She was a cheerleader, an honor student, the daughter of a police officer and a member of the high school homecoming court who wanted to be a doctor.
He was a quiet but easygoing psychology student. His father is a well-known Muslim patriarch here, whose personable mien and habit of sharing food with friends and strangers made him seem like a walking advertisement for Islam as a religion of tolerance and peace.
Today, the young woman, Jaelyn Young, 19, and the young man, her fiancÃ©, Muhammad Dakhlalla, 22, are in federal custody, arrested on suspicion of trying to travel from Mississippi to Syria to join the ranks of the Islamic State.
I notice that she was a convert presumably from Christianity. The grounds she gave was that the Bible had been translated so often that the original meaning had been lost. I have heard this from other Muslim converts. It links of course to the belief that the Koran is divinely dictated and really can only be understood in the original, incorrupt Arabic. We could reply:
a) presumably she read it in an English translation. Like many other languages – was this a distortion?
b) we have the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible.
c) The Hebrew and Christian scriptures are older than the Koran and it clearly shows their influenced – so the original truth is with them, not with the latecomer.
d) Koranic studies does not allow form criticism, redaction criticism and so on. This is not confidence but fear.
… still, I wondered: what would readers of this site have said to her argument for the priority of the Koran?
Excellent questions, Terry Tee. Whenever Muslims claim that the Hebrew and Christian scriptures “deliberately altered” references to Muhammad or that they are mistranslated, we can point to the fact that we have copies which long pre-date any Qur’ans and no sign of alteration is found. But this is not a rational belief; it stems from accepting the “authority” of Islamic teachers who say that the Qur’an is co-equal with God, not created. People who believe this are not going to accept reasonable arguments to the contrary. People who believe the Christian message and are properly instructed can point to the coherence of natural law and God’s law as revealed.
Probably she was never properly taught the Christian faith. Catechesis or rather the lack thereof is a major problem for all forms of Christianity.