Turning the Other Cheek
Ever since Ambrose was a kid, people have been quoting the Bible to him in an effort to get him to modify his behavior.
In third grade he was on top of another kid in the playground and pounding his head off the asphalt for some infraction or other when a teacher tore him off and reminded him that the Bible said to turn the other cheek and to love one's enemies.
A few years later, when girls started looking pretty good to Ambrose, his parents took him to a youth minister at his church and the minister told him he would have to get married before he could engage in the kind of activity he had in mind.
It took Ambrose awhile to catch on but by the time he reached the age of 18, he realized the Bible forbade most of the things he might otherwise have engaged in.
This makes Ambrose wonder now when he watches world news on television whether the ISIS warriors as kids had adults quoting the Koran to them on a regular basis. Or if these warriors still read the Koran.
As a child and as an adult, Ambrose, while not at all a holy roller, read and heard many quotes from the Bible, both from the Old Testament and the New, but he still has not seen a single quote from the Koran in anything he has read. And he is fairly well read even in this digital age.
He also has seen while surfing television Christian televangelists who liberally quote from the Bible and put those quotes on the screen lest their viewers miss the point. He is not taken with their approach but it is hard to miss their message.
He has never seen, however, an Islamic televangelist even though he has heard that Muslims believe everyone should be a Muslim or become a convert, sometimes pretty quickly.
Ambrose also admits he has never seen a copy of the Koran, and knows no Muslims other than those who practice medicine, or own stores that sell fine carpet or restaurants that serve good food.
But now, in light of what’s going on in the Middle East, Ambrose would like to see that passage in the Koran that is said to permit the burning alive of a prisoner if indeed such a passage exists in the Koran.
According to a news report on television, an ISIS warrior was quoted as saying that their burning of a prisoner to death was permitted in the Koran. This comment came, of course, after ISIS had burned the Jordanian pilot to death.
Ambrose would settle, however, for knowing if the Koran contains the Ten Commandments given to Moses or the Islamic equivalent. And he’d like to know what that equivalent is.
Ambrose is trying hard to understand why ISIS does what it does in the name of Allah.
Or, more to the point, why ISIS does what ISIS does, period.
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.