Ron Pollard: Understand Islam

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In response to: "Iraq resolution correct" in the Feb. 21 Steamboat Today:

With all due respect to the letter writer, which I truly mean, the only point I can agree with you on is the valor, training, sacrifice and dedication of our armed forces which are second to none in the world.

The primary misunderstanding of our president's unwavering dedication to prevailing in Iraq no longer has to do with weapons of mass destruction but what Islam dictates in the Quran to all Muslims as is their goal and destiny to bring the world totally under the domination of Allah and the Quran. They came close twice before.

I would suggest all who truly want to understand the importance of our mission in Iraq and the Mideast make a study of the Quran. I have and found along the way that one has to be very careful of the sources, keeping in mind that there are millions of Internet sites which are extremely sophisticated and seductive in their appeal to Western readers by spinning facts and using selective quotes.

Having said that, I will offer my comments on the remaining points set forth in the subject letter. "The majority of Americans disapprove of the war and/or the troop escalation." I thank God that President Bush does not conduct foreign policy by the polls. Neither did President Lincoln nor President Roosevelt, who were very unpopular at their time of war but history now reveres them, hindsight being perfect. History has not been kind to Neville Chamberlain's infamous "peace in our time" proclamation relating to the appeasement of Hitler. I firmly believe history will judge President Bush in the same manner as Lincoln and Roosevelt whether we prevail or pullout before the job has been done. He understood what hung in the balance and refused to play politics from the polls, which others are doing very effectively.

I will try to briefly comment on the remaining thoughts of the author concerning the aftermath of an early withdrawal:

A. Our friends throughout the world would question our resolve, as the world's greatest power, to come to their aid if threatened, as we have so many times. Unfortunately our European allies have neither the will nor the power for confrontation with a determined enemy.

B. Of course, the powerful Muslim terrorist groups throughout the world will be greatly emboldened in their dedicated desire to conquer the world for Islam. For this basic reason, failure is not an option or our children and grandchildren will certainly pay terrific consequences.

C. "President is putting our troops in harm's way" which is the unpleasant task that any responsible president has to make at times no matter what the polls say.

D. "If you can't stand failure, don't start the war." As I've said before, I don't believe the President and his advisers realized the depth of the Islamic religion, its edicts and dedication to the death. But, with what we now know and see, withdrawing prematurely is not a reasonable alternative. It would be far better to continue the resolution of radical Islam in Iraq rather than later throughout the Middle East, Europe and then North America. This is especially true as more Islamic nations get nuclear weapons.

E. Lastly, you stated "they hate the idea of our being in land they consider holy." The land was also holy to Jehovah God of the Jews many thousands of years before the Quran was ever written.

In my opinion, the reasons the majority of Western Europe and America has turned against the war is as follows: First, they have never seriously studied or looked at the real Quran and its dictates. Keeping in mind that Islam has twice conquered the Mideast, Africa and a significant part of Western Europe in the past 1500 +/- years and they have never forgotten or gotten over their final defeats in France and Austria. Secondly, Western Europe and America have become so comfortable and self absorbed in abundance and freedoms, that they don't wish to have it disturbed by the ugliness of war, which comes to us every day on the TV, no matter what the reason.

May God bless you and America.

Ron Pollard

Steamboat Springs

Comments

bigdog 7 years, 2 months ago

Well put Ron. The "peace at any price" crowd will go nuts, but the reality is that we either fight and destroy them now or our grandchildren and great grandchildren will need to learn the ways of the Sharia.

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suckerfreeforlife 7 years, 2 months ago

While there's merit to the idea that Americans need to get wise to what the Caliphate is, the idea that W is conducting an effective policy to marginalize militant Islam is bullchit. W is a bad checkers player caught in a complex game of chess. You assert that W didnt understand the "depth" of the Islamic religion. Does that not tell you something? Any undergrad, or even high school student, couldve forseen the sunni/shia schism, yet it catches W off guard. W doesnt have the balls or brains to tackle the issue as you framed it, but dont fret, Obama does.

