Saturday, August 17, 2013

Is Islam Evil? Part II

Arlandson’s Top Ten Reasons

The website Answering Islam is devoted to promoting Christianity to Muslims by presenting objections to Islam, answering Muslim objections to Christianity, as well as providing a positive case for Christianity:

There are a number of articles on this site (or available through links at the site) that raise the objection that Islam promotes violence and terrorism. I’m going to examine and evaluate one such article called “Top Ten Reasons Why Islam is Not a Religion of Peace” written by James Arlandson:

James Arlandson has a PhD (in something or other from somewhere or other) and “teaches world religions and introductory philosophy at a college in southern California.” according to a brief note that accompanies the same article on another website:

Let’s consider the first point in Arlandson’s article:

10. Muhammad nicknames his weapons.

Arlandson gives various examples of such nicknamed weapons, including the following:

Muhammad nicknames three swords that he took from the Jewish tribe Qaynuqa after he banished them from Medina in April 624: "Pluck Out," "Very Sharp," and "Death."

This information comes from Tabari (839-923 CE) an early Muslim historian. Since Muhammad died in 723 CE, Tabari was writing nearly 200 years after the death of Muhammad. Tabari obviously did not have any first-hand knowledge of the life of Muhammad, so it would be important to know how he obtained this information about Muhammad. Arlandson says nothing about this, so the above claim about nicknames of three swords does not amount to an established fact.

More importantly, this is clearly a trivial point. Assuming that Muhammad did give nicknames to various weapons, this does not show that he was inclined to use or promote violence. The significant point here is not giving nicknames to weapons, but the fact that Muhammad owned and used weapons in warfare. In other words, Muhammad was a warrior.

American Nicknames for Bombs, Weapons, and War Machines

Arlandson neglected to mention an historically significant use of nicknames for weapons: “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”.

Before Harry Truman was president, he was a warrior. He fought in World War I. Later, when he was Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the United States, he ordered “Little Boy” to be dropped on Hiroshima, and “Fat Man” to be dropped on Nagasaki.

About 100,000 human beings were killed immediately, and about another 100,000 died within a few months as a result of dropping those two atomic bombs (from burns, radiation sickness, injuries, and other illnesses). Most of the victims were civilians, and included thousands of elderly people, thousands of teenagers, thousands of young children, and thousands of babies.

All of the killing and violence done by Muhammad and his fellow warriors over the entire span of his life could not hold a candle to what Harry Truman, a Christian (Baptist) and a leader of the USA, did to the Japanese, using bombs that were nicknamed “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. So, if nicknaming three swords makes Muhammad a promoter of violence and terrorism, then Harry Truman was the devil himself.

Another well-known fact that Arlandson neglected to mention is that American military forces use all kinds of slang, acronyms, and nicknames, including nicknames for ammunition, weapons, navy ships, and aircraft used in warfare. So, if we follow Arlandson’s reasoning, we would have to conclude that our American military personnel are all a bunch of terrorists.

Here is a sample of such American military slang and nicknames:

40 mike-mike: 40mm grenade or M203 grenade launcher, often mounted underneath an M-16 or variant
Aluminum Cloud: slang for the F-14 Tomcat
Ass: Armored vehicles. "We'll be driving behind a lot of ass today." E.g: Tanks, Bradleys, etc...
Baby Carriage: Machine gun cart.
Battlewagon: Battleship
Bandoliers: ammo belts for rifles and machine guns
Baseball: M26 Fragmentation Grenade
Beehive round: an explosive artillery shell which delivered thousands of small projectiles, "like nails with fins," instead of shrapnel.
Bird: helicopters or any aircraft
Birdfarm: Aircraft carrier.
Blackbird: Lockheed SR-71 (strategic reconnaissance aircraft).
Blooper: Vietnam Era slang term for the M-79 Grenade Launcher. Suggested by the sound it made upon firing.
Blue on Blue: Fratricide or friendly fire. Named for the color associated with friendly forces during "workups" and exercises.
Boomer: Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN)
Bouncing Betty: antipersonnel mine with two charges: the first propels the explosive charge upward, and the other is set to explode at about waist level
Broken Arrow: A missing nuclear weapon
Bronco: twin-engine observation aircraft equipped with rockets and miniguns
BUFF: Big Ugly Flying Fucker - The loving nickname given to the Might B-52 Bomber
Capping: shooting at, capped: shot
Chopper: helicopter
Clacker: a small hand-held firing device for a claymore mine
Cobra: an AH-1G attack helicopter, armed with rockets and machine guns.
COD: Carrier Onboard Delivery - the mighty C-2 Greyhound, which ferries people and supplies to and from the carrier on a regular basis.
Crowd Killer: Derogatory name for the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter (early in their service many of them came apart killing lots of Marines)
Deagle: Shorthand for the
Magnum Research Desert Eagle .50 caliber handgun.
Dipper: An anti-submarine helo with a variable depth dipping SONAR. See "Dome."
Dragonfly: Alternative, widely-used name for USAF Cessna AT-37 ("Killer Tweet"/"Killer Tweety Bird").
Dragonwagon: M-123 10 Ton Tank Transporter.
Dump of bird turds: A B-52 unloading its bomb load
Fat Albert: C 5 galaxy
Flattop: Aircraft carrier. Also the haircut worn by truly motivated sailors.
Flying Oil Leak: C-121
Foo gas: a mixture of explosives and napalm, usually set in a fifty-gallon drum
Frag: fragmentation grenade
Fragging: the assassination of an officer or N.C.O. by his own troops, usually be a grenade
Friendly fire: accidental attacks on U.S. or allied soldiers by other U.S. or allied soldiers
Gat: Any small arm, referring to gangster slang.
Gator-Freighter: Ship used in amphibious warfare, or generally the transportation of Marines and their equipment. Especially, a carrier-like vessel (amphibious assault ship) whose primary purpose is to put ass in the grass.
Goonie Bird: USAF term for C-47 Skytrain Aircraft. (Military Version of the DC-3)
Grease Gun: .45 Cal Sub-machine gun

