Friday, October 12, 2007

Submission

The world 'Islam' means "...submission, or the total surrender of oneself
to God." If you asked any religious person if this sounds like a good thing,
they'd more than likely say yes. Yet, in the world today, most people are of
the belief that Islam and Muslims are evil. They seem to associate
everything that is even vaguely related to this faith with terror. We've all
seen the pictures or videos of men who say they are Muslims, committing acts
that are at best worthy of condemnation. Why do these people speak for the
millions of Muslims around the world? Why do the actions of the few cause so
many problems for the many.

I grew up in Nigeria, in a Christian home and I am a Christian. I had the
opportunity to be in close quarters with Muslims for most of my life...
observing, they're customs and beliefs from not so far away. I would be
first to tell you that Muslims would probably be more willing to do things
in the name of God. To me, that is not a bad thing. One of the things I
admire about the religion of Islam is that for the most part, they have
specific rules on how to practice their faith. They pray at a specific time
and in a specific way for example. Some may say that this is somewhat
robotic, but how is it any different from the hymn singing and creed reading
practiced in some churches. In the end, these actions are between us and the
God we believe in and worship. We all believe we are in the right faith so
questioning the method of our worship is almost like an attack on our
souls... but I digress... The point I was trying to make was that Muslims
are raised with strict rules to govern their faith. I think it's safe to
assume that as children, many of them don't really understand the
significance of what they do, but do them anyway. I would like to believe
that as they mature in their faith, that they begin to realize the full
value of their customs. Nevertheless, there must be some of the mindset
left, even in adults and it would definitely be easier to convince someone
to commit terrible acts for their faith, even though this is almost never
the case.

In world history, more wars have been fought, and more people have died in
the name of God. It's obvious to me that most, if not all of the wars do not
have the approval of God. At one point in history, people killed in the name
of Christianity. I have had the opportunity to be in close quarters with
Muslims most of my life and in my eyes, their no better or worse than us
Christians. Like us, they take their religion serious and from time to time,
they stumble in their religious walk. So why does the world condemn them so
much?

I know it must be hard to separate the Osama's of the world from other
Muslims, like the people I met at a mosque in Redmond WA earlier this week,
who were very hospitable, amicable and respectful of my faith as I was of
theirs, but I believe that demarcation must be made. Hatred only begets
hatred. If we try to understand other people and their chosen way of life,
we might do a better job of living together.

1 comment:

  1. It is sad that it always seems to be a minority that creates a cloud over the reputation of the larger group to which they belong. Such is the case for Muslims. You can't have a muslim name now in many parts of the world, talk less of be a practicing Muslim or Arab. It is sad on all counts that religious leaders and figures have used the name of God to divide people.

    Hopefully, things will change. But considering that this has been the way of man since Adam, I have very little optimism on this subject...

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