The Temple Mount is God’s Jewish Footprint

Observations by Stephen L. Golay

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Where is God’s Footprint?

Posted by Stephen Golay on November 5, 2006

THE TEMPLE MOUNT – GOD’S JEWISH FOOTPRINT

Join the Resistance: “We will never go dhimmi.”

Read “About”.

Like many, this site is working itself out – salvation and all! Visit often. Building it to assist my homeschooled grandson. He needs a collection of articles touching on the subjects of the “Pages”.

No intent towards comprehension. Its purpose is to alert the reader to a few well written pieces listed under each heading. (Underline well written. That’s what keeps it from being comprehensive!) Selections will be updated frequently. If you care, descend to my opinion of things you’re welcome to a dip into “My Islamic Thoughts”.

[All Rights Reserved on all posts and pages. The posting of an outside source or link does not imply full endorsement of content.  Vistors/Readers are welcome to comment, but must resgister.  The visitor/reader alone is responsible for his or her comments.]

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Moderate Islam?

Posted by Stephen Golay on November 5, 2006

My Islamic Thoughts are harsh (see under Pages). This is not an appearance – they are. These times of ours shift the sand under shaky feet, and for some, we fear, feet of clay. To steady things what’s needed are clear sturdy lines: ones that take measure of truth and, in spite of sand, lay down foundations. Drawing such lines takes faith: hoping with hope that our toe or finger will plume out lines solid enough to stop the shifting.

These days, it seems, our hope is reduced to a pleading please for the coming of moderate Islam.

As soon as the Towers fell we knocked on every mosque door asking: You’re a Muslim, is this the kind of thing you would do? Who is this Allah of yours that rams planes into a city’s skyline? Those plane slammers, was their hate Allah’s hate?

Is it not true that Islam’s theology is nothing but Muhammad’s life unfolded? Figure, September the 11th was simply the words and deeds of Muhammad working itself out. That, on that bright morning, we were watching Allah’s practical side at work (all compassionate and merciful); or is Allah’s compassion just the consequence his totalitarian will embracing submission? Have we misunderstood? Is it not the case that life outside the House of Islam (outside Allah’s will) is life unworthy of life – but worth the shedding of blood?

Got the time – how about a cup of coffee?

Calling something moderate is locating its slot along a continuum that the tag fits. Can we expect moderate Muslims to pull up a chair and get talk going?

Fools who topple towers and lives camp in the caves on one end of the continuum. With moderates homesteading in the middle, can’t quite see who is housed on the opposite end – ordinary Muslim folk?

Using the tag ‘moderate’ also implies moderate as compared to what? The more Jihadists push their end of the continuum into violence the moderate middle slot is dragged further down the road. It’s confusing. When we think we’ve got the table set we’re moving the furniture.

But that doesn’t answer the question ‘compared to what’. Which is it? Does Islam moderate itself only to adjust to Western ground rules, or could the tag moderate Islam honestly be naming the truest character of Islam? If the first, moderate Islam is just an opportunistic stance, a tolerating intolerance waiting for the ground rules to change so Islam can show its truest face. If the second, however fogged by the Jihadist threat, moderate Islam is the true heart of Islam courageously asking to be looked at, talked to and respected.

Think I know where hope resides: but hope (to be something other than sentiment) must settle down to housekeeping with truth.

Regarding Islam, where and what is the truth of it? So, “My Islamic Thoughts”.

Maybe there is nothing to say, no common ground for a conversation. Maybe, for Islam, the rule “one can only speak about it from within it” is the only conversational ground. If so, to speak (let alone to know) the truth is possible only through submission. Yet the peace gained (by the religion of Islam) is only a consequence of that submission: peace just a characteristic of being received, not an intrinsic character of the religion.

Maybe on can be too stuck on the notion of peace: peace being the harmony, the fitted-ness of God, man, and the stage of their drama. Harmony, yes; but right harmony. Where’s that? Who gives it? What’s the script?

We are back to the question of truth. Any chance Islam can key us in? In that effort, we are willing to give moderate Islam the privileged voice of speaking up.

