5 Vexing Questions the Author Answers in the Book:
Question 1: Back to the Future a film about time travel set in America’s 1950s, is one of the most iconic movies of a generation. Why did Steven Spielberg, in this science fiction movie, choose to make the bad guy an Arab character? In a recent survey, a Pittsburgh-based research firm posed the question “Should Americans, as part of their school curriculum, learn Arabic Numerals?”; 56% of the 3,200 respondents said no, and 15% had no opinion. Perhaps many among the respondents did not know that Arabic numerals are the numbers 0 to 9 which we use every day, reflecting a deep bias. How is this bias connected to the movie Back to the Future?
Question 2: Terrorists planted a bomb in the basement of a church, and in the ensuing explosion, four young girls—11-year-old Denise McNair, and three 14-year-olds, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley—were killed. This occurred on September 15, 1963, in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. The four girls who died that day were African American. The terrorists who committed the bombing were White Christian extremists belonging to the KKK, for whom this was the third terrorist bombing in Birmingham in 11 days. Why did the mainstream media never label these men terrorists and the KKK a terrorist organization?
Question 3: “Then there came to our places a large army, who killed many men and took me and brought me to the great sea and sold me into the hands of the Christians, who bound me and sent me on board a great ship and we sailed upon the great sea a month and a half . . . I reside in this our country by reason of great necessity. Wicked men took me by violence and sold me to the Christians.” This was written in Arabic on the wall of a jail cell in North Carolina by Omar ibn Said, who had been captured in Western Africa in 1807 and sold as a slave in the United States. Is slavery in the US yet another flashpoint in the interaction between Christianity and Islam? Were there forced conversions to Christianity? Why was the Bible used for proselytizing slaves, known as the Slave Bible, so heavily edited? Are there millions of Christian African Americans in the US today who are descendants of proud Muslim families from Western Africa?
Question 4: Spanish Christians call God Dios, French Christians call God Dieu, Arab Christians call God Allah, and Muslims call God Allah or Elah. In the US, whileDios and Dieu would be considered the same as God in English, many in the media and the public consider the term Allahto be a different entity than what they define as God. Why is that? Especially since Jesus, the son of Mary, who spoke Aramaic and not English, used the word Elaha for God, which is akin to the Arabic Allah or Elah. Jesus would not have even recognized the English word God
Question 5: The concentration camps for Muslims in China, the genocide of Muslims in Myanmar, the targeting of Muslims by Prime Minister Modi in India, the apartheid system for Muslims in the occupied territories of Israel; none of these would be tolerated singularly, let alone in combination, by world powers if the victims were Christians or Jews. Such a question was asked by Edward Luce of the Financial Times in January of 2020: “Imagine if China had incarcerated upwards of a million Christians. Or India said it would take all refugees except Christian ones. The west would be in a state of frenzy.” So why are these egregious acts tolerated by the world’s civilized societies and governments?