HJS Comments: In the first Bukhari hadith 1:1, Umar bin Al-Khattab (Islam’s second Caliph) narrated:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or to find a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”
In a later Bukhari hadith, 1:38, Abu Huraira (companion of the prophet) narrated:
The prophet said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights.
My question would be, following the logic of the first hadith, what about punishment? Should not a person be punished for what he intended?
One might reasonably ask in court, did the person who burned the document believe in the holy document itself? Probably not. And being unaware of its sacred, extramundane nature, did he mistake the scripture for a document somewhat like the Christian Bible, with which he is more familiar? Probably yes. So, did he really intentionally commit blasphemy if he as a God-fearing man, a religious zealot who would not by his own nature ever consider desecrating what he believed was God’s word? Probably not.
Actually, I do not know this person, but from what I have read of him, he seems to be a reckless bonehead who needs a swift kick in the ischial callocity and an introduction to Dale Carnegie.
Does he deserve capital punishment? No; the idea is absolutely preposterous. Does anyone else deserve to be murdered because of his tactless disregard for the feelings of people in other religions? Absolutely not. Murder is murder and murder for religious reasons is still murder. In our Western culture, both the preacher and the murderer(s) would be brought to justice, along with any leader who encouraged the murders.
Nonetheless, after due consideration, knowing hadith 1:38, why should anyone in Afghanistan or anywhere else in the Middle East care what some bonehead preacher does in Florida? It seems that the people in the Middle East have more important items on their plate than rioting over something that happened in Florida in which no one was hurt, let alone killed.
To an outstanding Army general whom I respect immensely, I would like to say, respectfully, you are very good, perhaps excellent in your field. However, the politics of Islamic religion and ideology do not seem to be your field.
The question remains for the United Nations: What is the status of nations or groups of peoples who believe they are commanded by God to kill others who do not share their faith, and who demonstrate this murderous belief regularly? That question also remains for the people of this nation. For example, if a stranger should appear at your door and tells you he is commanded to kill your family and you because you do not belief what he believes, what do you do?
More On Koran Burning
By Andrew C. McCarthy
“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . .”;