Opinion

Jihad and the Tale of the Seventy-Two Virgins

Reasonable people agree that not all Muslims should be blamed for the actions of those relative few that commit acts of murder in the name of Islam. This however, does not mean that Islam or its practitioners are exempt from legitimate criticism. While it is certainly both reasonable and understandable that a practitioner of this faith should step forward and respond to criticism of it, that response should have more intellectual depth than the standard rote answer of “You’re taking that out of context.”

It is unreasonable to demand that one has to have the entire Koran memorized to be able to comment on it, any more than a Muslim should be expected to memorize the Bible in its entirety before launching into the intellectually vacuous recitation of the Crusades as a justification for modern Muslim paranoia.

American Muslims claim to be just as loyal and patriotic as any other Americans. While I have no reason to believe that claim to be insincere, I’ve seen no action to back up that rhetoric. Part of the problem that exists between the Muslim world and the United States is one of misunderstanding of motives. It is not just the responsibility of non-Muslim Americans to work through these misunderstandings. Being open-minded must be a two-way street that both the Muslim and the non-Muslim drive across. Why have American Muslim religious leaders not organized groups to travel to the Middle East to establish dialogues with “the Arab street?”

To communicate from a position of your own commonality would go a lot farther toward building conciliatory relations than sitting here getting outraged because last semester one of the Hurricane’s columnists wrote about what is a well-documented tool used to manipulate young Muslim men into committing murder/suicide – the receipt of seventy-two virgins in the afterlife.

Can you imagine the benefit of a meeting in, say, Gaza where a group of American Muslim students met with Palestinian students? The American students might say something like, “Look we disagree with our country’s policy toward Israel, but take it from us, America is not out to destroy Islam.” Is that occurring? No. Instead of going over there and saying those things, the American Muslim community has decided it’s going to stay here and say, “You’re taking that out of context.”

Scott Wacholtz is a senior majoring in political science. He can be reached at aramis1642@hotmail.com.

August 28, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

When UM coach Mark Richt summoned quarterback Malik Rosier into his office last year, a few months a ...

Quarterback Malik Rosier of the No. 8-ranked Miami Hurricanes maintains a solid third place in what ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes will look to slow down an inspired Syracuse team at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

University of Miami head coach Mark Richt was selected to the 20-member Paul "Bear" Bryant ...

University of Miami sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. was among 21 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

Head coach Katie Meier and senior forward/center Erykah Davenport will represent Miami Thursday at t ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.