First and foremost, thank you for hosting such a wonderful site. I am placing audio lectures on an MP3 player for use while at work and really enjoy them.
I am going through the Kabbalah of Genesis series and came across the mention of idolatry in the topic of the Tower of Babel. (On a side note I really appreciate the presenter in this series - would it be possible to have his name and a method to interact with him directly? I'm not sure if he is active on these forums, but I do wish to sincerely thank him for producing/providing such great quality material.)
With respect to all belief systems, I can't help but notice that monotheistic religions such as Christianity as Islam utilize central figures at the core of their doctrines (Jesus and Muhammad respectively).
In either case we essentially have the same core foundation: utilization of a central figure imbued with seemingly fantastical qualities which create attachment; claims of infallibility, sent as a mercy/sacrifice for mankind, charitable, forgiving etc. and each have their associated oral/written scriptures (Gospels/Qur'an) which claim to be the perfect word of the "one true god".
In light of the fact that the institutions founded upon these two central figures have/are involved in widespread wars claiming with death tolls reaching into the hundreds of millions, would it not be the case that these figures are examples of idols? In case I am not clear, to take Islam/Muhammad/Qur'an as an example, it is stated in the Qur'an no less than 91 times that Muhammad is the "perfect pattern of conduct" and/or "perfect example for all mankind" to emulate, and when I observe followers of the faith of Islam, I recognize that the vast majority of them use Muhammad as the example to justify things which seem to not only contradict what Jesus (whom they call Isa) taught, but even fundamental laws such as the Ten Commandments (the shahada of Islam requires testimony of a dead man whom, according to our best records, may not have even existed - the first detailed account of Muhammad having only surfaced over 120 years after he is alleged to have lived). I simply can not reconcile how the god of Islam "Allah" is the same god as YHVH Elohim (as in the books of Moses) without considering that Muhammad (given he was illiterate) or the people responsible for the creation of this caricature actually understood the teachings that came before. Would figures such as Muhammad not be an example of an idol (graven image / pattern of conduct) forbidden YHVH Elohim in the earlier commandments?
Thank you for any help you can provide - I will definitely look to donate in the near future.