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[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
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Friday, October 01, 2004

The other Documentary and the problem of Sola Scriptura in Islam

Run originally on The Discovery Channel, Thomas L. Friedman (a three time Pulwitzer Prize winning journalist – WOW just as many Pulwitzer’s as Kerry has purple hearts, a coincidence?) made a documentary of his journey through the Middle East last year in search of the "Roots of 9/11."

Initially I figured this would be a Michael Moore-esque slam on American foreign policy and would end with the blame falling square in the laps of your everyday Joe American whose affluence left the Arab world with no choice but terrorism. In reality, I was surprised at how fair and balanced this journalist’s reporting was, and in a number of his forums in the Middle East he even went so far as to defend America – astonishing!

In previous political-religious postings I have made on the topic of terrorism, I suggested that perhaps a lot of the hatred expressed toward America is indoctrinated into people, and I must say after seeing this film, I believe it even more. At one point Friedman shows the celebration in Arab streets after news of 9/11 breaks and he interviews people who talk about their joy in seeing Arabs giving Americans a “bloody nose.” But then, when interviewing school children or others who admit to the atrocity of the attack he finds that they all have heard and apparently believe the absurd story that Jews actually did the attack (we’ve all heard the story about how all the Jews in the buldings were told to stay home that day) and that Arabs were not at all involved. So, you see, we Americans cannot win – either we deserved it or if we didn’t deserve it we are blaming the wrong people. We are dupes of the Zionists.

One Egyptian scholar/playwrite was bold enough to offer the theory that America is in fact a scapegoat for a greater and more at-home cultural problem in the Middle East. It is always easier to blame others for the problems one faces, he says (my paraphrase), and thus these terrorists, who are indeed depserate and feeling very tiny and insignificant, feel compelled to lash out against whatever “tall towers” they can find. He is even frank enough to blame the leaders of the Arab world for their people's desperate circumstances, and for many people the misdirection of blame is both troubling and detrimental to assuaging the poor conditions.

Interesting, sidenote...the Discovery Channel website has a section in which someone (Jean AbiNader of the Arab American Institute) is answering questions about Islam. A number of quotes from the Koran are offered as proof that terrorism is wrong. Read them, along with all of the Q&A and see if you can hear Jesus in them or at least parallels in the words of Christ:

In avenging the injuries inflicted upon us, do not harm the non-belligerents in their homes; spare the weakness of women; do not injure infants at the breast, nor those who are sick. Do not destroy the houses of those who offer no resistance; and do not destroy their means of subsistence..." The Koran says: "Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors.(2:190)

As regards those who do not fight against you because of your religion and do not drive you out of your homes, God does not forbid you to treat them with goodness and to be just to them.(60:8)

I know I am being a judgemental jerk here (right?), but I am guessing I can come up with at least a few quotes from our Lord that would better deter terrorism than this. Even some that not only doesn't forbid treating enemies with kindness, but that actually DEMAND it.


...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 8:05 AM [+]
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