Sunday, July 02, 2006

Dialogue vs. monologue

Sorry for having been derelict of my blogging duties. Yes, lot’s of stuff has been happening in Gaza—and I’m watching developments like a hawk—but what’s the point of adding my two cents? In other words, despite some shoddy reporting/analysis here and there, for the most part the MSM has done a decent job of describing what’s happening. Not that they deserve a pat on the back; what has been happening is straight forward and, therefore any news organization with any integrity should be able to get the story right.

Frankly, this whole mess is depressing for those of us who had hoped the Gaza disengagement would succeed and be followed by more withdrawals. It takes the mental/moral gymnastics of leftist British newspapers like The Guardian to actually turn this story into something other than it is. And believe me—they can always be counted on to do as much, sadly. But getting back to my point: I, and it appears most Israelis, want a separation from the Palestinians as much as possible in the absence of a negotiated settlement that would have accomplished more or less the same thing. How can any Israeli in their right mind support handing over more territory (at least now) inlight of what has happened in Gaza in the last year? The lesson of Gaza shows us that the territory will be used as a launching pad for rockets into Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the coastal region in general.

I suppose my only criticism of the MSM in this latest episode of violence is the inability of most of them to understand why Israel is (semi)reinvading. It’s not because of the kidnapping of one single soldier—19 year-old Gilad Shalit, who was attacked within the UN-recognized border of Israel and dragged to Gaza—it is also and largely due to the 1,000 kassem rocket launches into Israel since the pullout last summer. Since the pullout from Gaza, no Israelis have been killed by these rockets, which are acts of terror since they are blindly aimed at a civilian town inside Israel and designed to kill non-combatants. However, prior to the Gaza pullout nine civilians were the killed by these terrorist rocket attacks. Three of them were children.

Now, getting back to disengagement: Israel had always hoped to negotiate a final status peace agreement whereby Israel would be out of Gaza and the West Bank and there would be some sort of arrangement in Jerusalem. In 2000 at Camp David Labor PM Ehud Barak offered such a deal, but Arafat rejected it and initiated the “al-Aksa war” which has pretty much continued since then.

With nobody to negotiate, Israel decided to unilaterally re-draw the borders. The Gaza pullout and evacuation of the few Jews who lived there was step one. With no more “occupation” the Palestinians were free to show themselves and the world that they could govern effectively. As it turned out, the only booming (no pun intended) sector of their nascent economy appears to have been rockets and explosives.

On top of daily barrages of rocket fire into Israel, the Palestinians offered their coup de gras by electing Hamas, who openly calls for the destruction of Israel and who openly love al-Qaeda. Of course, when US aid trickles off because Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist and reign in the terrorists, they scream and cry. Well, what do they expect? Why on earth would the US support an organization that openly applauds the death of US soldiers in Iraq and supported the attacks on 9/11, as well as the destruction of a democratic US ally? Shit, the Hamas are so repulsive and ass-backward even the French are largely boycotting. That tells you something.

It’s very hard for the Palestinians to understand the world around them because, and this is my opinion, they are convinced of their utter victimization, and as such, they feel hate and rage because of their “humiliated” stance as victims. Arab culture is steeped in the “shame-honor” dialectic (they are the poster children of the anthropological term) and any real or imagined damage to one’s honor results in shame which must be rectified by some sort of violent response, which exculpates the shame. For more information on how this shame-honor dialectic manifests itself, google “’Arab’ and ‘honor killing.’”

This brings me to a fascinating conversation with a Palestinian 28 year-old female that really hammered this home to me. It was both a heartening and depressing conversation. She was by all accounts a very westernized Muslim Arab. She admitted to having an alcoholic drink here and there, for example. Her mode of dress was completely that of your average (well-dressed) American female. She had also lived in Ramallah. Her biggest gripe was the checkpoints she had to pass through, and once having to wait for hours to see a doctor in Jerusalem, as well as “terrible things I saw.” She told me her children have an inordinate fear of people in uniforms now, and I have no reason to doubt her. Except for a few close-minded Israelis and Israel supporters, I think we are all aware that a lot of innocent Palestinians are caught up in this mess to.

