He asks Americans to inform themselves about the real teachings of Islam and not to fall for what various Islamic groups say it teaches. Soloman says, "The simplest Islamic book you open" teaches that all unbelievers (in Islam) are profane people. "Because of the (Koranic) text and what it says, it incites violence." He begins quoting verses from memory, too quickly to write them all down. One is, "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush." (Surah 9:5)
"This kind of tactic of taking verses out of context can be used against any religious faith," says Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, an Islamic civil rights and advocacy group. "It can and has been used against the Bible and has been used against the Quran."
"These verses deal with the real experience of the Muslim community at the time when they were under attack. It's not a general injunction to go out and harm people. The only people who take it that way are those who want to promote hostility toward Islam and Muslims. They would object if the same thing were done to their faith."
Yes, but virtually all Christians and Jews denounce the infinitesimal few who claim to be Jewish or Christian and use their "holy books" to justify violence against others as a direct command from God.
Asked whether the Koran commands the killing of or violence against all nonbelievers, Ali Khan, national director of the Chicago-based American Muslim Council, replied: "No. (That's) far from the truth. There's nothing in the Koran, no verse that I'm aware of, that advocates the killing of nonbelievers."
The terrorists and those who preach from mosques throughout the Middle East must be reading a different version, then, because virtually all of their sermons that I've read claim their God wants them to kill all "infidels."
Soloman says Americans must demand from the leading Islamic hierarchy, such as the Muslim World League and the Union of Imams, a fatwa that makes it clear "that this is not what the text means and that these texts are no longer effective. They have passed their date. But if they remain effective and eternally valid, then in America we have a serious problem."
How serious? He says. "They are infiltrating and undermining every part of this society. We are promoting Islamic mortgages, Islamic insurance companies. There are 29 banks in the United States promoting Islamic banking. Since 1999, Dow Jones has launched Dow Jones Islamic Index and has subjected itself to be governed by an international Sharia board." (Sharia is the religious law of Islam outlined in the Koran.)
Soloman adds, "The Islamic organizations have their missionaries and there are active or sleeping cells in this country." He mentions one, Tablighi Jamaat, "a Pakistani organization that is hand-in-glove with the Wahaabis, strong Muslim sects known for their strict observance of the Koran, and a strong facilitator of al-Qaida and other factions of terrorism. They alone have 1,000 missionaries in New York, 50,000 across the United States. This is only one organization. In 1994, I took a map and started putting pins in it. I found there is not a single state without a mosque. Since then (the number) has increased."
Americans must see past their natural reluctance to paint all members of a group with a broad brush and realize our failure to act now against this clear and present danger in the ways Sam Soloman recommends will lead to a disaster for us that is far worse than our Cold War enemies had envisaged.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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