The NY Times today has given over part of its op-ed area to an essay by Imam Rauf, the man behind the Ground Zero mosque.
He says one thing which, as a specialist in the Hebrew language, I feel competent to comment on.
This is what he writes:
“The very word “islam” comes from a word cognate to shalom, which means peace in Hebrew. The Koran declares in its 36th chapter, regarded by the Prophet Muhammad as the heart of the Koran, in a verse deemed the heart of this chapter, “Peace is a word spoken from a merciful Lord.”
The word Islam does not come from the word for peace.
Neither in Hebrew nor in Arabic.
Islam is an Arabic word. It comes from the Arabic root for submission. A Muslim is one who submits.
Here is what the Wikipedia Islamic/ Arabic dictionary writes:
“The Arabic root word for Islam means submission, obedience…”
To say that it comes from the Hebrew word shalom ( which in Arabic is salaam) is absurd.
This appears to be part of a campaign on the supporters of the mosque to pretend that they are just anothr ecumenical, kumbaya group.
Nothing could be further from the turth.
If they truly cared about anyone else’s feelings they would put their 13 story monument to Islamic Jihad elsewhere.
We are about to celebrate the Jewish New Year, starting Wednesday night.
This is not the time for anyone professing peace to disseminate lies implicating Hebrew words with Islam, an ideology which regards Jews, according to Muhammad, as apes and Christians as worse.
Here is one of many quotes about Jews from their holy book, the Koran, 59:14, “The Jews are devoid of sense. There is a grievous punishment awaiting them. Satan tells them not to believe so they will end up in Hell.”
Is this what the authors of the constitution intended to protect when discussing religion?
I suppose that lies and subterfuge are to be expected from the likes of Imam Rauf.