After being sworn in today for his second term as America's 43rd President, the Honorable George W. Bush gave his Inaugural Address, which included the following passage:
In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character -- on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people. Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before -- ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
"The words of the Koran?" Those are the words of Mohammed, a 7th
Century Arabian conqueror and tyrant. At what point did the Koran become a contributor to the American ideal of freedom? At what point did multiculturalism and political correctness make it so imperative that even a Republican President would choose to ignore the truth and elevate the likes of Mohammed to the level of even Moses, let alone of Jesus?
The truths of Sinai are embodied in the Ten Commandments. The Sermon on the Mount is an essential revelation of the teachings and character of Jesus Christ. These are implicitly understood as foundational elements of Western and American Civilization. Can this be said of the words of the Koran?
Sura 9 of the Koran is understood by Muslim scholars to be the last Sura "given" to Mohammed, and as such is the final word, trumping any previous Sura with which it might conflict. It is essentially the Great Commission of Mohammedans, and not surprisingly, it deals extensively with the practice of jihad, or holy war. Here are a few passages from Sura 9:
9:5 But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
That doesn't sound much like "turn the other cheek."
9:12 But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.
9:13 Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Apostle, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is God Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe!
9:14 Fight them, and God will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers,
9:15 And still the indignation of their hearts. For God will turn (in mercy) to whom He will; and God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
9:16 Or think ye that ye shall be abandoned, as though God did not know those among you who strive with might and main, and take none for friends and protectors except God, His Apostle, and the (community of) Believers? But God is well- acquainted with (all) that ye do.
More exhortations by Mohammed for war in Allah's name. Could Osama bin Laden have said it more clearly?
9:29 Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
9:30 The Jews call 'Uzair a son of God, and the Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. God's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!
9:31 They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of God, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One God: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).
It's somewhat confusing as to how words like these could have contributed to the American ideal of freedom, given that Mohammed actually calls for curses on Jews and Christians, who happen to be the very people President Bush was speaking to when he mentioned Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount.
9:86 When a Sura comes down, enjoining them to believe in God and to strive and fight along with His Apostle, those with wealth and influence among them ask thee for exemption, and say: "Leave us (behind): we would be with those who sit (at home)."
9:87 They prefer to be with (the women), who remain behind (at home): their hearts are sealed and so they understand not.
9:88 But the Apostle, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.
This passage sums it up: Suras which command war in the name of Allah are to be obeyed without question. What contribution to the private character of Muslims did President Bush have in mind when he mentioned such "words of the Koran?"
9:111 God hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than God? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.
So goes the promise of eternal paradise for those martyred in Mohammedan holy war. These are the very words that keep millions of jihadists and sympathizers in bondage; can they have made any contribution to America's ideal of freedom?
9:123 O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that God is with those who fear Him.
Again we see Mohammed's Islamic triumphalism assert itself from the pages of the Koran. Could such words have produced the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? The words of the Koran stand in hostile opposition to America's ideal of freedom.
What President Bush has done in his address is reiterate his fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the war America now fights. The words of the Koran do not reinforce America's ideal of freedom; the words of Mohammed directly inspire the mortal threat that Islam poses to American Civilization. If we do not understand our enemy, what are our prospects for victory?
This is not to suggest that our efforts in Iraq and the Middle East ought to be abandoned, as American security better defended with misguided motives than not at all. However, an implicit premise of the inadequately named "War on Terror" is that the fight is not only to save the West from Islam, but also to save Islam from itself. President Bush has spoken of Islam as a "peaceful religion," hijacked by renegades who are untrue to the essential spirit of the faith. Yet Islam's essential spirit is nowhere more explicit than in the words of the Koran, and those words put Mohammed squarely on the side of the bin Laden, al Zarqawi, Mullah Omar, the House of Saud, the Al Aqsa Martyrs, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, and every band of fanatics and terrorists who ever shed blood in the name of Allah.
The faith is sometimes expressed that somehow the taste of liberty can foment an Islamic Reformation, modeled after the Christian Reformation of the 16th Century. What is overlooked is that Reformation was possible for Christianity only because for centuries there had been a harsh Christian Deformation of the true message and character of Christ.
Such is not true of Islam. In fact, folks like President Bush who try to put a peaceful mask on Islam are actually deforming any genuine understanding of Mohammed. It is bin Laden and other jihadist murderers who are the reformers of Islam, seeking a return to first principles. That is the nature of the foe we fight, and the first principles of Mohammedan Islam will not evaporate so long as the words of the Koran are accorded any respect or reverence, especially by the President of the United States of America.