As a writer researcher, I usually force myself to read at least two books on a subject before I write about it. I would like the entire world to stop, and read the entire Bible and the Qur’an twice, before any further commentaries or opinions about faith practices are bandied about. In the meantime, I thought we might all benefit from seeing some actual words from these books of faith. Ready? Here you go, the actual words from the actual text:
The Bible: Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions. –Mark 11:25-26
The Qur’an: We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to God and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed.”
The Bible: . Then Peter came and said to Him, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. -Matthew 18:21-22
The Qur’an: “Whoever kills a person, it is as though he has killed all of mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he has saved all of mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)
The Bible: In the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
The Qur’an: There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned.
I am pretty sure that none of us know anywhere near enough to have an opinion about the entire Muslim, Christian or any other faith practice(most especially me).
Surely there are at least one million different interpretations of every word in these books. Very few people take all of it literally. (Most Christians do not believe in killing faithless people, that women are chattel, or that they should beat their children, even though the Bible tells them so. I attended a beautiful gay wedding this summer officiated by a Catholic priest. Personally, I have never met anyone who believes in stoning people to death. (Those instructions are clearly listed in Deuteronomy, a biblical text; I deliberately left out the negative quotes from both books, but I read them, and compared them privately. Both contain passages that exhort murder and eternal hell for disbelievers. I also reviewed a few other holy books and I can see that all of them have peaceful, and violent parts. Like I said, I know NO ONE who takes it all literally; people who do that are not faithful believers or followers-they are extremists.)
Most school shootings are committed by students, yet I would never think to be afraid of students. Terrorist acts are committed by terrorists. Period.
I am afraid, like anyone else. The Islamic Extremists are scary. I am unsure how to react. But I am pretty certain that the path to resolution does not include painting more than one billion people with the broad black brush of prejudice and hatred.
Thank you for reading my post.