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RouCou 7 years, 2 months ago

Like the Bible the Quran (Koran, Al-Quran) is subject to interpretation. Case in point, The Christian Church "The Church of God With Signs Following". The Snake Handlers. Their beliefs focus on three passages from the bible one being Mark 16:17-18, ( "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover). The handling of deadly snakes is part of their belief system. There are many other Christian organizations and many see Bible with different eyes. As well there are as many interpretations of the Muslims sacred text.
From a World perspective it would seem that we The United States of America are the country with a Military presence around the Globe. We are the aggressor. We are the ones with troops and bases scattered throughout every continent. To most countries it would appear that we are the ones wanting to dominate and conquer.
I cannot agree more I don't think we understand the history of Iraq. These factions have been in a bloody conflict for over 2000 years. The only time there is a lull in the fighting is when there is a Ruthless Murderess leader like Saddam in control. I doubt that we have enough blood, arms or legs to stop this historically Bitter battle

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another_local 7 years, 2 months ago

Only one branch of the muslim faith? Shia? Sunni?

These people fight among themselves to the death over whether there is a central religious authority and the interpretation of the "word" and they have been fighting with us (western european based culture) for the last 1500 years.

There is nothing new happening today.

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Hadleyburg_Press 7 years, 2 months ago

An excellent book on the current topic:

"Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror."

by Mary Habeck, Associate Professor, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins

Yale University Press

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ronnavalair 7 years, 1 month ago

I appreciate the thoughts of the people who commented on my article. I would offer a few comments on the comments. A. Islam is certainly fractured between the Shiites and Sunni factions as can be seen the slaughter between the two in Iraq. I believe their differences came from who was the rightful heir to Mohammed when he was killed. But, their basic tenants of Jihad and world domination remain the same. B. Versions of the Bible. The numerous versions:KJV,NAS,LB,NLT,etc. are just attempts to relay the original text into modern day vernacular. I do not know the Catholic version but would suggest it is basically the same. That cannot be said for the Mormon Bible.

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marathon 7 years, 1 month ago

Ron, thanks for your thoughts - wish you would write more. This town needs to hear from more thinkers as you - its nice to know that all of our efforts years past for this country weren't wasted. You and I served with pride and dignity - its nice to know you are still fighting for what is right.

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steve aigner 7 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Pollard's February 25 letter ("Understand Islam") misrepresents Islam, stereotypes and demonizes Muslims, and overlooks the Abrahamic ethic that Jews, Chrisitans and Muslims share.

In an early paragraph, Mr. Pollard says "Islam dictates in the Quran to all Muslims that their goal and destiny is to bring the world totally under the domination of Allah and the Quran." Later, he says the religion of Islam is "dedicated to (the) death." Finally, Mr. Pollard concludes that Westerners have turned against the Iraq war because "they have never seriously studied or looked at the real Quran and its dictates."

Islam and the Quran

To truly understand Islam a person needs to know first that the Quran presents three kind of revelations: 1) timeless advice, e.g. love God and honor all His prophets; 2) metaphors and parables subject to the reader's interpretive intention; 3) pragmatic advice to 7th century formerly polytheistic, newly converted Muslims about developing as a community and surviving in a hostile environment. To appreciate the sources on which faithful Muslims rely, a person should know the context of the chapter and verse of the Quran if they intend to cite and interpret it correctly.

Two other examples of God's timeless advice are:

There shall be no compulsion, coercion in matters of faith, religion. (Qur'an 2:256)

Verily, those who have attained to faith in this divine writ as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians and the Sabians all who Believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds shall have their reward with their Sustainer: and no fear need they have and neither shall they grieve. (Qur'an 2:62 & Qur'an 5:69)

But in attacks on Islam I have heard over 33 years, Islamophobic comments usually refer to verses that gave pragmatic advice instead of verses that offer timeless guidance. For example, during battle in Medinah in 627 when people with whom the Muslim community had treaties were violating treaties and forming alliances with the oppressing Meccan tribe, God advised Muslims to not take such unbelievers ("Infidels") as sponsors or protectors. Those neighbors were not to be trusted (they broke their word, they tried to assassinate Muhammad, the blockaded the Muslims - men, women and children - from food and water). God told Muslims to be careful and to avoid interactions with hypocritical, lying, murderous people who pose as your friends and benefactors.

It is incorrect to use a piece of pragmatic advice for a specific set of circumstances as if it were a timeless instruction. The timeless advice always holds unless there are mitigating conditions - like you are in battle and you can't trust people who have broken treaties, and who have tried to kill you and your prophet.

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steve aigner 7 years, 1 month ago

Muslims, Radical Islamists, Jihadists

Please notice that I modified Muslim with the adjective "faithful." I differentiate faithful Muslims from the rest because a person cannot claim to be a Muslim and then violate the Quran's instructions by taking innocent life; by fighting in any other way except cautious self-defense; by reacting with anger and self-righteous indignation; by judging others and thereby assume authority which only God has.

