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Is Islam Above Criticism?

Cartoons about Muhammad in a Danish newspaper have caused
a world wide uproar from Muslims. Ambassadors are recalled,
flags are burned, Danish products boycotted in Arabic countries,
etc. The issue of respect for Muslim feelings versus freedom of
expression is discussed in both Muslim and Western newspapers,
on TV, on the internet ... but there are some highly relevant aspects
that seem to be missing from the discussion.

When I was growing up in Argentina, God's commandments--especially
the Ten Commandments--were taught in such a legalistic way that I
avoided any serious study of them until after I had finished my
graduate level biblical studies in the United States. I discovered
then how little has ever been written about them.

Our sinful nature causes us to corrupt that which is beautiful.
We turn God's moral law, which the apostle Paul called "holy,
righteous and good" (Romans 7:12), into oppressive legalism.
Perhaps that's why we frown at the mere mention of the Ten

"They remind me of my grandmother, who had a fit if I ever
wanted to play outside on Sundays," some will admit.

"Thinking of the commandments reminds me of my father, who
refused to read the Sunday newspaper."

The words of God should not elicit such reactions. Let's return
to God's moral law and shake off the chains of sincere but sinful
human beings who have twisted the beauty of God's commandments.

When the Lord gave Israel the Ten Commandments, He said,
"Listen, O Israel! I brought you out of bondage, not to create another
bondage for you, but to liberate you. And if you remain within
the boundaries I am about to give you, then you will be free.
You'll have plenty of room to maneuver. So enjoy all that I have
given you."

God's statement includes a warning: "As long as you stay
within the fence, you will be free, but once you try to stretch the
boundaries or jump over the fence, you will be in bondage once

I am convinced this is the way God intends us to view His
commandments. The apostle John reminds us, "His commands are not
burdensome" (1 John 5:3). They are life!

Now obviously we are not to try to live up to the Ten
Commandments for our salvation. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23)
in need of a Savior, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8). Both the Bible and
experience teach us we couldn't keep the Ten Commandments
perfectly even if we tried (Romans 7:1-8:4).

The purpose of God's commandments is not to provide salvation but
to lay a foundation for us--a foundation on which to build a life
of love and obedience as God's servants.

Spend some time meditating on God's commandments. Start with the
Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17. As you study and pray, answer
these questions. First, what does each commandment reveal about
the character of God? Second, what does each commandment liberate
me from? Third, how does each commandment protect me? Finally,
if love is the fulfillment of the law (Galatians 5:14), then what
does each of the commandments reveal about love?

I believe once you answer these four questions, you will never
look at God's commandments with a negative attitude again. As you
look at them with a new perspective, I think you will uncover at
least four principles that will enhance your understanding of our
infinitely wise and loving heavenly Father. (Luis Palau)
It is the uniqueness of the God who became man
in the person of Jesus Christ that sets Christianity
apart from any and all other religions. The next
largest of the world's religious groups - Islam, or
the religion of Muslims - recognizes a supreme
being as Allah, but Allah never became man. The
third largest - Hinduism - has no single God but
recognizes several gods, none of which ever be-
came man. In this respect alone, Christianity is
unique among other religions in the person of
Jesus Christ.

Other religions of the world had founders or
principal leaders, and those individuals have well
known burial places and tombs which followers
can visit to worship and revere the memory of that
founder or leader. Only Christianity has a founder
who has no burial place or tomb where His body
rests, because Christianity is the only religion whose
founder - Jesus Christ - arose from the dead, walked
again amongst His followers, and ascended from
this earth to heaven. In that respect, also, Christianity
is unique among other religions in the person of
Jesus Christ.

Ref: "A Handbook of Applied Christianity"
by Gerald F. Beaven ('T & H' reader),
Page 1.
Protecting Muhammad

Feb 3, 2006
by William F. Buckley ( bio | archive | contact )

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We see a big storm brewing, brought on by the Danish newspaper's publication of caricatures of Muhammad. Muslim activists every day sharpen their protests. On Thursday they assailed the office of the European Union in Gaza, and Friday in Indonesia they stormed the Danish Embassy. Now they are asking that the prime minister of Denmark, no less, apologize for the publication of the caricatures in Jyllands-Posten, never mind that the government has no official ties with the tortfeasor.

