Despite the apparent downsides of Islam there is much to applaud about this very old religion, 700 hundred years younger than Christianity. From within our North American culture we do tend towards a worldly non-ecclesiatical way of living even as we recognize the Christian background shared by so many. Where have all the Christian church-goers gone?
The main downside of Islam might be seen as the masculine dominance of the Muslim people who deny women recognition for the valuable role they play in maintaining the lineage of the sect. Without women there would be no Muslim religion so why must the male sector deny women equality? Is it fear? Another weakness has been the clear inability of the Muslim people to deny the rights of their religion to those who are murdering innocents throughout the world. Muslims are not the only people who have bad/mad folk in their midst, Christians have their fair share. Just look at Pastor Jones. However, the difference lies in the fact that so many of the murders are carried out in the name of Islam.
The followers of the Islamic way of life must put aside their very Canadian-like attitudes [not wanting to be seen as being ‘pushy’]. They must publicly deny those who murder innocents in the name of Islam; they must publicly and collectively deny that those murderers are of the Muslim religion. This may be the only chance there is to break down the murderous regime of the minority faction in their midst. When the truth hits, and the murderers begin to understand they are denied a religious platform, then, and only then, might we expect to see a slow reduction in the crazy activities being played out as acts of terrorism in the name of religion.
The brutal acts being carried out in the name of Islam cannot be characterised as anything other than societal murders and they bring immense disgrace on a brotherhood of people believing in the same God the majority of North Americans believe in. Catholics, Protestants, Jews or Muslims they all revere the same God. The assassins, slayers of ordinary citizens, must not be legitimized on the basis of the Muslim religion. The fanatics are supposedly refusing to allow anyone the right to a religious belonging of their choosing. Unless the Islamic order determines to stand up for the peace loving majority then they will continue to live under a shroud of being wicked, cruel people.
To say this would be an understatement is, indeed, far from the truth for many North Americans already believe all Muslims are murderous, villainous people. This is particularly true south of the border. That Muslims are wicked people is far from the truth for there is considerable nobility within the religion and the Islamic teachings have an ancient tradition of scholarship that demands respect. The pity is that few in North America know much about this Eastern cult of practicing, differently and more ardently, the sacred rights of the pious.
The followers of Mohammed believe in his divine leadership just as those in our North American Christian society tend to believe that Jesus Christ has given them hallowed, heavenly guidance. Whether Mohammed or Christ is the most powerful advocate of the Godly leanings of the religious is surely open to question. However, those who fervently believe in the religious right to a here-after will never know which of these ancient leaders is the one they should have followed and, I guess, when the time comes it will matter not.
John E. Milnes – South Stormont Ontario
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