Christianity in the first three centuries Essay
Essay Topic: Religion
Paper type: Essay
Words: 1072, Paragraphs: 13, Pages: 5
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After the terror of September 11 the American people wanted to know what type of people would fly airplanes into buildings killing thousands of their good citizens. The left wing media and the Bush administration, which often patronizes left wing, political correctness, provided the most typical ‘spin’ for public consumption. This interpretation works within the typical left-wing paradigm, which deems all religions as essentially the same and politics as а separate category of life, removed from the private concerns of true religion.
It is only when conservative religious-types attempt to impose their narrow minded beliefs upon the peaceable world of religious and political communities that problems arise.
(Sherifa 2005 28) Therefore, it is not Islam that brought about September 11. ‘Islam is а religion of peace’. It is ‘fundamentalists’ who are most to blame for disturbing the peace. After all, the term Islam means ‘peace’. “Enhanced analysis is where “the rubber meets the road” Up to this point in the analytical process, personnel have primarily been cleaning data and analyzing information using broad approaches.
Transforming the information into quality intelligence requires time and skill. Whether some forms of analysis are art or science is debatable. In the case of homeland security and terrorism analysis, it is both. Methods employed by an analyst can be replicated for use on many different fronts. In addition, there are numerous scientific models and tools available for analysts that can be utilized by anyone to prove or verify information. The data should yield the same results for whoever undertakes the process. (Paul 2002 31)
Use of а checklist is encouraged due to the magnitude of events that can be faced by an analyst undertaking terrorism or organized hate group investigations. Too many steps are involved in the intelligence process, and information often arrives at intermittent times, making organization of the information difficult. Matrixes, link charts, time lines, and maps also play important roles in transforming information into enhanced intelligence. Whatever techniques are used to analyze the information, it is crucial to know one’s criminal data and what information is available.
In warfare, one needs to know the enemy, and in the analytical world one needs to know the enemy (subject or target) as well as the data. If you do not know what you have, how can you transform it into intelligence? (Michael 2004) Today the term is used by the media and intelligentsia as а form of hate speech an epithet to curse those who disagree with them. In the present context it is used as а means of casting aspersions upon conservative Christians in relating them to terrorist activity. Stephen Schwartz serves а good example of this type of rhetoric.
In his work on the Saudis and Wahhabis, The Two Faces of Islam, he skews an otherwise outstanding work with а continual reference to ‘fundamentalist’ Muslims as perverting ‘true’ Islam. The term serves as а source of pure rhetoric throughout the work, disembodied from any specific reference to а movement, group or set of beliefs. There is only one section where he even bothers to relate it to а specific viewpoint. In this place he condemns Muslims who limit ‘all historical and cultural development in Islam after its first two generations’.
However, this understanding of fundamentalism in terms of literal interpretation and living-in-the-past contradicts the overall thesis of Schwartz and his liberal constituency that would characterize the religion of Muhammad the ‘true’ and ‘authentic’ Islam as а religion of peace. If Muhammad was а man of peace, literal Islam would have produced the same sort of pacifism that we observe among early Christianity in the first three centuries. But the real truth is that it produced much the opposite.
Islam does not exist in the world of ideas as а disembodied, un-interpreted spirit, subsisting above and beyond the communities who represent the faith. ‘True’ Islam exists only in the mind of those liberals who wish that Muslims would find in Islam what they want them to believe. No religion, philosophy or political ideology exists apart from those who interpret it in accordance with their own purposes. For example, one could find Nazism within the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche if one wishes to use his writings to deconstruct certain themes in certain ways.
His writings contain that possibility, even if Nietzsche himself was not an anti-Semite. All works contain enough tensions within them to allow the interpreter to choose this or that reading as more indicative of the true essence of the text, It is all а matter of choice, If а reader wishes to find the good things of liberalism within the Qur’an feeding the poor and helping widows and orphans in their distress, there is much in the text that lends itself to this direction. (Paul 2002 56)
However, а liberal cannot deny that there is more а pretext for deconstructing the Qur’an and proceeding in the horrid direction of September 11 than there is in the Bible or the sacred texts of most other religions. The Bible certainly contains imprecatory psalms and holy wars, but within its writings, especially those of the New Testament, there is much to counteract the more bellicose verses of the old Testament and marginate them or treat them as а product of а bygone dispensation.
Within the Qur’an there are а number of disturbing sections that could lead in the direction of September 11 if so interpreted, and little else to counteract them. There is no concept of the historical progress of revelation, as the divine revelation did not take place over а period of time. According to most Muslims, the Qur’an is an eternal and uncreated book. Its Arabic is God’s Arabic its words God’s Words. Nevertheless, Islam does not exist as а simple monolith, which demands our acceptance or rejection. “Since the events of September 11, the American people may have been treated to more truth from their government than ever before.
In the post Vietnam era, when the notorious Phoenix program of assassinations finally came to light, public indignation was sufficient to empower investigation by the Church Committee, and а subsequent ban on foreign assassinations. Over the past decade and increasingly under the Bush Jr. administration, however, open talk of intended foreign assassinations, efforts to overthrow the leaders of other sovereign states, or invasions of an unspecified array of nations can reach the daily papers through on-record remarks by elected officials. ” (Amit 2003 127).