by ALEX P. VIDAL
“Do not look down upon any Muslim, for even the most inferior believer is great in the eyes of God.” ABU BAKR
Will you patronize a pork-laced bullet aimed at insulting a gunshot victim on his way to heaven or hell?
Islam continued to be misunderstood even in the West--despite being the only non-Western religion that stands closest to the West geographically and ideologically.
Despite Islam’s mental and spatial proximity, it is still the most difficult religion for the West to understand even if religiously it stands in the Abrahamic family of religions; and builds on the Greeks philosophically.
An American columnist once wrote: “No part of the world is more hopelessly and systematically and stubbornly misunderstood by us than that complex of religion, culture and geography known as Islam.”
Huston Smith, a leading figure in the comparative philosophy of religion, believes that “proximity is no guarantee of concord--tragically, more homicides occur within families than anywhere else. Islam and the West are neighbors. Common borders have given rise to border disputes, which, beginning with raids and counterraids, have escalated into vendettas, blood feuds, and all-out war.”
Muslims report that the standard Western stereotype that they encounter is that of a man marching with sword outstretched, followed by a long train of wives, Smith said. “Not surprisingly, in as much as from the beginning Christians believed that ‘the two most important aspects of Muhammad’s life...are his sexual license and his use of force to establish religion.’ Muslims feel that both Muhammad and the Koran have been maligned on these accounts.”
The furor recently created by the announcement that a new, pork-laced ammunition designed to “serve as a warning shot to would-be Islamic terrorists with plans to attack Americans” is now available for sale. This confirms once again that some educated Muslims will never take any attempt to trivialize their religion sitting down.
Muslims believe the frenzy whipped up by the public announcement by Jihawg Ammo, the company started by Brendon and Julie Hill of Coer D’Alene, Idaho, USA, that it has started selling boxes of gun cartridges made with pork products and advertised as being “a deterrent to potential terrorists who may not eat pork because of their religious beliefs,” was meant to humiliate the entire Islam religion.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the Hills were trying to exploit Muslims for their own profit.
“This is just one of many individuals and companies who seek to make a quick buck exploiting the growing Islamaphobia in our society,” Hooper said. “We’re not motivated by giving them free publicity they so desperately seek. That’s their intention -- to get people upset so that they talk about it and they make money. If somebody did actually use one of these bullets to target a Muslim,” he added, “I am sure that a hate crime enhancement would fit.”
‘SEND HIM TO HELL’
The company announced in a press release: “With Jihawg Ammo, you don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell. That should give would-be martyrs something to think about before they launch an attack. If it ever becomes necessary to defend yourself and those around you our ammo works on two levels.”
Reports quoted Brendon Hill, who developed the technology for the cartridges with his wife, as saying that the idea behind the ammunition was that “if a devout Muslim were thinking of carrying out a terrorist attack, they might be deterred by knowing they could be shot with bullets covered in pork, a religiously forbidden food.”
The report added: “He is not promoting violence toward Muslims, he insisted. In fact, the company also makes apparel promoting ‘Peace Through Pork.’” Brendon said that he and his wife started the company as “a tongue-in-cheek way to stand up to radical Islamic terrorists.” “We’re having some fun with it,” Hill said quoted by report. “There’s something to be said about using sarcasm to reveal truth about something that is false or a lie, and we’re focusing on the absolute lie they tell that murdering people is good.”
“We realize we’ve hit an emotional thread, and I’d loosely define this as a red-state/blue-state issue,” Hill added in the report. “That’s where our customers are coming from and in that demographic, our product is a way to push back against political correctness. It’s the proverbial middle finger back to political correctness.”
Report said the Hills came up with the idea while camping with friends and talking about the “Ground Zero Mosque,” the name given by opponents to an Islamic cultural center in New York City that was going to open near the World Trade Center site. They were angry over the center and what Hill called “a wave of radical Islam perpetuating from the Middle East to Europe to here.”
Here’s the rest of the report from ABC News: “Brendon Hill said his wife, stay-at-home mom Julie, came up with the idea and the name. Brendon, who used to work for the NRA as a fundraiser, said he drew on his undergraduate science degree and tinkered with the formula for making the ammunition, figuring out how to add pork products to the paint on gun cartridges while ensuring that the paint still works.
They started selling their product earlier this spring. “What we do is take industry base paint, a type of ballistic paint, and it took us a year to formulate how pork product that goes into it is still viable,” Hill said. “The paint still has to function and stick to metal, but also be haraam or unclean.”
Meanwhile, Muslims admit that their own record respecting force is not exemplary, wrote Smith. “Every religion at some stages in its career has been used by its professed adherents to mask aggression, and Islam is no exception. Time and again it has provided designing chieftains, caliphs, and now heads of state with pretext for gratifying their ambitions.”
They deny the following: First, they deny that Islam’s record of intolerance and aggression is greater than that of the other major religions (Buddhism may be an exception here -- Smith). Second, they deny that Western historians are fair to Islam in their accounts of its use of force. Jihad, they say, is a case in point. To Westerners it conjures scenes of screaming fanatics being egged into war by promises that they will be instantly transported to heaven if they are slain.
Third, Muslims deny that the blots in their record should be charged against their religion whose presiding ideal they affirm in their standard greeting, as-salamu alaykum (“Peace be upon you”). /MP