History often tends to repeat itself. Many would argue that the cyclical nature, in which world events unfold, is just merely coincidental. But for proof that this trend really does exist, we have to look no further than the Quran. In the last section of Islam’s Holy Book, there is a surah or chapter devoted to two devious and evil characters that dedicated their lives to destroying Islam. It is called Surah Lahab, in honor of the cruel, vicious and tormenting uncle of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), known as Abu Lahab. This individual focused his life solely toward propagating against Muhammad (pbuh) and the followers of Islam. However bad Abu Lahab may have been, his wife “Umm Jamil” was equally or quite possibly even more sinister an individual. Together, these two enemies of Islam inflicted great physical, emotional, and mental anguish upon Muhammad and the Muslim community.
Fourteen hundred years have passed since the birth of Islam, and many neo-Abu Lahabs have emerged. The most notable of this group is Middle East faux-scholar Daniel Pipes. The Muslim community is well aware of the damage that Pipes has tried to inflict upon it. What they may not have been aware of is the fact that a 21st century Umm Jamil has emerged from the shadows. This villain just like her predecessors enjoys the spotlight as proven by her numerous novels and appearances on the political talk show circuit. It is here that she unleashes her barrage of verbal attacks upon Islam, making no secret that she loves to mock the religion and its adherents. What is her name, you ask? It is none other than Ms. Ann Coulter.
At first glance, this young blonde political puppet would be considered attractive by “western standards”. Her confidence, and fearlessness in a male-dominated industry has won her a great deal of praise and admirers. However, in this case looks are most certainly deceiving. Coulter has been around for a while, but just like Pipes has greatly emerged after September 11, 2001. Both have impressive credentials, flashing degrees from some of America’s most reputable higher learning institutions. Although they have also been labeled as experts in the field of world affairs, it becomes clear soon after seeing both, that they are mere masters of political spin-doctoring. As the public gravitated toward an ultra-conservative mindset triggered by President Bush and his right-hand man Attorney General Ashcroft, these two began to capitalize off the vulnerable public. Pipes (labeled by CAIR as America’s leading Islamaphobe) has garnered success with his syndicated columns across the U.S, and is now trying to parlay his success into one of most short-sighted, and highly protested Federal Government appointments in history. Coulter has followed suit, with her columns in various news outlets such as World Net Daily and is now a frequent panelist on the HBO talk show “Real Time with Bill Maher.” In one of her error-laden columns titled “Build Them Back “, Coulter goes off on an unfounded, libelous tirade in an attempt to explain the nature of Islam to her readers.
“The urge to destroy may not come from Islam, but creation is not Islam’s strong suit either. In his immense book “The Creators,” historian Daniel Boorstin explains the Islamic approach to innovation. While Judaism and Christianity begin with the Creation, Islam reveres a God who creates nothing. It is a central tenet of Islam that God did not even create the Koran. According to Boorstin, mullahs explain that since “the speech of God is uncreate, the words must be eternal uncreate.” The world comes into being not by God’s energy and initiative, but by fiat. As Boorstin says: “For a believing Muslim, to create is a rash and dangerous act.””
>From reading this excerpt, I’m not sure to reprimand first: Coulter, or Boorstin? I have not read Boorstin’s “immense” novel, therefore I cannot accurately say whether or not he is misleading his readers. But from the sound of his quote it seems quite clear that he has not grasped the concept of Islam’s teachings, therefore he should have held off on writing the book until he went back to school. Our religious scholar seems to have juxtaposed two separate facts about Islam and made them into one. Innovation to the religion or bida is truly unacceptable for the adherents to Islam. This is one topic Muslims will agree on worldwide. But Boorstin makes a categorical mistake in claiming, “Islam reveres a God who creates nothing”. As Muslims are well aware, Creation is mentioned countless times in the Quran. Two of Allah’s names are: Al-Khaliq and Al-Bari, both meaning The Creator. Coulter’s usage of this piece of literature is truly symptomatic of the religious problems that America is currently facing.
As the Evangelical or what is now known as the Zionist Christian movement continues to encompass our political spectrum and media outlets, a conscious effort is being made to try and polarize Islam and its values away from the classical Judeo-Christian beliefs. As illustrated by her usage of the quote from Boorstin’s novel, Coulter (also an Evangelical) attempts to differentiate to her readers the God of the Jews and Christians from the God (Allah in Arabic) of the Muslims. As the Palestinian-Israeli conflict goes on, Coulter and her fellow right wing hawks make it clear whose side not only the U.S. Government is on, but also who God is rooting for.
One would think that a self-proclaimed “Christian” would make a concerted effort in trying to emulate the teachings of Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him). However, looking back throughout his life, you would be hard pressed to find Jesus mocking another religion on a daily basis, and/or attacking an entire race of human beings. Ann on the other hand, apparently missed this Sunday school lesson, and continues to ridicule Islam sarcastically as the “religion of peace” whenever a negative story arises within the Muslim world. Quoting another column titled “Would Mohamed Atta Object to Armed Pilots?” Coulter offers a solution to the airport restrictions that Americans are now facing:
” I don’t know, how about … NO ARABS? (Religion-of-Peace Update: As they prepare to stone a rape victim to death in Pakistan, the latest suicide bombing in Israel claimed the lives of a grandmother and her 18-month old granddaughter.)”
Although Mr. Pipes is still the nation’s leading Islamaphobe, there is little doubt on who is the chief Islamaphobess. Coulter will probably continue to rise in popularity until the public realizes that she is merely a product of the heated political climate, and how little knowledge she truly possesses. One thing she will never lack is an aptitude for the offensive. When asked recently how Arabs should be allowed to get around, Coulter replied, “They should use flying carpets.” Rumor has it that she should be receiving her appointment as Middle East Public Relations Specialist from our President at any time.
IMRAAN SIDDIQI lives in Irving, TX and attends the University of Texas at Arlington. He writes in his spare time on a variety of issues concerning Islam and Muslims. He can be reached via e-mail at: UPBhavan@aol.com