In terms of the invidious citing, distorting, and fabricating scripture to justify the unjustifiable, this remains "right up there":
In Gaza a few years ago, I conducted an on-camera interview with the political leader of Islamic Jihad, Mohammed al-Hindi. With his finely trimmed beard and gracious manners, he symbolized the modern - and moderate - Muslim man.The essay continues exactly as you should expect, but not from reading the popular media, listening to western political leaders, or listening to most religious leaders.
But his interpretation of the Koran suggested something else. "Where," I asked, "does it say that you can kill yourself for a higher cause? As far as I know, the Koran tells us that suicide is wrong."
Through his translator, the physician assured me that the verses endorsing suicide operations could be found "everywhere" in Islam's holy book. I challenged Dr. al-Hindi to show me just one passage.
After several minutes of reviewing the Koran, then calling for help on his mobile, then looking through companion booklets, he told me he was too busy and must go. "Are you sure you're not pulling a fast one on me?" I asked. He smiled, clearly understanding popular American lingo. "I want to know that you're telling me the truth," I repeated.
Of course, most people - not just Muslims - could use more independent thinking. This point grabbed me at the Gaza office of Mohammed al-Hindi. As we left, I asked his translator why Dr. al-Hindi would give me an on-camera interview, knowing that he could not find a single verse to prove his claim that the Koran justifies suicide operations.It's widespread, abject, unforgivable ignorance that leads dolts like George W. Bush to glorify suicide bomers as "homicide bombers", "jihadists" or "Islamofascists", rather than emphasizing their suicides and the distance between their actions and Islam.
The translator replied: "He assumed you were just another dumb Western journalist." Reporters from the West had never asked this veteran terrorist the most basic of questions: Where is the evidence for what you do in God's name?