The latest international outrage expressed by practitioners of the "religion of peace" is over comments made by Pope Benedict XVI. It seems a week doesn't go by without the Islamic world being offended by something someone says, writes or draws.
A Danish newspaper publishes some cartoons depicting Mohammed, and Muslims respond violently. Some left-wing Newsweek reporter erroneously writes about a Koran being flushed down a toilet and there are riots and deaths as a result. President George W. Bush calls terrorists and militants Islamic Fascists and not only are the Muslims outraged, but the liberals go ballistic in their response, which was similar to their response when President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union "the Evil Empire."
The pope's remarks came when he was quoting a conversation that took place in Ankara in the year 1391 between Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject Christianity and Islam.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," the pope quoted Manuel as saying.
After quoting this, the pope then quoted an academic, Theodore Khoury, who edited the original dialogue, as saying, "In Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality."
Most political leaders are ignorant of Islam and the problems Muslims face when attempting to practice a cohesive religion. Islam is and always was an ambiguous religion. In order to understand how one group can argue that Islam is a religion of peace while another group commits atrocities in the name of Islam, one must return to the source of this religion which is diametrically opposed to liberal democracy.
The Koran is actually a very confusing book. It does not provide practitioners of Islam a clear and unambiguous roadmap to heaven. In fact, Arabic scholars have explained that the Koran is divided into two contradictory -- opposing -- viewpoints of how Muslims should interact with one another as well as non-believers. In fact, there are only two points on which all Muslims agree:one must accept Allah and Allah's Trinity (Din, Dunya, Dwala); and Mohammad is the last and foremost prophet of God.
Scholars divide the Koran as written by Muhammad into the Mecca period from 610 to 622; and the Medina period from 622 to 632. Mecca is best described as a period of tolerance, even pluralism. It was a belief in "live and let live."
"You shall have your religion and I shall have mine."
However, the Medina period can be characterized as a religion delving into politics, power and armed conflict in the name of Allah.
"And kill them wherever you find them."
So when we hear Islamic leaders discuss their beliefs, we come away as confused as the Muslims themselves. The fact is that some may be referring to Mecca, some may be referring to Medina, and some may be referring to both the Mecca and Medina. Besides the confusion caused by the Koran, add other components of Islam such as Sunna, Hadith and Rivya, and it's no wonder that Koranic scholars are at odds with one another.
In short, Islam is at once a religion and an ideology. It's totalitarian ideology is comparable to Nazism, Communism and Fascism.Islamic leaders in the United States tell President George W. Bush that Islam is a religion of peace and give him some verses from the Koran and he relays this to the American people. As with most politically correct jargon, people are encouraged to deny the evidence of their own senses.
Practitioners of Islam are today involved in conflagrations throughout the world. Here are a few violent conflicts occurring today:
* The continued battle in Iraq has morphed from the deposing of a dictator into civil unrest by opposing sects of Islam, as well as Al-Qaeda terrorists who believe in an Islamic mission of world domination.
* In Afghanistan, the remnants of the radical Islamic groups the Taliban and Al-Qaeda continue to wreak havoc in that fledgling democracy.
* In Somalia, Islamists have all but overthrown a newly formed government. These Islamists have been responsible for not only violence, but also the starvation of the Somali people. The unrest is growing, with neighboring Ethiopia becoming involved in the armed conflict.
* In India, a predominately Hindu nation, Islamists have conducted terrorist attacks and Kashmir remains a region of violent contention by Islamic and Hindu residents.
* Terrorist attacks have occurred in Spain and Europe. The one armed conflict occurring in Russia is perpetuated by Islamists. In one attack, these Muslim terrorist invaded a school and brutally murdered children.
* Recently Hamas and Hezbollah picked a fight with Israel and then portrayed themselves as victims, with practically the whole world playing along.
Add the Islamic terrorist operations in the Philippines, Indonesia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc., and it is clear to most observers that there exists an asymmetric war being waged by those whose religion-ideology favors Medina over Mecca.
There is nothing new with large scale violence perpetrated by Muslims. At the end of the 19th Century, a man arose who claimed he was the Mahdi (The Guided One) -- the one promised by Mohammad -- who would unite the Islamic world either peacefully or through violence and then conquer the world for Allah's paradise.
This Mahdi created a massive army of followers who decided on the way to worshipping in Damascus -- and while there, occupying Syria -- they would overthrow the governments of the Sudan, Egypt and other nations. When the Mahdi wiped out a modern army in the desert and then invaded Khartoum, the British found it necessary to send a large force to stop him and his murderous Dervish.
In Gaza, two churches were fire bombed by Palestinians who were outraged over the Pope's comments. That from practitioners of the "religion of peace."
So prepare yourself for days and days of controversy and days and days of Pope Benedict XVI apologizing. In the midst of fighting radical Muslims throughout the world, we must remember that Islam is a religion of peace.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.