- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2001

Koran must be read in context

Commentary columnist Cal Thomas was unsurprisingly selective in quoting the Koran ("Can we be fooled twice?" Oct. 3). Not only does he take certain verses out of context but he quotes half or incomplete verses. For example:
Sura 5:82 (not 85), which Mr. Thomas quotes as: "strongest among men in enmity to the Believers wilt thou find Jews and Pagans." He fails to quote the rest of the verse, however, which says, "and nearest among them in love to the Believers wilt thou find those who say 'We are Christians'; because amongst these are men devoted to learning. And men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant."
Sura 9:5, which Mr. Thomas begins quoting midverse: "Then fight and slay the Pagans wherever find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem [of war]." The full meaning of this passage cannot be understood, however, unless you read from verse 1 through the end of verse 5. These verses were talking exclusively about the non-Muslim Arabs of Mecca who fought and persecuted the Muslims, prevented them from performing pilgrimage and violated the sacred rules that all Arabs respected not fighting during the forbidden months. Muslims didn't even defend themselves during this time for fear of the sin of fighting during the forbidden months. Mr. Thomas' quote indicates when they may again do so.
Sura 5:51, which says, "O ye who believe, take not the Jews and Christians 'awliaa.'" The term "awliaa" in Arabic is plural of "wali," which means supporter and person of authority (not friend). I wonder why Mr. Thomas didn't read this verse in light of verses 7 to 9 of Sura 60: "It may be that God will establish friendship between you and those whom ye [now] hold as enemies. For God has power and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. God only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for [your] faith and drive you out of your homes It is such as turn to them [in these circumstances] that do wrong."
As for Mr. Thomas' other contentions:
I don't know historian Paul Johnson, but Islam means both "peace" and "submission." The greeting of Muslims is "Assalaamu (or salaam) alaikum," which means "peace upon you." The two words "salaam" and "Islam" were derived from the same Arabic origin of "salama." Don't ask a historian; ask a Muslim scholar.
Islam is the religion of peace, but it is also the religion of justice. Muslims are not pacifists. Read the Koran Sura 42:40: "The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto [in degree] but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God, for God loveth not those who do wrong." Sura 16:126 says: "And if ye punish, let your punishment be proportionate to the wrong that has been done to you, but if ye show patience, that is indeed the best [course] for those who are patient."
Muslims believe in the concept of martyrdom for the right cause, which can never be killing innocent people. Sheikh Yussuf al-Qaradawi, who Mr. Thomas mentions, is indeed a Muslim scholar respected all over the world. He denounced the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington in the strongest terms. He even asked Muslims to donate blood to the injured people. You can read his entire fatwa (creed) on the Internet (see, for example, www.islam-online.net).
No Muslim scholar has ever permitted the killing of civilians. There is no question that there are a few fanatics who twist the teaching of Islam to satisfy their sick minds, but you can't get such a sick interpretation from a respected scholar.
The Bible has been misused, as well. Take, for instance, the teachings of David Koresh, Jim Jones and other Christian extremists. How about Barukh Goldstein, who killed 29 Muslim worshippers while praying in Hebron and later became a hero to many extremist Jews? Do I blame or blaspheme Christianity or Judaism for the actions of a few? Of course not.
It really hurts me to read a column such as this. I would like to ask Mr. Thomas: Then what? Are you suggesting that all Muslims are fanatics and hence must be killed?
Let me leave you with one last suggestion: If this is your understanding of Islam, then please go to the nearest college and take a course in Islam 101. Or is it simply bigotry and arrogance?

SALEH A. MUBARAK
Tampa, Fla.

Pro-life women should beware of birth control pills

The Oct. 2 Metropolitan article "Contraceptive breeds success" does a disservice to the pro-life movement. The article states, "The [birth control pill] prevents pregnancy by stopping a woman's ovaries from ovulating, or releasing an egg."
This is incomplete information that could mislead pro-life women who may be taking birth control pills.
In the Physician's Desk Reference, the mechanism of a typical birth control pill is described thus:
"Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotropins. Although the primary mechanism of action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus, which increases the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus, and changes in the endometrium, which reduce the likelihood of implantation."
This clearly means that birth control pills alter the uterine lining. As a result, if ovulation occurs due to medication failure and fertilization occurs, the embryo (a growing, many-celled baby) will be less likely to successfully implant, thereby resulting in a chemical abortion of the 3-day-old to 6-day-old living baby.
This is a very real possibility, since the product information sheet included with birth control pill prescriptions states that the "typical failure rates" are 3 percent per year.
I urge all women who take birth control pills to thoroughly read the "brief summary patient package insert" included with their prescriptions. That way, they will understand the possible risks associated with using the pills and will be able to make informed decisions.

NICHOLAS POLIS
Washington

Clinton's legacy defined

Former President Bill Clinton is apparently upset that his presidency had no "defining moment" ("Inside Politics," Oct. 1). In truth, however, he ignored the moments that were potentially defining.
Our current problems began on Mr. Clinton's watch. The World Trade Center was bombed during his presidency. Embassies were attacked, as was the USS Cole. He neither acted in a responsible manner nor attempted to garner public support for an appropriate response.
For that reason, his presidency will be "defined" by disbarment, impeachment, Monica Lewinsky and, oh, yes, how the U.S. economy rolled along despite it all.

DANIEL SONNET
Alexandria

Pro-life women should beware of birth control pills

The Oct. 2 Metropolitan article "Contraceptive breeds success" does a disservice to the pro-life movement. The article states, "The [birth control pill] prevents pregnancy by stopping a woman's ovaries from ovulating, or releasing an egg."
This is incomplete information that could mislead pro-life women who may be taking birth control pills.
In the Physician's Desk Reference, the mechanism of a typical birth control pill is described thus:
"Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotropins. Although the primary mechanism of action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus, which increases the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus, and changes in the endometrium, which reduce the likelihood of implantation."
This clearly means that birth control pills alter the uterine lining. As a result, if ovulation occurs due to medication failure and fertilization occurs, the embryo (a growing, many-celled baby) will be less likely to successfully implant, thereby resulting in a chemical abortion of the 3-day-old to 6-day-old living baby.
This is a very real possibility, since the product information sheet included with birth control pill prescriptions states that the "typical failure rates" are 3 percent per year.
I urge all women who take birth control pills to thoroughly read the "brief summary patient package insert" included with their prescriptions. That way, they will understand the possible risks associated with using the pills and will be able to make informed decisions.

NICHOLAS POLIS
Washington

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide