'tis finally a beautiful morning around these parts. We've got some moderate temperatures, the sun is shining, and there's still feet of snow on the ground. So naturally, I'm dusting off my snowshoes and heading out with Mr. Bean to play in it.
So let's talk about infidels. Like all of you, I'm dismayed and perturbed by the destruction of irreplaceable bits of human history by a so-called religious group. They of course claim that their book tells them to do so, since everything that existed before the life of their prophet is considered idolatry, or perhaps apostasy.
Naturally I went to look it up. It is a religious term, but curiously enough it's only associated with Islam and Christianity. Non-Buddists are apparently not infidels, but I digress.
a person who does not accept a particular faith, especially Christianity.
(in Christian use) an unbeliever, especially a Muslim.
(in Muslim use) a person who does not accept the Islamic faith; kaffir.
You'd expect the Koran to be full of instructions on what to do with the infidels, since every radical on earth has made a career of doing so. But surprisingly, a search of Quran.com
yields only 5 instances of the word in the whole thing. To be fair, I also searched the Bible Gateway
, and "infidel" does not appear at all.
What does appear in abundance though, is the term "unbeliever". This is in the ol' Quran a whopping 236 times, and in the Bible a grand total of 12.
I won't bore you with chapter and verse, but having read both books, I think I could make like a Rabbi and interpret the teaching for you. Infidelity in both does not refer to the failure to follow the specifics of either religion. Particularly in the Quran, nearly every reference to unbelievers refers to "polytheists", or those that don't follow the "One God" of the Abrahamic religions. It comes as a surprise to most uninformed religious types that Allah and God the Father are one in the same.
Of those 236 references, a good deal of them do indeed give specific instructions to battle the unbelievers, slay them, convert them, do whatever it is necessary to turn them away from what I interpret as Paganism and to the "true path" to Grace...again through that God the Father guy. This is where my disconnect is - Islam in particular is obsessive nearly to a fault about following the One God. I've even asked the question myself when I was a Christian - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. How is this not polytheism again? But of course, that's a discussion for another day.
So we're back to our jerky friends destroying history. Of course they have it wrong. There's also 22 references to hypocrisy in the Quran, and here's where I will reference a verse. There's an entire Surah, called "The Hypocrites
", which pretty much says all we need to know about these guys.
And when you see them, their forms please you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. [They are] as if they were pieces of wood propped up - they think that every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?
And when it is said to them, "Come, the Messenger of Allah will ask forgiveness for you," they turn their heads aside and you see them evading while they are arrogant.
It is all the same for them whether you ask forgiveness for them or do not ask forgiveness for them; never will Allah forgive them. Indeed, Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.
But of course, they don't see themselves doing anything wrong, and it's us who are the unbelievers and hypocrites. Perhaps it would be wise to remember the words of God the Son as he was dying - “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Alas, that doesn't save our shared history now, does it?