Allah Be Appraised

Although I have never claimed to be as politically correct as, say, the N.Y. Times, I like to think of myself as a reasonably open-minded fellow where people who are different from me are concerned. And, inasmuch as most people are very different from me–and glad of it–I get a lot of practice. Furthermore, I have always contended that bigots are just plain lazy, and that if you just take the trouble to know people as individuals, almost invariably you will discover better reasons to despise them other than their race, religion or bizarre sexual proclivities.

So, please believe me when I swear I’m only moderately skeptical when American Muslims claim to be loyal to this country and totally opposed to bringing sharia law to our shores. What I refuse to accept for a single second is their contention that Osama bin Laden was an aberration, an unholy defiler of the tenets of their peace-loving religion. As people used to say, tell it to the Marines.

No, I have not read the Qur’an. And while I have heard highly inflammatory excerpts from those who have read the holy book, I’m aware that Satan can quote or even misquote scripture to his own purpose. Another ancient adage, however, states that the proof is in the pudding. In the case of Islam, I would suggest that the pudding is to be found in every nation where Muslims hold the reins. Or, perhaps, one should say, the whip.

Can it be mere coincidence that, although liberty has flourished in nations that are predominantly Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Shinto, Buddhist, Lutheran and Anglican, it’s never taken root where Muhammad’s word is law? Can it be mere happenstance that wherever you look in the Muslim world, from Sudan to Syria, from Iran to Yemen, from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia, wherever Islam holds sway, you will find one totalitarian state after another? Only time will tell if Iraq or Libya will be the exception, but, frankly, I’m not betting on it.

True, you will find a variety of national leaders, including oil-rich sheiks, fanatical ayatollahs and run-of-the-mill tyrants, but one and all could dine comfortably with a Russian czar or a Chicago gangster.

For an allegedly peaceful religion, isn’t it remarkable that wherever Islam gains a stranglehold, you will find the nightmare of slavery, genocide, honor killings and female stoning and mutilation, the norm?

I have heard folks say that the historical reason for all this is that, of all the founders of the major religions, only Muhammad was a warrior. Although a merchant by trade, he led his followers in the bloody conquest of Mecca. So perhaps the die was cast thirteen centuries ago. Hell, for all I know, maybe it goes back to climate. I know I’m a perfect grouch when the temperature goes through the roof and the air conditioning conks out.

Maybe it has something to do with too much sand in one’s diet. Or perhaps living in close proximity to camels, a notoriously nasty beast, is the reason behind the cult of death that celebrates suicide bombings throughout the Middle East?

To tell you the truth, when I first heard tell of the awards that allegedly awaited Islamic martyrs, even I began to see the attraction. I mean, on the face of it, moving from Jenin or Tehran, say, to Paradise sounds like an awfully good deal. Toss in six dozen beautiful virgins, and what healthy, red-blooded nincompoop wouldn’t gladly blow himself to Kingdom Come?

The problem, of course, is that, like most youngsters, they never bother thinking things through. For instance, in the natural course of events, what the impetuous young idiot will inevitably have on his hands are six dozen ex-virgins.

And if he thinks he has it bad now, just wait until he winds up spending eternity with 72 women who while away each and every day complaining that he’s always leaving his burnoose on the floor, doesn’t help out with the kids, and never takes them dancing.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write Burt!
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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
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  • Burt Prelutsky

    Clarence: I’m sorry to say I did not know Art Rouse. My email address, by the way, is

    CCNV: Amen!


  • CCNV

    I’ve been listening to the idiots coming out in droves complaining that we shouldn’t have killed the nightgown-wearing al-Awlaki. He was just ‘misunderstood’. Boo hoo. Let’s load these whiners into military planes and drop the whole bunch smack dab in the middle of Afghanistan so they can experience the muslim hospitality up close and personal. By the way, I hope there’s a ‘Bubba’ waiting for al-Awlaki…

  • Clarence De Barrows

    Burt: This is off subject, but not knowing how to reach you other than here I thought I’d digress. Just had to write and ask if you knew Art Rouse. Arthur and I were good friends for many years and his style of expression, when he was around, of course, and yours are so alike. You may know that Art was the founder of Trailer Life Magazine and The Good Sam Club of R V fame. Just curious as Art lived in your neck of the woods, SoCal, Calabasas to be exact until he moved to Malibu. He’s gone now, but he was one hell of a swell guy who is sorely missed.

    Best regards,

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Lonesome George: I don’t think the repeal of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” will make the muslims hate us more than they already did. If I thought otherwise, I might even endorse the new military policy.

    A good point, John in MA. People who hate Judaism and Christianity always want to draw a moral equivalence between them and Islam by pointing to similarities in their sacred texts and ancient history, intentionally ignoring the huge differences between the religions as practiced today.


  • Lonesome George

    BTW Burt, I recently noticed the headline(but didn’t waste my time reading the article because, well it’s a waste of time)about same sex mariages in the military. Do you think muslims will hate us more? They’re already beheading as many of us as they can get their hands on and stoning to death anyone who they feel is immoral (adulterers, etc).

  • Lonesome George

    You did it again Burt. You hit my funny bone. And yet while making me sniggle, your insightful observations about a race of people is serious unless we do not take them seriously as a danger to freedom worldwide.

  • robin in fl

    VERY well put Burt.I do so enjoy your take on things.Keep up the good work. :)

  • Vince Ricardo

    This is definitely one of your most amusing columns, Burt! Hilarious!

    It brings up a question I’ve always wanted to ask those who er, dabble in it: Polygamists – Why? WHY?!? … One is enough (some might say MORE than enough)

  • John In MA

    As a devoutly religious person told me not too long after 9/11, there is a huge difference between a religion that wants to proselytize/witness/convert through love and one that only uses anger or fear. Many of the non-Muslim religions you mention might very well want the same outcome – converting many. But most would do it to share their “joy” or “happiness” at what they have found or get from their faith. But there is one religion that distinctly produces those who view the unwilling (or simply unconverted) as enemy and rationalizes the use of fear and violence to achieve the goal. Even if passages from other religious texts refer similar uses of violence and aggression, they aren’t advocated.

  • Shirl

    Love your sense of humor. A good rule of thumb-a man is only as good as his word. Who said, trust but verify? I believed that, until life experiences taught me that my Dad was right, verify; then trust if applicable.