posted on Jul, 28 2006 @ 06:03 PM
Several points to bring up in general here.
1. On the identity of Allah -- it is Muslim belief that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same God, that Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed were
all prophets or messengers of God, and that Mohammed's message supplanted that of Jesus as Jesus' supplanted that of Moses. However, you will not
find agreement with much of this coming from Jews or Christians.
Being none of the above myself, I can only say this. All Gods of human theology are metaphors for a Reality that is beyond human understanding, and
can be grasped only dimly. In that sense, not only do Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same God, but all religious people everywhere do,
including polytheists and others completely outside the Abrahamic lineage. Each such conception is a metaphor for the Unknowable, and the Reality
underlying each is One.
In practice, however, different religions = different Gods, or anyway different conceptions of the divine. In that respect, Jews, Christians, and
Muslims do not worship the same God, as we can see by what each God requires of His worshipers; JHVH demands to be worshiped by Jewish rites, the Holy
Trinity by Christian ones, and Allah by Muslim ones. Christians have religious artwork in their churches and (in most denominations) drink alcohol,
both of which are forbidden to Muslims. Jews do not proselytize, while Christians and Muslims both do. And so on.
2. Regarding possible home-grown Muslim terrorists in the U.S. -- we must recognize that Islam is only one part, and not the most important part, of
what makes a Muslim terrorist. There are teachings within Islam (not uncontroverted teachings, to be sure, but they are there) which encourage
violence against unbelievers under certain conditions. But without the seething anger that pervades not only the Middle East but in fact most of the
world's less-affluent population, anger at the exploitation practiced by the West and especially by the U.S., those teachings would be seeds on poor
soil, and would most likely be ignored in favor of others that hint the other direction. (Remember that the Q'ran, like most sacred texts, can be
selectively used to justify almost any behavior. Allah is both a God of war and a God of peace and mercy -- depending on which passages one reads and
which one ignores.)
The exploitation by the West is not religiously or culturally motivated. It is purely a matter of power and economics. Thus, Muslims living in the
United States are not victimized by it, only those living in the Middle East. For American Muslims, the West's behavior towards much of the world
might as well not be happening, except insofar as they sympathize with Muslims living elsewhere (some of whom, to be sure, might be their
While, as the statistics show, Muslims who actually take part in terrorist activities are a tiny minority, they are also the tip of the iceberg. For
every insurgent or suicide bomber, there are very likely millions of Muslims who would not take things that far, but still are angry. It is from that
much larger base of anger that the tiny fringe of terrorists arise. American Muslims do not share that anger to anything like the same degree, and so
we should not expect Muslim terrorist movements to arise in the United States itself among our native Muslims.
UNLESS, that is, we become so paranoid about the possibility that we subject Muslims to persecution. Then, I believe they might become a good deal
more miffed, and rightly so.