Last month I attended my annual training session that’s required for mai
ntaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session
there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic,
Protestant and Muslim faiths who explained their belief systems. I was
particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say.
The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a
video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and
answers. When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked:
"Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand that most Imams and
clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels
of the world and that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all
Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that’s the case, can you
give me the definition of an infidel?"
There was no disagreement with my statements and without hesitation he
I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of
Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they
can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to
that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie
jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes."
I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope
John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Pat
Robertson or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go
The Imam was speechless.
I continued, "I also have problem with being your friend when you and your
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