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User: Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
Member Since: 20-May-1999 Survey Central member for over 17 years
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Subscriber Since: 6-Feb-2001
Last On: 23-Feb-2017
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Religion: Atheist
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Birthday: 31-Oct-1973 (43.312 years old)

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surveyIt is a great musical.
survey> Seems to me that the whole idea is that it is hard for everyone to live under the
> same rules if they have different beliefs. I think we are doing fine with it now,
> though.

I agree.
surveyThe passage about Ishmael that LJD is referring to is Gen 16:11–12: The angel of the LORD said to her [Hagar] further, “Behold, you are with child And shall bear a son; You shall call him Ishmael, For the LORD has paid heed to your suffering. He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone’s hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen.”

Let's see what the Bible has to say about other descendants of Abraham, the ones who are the ancestors of the Israelites. This is Jacob's blessing of his sons, who will become the forebears of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Gen. 49:1 And Jacob called his sons and said, “Come together that I may tell you what is to befall you in days to come.
2 Assemble and hearken, O sons of Jacob; Hearken to Israel your father:
3 Reuben, you are my first-born, My might and first fruit of my vigor, Exceeding in rank And exceeding in honor.
4 Unstable as water, you shall excel no longer; For when you mounted your father’s bed, You brought disgrace — my couch he mounted!
5 Simeon and Levi are a pair; Their weapons are tools of lawlessness.
6 Let not my person be included in their council, Let not my being be counted in their assembly. For when angry they slay men, And when pleased they maim oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger so fierce, And their wrath so relentless. I will divide them in Jacob, Scatter them in Israel.
8 You, O Judah, your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the nape of your foes; Your father’s sons shall bow low to you.
9 Judah is a lion’s whelp; On prey, my son, have you grown. He crouches, lies down like a lion, Like the king of beasts — who dare rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet; So that tribute shall come to him And the homage of peoples be his.
11 He tethers his ass to a vine, His ass’s foal to a choice vine; He washes his garment in wine, His robe in blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine; His teeth are whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore; He shall be a haven for ships, And his flank shall rest on Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong-boned ass, Crouching among the sheepfolds.
15 When he saw how good was security, And how pleasant was the country, He bent his shoulder to the burden, And became a toiling serf.
16 Dan shall govern his people, As one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a serpent by the road, A viper by the path, That bites the horse’s heels So that his rider is thrown backward.
18 I wait for Your deliverance, O LORD!
19 Gad shall be raided by raiders, But he shall raid at their heels.
20 Asher’s bread shall be rich, And he shall yield royal dainties.
21 Naphtali is a hind let loose, Which yields lovely fawns.
22 Joseph is a wild ass, A wild ass by a spring — Wild colts on a hillside.
23 Archers bitterly assailed him; They shot at him and harried him.
24 Yet his bow stayed taut, And his arms were made firm By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob — There, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel —
25 The God of your father who helps you, And Shaddai who blesses you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that couches below, Blessings of the breast and womb.
26 The blessings of your father Surpass the blessings of my ancestors, To the utmost bounds of the eternal hills. May they rest on the head of Joseph, On the brow of the elect of his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he consumes the foe, And in the evening he divides the spoil.”

Note that Issachar and Joseph are also depicted as asses. It's not necessarily a negative image in the Bible. But plenty of these figures are depicted negatively--you could ask LJD's question, "Why would we want them in our country?" of many of them. She's cherry-picking by singling out Ishmael/Islam.

Also note that all of these are depicted in various political terms--that is, they are all polities with their own territories and conduct themselves accordingly (except for Simeon and Levi, who historically lost their territory at a fairly early stage and were absorbed into other tribes). There is no difference in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) between religion and politics. No one would understand it if you tried to make such a distinction. Yahweh was the *national* god of Judah and Israel. So of course all of these groups are depicted in terms of political actions. LJD is not exactly denying this--her argument seems to be that politics and religion *should* be the same thing and that each religious group should have its own sovereign territory. It's ironic that Christianity was radical in claiming that that wasn't the case: that political kingdoms on earth and the kingdom of God were completely different (think "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" in Luke 20:25).