Everybody in sight, including the paper, has regretted that feelings were hurt, but a line is crystallizing: Apologize for profaning Islam, but do not use language that conveys an apology for the laws of the land, which uphold a free press.

The Danes aren't about to schedule an auto-da-fe, in which the offending editor throws himself on a pyre in expiation of his sin. And the prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has not tendered an official apology, though he has convened a meeting of foreign diplomats to figure out what to say that will calm the Muslims without offending liberal sensibilities.

The most striking aspect of the controversy is the leverage of the offended Muslim community. Even in the United States, even a publication as venturesome as Slate magazine describes the offending caricatures but is careful not to reproduce them. A quite natural curiosity attaches to how these 12 caricatures actually looked. One of them features Muhammad in a vaporous cloud addressing an assembly of suicide terrorists, with the caption that the heavenly kingdom has run out of virgins, so that aspirant debauchers simply have to lay off for a while. How was all that actually depicted by the cartoonist? Even the banal representation of Muhammad with a bomb replacing the turban on his head did not appear in The New York Times, the paper of record.

While the offending cartoons are available on the Internet, as far as the press is concerned, they have to be imagined. The reason for it is what turns out to be an iron glove at the disposal of the Islamic establishment. The publisher of Paris's France Soir, which did reproduce the images, fired the editor who was responsible. Massive boycotts of Danish goods are in motion. Foreign leaders and press spokesmen are objects of boycotts and even death threats. Flag burning is routine.

What we have seen is an intimation of the strength of a mobilized Muslim community. And this is early on, in the great narrative of the growth of Muslim power in Europe, where national suicide is reflected in the birth rates of Italian, German, French and British non-Muslims (to call them Christians would be wholesale co-optation). These societies seem to be willing themselves to go out of existence, as the birth rate falls below the replacement rate.

There are Europeans who are satisfied that the tradition of press liberty is asserting itself in the current challenge but who are entitled to wonder whether five, 10 years from now -- let alone 50 -- any such frolic as that of Jyllands-Posten would in fact be tolerated. The laws asserting the freedom of the press, like most laws, depend for their fortitude on public backing. Forty-two percent of Germans, polled on the question, opposed publishing "cartoons which might hurt religious feelings." Triggering a second question: Is the publishing of iconoclastic material integral to the question at hand?

Iconoclastic expressions in America are broadly condemned as being in bad taste. However, there is certainly freedom in America to deride Christ. This is done every day on Broadway, and every other day in Hollywood. Americans do not take up arms in protest. Derisory material at the expense of Jews is permitted only if the executioner is a Jewish comedian. Care on this front is a welcome legacy of the Holocaust: No jokes are told by visitors to Buchenwald.

But is the day imminently ahead when Muslim influence expresses itself here as vigorously as it is doing in Europe? How exactly to account for the nearly universal decision of the press not to reproduce the Danish cartoons? The arrival of decorum in Slate?

The question not being ventilated with sufficient thoroughness is: What are Muslim leaders doing to dissociate their faith from the ends to which it is being taken by the terrorists?

William F. Buckley, Jr. is editor-at-large of National Review, the prolific author of books such as Miles Gone By and Elvis in the Morning, and the editor of National Review's Treasury of Classic Children's Literature.
NU rips Holocaust denial
President calls prof an embarrassment but plans no penalty

By Jodi S. Cohen
Tribune higher education reporter
Published February 7, 2006

Northwestern University President Henry Bienen said Monday that a professor's recent comments denying that the Holocaust happened are "a contemptible insult to all decent and feeling people" and an embarrassment to the university.

Bienen commented days after tenured engineering professor Arthur Butz commented in the Tribune and in the Iranian press that he agreed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's assertions that the Holocaust is a myth.

Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency and the English-language Tehran Times have published Butz's comments, promoting the Northwestern professor as one of the world scholars who support the Iranian president. Ahmadinejad, who also has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," recently ordered the restart of uranium enrichment, raising fears that Tehran could try to build a nuclear weapon.

Butz's comments did not address the Iranian president's statements about present-day Israel or nuclear issues.

