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Wednesday, June 3, 2009


... AND OTHER PLACES ARABIAN AND MUSLIM. In just a few hours President Obama will speak in Egpt. If my words should find ears -- perhaps even the President's ears -- then perhaps an entirely new way of looking at the Middle East will emerge and transform that desolate landscape into the Garden of Eden it once was.

I am as sick and tired of hearing Arabs and Muslims referred to as "towel heads" and "desert niggers" as I am of hearing Jews and Israelis and Americans and Christians referred to as "Little Satans", "Big Satans", and "pigs, dogs, and monkeys".

The "Peace of Jerusalem" will not be found, if the dialogue towards peace is ruled by extremists, whose common ground is limiting communications to the businesses of sales of wine, women, and weapons towards the mutual goals of destruction of the "other". The "Peace of Jerusalem" ought not be a crater, left after warfare, that survivors commence to fight over ad nauseum. That level of "holiness of worship" is not holiness at all and is in fact idolatry.

It has often been said, "From he, who has been given the most by the Lord, the Lord shall ask the most of." In the case of Israel that legacy is the 'Torah'. In the case of Christianity that legacy is 'self-sacrifice'. In the case of Islam that legacy has been 'Jihad'. Of late there has been much effort to distinguish between military expressions of Jihad and spiritual expressions of Jihad. Sometimes those expressions intersect; other times they contradict each other -- at least to the extent that some even deny that there even exists a military exercise of Jihad, claiming that only peaceful exercise is true Jihad.

It is not my place to presume to be a a Muslim scholar. But, having studied a bit and having had the personal acquaintance of more than a few Muslims, Arab and non-Arab, I can say from experience that there are two aspects of Islam that not only have a positive basis in reality, but, are also signatures of Arab culture: compassion and hospitality. One sees the opposite in the treatment of such as Gilad Shalit; it is true that it is hard to reconcile these signatures with kidnappings, suicide/homicide bombings, etc. Still, this is the "much given" in the spiritual sense of Jihad that much more can be made of in our times.

The world of Islam already encompasses a fifth or more of the populated and geographical world. Compassion, hospitality. and obedience to religious authority all can combine to produce joyful, unimaginable peace. This writer has no doubt that if all Arabia were called upon -- in the name of Islam -- to withdraw from Israel (inclusive of Sheba Farms, Golan, and Judea-Samaria) into the surrounding nations, then true peace would come to Israel (with the possible exception of Israel's own age-old dilemma: Torah v. Idolatry).

Why would an Arab Sheikh do such a thing? Perhaps even for his own "pleasure".... [see the film "Lawrence of Arabia"]. And a token of such pleasure, compassion, hospitality, and faith -- of Jihad in it's purely compassionate, hospitable, spiritual sense -- would be the unconditional release of Gilad Shalit, alive and well!