Heaven, Homeschool And Rail On
Wednesday - August 17, 2005
This column means no disrespect of Muslims, no disrespect of the Koran. It is honest inquiry.
You’ve seen those news stories that Islam promises virgins in Paradise to those who die as martyrs, which now includes those who blow themselves up to kill infidels and — in Iraq — children accepting candy and toys from infidel American soldiers. How many virgins? I looked it up and found some Islamic scholars say 70 and others say 72. Vince Flynn’s terrorist novel Memorial Day puts the number at 79. What’s the truth?
Excuse me if I’ve misread the Koran (people also argue about the Bible), but am I correct that an adherent of Islam is awarded levels in Heaven? The highest being the human souls who were most God-conscious on Earth? Also, that the Koran doesn’t say anything about how many virgins? That we only saw the number 72 when the Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir inserted it in his own translation?
Here are the critical parts of the original Holy Book, literally translated, as I understand them:
Koran 78:31: “As for the righteous, they shall surely triumph. Theirs shall be gardens and vineyards, and highbosomed virgins for companions: a truly overflowing cup.”
Koran 37:40-48: “They will sit with bashful, dark-eyed virgins, as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches.”
Koran 44:51-55: “Yes and we shall wed them to dark-eyed houris (celestial damsels.)”
Koran 56:7-40: “We created the houris and made them virgins, loving companions for those on the right hand.”
In the Hadith, the prophet Mohammed expands the promise of virgins to include a free market where there is no limit of the number of sexual partners. Women and young boys are on display as if in a fruit stand where you can choose the desired ripeness.
But I read the Hadith (a pre- 632 AD collection of clarifying sayings of Mohammed and early Muslims not part of the Koran) like I read the Old Testament. I sense that many modern-day Christians don’t think the Old Testament is something to be taken literally.
Well, unless, of course, you believe otherwise. I’m sure you’ll let me know. Wow! The parents of all 4,338 Hawaii kids who are homeschooled must have emailed me saying “don’t rain on my paradigm.” Some common threads ran through their notes, aside from them all being very polite, generally well-written and smartly argued.
(a) Public schools are not sufficiently Christian.
(b) Public schools are violent or coercive.
(c) Public schools don’t teach what the parents want taught. And from one parent came this:
“One of my daughter’s best hommie friends is a Muslim, whose father is a minister in Iraq. She cannot come to my home because of her belief, but I have allowed my daughter to study at her home. My child is richer by the experience. Not all hommies are Christian.”
I suspect many of the mails came from the same people who support Core Knowledge and feel their children are diminished if they can’t discuss the Punic Wars or don’t know that Bismarck, rather than Fargo, is the capital of North Dakota.
They all defend against my charge of insular upbringing by saying their kids go to malls, movies, ballgames and each other’s homes.
But that’s like saying the people inside a gated community experience diversity because they go to the community recreation center. It’s the constancy of challenging contact in a regular school that counts for kids.
They can easily become paranthropuses. A singular genus. Easily extinct in a diversified environment.
Keep in mind that only 4,338 Hawaii children have been selected by their parents for homeschooling. Do those 340 dozen ever wonder if there’s a reason they are so few? Yippee! We’re on our way with money-gathering for an Oahu rail transit system.
With the no-tax-is-ever-agood- tax Sen. Sam Slom and the private transport lobbyist Cliff Slater the lead naysayers, lawmakers and even the GOP governor were swayed to go the other direction. Sam and Cliff would have said in the 1860s that a rail line across America was a bad expenditure. Neither would have built the Golden Gate Bridge.
Now let’s get down to the details of exactly what we want to build and how it will best serve commuters.
We’re embarked on a grand transportation venture.
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