Last month, some controversy arose over an entry I wrote, taking issue with a leading Christian publication's portrayal of Islam, through the revisionist eyes of one of its adherents (see my original entry here). This month's edition arrived yesterday, and with a sense of great satisfaction and vindication I see that I am not the only reader who thought the interview misrepresented Islam's true agenda.
(I have to be careful about naming the publication, as they are publishing one of my articles in a few months). Many kudos to Mr. Goldberg for articulating what millions of Christians with intact critical thinking skills already know:
Islam According to the Qur'an
With chagrin I read the article "Islam According to Gallup" [November]. To say that it soft-pedals Islam is an understatement. The interviewer should have asked more probing questions or offered some refutation to what Islamic scholar Dalia Mogahed gave an ignorant public.
Mogahed glides over the question about the punishment for apostasy in Islam by saying, "Islamic law is a vibrant, ever-changing set of interpretations." Islamic law, however, is clear that the penalty for apostasy is death. The more secularized Muslim governments may impose lesser penalties, but that is because they are not following Islamic law strictly. On October 20, Afghanistan's government commuted the death sentence of a young journalist for blasphemy. The sentence was reduced from death to "only" 20 years in prison. A couple days later, a Somali man was murdered because he had converted from Islam to Christianity. Yet the article did not address occurrences like these. Why not?
Further, Mogahed says that some violent verses from the Qur'an have a "historical context and must be understood … in a specific way," implying that those verses are no longer valid. Yet the fundamental principle of Islam is that the Qur'an is the literal word of Allah, perfect, complete, immutable, and valid for all eternity. Is Mogahed prepared to openly and publicly declare that those violent verses are no longer valid?
Gallup can survey the opinions of Muslims, but it cannot determine what Islam is. There is only Islam according to the Qur'an and the sayings of Muhammad.
Here is the link to his letter (third one down). To their credit, the magazine consistently publishes opinions dissenting from what they print on many issues. This month's cover story on "Marketing Jesus" was superb.