Before you diss Islam, know your Christianity first… And quit generalizing, too.

While chatting with a friend the other day about religion, he cited this passage from the Quran: “Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate” (Quran 9:73) “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil: so fight ye against the friends of Satan” (Quran 4:76), and of course, he referenced suicide bombings.

 

 

The direct correlation between Islam and September 11, the assertions that all Muslims are America-haters and Christian-killers, that the religion teaches them to either convert non-believers or exterminate them… all of this I’ve heard time and time again, and all of it I roll my eyes at. The overt hypocrisy, the vast generalizations, and the sheer idiocy of these remarks are so easy to see, yet even easier to overlook.

 

 

The Christian Bible’s Old Testament repeatedly calls on those of faith to either convert or kill non-believers. For example, Deuteronomy 17 states, “17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.”

 

Why can we point out passages in the Quran that call for extermination of infidels while we continue to ignore the very passages in the CHRISTIAN BIBLE that promote the exact same actions? What makes our “peaceful” Christian religion justified in its writings urging murder yet labels Islam a violent faith?

 

After reaching this point in the argument, I am usually reminded of the events of September 11; I’m told that terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in the name of their faith, and thus, any faith that promotes such a thing must surely be a hostile one. I’d like to direct anyone who chooses to utilize this argument back to the actions of our peaceful Christian brothers and sisters. Think of the Christians who have blown up abortion clinics or attacked doctors and nurses who work there in the name of Christianity. Is this not a similar concept? European countries in the 16 and 1700s colonized and enslaved the people of Africa and Asia in the name of Christianity, in the name of saving the savage people from their filthy sin filled lives. Their land and resources were exploited and their human dignity ravaged all disguised under a veil of Christianity’s greater good, of a mission to bring the Christian faith to those who were too stupid and too uncivilized to know it.

 

But no, it is the Muslims who are violent.

 

The men who bombed the World Trade Center were not Muslims at all. The faith strictly forbids alcohol consumption, loose sexual values, and gambling, yet the terrorists of 911 drank heavily, utilized the service of prostitutes, and visited casinos all the night before their act of terrorism was to be executed. Wouldn’t it seem that men who are thought to be killing American lives all in the name of Islam would be interested in rigidly following the basic rules of their faith?

 

“Oh yes, well the Quran states that those who die for their faith will be rewarded greatly in heaven.” I would like to guide you toward Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount for a response to this argument. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake/ Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12). We honor martyrs and pray to saints, many of whom have died in the name of their Christian faith. We immortalize those who have died for the sake of Christianity… Sound familiar?

 

Of course, at this point I must add a disclaimer, although I know that there will still be someone who chooses to point this out: I am in no way saying that Islam is never used by evil people as a shield for evil deeds. However, we have to remember to separate the religion from the people. By this I mean, while the faith itself may say one this, someone else may interpret it to mean something else, something violent and hostile, and may act on it. This does not mean that that is what all Muslims believe!

 

Again, to Christianity… Some Christians believe that only through baptism can one be saved. Even if one has never heard of Jesus Christ, because that person has not been baptized and does not accept Christ as his or her savior (again, not by choice but because the belief in Christ has never been made known to that person), that person will go to hell. Not all Christians believe this. Not all Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin; not all Christians believe that the death penalty is bad; not all Christians believe evolution is real; not all Christians choose to wait to have sex until after marriage. This means that Christianity, like Islam, is not a uniform belief. Some people believe and do one thing while some people believe and do another. It is not just to generalize a whole people, an ENTIRE FAITH on the actions of the few or with regards to the events that we see on the news. It’s not fair, and it’s not right.

 

I really am becoming more and more disgusted with the hatred and bigotry toward Islam. Yes, there are bad Muslims out there, and Christians and Jews, and Hindus and atheists. We have to stop judging and entire faith on our shallow predispositions and skin-deep generalizations. We have to let go of our contempt and judgmental attitudes and stop being so childish and inane.

 

More senseless idealism and bleeding-heart liberalism from an untainted nineteen year old youth.
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
MLK Jr.

 

Perhaps it’s not too late…

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10 Responses to “Before you diss Islam, know your Christianity first… And quit generalizing, too.”

  1. ahh Says:

    prokopios is the solution

  2. amberfireinus Says:

    I absolutely loved your blog. Finally someone who tells it like it is!!! I love it! I am planning to send this link to people who I feel need to see it in their lives. I have tried to articulate these same thoughts in my own blog.

    Very eloquently put. Bravo!!

