The Way: Jesus or Muhammad?
3:31 Say [O Muhammad]: “If you love Allah, follow me; then Allah will love you and forgive your sins.” Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
3:32 Say: “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” Should they turn their backs, surely, Allah does not love the unbelievers.
Allah maintains that he sent messengers like Jesus all the time. Tiring of His instructions being misinterpreted or misunderstood, he sent His last and greatest Messenger, to whom He revealed the Koran, His final, complete, unchanging and unambiguous instructions for mankind.
When you compare Jesus’ message to the one delivered by the Prophet Muhammad you are left to wonder who got God’s instructions right, and whose example will lead you to Him.
† Jesus said that you should treat other people, Christians and non-Christians, the way you would like to be treated.
) The Prophet said that Christians and Jews, and an obscure sect called the Sabians, were to be tolerated and remain unmolested if they paid a head-tax (the jizya) while all other unbelievers were to be put to death, on the spot, if they refused to submit to the Will of Allah, i.e. become Muslims.
† Jesus said that violence should be met with non-violence (that stuff about turning the other cheek).
) The Prophet countered with a glorification of retaliation in kind:
2:179 In retaliation there is life for you, O people of understanding, that you may be God-fearing.
† Jesus said that His Father expected us to love one another unconditionally, the way a father loves his children.
) The Prophet repeated revelations from Allah which revealed that his god harboured a pathological noxious hatred of anyone who will not do as He commands, even children.
† Jesus told His followers to love their enemies and to forgive them any transgressions, even transgressions against Him and His Father.
) The Prophet said:
5:33 Indeed, the punishment of those who fight Allah and His Messenger and go around corrupting the land is to be killed, crucified, have their hands and feet cut off on opposite sides, or to be banished from the land. That is a disgrace for them in this life, and in the life to come theirs will be a terrible punishment.
When you compare Jesus’ message, which is all about love and forgiveness to the Prophet’s which is all about hate, merciless revenge and intolerance for all those who will not submit to the Will of Allah, you have to wonder how Jesus could have so badly misunderstood Allah’s earlier instructions?
† Jesus reminded us that His father is a merciful, compassionate, loving God. Like Father like Son, Jesus lived the message He was delivering. He spread His message on how to get along through completely non-violent, peaceful means and invited His followers to do the same.
) The Prophet Muhammad, to quote Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “built the house of Islam using military tactics that included mass killings, targeted assassination, torture, lying …”
Is it conceivable that both men could have been messengers sent by the same god when the message they delivered and the tactics that they used to convey it are so different?
What about heaven, or Paradise, a place Jesus of Nazareth called home, and the Prophet Muhammad said he spent a night conversing with God?
† Paradise in the New Testament is a spiritual place where men and women are equal and happiness comes from basking in the light and the glory of the Lord and being free of physical wants and earthly desires.
) Paradise in the Koran is a materialist, licentious, hedonistic place where males are catered too by young boys, and freely roam, never requiring sleep, fornicating at will with sexually adept spirits (houris) and blushing maidens, gifts from Allah, stopping only to visit with friends and relatives to point and laugh at the unbelievers roasting in Hell. Females, on the other hand, are cloistered in large pavilions waiting for their husband to call on them if they are so inclined (see Heaven).
About Jesus, Christians and Muslims can agree on one thing, that he will be their flag bearer in the final battle against the forces of evil when humanity’s earth-bound existence comes to an end. Many Christians believe that during this final conflagration, the Son of God will convert thousands of Jews to Christianity; in Islamic traditions, the son of Mary will convert thousands of Jews to Islam. And so it goes!
Love and Hate Incarnate
The sadistic cruelty and invitations to appalling brutality found throughout the Koran is not as worrisome as Allah’s pervasive ubiquitous hatred for unbelievers.
Sane people don’t normally take pleasure in inflicting pain on those they love (“You Always Hurt the One You Love" is just a song), or inflicting pain at all. But what about the people you have been told, or conditioned to hate those who don’t honour the same god; believe in a different configuration of the same god; believe in more than one god; or, god-forbid, goddesses?
In survey after surveys of believers in Western countries, a significant and growing minority of those who have no fear of offering an honest opinion, express sympathy for those who would kill unbelievers in terrorist attacks. What is more normal than empathizing with those who would kill peoples for whom your All-Compassionate god harbours such a visceral all-consuming hatred?
This empathy represents a real problem for the so-called moderate Muslims who would deny that almost daily acts of terrorism by Islamists have anything to do with the Koran or the Prophet.
In response to criticism, by believers, of the Catholic Church for such things as The Inquisition and The Crusades, a writer in Le Figaro defined the problem for those who would deny the cause-and-effect of the terrible violence done in Allah’s Name.
The following is my translation of pertinent parts of his article. Any misunderstandings or misinterpretations are of course my responsibility.
The Catholic Church is not without its faults. Its history is filled with dark pages it regrets … However, what differentiates Christianity from Islam is that Christians can always return to the values in the Gospels and to the gentle person of Jesus and ignore a Church which has lost its way.
... Jesus is nonviolent. A return [to the teachings] of Jesus is the remedy for the excesses of religious institutions. Looking to the Prophet[/Koran] for guidance, on the other hand, only reinforces the hate and the violence.
Islam is a religion which in both its sacred text (Koran and Book of Hadiths) and in banal rituals promotes hatred and violence.
The ritual stoning of Satan every year at Mecca is not simply a re-enactment of a superstition… Its impact is anthropological. It is a ceremony, to which every Muslim is encourage to participate, and which sanctifies and encourages violence…