stalked and persecuted -- not just by Fox and friends, but by people claiming to be part of the 9/11 truth movement?
My friend Ken Jenkins recently advised me that he agrees that I have been subjected to many unfair attacks, but he thinks that while I don't deserve the mistreatment, I "attract" it. He cited the Law of Attraction, a metaphysical doctrine suggesting we attract the reality that we experience. As an example of how I may be "attracting" persecution, he said that by using the word "jihad" in my book and website, I am putting out thoughts of "war" and "struggle."
Since I haven't really posted much about Islam during this Ramadhan, I'll use Ken's remarks as a springboard. Here is my response to him.
Thank you for these thoughts! I agree completely with the "law of attraction" analysis, though I would describe it differently: (1) creation is absolutely just (you reap what you sow), (2) ultimate justice, for human beings, is meted out in the afterlife, while only a portion of it is meted out in this life, and (3) God tests us as part of a soul-creating process.
When someone tries to be good, just, and honest -- as in the story of Job -- God often allows evil humans and the evil spirits incarnated in them (along with just plain hard luck) to test that person. Such tests can help the person atone for any evil (s)he has done, forge a greater soul, and achieve a higher station in Paradise. The prophets have always elicited visceral hatred from evil people (evil being a combination of ignorance and ill intent). The most notorious example in Islam is the case of Abu Lahab, the "father of flame," who viciously persecuted the Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) and his followers. Closer to our time, JFK was murdered because he had "turned toward peace" (James Douglass), and RFK, MLK and Malcolm were killed because they sought justice. The killers were driven by the same evil that persecuted and sometimes killed the prophets. Likewise, the perpetrators of 9/11, who are psychopaths and Satanists bent on establishing a global regime of evil, targeted Islam--especially those Muslims who stand up and fight back against evil and aggression--in order to try to defeat the good and impose evil.
Until Jesus (Issa) returns, good people will have to defend themselves from evil, sometimes with violence, if the earth is not to become a hell-world completely dominated by evil. This is implicit in the message of the last Prophet, which supplanted the pacifist message of Jesus, peace upon them both. Jesus's message of complete pacifism, while the ideal, did not work out in practice, because (in New Age terms) this planet's vibrational level was not high enough. Thus "Christians" were absorbed by Rome and became among the world's worst butchers and greed-heads, despite Jesus's commandment of absolute pacifism and poverty. Islam was then decreed by God as the correct message and way of life to preserve the teachings of the Prophets during a period when the good would have to actively defend itself from evil.
The word jihad, as I hope you realize, first means "struggle to be a better person" (the greater jihad), and secondarily "struggle to defend good against evil -- and the community of the (relatively) good, including the Muslim community, against any evil that threatens it." Sometimes, unfortunately, this requires armed struggle. Virtually everyone accepts the principle of armed struggle against aggressors, so this is hardly a Muslim peculiarity! Institutional Christianity, in defiance of its founding prophet, holds almost exactly the same just war doctrine as Islam. If you, personally, would not use lethal force in order to stop someone from killing or enslaving you or your loved ones, you are one of the tiny minority that doesn't share this doctrine, and may God bless you for it! (And may God preserve us from the hell-world that would result if all good people followed your example, allowing the psychopaths to rule without any resistance.)
Thus "jihad" is a crucially important, and profoundly GOOD, religious concept. Anyone who has a negative impression of this word is an ignorant Islamophobe, just as anyone who hates a specific Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist religious concept would be bigoted against those religions. By embracing the word "jihad" -- just like by standing up for 9/11 truth -- I am doing the right thing, and thereby incurring the wrath of the evil and ignorant.
So if you're saying I'm attracting unusual levels of evil by striving to be unusually good, I would take that as a compliment, and a sign that I am at least making an effort to walk in the footsteps of the prophets. I invite you to join me. (By standing firmly for truth, you're already halfway there!)