500 years!. Those who could, fled, and those who couldn’t were unmercifully persecuted through a procedure known as dhimmi, which was a confiscatory tax on their labors. The hatred of the Jews became justified as a religious Islamic cause. So where did they flee? Europe, of course, and more importantly, America. So the US became the principal sanctuary of the enemy of Islam.
To the Arab Muslims the insult of insults was the 1948 establishment by Western powers of the Nation of Israel right in the middle of an area considered to be holy and sanctified Arab territory. Jews from all over the world flocked there, and true to their custom, they again “made the deserts bloom,” rekindling the ancient hostilities. Muslims call Israel “a cancer in the heart of Islam that must be removed,” and “nothing can cleanse this insult to Allah but an ultimate military defeat of Israel.” Or as Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has promised, “to wipe Israel from the face of the earth.” And he is developing the warpower to do it! So what do we do? As a Christian nation, can we afford to ignore the basic covenant the Great God Jehovah made to Israel, as given in the book of Genesis?
“I will make of you a great nation;
I will bless you
And I will make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Many think abandoning Israel is a chance we simply cannot afford to take, and attribute much of our nation’s past success on our support of the aspirations of the Jews. On the other hand, there are over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world today. And even if, as is being reported, only 2% are militant Jihadists that are committed to killing or otherwise destroying any who do not bow to Allah, that is still a whole bunch of them! As we have learned, they attack in a manner with which we are ill equipped to respond, and not all of them live in Saudi-Arabia!
We are engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and elsewhere, attempting to establish for them a democratic form of government, based upon our own. But that is entirely contrary to the kind of government taught in the Koran, which is patterned after the tribal culture of the seventh-century Arabian Peninsula.
The Islamic fundamentalist sees democracy as a threat to Islam. They don’t understand us, and we certainly don’t understand them. We are proceeding, with $billions and $billions, down an impossible path.
This week, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is appearing before the United Nations demanding “legitimate rights and full membership” for a Palestinian state, placing it on equal footing with the United States and adding another Muslim voice within this group of nations. He says he is doing so because “President Obama has endorsed the Palestinian State.”
The problem with that is that there is not now, and never has been in modern times, a “Palestinian State.” Only a group of Middle Easterners who call themselves “Palestinians.” Abbas said the Palestinians will be aiming to “secure independence in the 1967 borders and its holy capital, Jerusalem.” Of course, he is referring to Israeli borders.
Abbas expects the UN to lend its weight to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state by carving out a portion of the current state of Israel, including its capital city, and ceding it to the Palestinian Authority (PA)… a group headed, naturally, by Mahmoud Abbas.
Of course Abbas could demand that other Arab countries, such as Syria, or Jordan, or Saudi Arabia, contribute a portion of their real estate to accommodate the PA, but that is not the issue. Piece by piece, they want to carve Israel out of existence!
It is anticipated that President Obama will instruct his ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice,
to vote against such a move. But this flies in the face of his previous comment before the UN General Assembly that “Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state unless the two parties reached a peace agreement.” And, as noted previously, this would mean that Israel would be forced to give up an additional portion of its land, a concession that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says would render itself totally indefensible against its Muslim neighbors.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US and part of the ruling family, last week warned that an American veto would end the allies’ “special relationship” and would make the US “toxic” in the Arab world.
So again, President Obama’s Muslim sympathies have placed the United States is a very awkward position. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
So this is where we are. But where do we go from here? I, your humble correspondent, would not presume to know. But let’s hope and pray that we will have the wisdom to elect representatives who do possess a knowledge superior to our own in dealing with this confrontation.
Author’s note: Yes, I know I have skipped a few centuries. And yes, I know there are differing interpretations of historical references. It has been my purpose to respond to some of the questions that currently plague us. There are many others.
Preview The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad on Amazon.