What bothered me was her complete inability to think beyond the checkpoint, for example: why are there checkpoints?

Answer: The constant suicide bombing terrorist attacks. The security checkpoints are Israel’s first line of defense in stopping the smuggling of bombs and other weapons. Were I some Shmo who knew nothing about the conflict and I heard her speak, I’d walk away “understanding” her rage because why on earth would the Israelis make life hard on people for no reason at all? In her mind, that’s what the Israelis do. And based off what she said, there have never been any Israeli victims, either.

To her credit, she was sick of living with the hatred and rage in her heart. She told me she wanted closure. She ended up joining some Jewish-Palestinian dialogue group. She spoke to them. She told me she said, “I used to want to kill Israelis! I was so angry that I wanted to just… kill them!”

Presumably she no longer wants to do that. Like she said, she was sick of living with the hatred in her heart.

Yet, she still can’t get over the victim-role. I explained her to her that many Israelis felt like victims too, and that while in some cases it’s true that both people have victims, when people see themselves as cosmic uber-victims, the result is they absolve themselves of having to act as responsible moral agents. After all, if you are a victim, an innocent victim, why should you change? You didn’t do it—you are the victim. The other must change and rectify all of your grievances. We can take this further: if you are an innocent victim being oppressed for “seemingly” no reason, maybe you should fight back and be totally justified?

I told her it was very important to resist indulging in “victimology” and that even when Israelis do it, it gets them nowhere. Meanwhile, the entire time she griped, I resisted the desire to mention that, had I not slept at my friend’s apartment in Jerusalem one summer night in 1995, I might have been blown up in a Hamas suicide bombing, since the bus that was blown up was the bus that I took to ulpan from Givat Ram to Mt. Scopus. The bombing did kill a number of Israelis as well as a middle aged American Jewish mother who was on a synagogue-sponsored trip to study Hebrew in Israel for a couple of months and who studied with us.

A for trauma, I could have mentioned the American Jewish girl who studied at the Hebrew U with me said she saw an arm dangling from a tree when her bus approached the site of the bombing moments after it happened. She left Israel a few days later. What sort of trauma did she suffer from?

Yes, many Palestinians have been traumatized, and so too have many Israelis. I used to ride the bus to work in Jerusalem every day and I’d blast music on my headphones because, as I saw it, if it was my time to go I’d rather go while listening to some kick-ass music. I’m safe in America now (well, crime can be pretty messed up in places), but everyday Israelis board busses or go to malls or stores and wonder in the back of their minds if they are going to die for eating ice cream or buying pants. Yes, there is trauma all around. Each side has its horror stories. Next time I have a similar like conversation with a Palestinian, I’m going to stop them in their tracks and explain the above. They come from a shame-honor society; we westerners, and especially Jews, are more from a guilt-based society. I’m not going to take a harangue designed to make me feel guilty sitting down anymore. I’ll stand up and take it… kidding.

Back to the conversation:

“The last time I was there, I saw the wall, it’s absolutely disgusting,” said my interlocutor.

I told her that it’s a wall in the Jerusalem area, but that most of it was a fence.

“I disagree with you.”

“Well, I don’t expect you to like the fence or wall, but the fact is it’s mostly a fence and it’s there because of the countless suicide bomber that were dispatched from the West Bank. In fact, the number of bombers that have snuck into Israel’s main coastal cities have dropped dramatically.”

“I disagree with everything you are saying.”

“Okay, but what I’m telling you is not my opinion—it’s a fact. And you know what?—if the violence calms down one day, the fence can be torn done a heck of a lot quicker than it was erected.”

