Letters: ‘Muslim Next Door’ upon full review, hardly a credible book

Dear Editor,
Chuck Flagg’s column of Jan. 1, a review of Sumbul
Ali-Karamali’s book

The Muslim Next Door

in which the author claimed the God of Christianity and Allah of
Islam are the same entity with different names reminds me of the
facetious question about the definition of a dog’s leg.
‘Muslim Next Door’ upon full review, hardly a credible book

Dear Editor,

Chuck Flagg’s column of Jan. 1, a review of Sumbul Ali-Karamali’s book “The Muslim Next Door” in which the author claimed the God of Christianity and Allah of Islam are the same entity with different names reminds me of the facetious question about the definition of a dog’s leg.

Q: If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does the dog have?

A: If a leg is a leg by function, the dog still has four legs because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. But if a leg is a leg by fiat, then it has five legs because the definition of a leg has been expanded to include a heretofore non-leg appendage.

In the same manner, if one calls the god of Christianity Allah, or the god of Islam God, are they the same?

By simple word substitution, translating Allah as God, or God as Allah, one might say they are. But by function, by how they are understood by their adherents, the entity known in Islam as Allah and the entity known in Christianity as God are not the same. The Bible, says God loves people regardless of their attitudes toward him. “God demonstrates his love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) The Qur’an, says Allah loves people if they follow his rules. “And spend your substance in cause of Allah … Allah loves those who do good.” (surah 2:195) In Islam one must love Allah in order for Allah to love that person in return.

Christianity teaches that God took the form of a man in the person of Jesus Christ, taught us about God, and then paid the penalty for our sins by dying for us. Salvation is achieved for the Christian by accepting that payment, then demonstrating his/her acceptance by following Christ as closely as he/she can. Islam teaches that Mohammed received a list of rules for Allah’s followers to live by, and if they follow those rules well enough, if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds, and if Allah wills it, they will earn their way to paradise. But good works don’t guarantee paradise; even Mohammed claimed he didn’t know if he would be admitted to paradise (hadith 5.266).

Christianity and Islam both teach Christ was born of a virgin, but only Christians claim he is the son of God. Christians believe He was crucified for our sins. Moslems do not even believe he was crucified, and he certainly could not have paid for our sins. Christianity teaches that God is one substance in three persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Islam teaches Allah is not part of a trinity, and that the Christian trinity consists of God the father, Jesus the son and Mary the mother (surah 5:73, 116).

It’s hard to believe Ali-Karamali’s is a credible book if she believes the Christian God and Allah are the same.

Duane Linstrom, Gilroy

Dog owners … don’t look the other way, clean up the mess

Dear Editor,

My wife and I enjoy our evening walks – it’s great exercise, and a good way to get to know our neighborhood. As a matter of fact, we were trying a new route tonight, in the neighborhood behind the California State Automobile Association office on First Street.

It seemed like a nice neighborhood, until, due to dim lighting, I walked through somebody’s doggie surprise. Far be it for me to tell dog owners how to care for their dog, but most communities DO require that you clean up after your dog. I know it’s not a pleasant task, but it’s part of owning a dog, when you live in a city.

I have seen dog walkers out before, and I appreciate the fact that your dogs are leashed, thank you. However, I also see you look the other way as your dog takes a dump on another person’s property, or in this case, on the sidewalk.

Sidewalks are public property, not a dog park, so please endeavor to either have the dog poop on your own property, or at least clean up after him.

Benjamin MacBean, Gilroy

Council spending big money to fight dispensary – it’s nuts

Dear Editor,

There’s no doubt that marijuana can make people stark raving insane. However, the lunacy does not come from using cannabis, but springs from reefer madness propaganda utterly lacking any factual basis.

A case in point is Gilroy’s City Council which is prepared to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars to stop a medical marijuana dispensary from operating there at a time when vital public services are being cut (they are reducing fire and police protection).

It is complete insanity to waste money attacking marijuana outlets that cause no significant harm.

Ralph Givens, Daly City

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