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Blood-Stained Calling Card

January 9, 2015

It is said by some devout Muslims that the true meaning of the Koran can only be gained when read in its original Arabic. Some scholars will tell us the same. You say that you don’t speak Arabic? You lose. God is a monoglot.

The spoken words of an illiterate seventh-century desert dweller, documented by tribesmen and shepherds no better prepared than the self-appointed prophet himself to set cornerstones for civil society advancement, are now guidance for nearly one-quarter of the planet’s population. Not all these people speak Arabic – there are 1.6 billion Muslims, but only 300 million native Arabic speakers in the world.

One thing should be clear to everyone. Make no mistake about it. It is incomprehensible that anyone could miss what’s happening here, no matter what their native language is or where they live. Muslims are using their interpretation of the Koran as cover for heinous acts and murderous terrorism, just as they did at the birth of their religion, when it was all about drawing up sides between believers and non-believers. Nothing has changed after all this time. It’s poison with a 1,400-year old shelf life.

Muslims tell us that God is great.


This is a photo of the Charlie Hedbo office in Paris, where twelve people were killed this week in revenge for drawing cartoons of a person who decided while in a desert cave on Mount Hira 1,400 years ago that he was Allah’s messenger to the world. Witnesses to the murders heard the killers say, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great”).


A commercial airliner headed from the East Coast to San Francisco on September 11, 2001 was hijacked by murderers determined to crash the plane into a US landmark and kill everyone aboard. Passengers stymied the killers’ plans and the plane instead crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. There were no survivors. Just before the crash, one of the murderers was recorded saying “Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest.”


This is a photo of Lauren Grandcolas. Lauren and her unborn baby were killed in the United Airlines flight to San Francisco. Lauren and I worked together. She was a lovely person and brought a great energy to the office. Anyone would have done what they could to protect her from the murderers on that plane. Using her cell phone, Lauren called her husband Jack when the attack started. She said. “Jack, pick up sweetie, can you hear me? Okay. I just want to tell you, there’s a little problem with the plane. I’m fine. I’m totally fine. I just want to tell you how much I love you.”

  1. I’m so sorry to hear you lost a colleague in the 9/11 attacks. It was difficult not to tear up when I read her last words. Using religion to justify such heinous acts is incomprehensible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Powerful stuff, and I agree with all of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amber Danette permalink

    Indeed, some terrrorists are doing much evil in the world. But not all Muslims should be tarred with the same brush.


  4. I’ve been sitting here, moving my mouse at intervals so that my computer screen won’t shut down before I can find the words to comment. I can only think to console you for the loss of your colleague and friend. Maybe speechlessness can speak volumes too. I’m glad you told your story.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you, Bruce, for this important post. You remind us again of the terrible toll ignorance and fundamentalism can take in our lives. I read once that no man (or woman) is every truly dead as long as one person remembers their name. I wonder if that is a thought that grieving family and friends would find comforting or enraging. I don’t know, but I thank you for remembering your friend, Lauren Grandcolas. And her unborn child.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t understand fanaticism, Bruce, whatever its ilk, but religious fanaticism has always seemed the worst— over and over and over. Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Crying here. I’m emotional…and shouldn’t we all be? The acts of terrorism are horrendous, heinous, and against all rules of civility and humanity. I don’t blame a religion, I blame the fanatics who use any religion as a reason to brutalize others.
    Your friend Lauren is beautiful. I choose to believe that her beauty of spirit is still surrounding us, and along with millions of other souls, will help the light shine through us all. And help defeat ignorance and hate.
    Thank you Bruce for getting us all to think, react, and, yes, cry.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Absolutely devastating! (╥︣﹏᷅╥) Looks like these fanatics will never stop using their God’s name in vain. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, Lauren. But what she did at that moment was so courageous and selfless.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. History of human race is littered with corpses whose ‘crime’ was simply belonging to, at the time, undesirable race, sex, religion, political, ethnic, etc. group. I came from the place where thousands where killed and/or displaced in so called ‘ethnic cleansings’ and it occurred in the heart of Europe only some 20 years ago. As always, when it comes to acts of such extreme atrocities; clear political agendas where hidden behind the fanatical acts carried out by indoctrinated extremists who believed themselves ‘called’ to ‘duty’. Nothing ignites the imaginations of ignorant masses more than ‘call to higher duties’. All of this probably sounds a bit sad … because it is. Depth of human capacity for evil acts is only fully comprehended when seen along side human capacity for acts of love.

    All the best in 2015.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Bruce, I learn much from you, if not new information, then with how you frame things. Your words today made me worry about the future, but that’s okay because we can’t be complacent.
    So sorry about your friend, Lauren. My friend and I went to the Flight 93 Memorial on the way home from Pittsburgh. It moved us to silence.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bruce…especially about your friend. That was something I didn’t recall from that horrific day. As many have already stated…ignorance, intolerance, blind adherence – and of course violence – in the name of anything, much less religion, is best described as a vile list of some of the greatest failings of humanity. As sadly is the case, Humans – the smartest of all life forms – continue to be the weak link in our planets evolution. PEACE.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you for your post, Bruce. I have so far been unable to write on this topic because I’ve been too emotional about it. I am grateful for your voice so I can share my solidarity through your post.

    Tara and I were just talking last night about almost the exact same topic: people who interpret the Bible to suit their own beliefs. We too are disgusted and baffled by violence in the name of one’s prophet, when that particular prophet was all about peace and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. As long as we live, Bruce, there are always tests and challenges along the way. Unfortunate or fortunate, it is hard to say. But there is no ‘happy ever after’ in the human story. In the west, there has been great progress over the years, in the defense of personal liberties, understanding for the outsider, and support for the disadvantaged and the different. We believe in free speech, and the complete freedom of religious practice. We shy away from the discussion of evil. We like to think that everything is relative. Even truth. Now western society is about to face a challenge to many of the principles that have guided us along the way. I have faith in democracy, and faith in freedom. But I think we might have to start drawing lines, in the defense of those freedoms we believe in. I feel this post was very well expressed. I hope it will stir many to examine the problem objectively.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, you touched me so deeply with that… I’ll pray for the French victims, the 11-S ones and for that lovely workmate of yours..

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Bruce. This is fascinating. We remember hearing about this phone call, but knew nothing of the book until now., we just ordered it and the workbook off of amazon. Should be here Monday’ gotta love prime. Meanwhile we noticed that Lauren begins with a quote from Goethe. Did you know Goethe inspired LMA, too.? We shall be highlighting the lovely Lauren. Thanks for sharing her story, xo LMA


  16. I’m tempted to say it simply: religion must be stamped out; but then, ambitious men would just find another tool to manipulate the weak into sewing the chaos upon which evil thrives. We’ve seen it again and again and again. Name a god, and men have gone war for it–and generally the more pious the godly warrior, the more heinous the levels to which he’s willing to descend.


    • People like to go to war over religion. It’s not going any where anytime soon. How get out of this current mess, I don’t know. It is a long road.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. A Friday Night in Paris | Ram On
  2. Ram On 2015 – Part 1 | Ram On

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