The above illustrates another common problem I’ve encountered when dialoging with Arabs or Muslims. Often times, their perceptions or opinions are seamlessly converted into solid “facts” in their minds. I don’t know how to deal with this. I forgot who coined the saying, but it goes something like this: You have a right to your own opinions. You don’t have a right to your own facts.

I’ll never give up on dialogue, but it’s sort of pointless if people invent their own facts and deny actual facts that fly in the face of their preconceived notions. I don’t know how to deal with that. Am I supposed to be heartened by the fact that my interlocutors are politely having a discussion with the “enemy” instead of trying to cut my head off no questions asked? If that’s the best I can hope for, well, that sucks.

Then our conversation got even stranger. I asked her about what it was like in Ramallah for a westernized girl like herself. She said she had no problems at all. But then she contradicted herself and said, “I hate my culture!”

Playing the mild mannered inquisitive guy (not normally my general disposition… inquisitive, perhaps. Mild mannered… generally not!) I played a little devil’s advocate and said, “Surely you can’t hate your culture, just certain aspects of it.”

I forgot a few parts of the conversation, but we somehow got to the issue of honor killing, which she then tried to downplay and sort of deny. Talk about cognitive dissonance. She just told me she is an independent woman, raising her two boys (she was married at 16, traditional Arab-thang) all on her own, that she hates aspects of her culture, the male chauvinism I presume, and yet she wouldn’t swallow the honor killing thing.

“Look, it happens in the Middle East, sometimes in the West too, by Middle Easterners.”

“I disagree with you.”

In the end, I told her that it didn’t matter which side was “right” or if either side saw the other side as having legitimate historical arguments. Both peoples were there, neither people going anywhere, which left a single alternative: coexistence—preferably a two state solution with a shared Jerusalem.

She said I was a “beautiful” person and while that’s nice and good (and probably wrong … hee hee), I still never heard a) an acknowledgement that Israelis were victims too, b) that there might be legitimate reasons for checkpoints, etc. c) that there is such a thing as a fact, and d) that she necessarily agreed with my dream of a two-state solution.

Regarding, d, I’ve also noticed a reticence on behalf of many Arab interlocutors to curiously refrain from articulating an acceptance of such an arrangement. I’ll come out and say, “Hey, I support a two state solution based basically off of the 1967-borders with an arrangement in Jerusalem… I believe in peace.” And they smile and say, “Cool man,” but that’s it. It seems that even the moderates (whom I guess aren’t the people who a priori think Jews are evil and Israel must be destroyed utterly) still holdout the dream of a return of refugees and at best a bi-national state whereby eventually the Arabs will outnumber the Jews.

My rule of thumb for dialogue from now on is to nip the victimology grievance thing right in the bud. What good is dialogue if it’s merely a vehicle for Palestinians to tell us how humiliated they are as we Jews and Zionists and Israelis keep our mouths shut or hang out heads in shame?

That’s not dialogue, that’s monologue.


Blogger Ahmedinajad said...


Dear Mr. President Bush & your Excellency the Pope Benedict

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES FROM THE BIBLE AS IT HAS IMPLICATIONS ON THE WAR AGAINST TERROR/ISLAM and the claim of Israel that god gave them the land. If the child is an infant than the Judeo-Christian version becomes null and void and we are wasting our time and resources i.e. we could save trillions of dollars and create a more peaceful world rather than fighting against Islam the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).


Please note this is not a competition between faiths but an attempt to decipher fact from fiction.

And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

At Genesis 22 Abraham had only 2 sons others came later. The Quran mentions that it was Ishmael that was sacrificed hence the reference in genesis 22:2 your only son can only mean someone has substituted Ishmael names for Isaac!!

NOT ROMAN NUMERALS (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X) NB no concept of zero in roman numerals.