Gunship: armed helicopter
Helo: (pronounced. hee-low) (US Navy) term applied to all naval helicopters (from the standard message abbreviation HELO). Calling a naval helicopter anything other than a helo, and especially a "chopper," is grounds for a serious beat-down.
Herky: C-130
Hog: M60 Machinegun
Hoover: slang for the S-3B Viking, mostly due to its unique engine noises
Hot Rod: 4 Man Low Observation Helicopter with Mini-Gun
Huey: Bell Workhorse Helicopter of Viet-Nam
Hummer: slang for the E-2C Hawkeye, mostly for the sound of its props
K-bar: combat knife
Killer Tweet/Killer Tweety Bird: Cessna two-seat AT-37 aircraft.
Lead Sled: F-105 Thunderchief Fighter Bomber
Lead Sled: F-4
Lead Sled: F-100 jet fighter airplane
Loch: 4 Man Low Observation Helicopter
Lucky Lady: U-2 Aircraft
Ma Deuce: M2 - .50 cal Machine Gun.
Mattel Toy: M16
Multiple Launch Rocket System from the acronym "MLRS".
Minigun: rapid fire machine gun with multi-barrels that is electronically controlled, capable of firing up to 6,000 rounds a minute primarily used on choppers and other aircraft.
Missile Sponge: Usually a frigate or destroyer with limited air defense capability stationed on the outer ring of a battlegroup, as they are the ships most likely to be hit in a convoy.
Mosquito Wing: E-2 USAF
Nutsack: Term used for the 100-round ammo holder on a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.
Pea Shooter: 1. Term used by 155mm Artillery Cannon Crewmembers referring to the much smaller and less powerful 105mm Artillery Cannons. 2. Term used by Artillerymen for anything less powerful than a Howitzer. Example: M-16 Rifle or Mortars.
Pedro: Vietnam nickname for USAF Kaman HH-43 "Huskie" helicopter.
Photo-Phantom: USAF/MC McDonnell Douglas RF-4C/RF-4B photo recon aircraft.
Phrog: CH-46 Sea Knight helo. Also referred to as the "Whistling Shitcan of Death."
Piece: rifle, as used in manual-of-arms (rifle drill)
Pig: 60 Caliber machine gun
Pineapple: (World War II) Slang for a hand grenade, due to the pineapple-like shape of army issue Mk. II hand grenades.
Pineapple Fleet: The Pacific Fleet, usually refers to the Seventh Fleet (in the western Pacific) and specifically to ships stationed in Pearl Harbor. Somewhat confusing term, as Pearl Harbor is considered part of the Third Fleet's area, and not the Seventh.
Pocket rocket: Rocket Propelled Grenade
Poop tube: M79 grenade launcher
Porkchop: Term for the 200-round drum used with an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).
Puff the Magic Dragon: AC-47 is a propeller-driven aircraft with 3 Miniguns - capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute per gun for a total of 18,000 rounds per minute - The mini guns were on one side of the plane. The plane would bank to one side to fire.
Queer: nickname for the EA-6B Prowler. Also
Rock and roll: The fully automatic fire setting on a weapon. "The
M16 selector switch has three settings: safe, semi-automatic, and rock-and-roll."
Sandy: USAF/USN Douglas A-6 "Skyraider prop fighter escort for helicopter airborne rescue missions.
Schocie Tiger: T-38/F-5 jet aircraft
Shack: (USAF) A direct hit against a ground target, often used as praise.
Shanker: M-155A1 Sharidan Tanker
Shark shit: A sailor who has fallen overboard and is lost forever.
Shitter: Common term for CH-53 helicopter (Marines)
SKS: Simonov 7.62 mm semi-automatic carbine
Sky crane: huge double-engine helicopter used for lifting and transporting heavy equipment
Slick: a UH-1 helicopter used for transporting troops in tactical air assault operations. This helicopter did not have armaments, thus it was called a "slick".
Small Boy: Term referring to smaller class ships, such as destroyers and frigates.
Snake: AH-46 Cobra Helo Gunship
Snake and Nape: Close Air Support , 250lb.High explosives bombs followed by Napalm
Snake Eaters: Special Forces personnel such as Navy SEAL's, Green Berets, etc.
Spectre: C-130 Gunship.
Spooky: AC-47 is a propeller-driven aircraft with 3 Miniguns -capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute per gun for a total of 18,000 rounds per minute - The mini guns were on one side of the plane. The plane would bank to one side to fire.
Super Connie: C-121
Tango Down: NATO phonetic alphabet for "Target Down", i.e. when an enemy or target has been neutralized. Example: "The first guard is Tango Down."
The Truck: Nickname for the A1E Skyraider, Ex-USN, adapted by USAF for close support aircraft.
Thud: F-105 jet fighter
Thump Gun: M-79 Grenade Launcher
Thumper: M-79 Grenade Launcher
Thunder chicken: F-105 jet fighter
Tin can: Destroyer.
Tits Machine: Old-school term for a kick-ass aircraft, usually a fighter, that consisted of little more than an airframe, minimal avionics, and a huge engine or two. The F-8 Crusader was universally accepted as a tits machine. The F-14 Tomcat was also widely accepted.
Torpedo Sponge: Similar to "Missile Sponge", this refers to the smaller ships in a convoy, whose duty it is to protect the carrier, to the point of taking the torpedo hit for the carrier if needed.
Turkey: slang for the F-14 Tomcat
Viper: What their pilots actually call the F-16 "Fighting Falcon"
Wasted: killed
Whale: U.S. Navy Douglas A-3D "Sky Warrior" (carrier capable).
Whistling Shit Can of Death: CH-46 Seaknight Helicopter, described as such because of the whistling sound the engines make, and because the CH-46 has been prone to failures, and has killed its share of air crews.
White Whale: A General's plane--General Abrams's was a C-123.
Whole nine yards: When a bomber gunner used his entire belt of .50 cal ammunittion which measured exactly 27 feet on a single target..
Willy Peter: white phosphorus - an explosive round from artillery, mortars, or rockets, grenades. Also a type of aerial bomb. When the rounds exploded a huge puff of white smoke would appear from the burning phosphorus. The wound was used as marking rounds and incendiary rounds. When phosphorus hit the skin it would continue to burn. Water would not put it out. It had to be smothered (mud was used to seal off the wound) or it would continue to burn until it exited the body.
Winchester: (US Air Force) Out of a particular type of ammunition (e.g. "Negative, we are Winchester Hellfire.") or all ammunition (if no type is specified).
Zapped: killed
Zippo raid: Refers to the igniting of straw huts in suspected Viet Cong villages during the Vietnam War.

