Apr 17 2007
We may have to go back to the question of religious motivations with the killer at VA Tech. Thanks to commentors here and other bloggers it seems there is a connection to Ismail and the descendants of the Arabs versus Isaac and the descendants of Judaism. Here is something I found of interest:
The narrative of Abraham, Father Abraham as he is often called, has long been recognized by religion teachers as an entry into the study of three religions of the book, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Because of Abrahamâ€™s exulted place, part of his story is a good starting point for teaching about other world religions. And because his story is currently attracting the attention of diverse religious and peace groups, it is a story that can better help us understand friends of many faiths. His story is especially poignant as we also look at artistic interpretation that can help us see how readers of the sacred story can interpret it differently. His story has also attracted the attention of modern politicians, writers and peace groups who find in Abraham a common father to people of three faiths.
A careful reading of this passage reveals some wonderful and subtle differences from the account in Genesis 22. They are differences that make a difference for the reader trying to understand how people of different religions see the world. Especially interesting is the obvious compliance by the son in the Koran: â€œSo when they had both Submitted their wills (to God).â€ This is something we only guess at reading the Bible. In addition, the age of the son is more precise in the Koran and the detail about the son face down on the altar may remove only slightly the sense of the terror. The real difference is in the footnote. The son in this Moslem story is Ishmael. In the Bible the son is Isaac.
This from note 4101 in The Holy Koran may help us understand: The Jewish tradition, in order to glorify the younger branch of the family, descended from Isaac, ancestor of the Jews, as against the elder branch, descended from Ismail [Koran spelling], ancestor of the Arabs, refers this sacrifice to Isaac. Now Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old while Ismail was born to Abraham when Abraham was 86 years old. Ismail was therefore 14 years older than Isaac. During his first 14 years Ismail was the only son of Abraham; at no time was Isaac the only son of Abraham. Yet, in speaking of the sacrifice, the Old Testament says (Gen. 22:2) â€˜And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering…â€™
We know how fanatics can twist things around, so does “Ismails Ax” refer to the older son of Abraham taking up his father’s ax against the non-believers? Or is it a sign of taking on the evil Jews?
While this gross crime of a father slaughtering his own son is mentioned in the Bible, it is not supported by the Quran. These teachings of the traditional Muslim scholars are only a reflection of the outside corruption and Jewish influence on the early Muslim scholars. Jewish influence could not affect the word of God in the Quran but found its way into the Hadith books that were written 250+ years after the death of the prophet. The prophet was not around to defend all the false teachings in them.
Is it coincidence that “Ismails Ax” killed a well known holocaust survivor? Who knows, just running down links based on what “Islmails Ax” could mean. Much more here on the mention of Ismael in the Koran.
Update: For those like me who need a lesson on Ishmael and the Arabs and Koran here is some more background. Final note: I have no idea what the saying means or was intended to mean, I am just looking at possible meanings. It seems likely they guy was simply unstable – we don’t know which means we can and should explore alternatives until we do know.