Reply to comment on Rep. Goode's Letter - 12.24.2006.1
Due to the length and importance of this reply, I have decided to make it a post. It’s long and will be in more than one part. This is a response to the comment made by Oldatlantic, whom I thank for reading the blog and pursuing my thoughts.
First I want to thank you for your comment and for being a reader of Vass.
To reply to your comment, it is often stated that the Koran allows for the active fight against those that do not convert to Islam. What is less stated is that the Koran also “gives "People of the Book" special status, allowing those who live in Muslim lands (called dhimmi—protected people) to practice their own religions and to own property.” Further, “This agreement has in the past led to Islamic countries practicing religious toleration for Christians and Jews, although they were never accorded the full status enjoyed by Muslims.”
I will not defend nor question how any one group may or may not interpret the Koran and its statements on conversion of non-Muslims, or tolerance of People of the Book – those being Jews and Christians. I will state that the Koran does mention both things.
But I must also say that this is little different than what Christianity has done over the centuries. Actually over millennium. Whether that forced conversion was in the form of the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, missionaries (to convert the “savages”), or other similar actions. There is no doubt that Christianity became the most populous religion through a great deal of forced conversion and bloodshed, and in that there should be no sticks or stones thrown at the Muslim faith. To do so would be hypocritical.
And let me clarify the statement I made that you quoted. The type of thinking I am referring to is racism. The prior statements I made before you quoted me were “The actual statement from Rep. Goode seems to be that Black or Arab or non-White Muslims are a bad thing for America. If that is correct it is blatant racism.” The type of thinking I was referring to, the type of slavery and genocide, are what happened in America and in Europe. Slavery in America was long justified by some by the Bible. The Roman Catholic Church made no moves to prevent the slavery in America, to my knowledge, ever until it was removed and then condemned its existence. In America the systematic murder (genocide) of the Native American Indians was justified by many on the basis of religion, as was their often forced conversion. In Europe it took a long time before any comments were made about the actions of the Nazi’s against the Jews.
To be continued... Part 2 of reply on Rep. Virgil Goode's letter - 12.24.2006.2