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Room for Co-existence?
Will, great article. I think you’ve given a lot of key details that are often left out in high school and undergraduate text book overviews of the religion. You know, it’s interesting the different fundamental views in Islam and Christianity. In both Islam and Christianity, an infidel is someone who is an unbeliever. But while Christ taught people to forgive their enemies, Muhammad had this to say: >"I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers." (Sura 8, Verse 12) >"When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads." (Sura 47, Verse 4) This is interesting especially when looked at in the light of co-existence. How can any group of people, not just Christians, ever co-exist with a religion that sends messages like this? How can a nation like the US that has separation of church and state, ever negotiate with people whose reason is dictated by a faith that commands them to deal harshly with "infidels?" It’s particularly interesting for the US since we have religious freedom built into our Constitution. What happens if you take our current state of affairs and set it on an extreme path? What happens if somehow Arab Islamic states coordinated with Islamic cells in the US to deal with the "infidels?" How would we deal with it? Would we always wait for criminal action to deal with someone, or would we take action against the Muslim faith in general with a sort of super-Patriot Act? Extreme as the situation may seem, it’s not totally impossible. If the situation arose, I wonder how the policy-built US would fare against the God-built nation of Islam in any sort of significant conflict.
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