So how are you doing, Islam? What’s the plan? We’re sitting down at table with you, not the Jihadists. Speak up!

As was done to Christianity, why not put Islam through the wringer of textual criticism, historical-critical analysis, and the deconstruction of its texts and history into their parts and relations. Off to the scrutinizers Islam must go! Demythologizing Islam’s founding deeds and words is the task. Taking modernity* as the tested standard, what remains can be redeemed.

Why not, tabletalkers, why not?

If not, what is the alternative? Not the certainties of Jihadist revolution – that’s no way to talk with Christians.

Christianity refuses to confess a God who is nothing but Totalitarian Will, something that refuses to step into creation and guide all its particulars (all its bits and parts) to their natural fullness: a Totalitarian Will, refusing to dirty its hands, cannot give creation (and its creatures) its rightful order infused with purpose and grace. That is not Abraham’s God.

Is Allah other than Totalitarian Will? Does moderate Islam have a different take? Other than Totalitarian Will tyrannizing Islam’s continuum, defining its ends and the whole length of it. In some middle slot how does Allah sit?

In sitting down with Allah, some demythologizing, deconstructing analysis would help. Moderate Islam needs to boldly put those tools to task and exhibit the result – or, show us a different ground of meeting. Is Islam now on the job, does it have something can look at?

If Islam would listen up, there is a different and better ground: it is the acknowledging that divine compassion and mercy does not originate from Will but with Being. That God, as best as we can speak of him, is person.

Compassion and Mercy are gifts of God’s Person, not consequences of his ruffled or pacified Will. And, received as gifts, Divine Compassion and Mercy are offered to man as he images God in his Person.

But the reception of receiving Compassion and Mercy requires that other acknowledgement: such gifts are received through the perquisite (if not greater) gift of reason and free will. This was mankind’s endowment from the beginning: his harmonious imaging of God in his Person. Here is the mystery of God’s love: it is given to us first as creatures of his creation – long before sin and death.

In sitting down with Islam, reason (creation’s Natural Law of it) is the very table we talk across. We are persons talking across what girds the whole thing up – His very Person, and His own gritty incarnated Self.

We’ll begin with personhood. If Islam speaks truth, it can start here. Does Islam have any notion of it?

No need starting off on the wrong foot. However useful in its own time and place, we can put aside the task of demythologizing and deconstructing Islam. In talking about personhood (even God’s) the Natural Law is the language of conversation.

Through the fog, think I eye a moderate Muslim or two.

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*Modernity: in itself, modernity is no problem. It is a question of what gets cobbled together and the place of its cobbling. Regarding place, read Thomas G. Guarino’s review (in First Things) of Robert A. Markus’ volume, “Christianity and the Secular”. He doesn’t express it this way, but he clearly identifies the setting for our tabletalking. For an excellent summary of what gets cobbled together (for the right sort of modernity) Gertrude Himmelfark gets it right in “The Roads to Modernity”.

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USEFUL SOURCES

Note: for quick updates go to the sites listed on the right and insert “moderate Islam” under their search options. Do it frequently. Best way to check on the current status of our dialogue with moderate Muslims.

Starting with that Regensburg Lecture

We’ll start-off with reviewing a few Western responses to the Muslim response following the violent reaction to Pope Benedict’s lecture at Regensburg. In short, observations from our end to the Muslim reply to the Pope’s challenge. Under the circumstances their extended hand was sincere and welcoming. (A fuller evaluation of the Regensburg lecture will be posted in its dedicated Page.)

For an excellent roundup of “responses to reactions” see Christopher Blosser’s collection: “Pope Benedict 16th and Christian-Muslim Dialogue” (Against the Grain for Nov. 5, 2006).

By now, there’s a large pile of observations. We’ll pick only what’s floated to the top: that which assists our search for moderate Islam. Through the noisome chatter we should be able to hear some voice of it.

Not to difficult locating a starting point. Following the violent fallout from the Pope’s lecture there were several coordinated replies to the Pope by moderate Muslims. We’ll begin there.

