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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Can a good Muslim be a good American?

The challenge for me in responding to this question is to prevent becoming enraged myself. The answer is of course, yes. It comes from a hate-filled email string that is, most tragically, forwarded on by people who are not ordinarily given to hatred themselves, but when faced with such lies don't know where to turn. There were people in Jesus' time who perverted the law and the prophets to deny its teaching of love and justice so that they could further a political agenda. Here is Christ's response.

The email claims to be a response from the author's friend who "worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years." Um, living in Saudi Arabia deosn't mean you are knowledgeable of Islam any more than going to church means you are knowledgeable of the Bible. The "answer" is a list of lies about Islam. In each case I will respond to the lie with truth and then show how you could tell a similar lie about Christianity. (Until I just got exhausted, sorry.) The point is that (1) most of this is not true and (2) you could say equally untrue thing about Christianity. In fact, Muslims can be good Americans as surely as Christians.

"Theologically - no. . . . Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon
god of Arabia."
TRUTH: Allah is Arabic for God. Go to Google translator translate Allah from Arabic to English. More here.
LIE ABOUT CHRISTIANITY: Christians do not believe in one god, but three. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They are therefore not monotheists as Abraham, Moses and Jesus were. (See, this is a lie that someone could write about us. Can you see how someone without knowledge of Christianity could tell this lie?)

"Religiously - no.. . . Because no other religion is accepted by His
Allah except Islam . (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)"
TRUTH: The suggestion here is that Muslims cannot tolerate other faiths. In fact, Islamic nations have been as tolerant of other religions as Christian nations. For a link see here. In her book Islam, Karen Armstrong chronicles the tolerance of the Muslim Empires.
LIE ABOUT CHRISTIANITY: The Bible forbids Christians to be loyal to their country because Jesus teaches that "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." Luke 16:13. Thus, Christians are forbidden from declaring allegiance to a nation.

"Scripturally - no. . . Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of
Islam and the Quran."
TRUTH: I don't know what to say about this one. The five Pillars of Islam are tenants of the faith that have nothing to do with being a good American. They are to pray, to be charitable, to live in accordance with the Koran, to make a trip to Mecca and to declare once in your life, "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his prophet."
LIE ABOUT CHRISTIANITY: Christians' allegiance is to the Sermon on the Mount. (Again, not a lie but a non-sequitur to match this one.)

"Geographically - no . Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he
turns in prayer five times a day."
TRUTH: Again, what the heck does this have to do with being a good American?
LIE ABOUT CHRISTIANITY: Christians allegiance is to Rome.

"Socially - no. . . Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make
friends with Christians or Jews."
TRUTH: The refugees my dad resettled from Bosnia were Muslim and his friends. Likewise the family that Chalice resettled. Likewise Sonja and Deniz my friends from law school. So, I beg to differ.
LIE ABOUT CHRISTIANITY: The Bible forbids Christians to make friends with unbelievers. 2 Corinthians 6:14

"Politically - no.. . . Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual
leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America ,
the great Satan."
TRUTH: Muslims must submit to God. Not to mullahs. Islam does not teach the destruction of Israel, although obviously some adherents believe it.
LIE ABOUT CHRISTIANITY: Christians must submit to the leadership of the Ku Klux Klan (A Christian Organization), which teaches white supremacy and the eradication of non-whites from the United States.

"Domestically - no. .. . Because he is instructed to marry four Women
and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34 )"
TRUTH: This scripture is taken out of context. To put it in context, read here.
LIE ABOUT CHRISTIANITY: Christians are instructed to kill women who have sex before marriage and who are raped in a city. Deut. 22:20-24.

"Intellectually - no. . Because he cannot accept the
AmericanConstitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he
believes the Bible to be corrupt."

The American Constitution is not based on Biblical principles. For example, while the Bible requires respecting the God of Israel and promoting the Good News of Jesus Christ, the First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Also, while Judeo-Christian tradition forbids private property, the Constitution supports it. In the Old Testament, there is the year of Jubilee, in which all property returns to its historic owners. In the early church, those who kept back any of their private property were kill by the hand of God. And of course, Jesus says holding on to private property keeps you out of Heaven. This reveals that the person writing the email has never carefully read the Bible or the U.S. Constitution.

"Philosophically - no. . . . Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does
not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam
cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or
autocratic."

Ug. I've run out of gas. This is such bullshit.

"Spiritually - no.. . . Because when we declare 'one nation under God,'
The Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred
to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99
excellent names."

First off, the under God stuff is anti-Communist propaganda added to our money AND the pledge during the red scare of the '20s & '50s. Second off, it is only okay because the supreme court has determined that it doesn't mean anything. Third, under God is just English for under Allah.

"Therefore, after much study and deliberation.... Perhaps we should be
very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. - - - They obviously
cannot be both 'good' Muslims and good Americans."

Jesus Christ taught the people of his time, who were suspicious of the Samaritans, that people of another religion can still be good people. In fact, in the case of the women at the well and the one leper who returned after healing, the people who worshiped YHWH in a different way were the more righteous. Delete emails like the one referenced in this post immediately. Their mission is to fill the world with hate and lies. The Truth of Jesus Christ should fill your heart with joy and love. If what you are reading doesn't do that, be very suspicious. ;)

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