Islam is hard-wired with a “conquering” mentality that dates back to its earliest days, says a noted author, and that mentality was on display Friday at the Washington National Cathedral.
Even in a service billed as a symbolic olive branch to Christianity, celebrated inside an iconic church, Islam’s air of supremacy could not help but leak out, says Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of several books on Islam including “The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims” in 2005 and “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History” in 2008.
Not that anyone in the Episcopal cathedral cared to notice. “After viewing Friday’s ostensible exercise in ‘ecumenism’ at the National Cathedral, it is impossible for me to discern whether the Christian event organizers are more ethically, or intellectually cretinous,” writes Bostom in his blog at AndrewBostom.org.
Bostom is an associate professor of medicine at Brown University Medical School and author of four exhaustive studies on Islam. He said the verses that Imam Ebrahim Rasool, who is South Africa’s ambassador to the U.S., read to those gathered for Friday’s “call to prayer” were familiar to Muslims but probably did not resonate with many Christians.
The verses are widely interpreted by the Muslim hadiths and Quranic commentaries as stinging rebukes of Christianity and Judaism, Bostom said. The hadiths are the written reports of the teachings of Muhammad.
Rasool quoted only the latter portion of Quran 5:82, which says “you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not arrogant.”
But Rasool cleverly omitted the opening half of 5:82: “Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikun (i.e., ‘idolatrous’ Hindus, Buddhists and Animists).”
Bostom, who is Jewish, explained that part of the verse is about Christianity, but the imam didn’t read the first part about Judaism. “I don’t blame him. He is a pious Muslim. That’s what he is supposed to do. He’s a proud Muslim. It’s the church that makes me outraged,” Bostom said.
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