Michael P. Ackley has worked more than three decades as a journalist, the majority of that time at the Sacramento Union. His experience includes reporting, editing and writing commentary. He retired from teaching journalism for California State University at Hayward.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.
The Head-in-the-Sand Trophy goes this week to the U.S. Army officers who evaluated, praised and promoted Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood killer.
According to the Los Angeles Times, these officers “praised his interest in Islam’s effect on soldiers,” noted his “outstanding moral integrity” and said his “insights into the dimensions of Islam” were “of great potential interest and strategic importance to the U.S. Army.”
In fairness, this view of Hasan should not be surprising. For the Army evaluators displayed as much understanding of Islam as the average American – to wit, not much.
Then we have Sadia Saifuddin, the hijab-wearing Muslim confirmed as student representative on the University of California Board of Regents.
Regarding critics of Islam, she told a news website, “I think people cherry-pick a lot of things in the Muslim faith, and this emphasizes Islamophobia. If I looked in the Bible or Torah, I could find quotes that say the same thing. … My faith is one that preaches love and peace, forgiveness and mercy – these are the ideals that I’ve chosen to embody.”
Let us be frank: Ms. Saifuddin is shoveling manure. The difference between the Bible or Torah and the Quran is this: The former two largely are histories; Muslims regard the latter as the immutable word of God.
You can’t cherry-pick the immutable word of God. And never mind that, in the Quran, God contradicts himself from time to time.
Every American should read the Quran, just as Thomas Jefferson read it to understand the Barbary Pirates. Its “love, peace, forgiveness and mercy” apply only to Muslims.
As for “cherry-picking,” here’s a selection from the Suras (or chapters) of the Quran, God’s eternal policy:
Let us begin with Sura II: “The curse of God on the infidels!”
There’s tolerance for you. Then move on to “whoever offereth violence to you, offer ye the like violence to him …” and “… retaliation for bloodletting is prescribed to you. …”
One can’t help but contrast this with Matthew, 5:39. You know, turn the other cheek.
Sura III: “Infidels … shall be the inmates of the Fire, to abide therein eternally.” And, “We only give (infidels) length of days that they may increase their sins! And a shameful chastisement shall be their lot.”
More tolerance? “Take therefore none of (infidels) for friends, till they have fled their homes for the cause of God. If they turn back, then seize them, and slay them wherever ye find them; but take none of them as friends or helpers …”
“God” pursues this theme further in Sura V: “O believers! Take not the Jews or Christians as friends …”
Forgiveness and mercy? Try Sura VI: “We will recompense those who turn aside from Our signs with an evil punishment, because they have turned aside.”
Or how about Sura VIII? “I will cast a dread into the hearts of the infidels. … Strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every finger-tip.”
Here’s a favorite from Sura IX: “… kill those who join other gods with God (that would include you Trinitarians) wherever ye shall find them; and seize them, besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush …”
Interestingly, the Quran says it is improper to attack first, but also enjoins believers to “wage war against such of the infidels as are your neighbours, and let them find you rigorous …”
Yours truly better watch out, for Sura XV says, “We will punish those who foster divisions, Who break up the Koran into parts …” (I’d be in trouble in Canada or Australia, too. In those nations, if you quote the Quran to criticize Islam, you can be charged with fostering hatred.)
If the Army officers who evaluated Nidal Hasan had been cognizant of the “cherries” of the Quran, they might have kept a closer eye on that killer. As for Ms. Saifuddin, one wonders how any American woman could buy into a belief system that says, “Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them …”
Let us remind you that the quotes above, to the observant Muslim, are the immutable, eternal word of God, as transmitted to the Prophet Muhammad by the Archangel Gibril (Gabriel). Further, be advised that these nuggets are not painstakingly extracted from a great bulk of positive material. You can find their hateful like on almost every page of that holy book.
The problem with Islam is that every so often a Muslim actually will read the Quran, take it to heart and act on its injunctions. When such as Saifuddin call you Islamophobic, remember that a phobia is an irrational fear. Get a copy of the Quran, read it, and decide for yourself if any fear it engenders is irrational.