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Letters

Islam

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 Contents - Feb 2002AD2000 February 2002 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: St Thérèse's relics: a pilgrimage of grace - Peter Westmore
Archbishop Philip Wilson sets out his agenda for Adelaide - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Melbourne Archdiocese: positive trend in priestly vocations continues - Fr Paul Stuart
Into the Deep Forum: young Catholics meet Australian bishops - Helen Ransom
US Conference: 'Newman's Idea of a University' - Msgr Michael J. Wrenn
Homily: Most Rev Geoffrey Jarrett installed as new Bishop of Lismore - Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett
Books: 'Meaninglessness' and today's Western culture - Archbishop George Pell
The Church in South Korea: dynamic and fast-growing - Pat O'Brien
Catholic schools and 'youth spirituality' - John Kelly
Letters: Remarkable man - Elizabeth Gilmour
Letters: Liturgical abuses - Michael Baker
Letters: School Masses - Br Con Moloney CFC
Letters: Crisis of faith - Mavis Power
Letters: Intellectual groups - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Boat people - George F. Simpson
Letters: Refugees - Arthur Negus
Letters: Islam - Andrew Sholl
Letters: Real Presence - Philip Robinson
Letters: Human evolution - Fr Brian Harrison OS
Letters: Overcoming evil - Mary Beaumont
Letters: Book search - Grace O'Hara
Books: Hogwarts or Hogwash? by Peter Furst and Craig Heilmann - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: St Therese of Lisieux: from Lisieux to the Four Corners of the World - Catherine Sheehan (reviewer)
Books: 'The Martyrdom Of Blessed George Haydock:' by Barry Coldrey and Leo Griffin - Catholic Weekly (reviewer)
Centre for Thomistic Studies, Sydney, to offer degree courses - John Young
New Titles from AD Books
Reflection: NCC Mass of Thanksgiving: Archbishop Hart's homily - Archbishop Denis Hart

"Both Prime Minister John Howard and most Australians seemed startled when Osama bin Laden alleged that by helping East Timor, Australia was somehow involved in a 'conspiracy to separate it from the Muslim world'" (The Townsville Bulletin, 6 November 2001, p. 1).

It seems to me that most Australians are not familiar with many Islamic concepts, e.g., Dar-ul-Islam (Haven of Islam).

By alleging that Australia is separating East Timor from an overwhelmingly Muslim nation (Indonesia), bin Laden seems to be invoking the concept of Dar-ul-Islam.

Let me explain. This concept means that wherever Islam has ever conquered in the past, that piece of territory must sooner or later revert to Islam. Thus, when Tariq began the conquest for Islam of Spain and Portugal in 711AD (incidentally Gibraltar means in Arabic the mountain [Jebel] of the [al] Tariq), and those lands were finally reconquered by Ferdinand and Isabella at Granada in 1492, Islam has technically never given up on reclaiming these lands for Dar-ul-Islam, no matter how far down the track of history.

Although Islam currently receives a bad press, it usually treated its subject peoples far better than Christianity. Thus, the Jewish people usually did well in Islamic countries, as against almost 2,000 years of persecution at the hands of so-called Christians, who ought to have known better. However, as soon as the State of Israel was formed, and the Jews no longer needed to live as a subject people, after May 1948, the Muslim attitude radically changed: Israel was now a blemish on Dar-ul-Islam and had to be eliminated! Hence the on-going conflict with the Palestinians, most of whom are Muslim, as well as the rest of the Muslim world.

ANDREW SHOLL
Cranbrook, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 15 No 1 (February 2002), p. 14

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