My next witness was a noted Salafist Scholar (SS). Here is our interview, which took place in his study within the Islamic institute built appropriately atop the ruins of the former Library of Alexandria.
RZ: So sir, do you think that global warming is the underlying cause of Arab anger against the West?
SS: Yes, absolutely.
RZ: But what about the Koran’s Verse of the Sword? Sura 9:5 says “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” That would appear to be an incitement to hatred and violence.
SS: Nothing could be further from the truth. Jihad is an effort of inner struggle. When the holy Koran calls upon us to “kill the unbelievers,” it is simply urging us to seek out and defeat that part of ourselves which refuses to believe in Allah’s command to love. When it says “wherever you find them,” it is making clear that such love must apply everywhere to everyone. So that far from urging hatred, violence, or war, Sura 9:5 requires all Muslims to engage in universal and perpetual love.
RZ: I see. But global warming is a cause for anger?
SS: Yes, because it is the work of the Jews and the Crusaders, pigs and dogs, the despicable enemies of Allah. They must all be killed.
RZ: But I thought you said…
SS: Look at their crimes, O ye people! Look upon the Crusaders, whose unholy factories and cursed camelless carts even now spew forth the smoke that threatens to destroy all that Allah has created! Look upon the Jews, whose evil medicines are allowing the infidels to multiply their numbers, so that their destruction may multiply as well! Shall such as these be suffered to live? O ye people, harken to your prophet, peace be unto him, pick up your swords, and as it is written, kill the unbelievers wherever you find them!
RZ: But that was written during a period of global cooling.
SS: A foolish lie of the unbelieving philosophers! Unbelievers can only speak foolishness and lies!
RZ: Even Thomas Friedman? He agrees with you on the West’s guilt for global warming, and calls for removing all Jews from most of Palestine.
SS: O you of false faith! Unbelievers may not speak truth, but Allah can do anything. It is Allah who allows the fish to breath beneath the water and the birds to fly through the air. It is Allah who has created the Earth, the Sun, the stars, and all the seven heavens. It is written: Allah is omnipotent. Can we then dare to imagine that it might be beyond his power to make Thomas Friedman write something that is wise?
At this point a shadow of doubt crossed the scholar’s face and he began to shake uncontrollably.
SS: Infidel! Your clever disputations shall avail you naught! I will show you how we deal with those who seek to undermine faith in Allah. Where’s my sword?
As the scholar entered his closet to rummage among the extensive collection of refuse there, I checked my watch and noticed that I was running late for my plane. So, being too polite to interrupt the man’s passionate search, I slipped quietly from the premises.
It may be noted that while the scholar did clearly support Mr. Friedman’s position, there were a few peripheral elements of his testimony that might be latched on to by malicious skeptics seeking any excuse to dismiss his evident concern over global warming as a mere pretext. I therefore resolved to obtain definitive testimony from a more eloquent representative of the Arab people.