...and, if the scholar called Christoph Luxenberg is correct, the 9/11 hijackers were duped into believing that buxom "houris" would be waiting for them in heaven...even if they were in some parallel universe truly faithful to Islam, all they could expect would be "white raisins" and "juicy fruits." Oh, well!
My favorite blogger on things Christian, Rev. Allen H. Brill, worries that Luxenberg's revisionist attempt could only exacerbate the already touchy relations between the Christian West and the world's Muslims. I hear you, Allen, but I think this pales in comparison to us, as represented by our President, propelled by his born-again Christian righteousness callously trampling over the Muslims whom we purportedly want to democratize (or is it civilize?). Seeking to slay the dragon that had a people in its clutches may have been noble despite our past fueling of its fire but we seem to want to believe in our nobility too fervently to see that the wellbeing of those whom we seek to deliver is only incidental to the plans of those who have assumed the role of the savior in our names. Of course, the Iraqi people do not represent all Muslims but it was our administration that drew a connection, where there was none, between a secular despot of a Muslim people and the Islamist perpetrators of 9/11. My guess is that all of this is not lost on most Muslims despite all the belabored lip-service paid to Islam's greatness after the initial invocations of a "crusade" and "infinite justice."
While there will likely be a vociferous battle of words and epithets as a result of Luxenberg's book and I don't doubt that some mullah or ayatollah somewhere will issue the customary fatwa, the Muslim on the street ain't gonna know Aramaic from Latin. She will however know that the Christian leader of the free world has all but put her on notice in his war against evil. It is a shame that Luxenberg won't get a fair shake in this explosive climate. It is also a shame that it's too easy for Muslims to claim persecution -- and the legitimacy of such a claim may not just be vicarious -- to do some honest navel-gazing of their own.
Oh and for Luxenberg's sake, I hope that he/she is not a Muslim for that would make the reason for the fatwa all the more heinous.