  3. Before you diss Islam, know your Christianity first… And quit generalizing, too. « Opinions are like… « Amberfireinus’s Weblog Says:

    […] January 2, 2008 by amberfireinus Before you diss Islam, know your Christianity first… And quit generalizing, too. « Opinions are l… […]

  4. ilegirl Says:

    Thanks for this well-stated post. It’s good to know that there are others who are as troubled by misinformation and misinterpretation of Islam as I.

  5. Artan Says:

    Thank you for this. Probably my favorite one you have written.

  6. throughpaulseyes Says:

    I was really hoping someone who doesn’t agree with you was going to comment.

    Your writing is awesome, I’m jealous

  7. 06jk Says:

    Thanks Paul 🙂

  8. ChrIs Says:

    First of all, stoning is no longer practiced by Christians. Second, if you are having sex before marriage, engaging in homosexual activities, or believing in evolution, you are not really a Christian because the Bible (the book by which all Christians are meant to live by) says specifically not to do these things. If you do not follow Christianity in it’s entirety you cannot truly call yourself a Christian.

    My last point is this; if you believe in more than one religion do you really believe in anything at all? If someone of a certain religion (say, Christianity) says they do not believe in another religion (say, Islam) and in turn points out inconsistencies in the other religion, they are not being hateful or judgmental but rather practicing what they believe. If you do not practice what you believe you must not really believe it.

  9. 06jk Says:

    Thanks for the reply ChrIs.

    What defines Christians apart from any other religion is that they believe that only through Christ can they be saved. That is the sole definition of Christianity: acceptance as Christ as one’s path to salvation.

    Different sects (i.e. Catholics, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, etc.) define the other details including their stance on homosexuality, premarital sex, and evolution. Stances on such issues vary greatly, and “Christianity in its entirety” differs from one sect to another, and even one Church congregation to another. Again, the base that unites us all is our belief in Christ as our Savior.

    I am a Christian because I believe that only through Christ may we be saved. Thus, as Christ preached acceptance of and love for ALL people, no matter what their transgressions, I must also believe that the compassion of a loving and gracious God will lead other to salvation. Jesus told the Jews to love the Roman soldiers as their brothers, that if a man steals your tunic, to give him your cloak as well, and that if you are slapped on the right cheek by your brother, offer him the left. Acceptance and love. The Romans at the time were polygamists, certainly in violation of the First Commandment (You shall have no other gods before me), but Jesus told us to love them anyway.

    To address your final point: pointing out inconsistencies in a religion is one thing, calling Muslims hateful names and slandering their religion with vulgarities based on a shallow knowledge of it is totally different. In that sense, are you really being a Christian? Are you loving your enemies as yourself as Christ commanded you to do? Are you doing unto others as you would have them to unto you? No. Thus, according to your statement, people who do that are not Christians.

    Standing up for injustice and hatred in the world is what the Bible instructs us to do. Jesus explicitly calls the man a fool who points out the spec in his brother’s eye but cannot see the log in his own. We are always going to stumble and fall because we are not perfect, and God did not intend for us to be. Thus, I cannot conclude that having premarital sex will keep us from heaven.

    In the long run, isn’t it better to have done all that you could for your fellow man than to focus all of your time on staying abstinent? Isn’t there far more value in volunteering to help the homeless than to study all of the reasons that disprove evolution?

    I am curious as to where you found evidence to prove that one isn’t a Christian if one believes in evolution. I have been in Catholic schools my entire life, and in all of my science classes have studied the theory in depth. How does evolution have anything to do with Christianity?

    Simply because evolution isn’t mentioned in the Bible does not mean that it does not exist. Dinosaurs aren’t mentioned in the bible, so by your logic, they do not exist. Nuclear science is not mentioned in the Bible, neither are airplanes, vaccinations, or the United States. I am certain that all of those things exist.

    Perhaps God gave us the ability to better ourselves over time, to teach ourselves how to make weapons to hunt for food and to learn how to till the soil. Maybe these things weren’t simply given to us because of Adam and Eve’s sin, and God made it so that it would take millions of years for us to develop physically and mentally in order to live safer lives.

    Just an observation.

  10. jack david Says:

    Amen! I believe that the bible does provide faith evidence for evolution because things change over time each (epoch) individual day. The earth already had existed in what is written in another formless and void state at the beginning. Therefore, not necessarily contradictory is the Bible with said ‘science’. As to science faith that justifies atheism, one might proport that science and faith are contradictory; yet many nations have religions and have had for millennia. Science wisdom and skill would be considered conferred by God by the faithful Therefore, not science is it to state Faith does not exist for either athiests or Theists.

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