Posts Tagged ‘Muslims’

Contrasting Religious Response

April 5, 2011

Christian Bibles are burned.  The response is to express sorrow, be thankful if no one is hurt…and send more Bibles.

A pastor of a small church in Florida burns a Koran.  The response is sorrow…and anger, rioting and people die.

No one is concerned about Christians erupting in violence if their sacred book is burned.

Last summer, when a pastor in Florida first announced that he was going to burn a Koran there was widespread concern about how Muslims around the world would respond to the image of their sacred scripture being burned.  There was legitimate fear that such an image would evoke violence and strengthen the resolve of terrorist groups that already call America the
“Great Satan”.

It is an interesting contrast in religious response to the same action.

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The God of Abraham

September 30, 2010

Jews, Christians and Muslims all look back to the God of Abraham.  Therefore, it can be claimed that they all worship the same God.  However, Jesus said “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God: nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” (John 8:42)  He also said ” I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6)  Since neither Jews, nor Muslims recognize Jesus as the way to God, they no longer have access to the God of Abraham.  Furthermore,  Jesus said that “I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30) .  Therefore, if we accept the gospel of John, by rejecting Jesus, they have rejected the God of Abraham.

Why Muslims Will Celebrate On 9/11

September 9, 2010

Muslims will celebrate the end of Ramadan on 9/11.  Ramadan is a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset every day.  The end of the month is celebrated with a special holiday called Eid ul-Fitr.    The Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar so the actual start, and end, of the month moves through the Julian calendar.  This year the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan falls on 9/11.  That is unfortunate, because some people will probably misinterpret the celebration.  It has nothing to do with the destruction of the Twin Towers.  If you had just finished a month of fasting, you would probably celebrate too!

Burning Korans on 9/11

September 1, 2010

Terry Jones, the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville,  Florida, is planning on burning a pile of Korans on September 11, 2010.

He has the right to do so.  This is a free country.

It is a really bad idea.

The Muslim world will be united in their condemnation of this event.  Radical Muslims may use this event as a rallying point in their hatred of America.  It is likely to inspire some form of retaliation that will be directed at people who had nothing to do with the event.  Moderate Muslims will be pushed towards extremism.  At the very least, they will be more sympathetic towards those  who would promote violence.  Even liberal Muslims will be angry and offended.  The Koran is very sacred to all Muslims.

There is nothing in this action that will contribute to peaceful co-existence.  We should be looking for ways to reduce violence, not taking actions that will almost certainly provoke violence.

The Bible tells us to seek to live peaceably with all men.  Not to repay evil with evil, but rather to overcome evil with good.  ( see Rom 12:17-21)

We should pray for Terry Jones to change his plans.  I don’t think that he will listen to reason, or to the threats, or verbal abuse of  people.  Sadly, he probably thinks that he is doing the will of God.  I pray that God will speak to his heart before it is too late.

Free to Offend?

August 16, 2010

There are currently plans to build a new Islamic Center a few blocks from where the twin towers stood.  This has resulted in an enormous amount of debate between two opposing camps.   One side: including the mayor of New York, and President Obama,  proclaims that American freedom declares that a building can be built anywhere if the local zoning allow that particular type of building.  They say that to deny the right to build because it is building designated as Muslim would be a restriction of religious freedom.  The opposing view is that it would appear to be a shrine risen to proclaim the victory of the jihadists that sacrificed their lives for their Muslim faith in the destruction of the towers.  As such, it would be offensive to a large majority of Americans.

I appreciate the ideological argument of freedom.  There is something to be said for taking the moral high ground.  Freedom is a very important part of our American culture.  We have lost enough freedoms lately.   Freedom should be preserved whenever possible.

On the other hand, the proposed center would clearly be offensive to many people.  It would not be well received, and could easily become a wedge causing additional division between Muslims and the rest of the American people.  We do not need another source of strife.

I do not think that the center should be built at its’ proposed location.

It is ideologically correct to grant permission in the name of freedom.

It would be even better, if the developers freely selected a different location for the sake of peace and goodwill.

If they do not voluntarily change their plans, then we must ask ourselves if freedom is worth the offensiveness of the center’s location?

Religious Diversity

January 13, 2009

I read in the paper this morning that New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson will participate in the the inauguration by saying a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial. 

The reason that this is noteworthy is that Robinson is an openly gay minister.

A few weeks ago the gay community was outraged that Rick Warren had been asked to participate in the inauguration festivities.  Warren is an evangelical who classifies homosexual activity as a sin.

President elect Obama is making good on his promise to be inclusive in his administration.  He wants to allow representation from all America during his term, from start to finish.  That is a good thing.

I suppose it would even be appropriate to have a Muslim say a prayer.  We have many American citizens who are Muslim.

We are supposed to be a country of religious freedom for all.

Aren’t we?