There is the tiniest portion of me that sees the grim irony in many of my right-wing friends posting Le Tricolor and pithy statements like "WE STAND WITH FRANCE" on their facebook feeds. It wasn't that long ago that they were cheese-eating surrender monkeys. I guess terrorism in the name of Islam changes everything after all.
But I digress.
Since we're all Americans reading this, I would presume that most of us have had some exposure to that curious thing we call "Sunday School". In it, we were supposed to learn whatever tenets of faith our parents and church leaders considered important.
Somewhere in there, I'm sure we all read Exodus 20 (1-17)
. It's visceral and primal. But we are all human beings, and it's probable that somewhere in our lives we've used the Lord's name in vain, coveted our neighbour's house, dishonoured our father and mother, and maybe even had another God or even committed adultery. But I'm pretty sure nobody here has committed murder.
But that's just the Christians. You know that I've somehow managed to become Cubmaster of what is the Jewish pack in town. Some of those guys go to Hebrew School, and surprisingly enough, they use the same parts of the Bible for their study. I'd guess they have similar feelings for those ancient words.
And then we come to yesterday. I've read most of the Quran, and have listened to the whole thing end-to-end. There is no one place where the same ten commandments exist. There's a number of pages on the internets dedicated to the subject; here's one of the better ones.
The Quran handles those commandments quite differently. There's no 'laundry list' codifying the same things from the Christian tradition. Rather, there are multiple versions of the commandments, plus many more, sprinkled throughout the Quran. Unlike the pithy "Thou shall Not" listing from Exodus, it takes a careful scholar time to study and interpret the meaning as presented by Allah.
So, "Thou Shall Not Kill" becomes something rather like this:
Noble Verse 17:33 was sent to me by brother Bassam Zawadi:
"Nor take life - which God has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law). (The Noble Quran, 17:33)"
"On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (The Noble Quran, 5:32)"
Notice the following parts:
1- "...except for just cause..."
2- "...unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land..."
They clearly prove that Allah Almighty definitely prohibits murder. Unjust killing of an innocent person is equivalent to terrorism and mass-slaughter (killing all or most people).
"Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. (The Noble Quran, 2:190)"
"But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things). (The Noble Quran, 8:61)"
So what happened in Paris yesterday? Whoever did it, and for whatever the cause - NOT MUSLIMS. Oh, they thought they were, and they probably even turned towards Mecca and made all the daily prayers and thought they were doing everything right. But then so does Westboro Baptist Church, and they're no more Christian than yesterday's criminals were Muslims. At the Judgement Day, all of them may be disappointed to learn what their reward is going to be.
But Judgement Day is disappointing and unfulfilling to us the living. Here, we must pick up the pieces, tend to the injured, comfort the grieving, repair the damage, and move on with our lives.