Many, many Muslims refuse to accept so-called "Radical Islamists" or "Jihadists" as Muslims. They wonder how can a person validly claim to be a Muslim when they behave in reprehensible ways. They do not identify with the sociopaths and thugs who proclaim to be Muslims. Why then, faithful Muslims wonder, do Westerners group the faithful with those who wrongly claim to be Muslims.

We must be careful to avoid gross generalizations like Ron Pollard's "all Muslims" seek "to bring the world totally under the domination of Allah and the Quran." When we use broad, coarse phrases to demonize people, we use the same kind of thinking that bin Laden and Al-Qaeda employ to rally the ignorant.

The Abrahamic Ethic

I agree with Mr. Pollard that we all should read and try to understand the Quran, as well as the Upanishads, the Tanak of Judaism, and both the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible. We need to discover that we share the Abrahamic Ethic - we should love God with all of our heart and soul and we should wish for our neighbors what we wish for ourselves. For example, readers of the Quran will learn that the Islamic testimony of faith ("There is no deity but God, God alone is God") is a restatement of the primary commandment in Judaism (Exodus 20:2-4) and Christianity (Mark 12: 28-32 and Matthew 22: 28-32). Jews, Christians and Muslims, indeed all persons of good will, would be wise to embrace that which we share in common and to ally themselves against any person or group that spreads hate, violence, paranoia and fear.

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ronnavalair 7 years, 1 month ago

re:ahappylocal 2/28/07 - is a person who has done some study of Islam. I do not portray myself an expert on Islam but I have used a number of authoritative sources. One of the most recent sources I have used can be found at the following "http:www.islamreview.com/articles/the road.shtml." This confirms all of my previous studies and conclusions. In a nutshell Mohammed initially tried a peaceful approach to conversion of the peoples and stated peace to those of the Book (Jews and Christians). After a number of years he was having no luck with conversions and in desperation added new verses to the Quran giving himself a self-serving, so called divine order to fight Sura 4:74,84,5:33,9:73,8:59,5;49, and Sura 5:51 THRU 74 This last edict basically reads "Take neither Jews or Christians to be your friends--they are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number and God does not guide those Christian and Jewish wrongdoers". How do these contradictions in the Quran become reconciled? EASY! Muslims resolve internal contradictions in the Quran by stating certain passages of the Quran are "mansukh" or annulled by verses revealed chronologically later than themselves, which are called nasikh. This "abrogation" of earlier verses is defended by saying "knowest thou that Allah is able to do all things". Taking this issue further with what is called "the sword verse" in Sura 9:5 annuls 124 previous verses. This would tend to indicate there's no consistent truth is the Quran except the latest revelation. The only answer seems to be for infidels (all non muslims and Muslims who are not good Muslims) conversion, pay tribute or death. Do you wonder why all the so called "moderate Muslims" are not standing up and being heard against the so called "radical Muslims" and their savagery against any peoples who are not Muslims? I believe the answer might well be they could easily be called infidels for not following the current strict guidelines of Islam and therefore suffer the fate of infidels. One interesting fact of the Christian Bible is that it requires all Christians to love all, even your so called enemies, and pray for them. For our God is One who loves all His creation and wishes only that they become one in His Family. Thanks for your well written thoughts and God Bless You and America.

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Hadleyburg_Press 7 years, 1 month ago

God is Dead. All that is left are his little bastards running around playing a grand game of "Lord Of The Flies"...

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steve aigner 7 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Pollard,

Extracting Out of Context

Thank you for illustrating the point I made. It is incorrect to extract from the Quran (or any revelaed scripture) out of context. Suras (chapters) 4, 5, 8, and 9 were revealed to Muhammad and his community in the throes of battle against those very same people who had behaved very badly earlier in Mecca or later when they formed treaties with the Meccans and they lied, mocked and disrespected Muhammad. There were also Jews and Christians who failed to follow the teachings of Moses and Jesus. The Quran spells out these circumstances and says do not allign yourselves with such persons -- they mock you and your prophet, they don't even follow the teachings I brought to them through Moses and jesus.

I dare say, Mr. Pollard, you avoid people who mock your faith, who say one thing and do another, and who seem only to remember the Gospels when it is convenient. Don't you seek as friends only those who values and conduct bring out the best in you? Am I wrong?

Now, you refer to a web site you believe is "authoritative." Do you know the people who constructed the web site? Do you know their methods of extracting verses from the Quran? Do you know their ideological intent? Do you know the translators of the Quran they use? Do you know the extent to which they have studied the historical context of the particular chapter and verse to which they refer? Why did you choose 5:33 (in the Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation of the Quran the verse is 5:36) and not the verse that follows?