100 years old – 86 years old = 14 ADD 3 YEARS FOR ISSAC’S WEANING


Carefully read several times the above passage and then tell me the mental picture you get between the mother child interactions what is the age of the child. If the mental picture is that of a 17 year old child being carried on the shoulder of his mother, being physically placed in the bush, crying like a baby, mother having to give him water to drink, than the Islamic viewpoint is null and void.

I have shown the passage of Genesis 21 to my two elder children of good reading ages now and without influencing them asked them what mental picture they got about the age of Ishmael in that passage and they thought he was about 5 years old. I have also tried the same thing with my work colleagues some of whom are qualified with PhD’s and have the ENGLISH language as their mother tongue and they also said they thought Ishmael was 5 years or younger because some of them stated by themselves that there was no verbal interaction between mother and child. I.e. If Ishmael is not of talking age then he must be less than a year old.

GENESIS: 21:14 - 21
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Let me not look upon the death of the child.” And as she sat over against him, the child lifted up his voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. And God was with the lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.


For background info on the future religion of mankind see the following websites: (MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE) (Quran and Science)

HOLY QURAN CHAPTER 37 verses 101 - 122

101. So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.

102. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"

103. So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah., and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),

104. We called out to him "O Abraham!

105. "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

106. For this was obviously a trial-

107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:

108. And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:

109. "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"

110. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

111. For he was one of our believing Servants.

112. And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet,- one of the Righteous.

113. We blessed him and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.

114. Again (of old) We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron,

115. And We delivered them and their people from (their) Great Calamity;

116. And We helped them, so they overcame (their troubles);

117. And We gave them the Book which helps to make things clear;

118. And We guided them to the Straight Way.

119. And We left (this blessing) for them among generations (to come) in later times:

120. "Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron!"

121. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

122. For they were two of our believing Servants.



Amazing so Hagar in Genesis 21:14 – 21 was carrying a 17 year old on her one shoulder for maybe 10 – 100 miles (Mrs. Swarzniggar) who later grew up to become an archer, married into an Arab tribe and learned Arabic and went onto have several children. One of the descendants of this CHILD passed on his DNA to Muhammad the illiterate whose religion is now violently spreading by the sword and soon to overtake the whole planet.
How could this happen like you I am also confused.

The oil found in recent history belongs to the west, its unfortunate it is under lands inhabited by Muslims and not only Arabs. Having oil and economic success then to die and go to hell is not my idea of a great nation.

A brief lesson on Islam.

It is the oldest faith on the planet it starts of with Adam and Eve, and continuous through revelations given to Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus (many others too numerous to mention) until its completion under the messenger ship of Muhammad (pbuta). Islam is not an exclusively an Arab faith as there is no scriptural evidence that Muhammad (pbuh) said that he is the founder of Islam. One cannot quote the Quran as it is not the work of Muhammad as he could not read or write in any language including Arabic. Just as Jesus has himself not ever said that he is the founder of Christianity or Moses has not stated that he is the founder of Judaism.

ISIAH 29 verse 12 "And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned".

Below are verses from the Quran, where GOD/SATAN himself says that the scriptures were changed by the scribes.

Quran Chapter 2 verse 75

75. Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.

Quran Chapter 2 verse 79

79. Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:"This is from Allah," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.

Quran Chapter 4 verse 46

46. Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: "We hear and we disobey"; and "Hear what is not Heard"; and "Ra'ina"; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: "What hear and we obey"; and "Do hear"; and "Do look at us"; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.

