Saturday, July 08, 2006

Florida: Bush Ally Slams Islam

Story here.
Two issues here. One is that this minister is protesting against an Islamic community center and Mosque being built, the second is that he slammed Islam as a religion.

First the Mosque should be built. The Muslim religion has a right to build temples of worship, as any other religion in the US does. To barr it from being built is a violation of their first ammendment right, period end of story.

The other is that the good minister is right to criticize Islam. Huh! All he said is: ''The Islamic religion in my view is a cult"

Most folks who subscribe to the basic tenets of Christianity, consider Islam to be a blasphemous religion. After all, it is a religion based on the words of an alleged prophet six centuries after Christ, who placed himself above Christ, and claimed divine inspiration. That is blasphemous talk to most practicing Christians. That is no different than the way these same folks (that being practicing Christians) think about Mormon's and Scientolgists. So quit bitching when a religious leader says what he belives about another religion.

EDIT, see the comments section. My criticism here was aimed at the way the story was presented. The Reverends full quotes were much more inflammatory, linking the religion directly to violence, and basing his fight to stop construction of the center being built on that relationship. I was not looking at it from the perspective at all, I thought his criticism was looking it from the perspective of a Christian religious figure faced with a different belief system and religion - particularly one where there are shared elements.


Melek said...


I agree that the minister has a right to express his opinion, but it should be taken as that ... just his opinion, not necessarily the truth. Although I'm a christian, I don't think that Islam is a cult. I don't feel that I have the right to assume that my religion is the "one and only" ... one of my favorite writers, Kahlil Gibran, stated that there are many ways to reach out to God ... just like you can access a home from many places ... something along these lines ... Remember that there's only one God, but many religions and these are "man-made" ... thus not perfect. What we are seeing today regarding Islam is that the religion has been "hijacked" by extremists. These radicals have a political agenda. We also see that many moslems have to rely on the "arbitrary" interpretation of the "Koran", as it is done sometimes by radical Imans ... and this does not help.
Thanks ... respectfully,

"God favors no group. Only religions do that." - Unknown

Norman said...

Wow Melek, I'm sorry I'm late on this one. By definition, anyone who sincerely believes in their faith has every right to assume that it is the one and only correct one. That's the whole point. Too often we confuse our own uncertainty with religious tolerance and conviction with intolerance. Our religious tolerance allows us to allow for the existence of other beliefs without accepting them as true or even possible. If, however, we truly subscribe to our own faith, we cannot accept the tenets of another, least of all one as radically different as Islam is from Christianity. A Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ, the one true Son of God sent to earth for the salvation of mankind, to take on our sins so that we, who are unable to obtain our own salvation, may share in God’s kingdom. Islam denies that Allah would ever debase Himself so as to bear a son. They have no guarantee of salvation except through martyrdom (correct me if I’m wrong), but through such they can guarantee their own salvation. Those who do not martyr themselves, if they hold to the tenets of Islam may earn their place in salvation. The two belief systems are mutually exclusive therefore there is neither hypocrisy nor intolerance in a Christian labeling Islam a cult. Neither would I be offended if a true believer in Islam labeled Christianity a cult (which, of course, they do.)

If you believe either the Bible or the Koran, God most certainly does favor groups. Perhaps there's a reason that your prophet is unknown.

Boli-Nica said...

First of all, welcome Melek & Norman, and thanks for the well thought-out posts.

Too often we confuse our own uncertainty with religious tolerance and conviction with intolerance. Our religious tolerance allows us to allow for the existence of other beliefs without accepting them as true or even possible...

Well put.
Christians are going to say that Islam is wrong, and vice-versa.

The Herald here seemed to concentrate more on the comments made about the religion, even appearing shocked. The Rev. Graham (Billy's kid)got flack for calling Islam a "wicked religion".
These views are part of the mainstream Christian and/or Catholic worldview. This article kind of lends credence to some right wing views that the "mainstream media" do "not get" or are "out of touch" with religion.
- I guess it was the tone of the article annoyed me.

It was a sloppy story IMO After reading the source of the article, turns out the minister had much worse things to say. Lets just say he went well beyond criticizing from a religious perspective to unfairly stereotyping the practicioners of Islam, and making rash judgments about the entire religion.

You can have a beef with the teachings, but you must have some respect for its adherents.

Melek said...

Thank for your comments. I respect your opinion. As a Christian (Roman Catholic), I happen to agree with your statement: "Our religious tolerance allows us to allow for the existence of other beliefs without accepting them as true or even possible."

By the same token, my personal opinion is that as long as I believe in my heart that I subscribe to the Christian faith, I should not "impose" my views or religion on others. Moreover, I should not be "self-righteous", or judgmental of other religions.

Another point that I wanted to clarify is that unfortunately there are many radicals and fundamentalists in all religions. In the case of these radical moslems, being fundamentalists have nothing to do with the religion of Islam, but everything to do with "power".

Norman, you also stated: "Perhaps there's a reason that your prophet is unknown."
Who's this prophet?

I wish you well :) Melek

"I never told my religion nor scrutinize that of another. I never attempted to make a convert nor wished to change another's creed. I have judged of others' religion by their lives, for it is from our lives and not from our words that our religion must be read. By the same test must the world judge me."~ Thomas Jefferson

El chino y el arroz

Un hombre estaba poniendo flores en la tumba de su esposa, cuando
vio a un hombre chino poniendo un plato con arroz en la tumba vecina.

El hombre se dirigió al chino y le preguntó: -"Disculpe señor, ¿de
verdad cree usted que el difunto vendrá a comer el arroz?"

-"Sí", responde el chino, "cuando el suyo venga a oler sus flores..."

Moraleja: Respetar las opiniones del otro es una de las mayores
virtudes que un ser humano puede tener. Las personas son diferentes, por lo tanto actúan diferente y piensan diferente. No juzgues... solamente comprende...

Norman said...


Sorry it's taken me this long to reply.. heck of a week at work. Our general beliefs are not drastically different. Where we differ is that I believe that in the US, the constitution has been so misinterpretted regarding "separation of Church and State" for so long that we have a much greater tendency to subscribe to the State's dogma than to our own faith. The state is not to interfere or endorse a particular religion. (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”) The first step in confusing this is to (incorrectly) believe that this restricts or separates religious groups or Churches from involving themselves or trying to influence the state. That's logically flawed. The restriction is on the State, not on the Church.

Now, pardon me if I get a bit preachy here. This logical flaw in the US gets extrapolated into pretty much what you have stated, ”I should not "impose" my views or religion on others. Moreover, I should not be "self-righteous", or judgmental of other religions.” In fact, your Roman Catholic religion (I'm Roman Catholic too) says that you should “impose” your views on others, through evangelization. You are not judging by doing so. Christ and the scripture already did that. You are not being self righteous either. You can't wait until your ready or “sin-free” enough to share your faith... you'll never get there. Jesus called sinners to spread His word; Peter, Matthew, Paul. So what if you don't share... then you don't make someone uncomfortable in this world... and you may deprive them of the same reward you hope to share in the next. It's tough, but that's what it means when we call ourselves “Christians”. And no, I don't hold Thomas Jefferson up as my role model in this.

End sermon. Take care. Looking forward to future discussions.

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