S. 5:37 "Except for those who repent before they fall into your power; in that case, know that God is Oft-forgiving, 
Most Merciful."

God always offers to forgive those who behave poorly, including those who lie and reject His message and messengers, if they realize the errors of their ways, submit to God's authroity and choose to redeem themselves by behaving correctly.

By the way, when did you last read the first five books of the old testement - Exodus and Deuteronomy, especially Deuteronomy 20:12? Any excerpt out of context unfairly creates a wrong impression. I, for one, have no problem with God saying that people should be careful in fighting others, but if those others reject His teaching, if they lie and confiscate land and property, harm women and children, mock their religion, make idols and claim those idols are God, if they try to assassinate His messenger, then in self-defense, those who believe in God, his messengers and the last day, should fight to protect themselves.

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steve aigner 7 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Pollard,

Be Careful

When we use phrases that put "all Muslims" into a category and suggest we should fear all Muslims and support a war because "Islam is dedicated to (the) death," we have the moral rsponsibility to undertake personal study and not to rely on others whose ideology may square with ours perfectly. All persons should be very cautious before they encourage fear and hate in others. There will come a time when each of us answers for what we do to bring peace and understanding or foster hate and ignorance.

Abrogation

You say, unequivocably, that Muslims resolve internal contradictions in the Quran by saying later verses abrogate earlier verses. How do you actually know this? How many Muslims have you quizzed to learn if they invoke the theory of abrogation? Maybe you just read it on a web site written by some "authority" who writes with a particular ideology. Devoted, faithful Muslims do not fool with the Quran lest they suffer in hell for doing so. The alledged Muslims who concocted the Theory of Abrogation (and it is just a theory) have taken certain risks upon their soul, risks that no Muslim I know ever considers.

The Abrahamic Ethic

I noticed you did not mention of my final point, regarding the Abrahamic Ethic and Mark 12:28-32 and Matthew 22: 36-40. Every religion has proponents who favor an exclusive point of view - only a _ (fill in with Jew, Christian, Muslim or a particular subtype, e.g. an Orthodox Jew, a born-again Christian, a Wahhabi Muslim) will be redeemed and receive God's mercy and salvation. Also, among followers of moses, Jesus or Muhammad there are many who know in their hearts that God has seen to it that everyone has the chance to learn and live the universal message that we should love one God and only one, that we should love others as our selves and we should treat everyone with reciprocal compassion and love. We need to be very cautious not to assume that we, mere mortals, know who is truly a lover of God and who is not. That is God's domain alone.

May God have mercy upon us all. May He guide us to embrace His teachings. May we find contentment with whatever He provides. May we know that He is our Creator and Sustainer. May we know that all we need to do is place ourselves in His hands and be mindful constantly of His Divine Presence.

Amen, may this be so!

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Hadleyburg_Press 7 years, 1 month ago

Ahappylocal, Nice try, but departure from reality has never been my thing. By all means, enjoy your euphoric inebriation. I would only ask that you don't drink too deeply and self rightously from the well of delusion and become malignant. Have a happy day!

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steve aigner 7 years, 1 month ago

To Hadleyburg_Press

I totally understand your disgust with the little bastards who run around (and have always run around, although now we know about the world's situation...historically we were ignorant on the world outside of our locality)...

But the course of life on the material plane of existence should be considered independently from its Creator. The depravity of how the creations conduct their lives does not mean that God is dead. It just means that this set of learners aren't listening to their conscience, they are disconnected and they choose that way of life. They are tone deaf.

We should never generalize from the failings of the alleged followers of any and all faith traditions to the truth of the universal message of Our Lord. Because students fail to learn doesn't mean that what they are supposed to learn is false or that the teacher isn't fair.

Haven't you experienced a moment of selflessness, of true love from another person or for another person?

Haven't you seen a sunrise or a sunset?

Haven't you smelled the fragrance of a flower?

Haven't you seen and experienced the thoughtfulness of a pet?

Haven't you wondered who is the Natural Selector in natural selection?

In these mountains and natural beauty, haven't you ever felt humility and gratitude, a sense of inner peace and oneness with all that is good?

Haven't you ever listened to your conscience, done the right thing, eventhough it was not what you wanted to do or what your body thought would feel good, and realized that there is beauty in doing the right thing?

Please, Hadleyburg_Press, reconsider your thoughts and feelings that "God is dead."

Best wishes,

a happy local

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