Quran Chapter 2 verse 40 - 83

40. O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfil your covenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me.
41. And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone.
42. And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).
43. And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).
44. Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (To practise it) yourselves, and yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand?
45. Nay, seek ((Allah)'s) help with patient perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit,-
46. Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord, and that they are to return to Him.
47. Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other (for My Message).
48. Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside).
49. And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.
50. And remember We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh's people within your very sight.
51. And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence ye took the calf (for worship), and ye did grievous wrong.
52. Even then We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be grateful.
53. And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright.
54. And remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker." Then He turned towards you (in forgiveness): For He is Oft- Returning, Most Merciful.
55. And remember ye said: "O Moses! We shall never believe in thee until we see Allah manifestly," but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting even as ye looked on.
56. Then We raised you up after your death: Ye had the chance to be grateful.
57. And We gave you the shade of clouds and sent down to you Manna and quails, saying: "Eat of the good things We have provided for you:" (But they rebelled); to us they did no harm, but they harmed their own souls.
58. And remember We said: "Enter this town, and eat of the plenty therein as ye wish; but enter the gate with humility, in posture and in words, and We shall forgive you your faults and increase (the portion of) those who do good."
59. But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them; so We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly.
60. And remember Moses prayed for water for his people; We said: "Strike the rock with thy staff." Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each group knew its own place for water. So eat and drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) earth.
61. And remember ye said: "O Moses! we cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth, -its pot-herbs, and cucumbers, Its garlic, lentils, and onions." He said: "Will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye down to any town, and ye shall find what ye want!" They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah. This because they went on rejecting the Signs of Allah and slaying His Messengers without just cause. This because they rebelled and went on transgressing.
62. Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
63. And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (The towering height) of Mount (Sinai) : (Saying): "Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear Allah."
64. But ye turned back thereafter: Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah to you, ye had surely been among the lost.
65. And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."
66. So We made it an example to their own time and to their posterity, and a lesson to those who fear Allah.
67. And remember Moses said to his people: "(Allah) commands that ye sacrifice a heifer." They said: "Makest thou a laughing-stock of us?" He said: "(Allah) save me from being an ignorant (fool)!"
68. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what (heifer) it is!" He said; "He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age. Now do what ye are commanded!"
69. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us Her colour." He said: "He says: A fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!"
70. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what she is: To us are all heifers alike: We wish indeed for guidance, if Allah wills."
71. He said: "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will.
72. Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But Allah was to bring forth what ye did hide.
73. So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand.
74. Thenceforth were your hearts hardened: They became like a rock and even worse in hardness. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth; others there are which when split asunder send forth water; and others which sink for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.
75. Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.
76. Behold! when they meet the men of Faith, they say: "We believe": But when they meet each other in private, they say: "Shall you tell them what Allah hath revealed to you, that they may engage you in argument about it before your Lord?"- Do ye not understand (their aim)?
77. Know they not that Allah knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal?
78. And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture.
79. Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:"This is from Allah," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.
80. And they say: "The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days:" Say: "Have ye taken a promise from Allah, for He never breaks His promise? or is it that ye say of Allah what ye do not know?"
81. Nay, those who seek gain in evil, and are girt round by their sins,- they are companions of the Fire: Therein shall they abide (For ever).
82. But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the Garden: Therein shall they abide (For ever).
83. And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): Worship none but Allah. treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now).

Jesus in the Glorious Qur'an

The Qur’an tells us a lot of wonderful things about Jesus. As a result, believers in the Qur’an love Jesus, honour him, and believe in him. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim unless he or she believes in Jesus, on whom be peace.
The Qur’an says that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he spoke while he was still only a baby, that he healed the blind and the leper by God’s leave, and that he raised the dead by God’s leave.
What then is the significance of these miracles? First, the virgin birth. God demonstrates his power to create in every way. God created everyone we know from a man and a woman. But how about Adam, on whom be peace? God created him from neither a man nor a woman. And Eve from only a man, but not a woman. And, finally, to complete the picture, God created Jesus from a woman, but not a man.
What about the other miracles? These were to show that Jesus was not acting on his own behalf, but that he was backed by God. The Qur’an specifies that these miracles were performed by God’s leave. This may be compared to the Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 2, verse 22, where it says that the miracles were done by God to show that he approved of Jesus. Also, note that Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospel of John to have said, “I can do nothing of my own authority” (5:30). The miracles, therefore, were done not by his own authority, but by God’s authority.
What did Jesus teach? The Qur’an tells us that Jesus came to teach the same basic message which was taught by previous prophets from God—that we must shun every false god and worship only the one true God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of that one true God, the God of Abraham. These Quranic teachings can be compared with the Bible ( Mark 10:18; Matthew 26:39; John 14:28, 17:3, and 20:17) where Jesus teaches that the one he worshipped is the only true God. See also Matthew 12:18; Acts 3:13, and 4:27 where we find that his disciples knew him as Servant of God.
The Qur’an tells us that some of the Israelites rejected Jesus, and conspired to kill him, but Allah (God) rescued Jesus and raised him to Himself. Allah will cause Jesus to descend again, at which time Jesus will confirm his true teachings and everyone will believe in him as he is and as the Qur’an teaches about him.
Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from Allah, and a spirit from Him. He is honoured in this world and in the hereafter, and he is one of those brought nearest to Allah.
Jesus was a man who spoke the truth which he heard from God. This can be compared with the Gospel According to John where Jesus says to the Israelites: “You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God” (John 8:40).