"While I hope everyone understands that Butz's opinions are his own and in no way represent the views of the university or me personally, his reprehensible opinions on this issue are an embarrassment to Northwestern," Bienen said in a statement to be e-mailed Monday night to all Northwestern students, faculty and staff.

Northwestern's chapter of Hillel, the Jewish student organization, purchased a full-page advertisement, to be published Tuesday in the Daily Northwestern student newspaper. Hillel also called for a community meeting Tuesday night to address the topic: "Why does the Holocaust matter? How do we ensure that `never again' means never again?"

"We're frustrated because we feel forced to take action, but we don't want to dignify his lunacy with a response," the ad says.

Butz, a tenured Northwestern professor since 1974, is known for denying that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II. He promotes his views through his Northwestern-affiliated Web site, including a link to his 1976 book, "The Hoax of the 20th Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry."

Butz told the Tribune last week that he e-mailed comments to the Mehr News Agency after he was approached by an Iranian journalist.

Butz wrote that the Holocaust didn't happen, that it is a "deliberately contrived falsehood" and that its promulgation was motivated by the desire to create a Jewish state in the Middle East. About Ahmadinejad, he wrote: "I congratulate him on becoming the first head of state to speak out clearly on these issues and regret only that it was not a Western head of state."

He posted the same comments on his Web site.

Northwestern sophomore Stuart Loren, a history major from Highland Park, commended Bienen's response but said it wasn't enough. He wants the university to revoke Butz's university-provided Web site.

"This is so historically inaccurate and so biased that I think the university might need to do something more than a passive approach," Loren said. "The fact that he uses Northwestern as a forum to convey his views, that is where I get upset."

Bienen said in his statement that Butz is entitled to express his personal views, and the university will not take action against him as long as he represents them as his own and does not discuss them in class. He also noted that the university has a professorship in Holocaust studies and offers several courses on the Holocaust.

Butz did not return a call for comment Monday afternoon.

Adam Simon, Hillel's executive director at Northwestern, said he has fielded many calls from students, faculty and alumni upset by Butz's comments.

"There are two ways to respond: ignore it or convert it into something positive," Simon said. "Engaging in a conversation about whether the Holocaust happened is a waste of time. ... We are setting a different tone. We are going to talk about why it is important to remember the Holocaust."


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* * * Four important things to KNOW: #1) For ALL (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. #2) For the wages of above (see #1) are DEATH (Hell, eternal separation from God, & damnation) but the Gift (free & at no charge to you) of God (Creator, Jehovah, & Trinity) is Eternal Life (Heaven) through (in union with) Jesus Christ (God, Lord, 2nd Person of The Trinity, Messiah, Prince of Peace & Savior of the World). #3) For God so greatly loved & dearly prized the world (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (anyone, anywhere, anytime - while still living) believes (trust in, relies on, clings to, depends completely on) Him shall have eternal (everlasting) life (heaven). #4) Jesus said: "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE. No one (male/female - American, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Presbyterian, European, Baptist, Brazilian, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc. ) comes (arrives) to the Father (with GOD in Heaven) EXCEPT BY (through) ME (no other name). *** This wonderful loving GOD gives you the choice - - - (Rev. 3:20) {Please note that church membership, baptism, doing good things, etc. are not requirements for becoming a Christian - however they are great afterwards!!!} *** Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction (Hell, damnation, eternal punishment), and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (Heaven, eternal happiness, forever with God), and only a few find it.

D I S C L A I M E R If someone should ask if it's legal to download songs
found on various non-commercial sites, such as this one.

Well, I'm neither a lawyer nor a technician,
and I've begun to wonder if it was legal for
us to tape music off the radio back when
tape recorders first came into being.

And were we committing a crime when we recorded
a movie shown on TV with our VCRs? And was it
really legal to buy a dual-deck recorder for the
express purpose of duplicating cassettes?

My answer to all of the above is, "I don't know."

Nonetheless, here is a formal statement in
some kind of legalize that appears to apply
to this kind of file availability:

The songs on this site are copyrighted by their respective artists and are placed here
for evaluation purposes only. No profits or sales are made on this site from their use.

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