Originally posted by Jazzerman
. . .One thing that does bug me about your thinking though, is that I think your perception of Islam may be a little distorted. Regular everyday
Muslims just like regular everyday Christians are not the problem.
PS- There is a term called ethnocentrism....dont be guilty of it. Just because their culture is different than our and their experiences are
different than ours we cannot judge them on our terms. ...
I know that you think my perception of Islam is "a little distorted."
My response: I went to the Middle East for the first time in 1987, on business. At that time (and for years afterward) I considered myself an
atheist. I worked regularly alongside muslims who invited me to their homes; they often contacted me afterwards when they came to America, and I
visited them in their countries, too. I traveled and worked several times in Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, and have traveled to Egypt and Syria.
I have read the Qur'an, and as much of the Hadith (commentaries) as muslim friends have given me. Over the years, numerous muslim friends have
had extensive ongoing conversations with me about Islam, because of my continuing interest in Sufism. (which leads me to believe that "SALAM" was
educated as a Muslim, and may have made the profession. I'd like to u2u him about HIS expereinces)
My wife, "Frau Doktor" is part Arab (which we pass of as "mexican" in Texas. Anglos can't tell the difference!). I am in the process of
teaching myself Arabic.
* * * * *
I get the impression that you think 'regular everyday muslims' are just like Christians.
This is where you and I disagree, although you are certainly entitled to your opinions. Muslims and Christians are both "triumphalist," in that
they believe God wants them to win over those opposed to their truth. The difference is that the Qur'an encourages muslims to treat infidels in
dehumanizing ways. Christ told his followers to pray for their enemies.
* * * * * *
It seems like you believe that we cannot judge people who are different "on our own terms."
Your point about ethnocentrism is well taken. I believe that EVERY person is a racist or elitist in some degree, whether they can admit it or not.
Certainly, I am partly the product of my environment.
On the other hand, respecting others as human beings does not mean that I cannot form an opinion about their acts, and prepare to defend myself when I
believe they wish to do me harm.
As for judging people who are different than me "on my terms," it is my right. And they can judge me on their own terms:
Hitler was an inhuman monster, because he engineered the deaths of untold masses of human beings. I can say that, because I'm white.
Now, I may not be Mayan, but I still say that the Aztec priests were inhuman monsters, too; And I'm using EXACTLY the same criteria I used for
evaluating Adolf Hitler. The priests engineered the deaths of untold masses of human beings
Am I wrong for calling the Aztecs monsters? If so, why? because they are non-whites?
If I am entitled, as a thinking person, to pass judgment on German culture, or Aztec culture, or the culture of Imperial Japan, or Torquemada's
Inquisition, then why am I not entitled to pass judgement on Muslim thought and practice?
I say that I am entitled to do exactly that.
Besides, they are passing judgment on me. (and upon you as well, you non-muslim, you!)
Regardless of what they think of me, I will always see them as beautiful and fascinating creatures, capable of incredible art as well as unbelieveable
cruelty (just like us).
I will also see them as endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these being the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness. Whether they want it or not.
Just in case you wondered.