[Return later. We will add our commentary, point out a this and that, to the responses below.]

  • “Holy Challenge: a new chapter in Christian-Muslim relations”, John T. Cullinan (NRO, 9/29/06)”
  • “The Pope and Muslim Ambassadors”, Stefania Lapenna (The American Thinker, 09/30/06).
  • “Reason to believe or not”, Spengler (Asia Times Online, 10/18/06).
  • “Andrew Sullivan, Mahmound Ahmadinejad”, Philip Blosser (Musings of a Pertinacious Papist, 10/06/06).
  • “Two Muslim Scholars Comment on the Papal Lecture in Regensburg”, Sandro Magister (Chiesa).
  • “The Dialogue with Islam”, Stratford Caldecott (GodSpy, 11/06/06).

 

 

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Supporting Material

After all this sit-down talk over coffee, one does hanker for more gritty observations – the look about from boots on the ground. This may be a better guide in the day-to-day, the month-to-month, and into the years before us. For grit, can’t recommend anything better than Jamie Glazov’s “Symposium: Convert or Die” (Front Page Magazine, 10/20/06). Would like to see Stratford Caldecott merge his thoughts with these observations: seeing if there is a fit – and if not, why?

And what some gritty answer to this question: How does Islam react to moderates within its midst? This seems to be a crucial test for the hope carried, for instance, by Caldecott. Here’s one example among many: “The Death of Moderate Islam”, Thomas Haldon (Front Page Magazine, 09/25/06).

To round things off, when offering a courteous (if frank) response to Islam (hoping with hope) one cannot ignore Islam’s unique imperialistic history or, within it, the uneasy (central) part given to Jihad. Take the time to read: “Worldly Ambitions”, Bruce Thornton (VDH’s Private Papers, 10/15/06), a review of Ephraim Karsh’s sobering Islamic Imperialism; and “Jihad Then and Now”, Lee Harris (Policy Review, Oct/Nov, ’06).

But, the grittiest dustup of all is Muhammad himself! It all comes back and down to this man. Does Islam (its theology, its morals and manners) unfold from the words and deeds of Muhammad? If so, we cannot make a right judgment (or even a decent observation) without taking into account that man’s life. A good place to start is with Robert Spencer’s volume, The Truth about Muhammad.

“Scrutinizing Muhammad’s Example and Teachings”, Andrew G. Bostom (The Washington Times, 10/15/06).

“Peace Be Unto Him”, William Tucker (The American Spectator, 10/17/06).

 

 

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MORE SOURCES

One could list hundreds of other sources, but we’ll settle for a few dozen. The selection below is a good start in furthering our search for moderate Islam. Yes (yes) these arrrive from conservative sources, but this is no text-proofing of a prejudice. The surprise comes in the charity of their observations and the honesty of their hope. Yet, maybe, this is not so unexpected.

 

On the Look-Out for Moderate Islam

Some Moderate Muslims

  • “A Trubute to Hamid Mir”. Here is an excellent example of a moderate Muslim confronting the canonical texts of Islam – with those texts forcing him to make a difficult decision. It is painful to watch. Isalm brooks bo dissent, it is a “belief-system that is uninterrupted”, and, in the end, uninterpeted by anyone except the words and deeds of Muhammad.
  • “What is a moderate Muslim”, Irshad Manji (posted on Israpundit). After the Pope spoke here’s one Muslim calling for a stand-up of moderate Muslims. What response came her way? Can Islam, within itself, define moderate Islam? If not, why?
  • “The Trouble with Irshad Maji”, Baron Bodissey (Gates of Vienna). Ms. Manji is a moderate Muslim who may get some traction. Says she, “the Koran is at war with itsself”. She goes on to tell us how Islam’s authoritative texts must be sliced and diced – leaving what’s authentic. Sounds like Jesus sitting down with the Seminar Boys. In the end she leaves somethings unsliced and undiced. But it is a good try. For icing, Irshad Maji is a self-proclaimed Muslim Lesbian.

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