Interesting juxtaposition between the news that the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deaths of ten Christian aid workers in Afghanistan because, the Taliban claimed, the group was “spying for the Americans” and “preaching Christianity” — which is really their blanket excuse for killing any civilians — with this excellent historical profile of Muslim warrior-turned political figure (think of him as bin Laden’s polar opposite; a force for good rather than evil) Abd el-Kader by Rany Jazayerli (via). el-Kader is the only Muslim with a town named in his honor in America and in 1860 saved the lives of 10,000 Christians living in Damascus.
It is this quote that I’ll be saving somewhere for future reference:
“…That which we did for the Christians, we did to be faithful to Islamic law and out of respect for human rights. All creatures are part of God’s family and those most loved by God are those who do the most good for his family. All the religions of the book rest on two principles – to praise God and to have compassion for his creatures…The law of Mohammed places the greatest importance on compassion and mercy, and on all that which preserves social cohesion and protects us from division. But those who belong to the religion of Mohammed have corrupted it, which is why they are now like lost sheep. Thank you for your prayers and good will toward me…”
A better man than me once said that religion is akin to a hammer, you can either use it to build a house or you can use it to tear a house down, but ultimately what you choose to do with that tool is your decision.