I’ve previously written about the world’s major religions https://www.paulluverajournalonline.com/weblog/2006/11/outline_of_the_.html. Former Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright wrote a book The Mighty & The Almighty which I read when it first came out, but recently read some excerpts I had saved from the book. In a chapter Learning about Islam she reminds us that in 636 Christians fought Muslims over Jerusalem resulting in the death of 70,000 Christians and Islamic control of Jerusalem. In 1099 crusaders retook the city resulting in the death of 70,000 Muslims, but in 1187 Islam retook the city once again followed by continued struggles over the centuries between Jews, Christians and Muslims. This helps explain the present situation in Iraq and the surrounding countries. Albright then lists some of the belief’s of Muslims as follows:
- Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews
- Muslims believe in the day of judgment, in an afterlife, and in the ethical accountability of every individual. A Muslim’s first responsibility is to care for the poor, the oprhaned, the widowed and the oppressed.
- Arabs trace their lineage to Abraham through Ishaael, son of Hagar – just as Jews trace theirs through Isaac, son of Sarah. This issue is important because both believe God commanded Abraham to go to the land of Canaan with a promise his descendent’s would live their and become a great nation.
- Muslims believe Jesus was a major prophet, but do not believe God had a son.
- Suicide is prohibited by Islam, but dying while in genuine service to God is martyrdom, guaranteeing a place in heaven
I’ve also written about the Sunni’s and Shiite’s battles against each other https://www.paulluverajournalonline.com/weblog/2006/11/sunni_against_s.html and Albright’s book discusses this too. She explains how disagreements over religious dogma resulted in historical divisions that struggled for religious and secular control. We have seen this violent struggle in Iraq. More evil is committed in the name of religion than for any other reason