[Sources of military slang and jargon: see listing of websites at the end of this post.]

Jesus and Joshua, the great warrior of Israel

Arlandson is correct in pointing out that Jesus did not own or nickname swords or other weapons. However, Arlandson all too conveniently forgets the great warriors of the Jewish sacred tradition to which Jesus belonged.

The very name “Jesus” comes from the bloodiest warrior/hero of the Old Testament: Joshua. The name “Jesus” is the English transliteration of the the greek name “Iesous” but the name “Iesous” is translated as “Joshua” in other cases where the founder of Christianity is not who is being referenced (Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Heb. 4:8).

The Hebrew name for the warrior “Joshua” was “Yehoshua.” In the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint, the Hebrew name “Yehosua” (Joshua) was translated as “Iesous” which is the same name used of the son of Mary and Joseph in the Greek New Testament.

Jesus and his parents probably spoke Aramaic rather than Greek, and the Aramaic form of the name of the Old Testament warrior Joshua was “Yeshua”, so Jesus was probably called “Yeshua” by friends and family members. In other words, his actual name, in English, was: Joshua.

Read the book of Joshua, especially Chapters 6-12. It will probably take an hour or two to read those seven chapters. It is filled with slaughter and the glorification of genocidal violence. I doubt that the warrior Muhammad could hold a candle to the level of death and destruction inflicted by Joshua and his murdering soldiers. Here is just one example from Chapter 6:

Joshua said to the people “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city [Jericho]. The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction. …”
So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a great shout, and the wall [around Jericho] fell down flat; so the people charged straight ahead into the city and captured it. Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.
They burned down the city, and everything in it; only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. (Joshua 6: 16-17, 20-21, & 24)

This genocidal warrior is the person that Mary and Joseph honored by giving his name to their son, the founder of Christianity.

Other great leaders of the Jewish sacred tradition were also great warriors: Abraham and King David, for example. I don’t know whether they gave nicknames to their swords, but they used their swords to kill people, and they led armies into battles. If being a weapon-owning warrior is proof that someone loves or promotes violence and terrorism, then the Old Testament has many such men who are held up as holy men and men of great faith in the Jewish sacred tradition, to which Jesus proudly belonged.

Sources of American military slang and jargon
Military Lingo at VetFriends website

Glossary of some of the words used during the Vietnam War

Appendix:Glossary of military slang - from Wiktionary

Appendix:Glossary of U.S. Navy slang - from Wiktionary

List of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions - from Wikipedia

List of U.S. Air Force acronyms and expressions - from Wikipedia

List of U.S. Navy acronyms