The Virgin Birth of Jesus
Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. When the angels announced to Mary (peace be upon her) about Allah’s promise that she will have a son, she was surprised, since she was a virgin. “How can this be?” she thought. She was reminded that it is easy for Allah to create whatever he wills.
She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is (Qur’an 3:47).
It is not difficult for Allah to do anything he wants. He can create a child with both human parents or only one. No miracle is beyond His power. After all, He had created Adam (peace be upon him) from neither a man nor a woman. He created the rest of us from both man and woman. What is so hard if Allah decides to create a human being from a woman only? He only commands “Be!” and it occurs.
Some people think that since Jesus, peace be upon him, had no human father then God must be his father. The Qur’an rejects this view. The position of Jesus with Allah is comparable to the position of Adam with Allah. Just because Adam had no human parent does not mean we should call him the Son of God.
Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is. (Qur’an 3:59).
According to the Qur’an, everyone except Allah are His servants.
And they say: the Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a Son. Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing, whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall to ruins, that ye ascribe to the Beneficent a son, when it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should chose a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave. (Qur’an 19:88-93)

The Miracles of Jesus
According to the Qur’an, Jesus, on whom be peace, performed the following miracles by Allah’s leave:
1. Spoke while he was only a baby.
2. Healed those born blind.
3. Healed the lepers.
4. Revived the dead.
5. Breathed life into a bird made of clay.
In the Qur’an Allah quotes Jesus, peace be upon him, as saying:
Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce to you what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you if you are to be believers.
And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me. Lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path. (Qur’an 3: 49-51).
Again, in the Qur’an Allah tells us about the situation on the Day of Judgement:
In the day when Allah gathers together the messengers and says: What was your response (from mankind)? they say: We have no knowledge. Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Knower of Things Hidden.
When Allah says: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto you and unto your mother; how I strengthened you with the holy Spirit, so that you spoke unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught you the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how you did shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and did blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and you did heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission . . . (Qur’an 5:109-110)
Not all of these miracles are recorded in the canonical gospels, the four gospels contained in the Christian Bible.
The fact that Jesus spoke while he was yet a baby is not written anywhere in the Bible. This should not be surprising, because none of the Gospels can claim to recover every single event in the life of Jesus. Instead, the gospel According to John seeks to emphasize that the events were too many to record.
Similarly, the miracle of breathing life into a bird made of clay is not attested by the Christian Bible. This too should not make us wonder. It is obvious that the writers of the gospels could write down only the tradition that was available to them. Furthermore, they could not write down everything they knew about Jesus for they were writing on papyrus material that were very limited in length.
What is worthy to notice here is that the Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, was honest enough to promulgate this information about Jesus. The religion taught by God through Muhammad would deny the divinity of Jesus. Any human being, therefore, who wished to deny the divinity of Jesus would have tried to belittle Jesus. Since Christians looked upon the miracles of Jesus as a proof of his divinity, we might expect that any human being who tries to deny the divinity of Jesus would not have informed people of miracles not previously known to them. He might have even tried to deny some of the miracles recorded in the canonical gospels. On the other hand, the prophet Muhammad honestly conveyed the message delivered to him from Allah. (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.)
Allah tells us the truth without fear. Human beings trying to win followers tell us only what is conducive to winning us over. They usually withhold information that could lead to opposite conclusions. On the other hand, Allah informs us about the miracles of Jesus even if people use this information to support their prior commitment to the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus. Allah does not need to win worshippers. Those who worship Allah does so for their own good. And those who worship false gods do so to their own detriment.
What Allah emphasizes, though, is that the miracles of Jesus do not prove he was divine. The miracles he performed were a sign, a proof, that he was God’s messenger. He performed them with God’s help and permission. Those who use his miracles as proof of his divinity would choose to forget the following sayings of Jesus:
I can of my own authority do nothing. (John 5:30)
They also forget the declaration of Peter:
Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves know. (Acts 2:22 KJV).
These passages suggest that Jesus did not do miracles on his own. These, rather were accomplished by God’s leave. Allah reminds us of this. Jesus also constantly repeated to his audience that the miracles he performed were by God’s leave.

