After I reported earlier today on the great state of Hawaii’s decision to denominate September 24, 2009 Islam Day, a few friends have written to expand on that happy memorial. One wondered how the day would be celebrated: some cheerful flogging, perhaps, maybe stoning (or here) an adulteress to death or cutting off the hand of a thief? Maybe even what another friend of mine calls “the full Muslim,” i.e., a beheading or two? Who knows.
Diana West pointed me to an article by Andrew Walden that, in addition to noting that Hawaii has “no Christianity Day, no Judaism Day, and no Buddhism Day,” also observes that the Hawaiian legislators got their dates wrong. The official resolution proclaiming the splendid new holiday says that “the Prophet Mohammad left his house to migrate to Madinah and reached Quba in the vicinity of Madinah on the 12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal according to the lunar calendar, or September 24th according to the Gregorian calendar, thereby marking the birth of Islam.” According to Mr. Walden, this is false. “September 24th is the date of Mohammad’s arrival in Medina according to the old Julian calendar — which is 13 days behind the modern Gregorian calendar. The fact that “Gregorian” is mentioned in the resolution implies that somebody was considering the two calendars.”
What do you make of that, Sherlock? Mr. Walden does some simple arithmetic: 24 – 13 = 11. That is, Hawaii has just proclaimed September 11, 2009 as “Islam Day.” Nice going guys!
Meanwhile, another friend, who is looking forward to traveling to Hawaii when the legislators there get around to instituting Christian Day, sent this Islamic Tolerance Alert from Nairobi:
SOMALIA: KENYAN PASTOR BEATEN AT SOMALILAND BORDER
Immigration officials threaten to kill convert from Islam unless he renounces faith.
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 (Compass Direct News) – A pastor trying to visit Somalia’s autonomous, self-declared state of Somaliland earlier this year discovered just how hostile the separatist region can be to Christians. A convert from Islam, Abdi Welli Ahmed is an East Africa Pentecostal Church pastor from Kenya who in February tried to visit and encourage Christians, an invisibly tiny minority, in the religiously intolerant region of Somaliland. When he arrived by car at the border crossing of Wajaale on Feb. 19 with all legal travel documents, his Bible and other Christian literature landed him in unexpected trouble with Somaliland immigration officials. “I was beaten up for being in possession of Christian materials,” Ahmed told Compass. “They threatened to kill me if I did not renounce my faith, but I refused to their face.” Ahmed said the chief border official in Wajaale, whom he could identify only by his surname of Jama, took charge of most of the torturing. Jama and others, he said, told him they had killed two Somali Christians and would do the same to him.
Happy Islam Day.