10:39 AM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

Oh Good Lord! Skipping that, because I have a headache, I'll go back to your original subject, zak.

I WISH dialogue groups worked like they were supposed to. But it just seems to me that the only people who join them are (a) people who want their feelings of victimization to be legitimized, and (b) people who feel guilty for not being victims and help legitimize victims so that some of their guilt is alleviated.

I have one daughter who tries to be a victim of every situation. It drives me insane. The line I yell at her most is, "YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM! GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND DO SOMETHING!" When she gripes about something victimy I tell her to go away. When she falls on the floor in a parody of utter collapse I shut her bedroom door and leave her there alone. When she can't rationalize her reactions without making up facts she loses TV days - continually until she sticks to the established facts.

She is so much better now. It's amazing how much having consequences for one's actions teaches one to behave.

Many of us have been victimized at one time or another in one way or another. But BEING a victim takes a conscious choice. I'm trying to teach my kids that it's not a good one.

8:10 PM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

When she can't rationalize her reactions without making up facts she loses TV days - continually until she sticks to the established facts.

I wish it was that simple in international relations. "Mr Abbas, if you don't stop screaming 'genocide' and having hissy fits, we're going to take away all of your TV and radio rights."

YOu are right though. The victimology thing... it's such a cop-out.

And whoever wrote all that gibberish above... well, that's what it is: gibberish.

7:58 AM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

It IS that simple in international relations, though! We just DON'T DO IT. We're so busy feeling guilty for being so well off that we make excuses and let behaviors continue.

As an example, let's use foreign aid as our "TV time". Foreign aid is not like credit card debt or a mortgage. We aren't paying off something we owe, we are giving a gift of money to someone and hoping they will use it to better their positions.

If they take our money with one hand and wail and gnash teeth as soon as we turn around, I say pull the aid. Want more aid? Stop being retarded.

Honestly, I have to say that the aid solution seems to be as good as it can get as far as options go. No military involvement, no Americans dying, and if those in charge would stop being dumb about PR (maybe they can hire you, zak) we could get millions of PR miles out of it.

It also puts the responsibilty firmly in their camp. And we should emphasize that at every turn.

Consequences for actions, you know. Our society seems to have forgotten those exist.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to break your heart, Ahmedinajad, but in this neck of the woods we don't accept the Koran as having Divine authority: rather, a counterfeit from Shaitan itself which moves its cult followers to commit bloodthirsty acts against the rest of humanity.

Abraham's birthright did not pass to Ishmael because he was the "son of the slave woman", and therefore eternally subordinate to Isaac.

As Islam/Arabs are to the West/Jews.


7:27 AM  

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