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Christianity &Islam Johnson on 30 Nov 2008 12:37 am

“Peaceful” religions cannot reach peace

When you consider the fact that religions proclaim themselves to be all about “love”, “kindness”, “charity” and “forgiveness”, it is amazing how much trouble the members of these religions have getting along with one another. Recent news stories:

Hundreds dead after Christian and Muslim gangs clash in Nigeria

More than 200 people have been killed in two days of clashes between Christians and Muslims in central Nigeria, the Red Cross said yesterday, during the worst unrest in the country for years.

20,000 Muslims Attack a Church in Cairo

One thousand Christians were today trapped inside the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in West Ain Shams,Cairo, after more than twenty thousand Muslims attacked them with stones and butane gas cylinders. The Church’s priest Father Antonious said that the situation is extremely dangerous.

Obama’s inaugural oath

Obama was dogged during the campaign by the allegation that he was a secret Muslim, an Islamic Manchurian candidate. Even some commentators who didn’t accuse him of being a practicing Muslim delved into his childhood in Indonesia in search of evidence that he practiced, however briefly, the faith of his father or stepfather. Obama is a Christian, but Hussein, his middle name, is a common Muslim name. To capitalize on anti-Muslim sentiment, detractors took to calling him “Barack Hussein Obama.” (John McCain, to his credit, denounced a radio host in Ohio who “warmed up” a Republican rally by using all three of Obama’s names.)

Somali opposition official: AU troops welcome

Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said African Union troops would be welcome in Somalia, most of which is under the control of Islamic insurgents. The Ethiopians, by contrast, have been seen by many as a catalyst for violence during their two-year presence here…

The Ethiopian government has long said it wanted to withdraw after stabilizing Somalia. Its opponents say Ethiopia, a mainly Orthodox Christian country with a Muslim minority, was interested mainly in preventing an Islamist regime in the neighboring country.

Religious freedom and human dignity

Saudi Arabia is not the only Islamic nation with problems tolerating other religions. Bahais are persecuted by Iran. Religious intolerance abounds in Iraq. Egypt is grappling with similar issues. Even the Palestinian territories, previously known for strong Christian-Muslim relations, are experiencing a rise in tension.

A cloud over India’s Muslims

If, as now seems likely, last week’s terrible events in Mumbai were the work of Islamic terrorists, that’s more bad news for India’s minority Muslim population. Never mind that the perpetrators were probably funded from outside India, in connection with the ongoing conflict over Kashmir. The attacks will feed a powerful stereotype of the violent and untrustworthy Muslim, bent on religious conquest, who can never be a good democratic citizen. Such stereotypes already shadow the lives of Indian Muslims, who make up 13.5% of the population…

The revelation that members of the Hindu right have embraced ethno-religious cleansing should amaze nobody. Since the 1930s, their movement has insisted that India is for Hindus, and that both Muslims and Christians are foreigners who should have second-class status in the nation.

This year, in the eastern state of Orissa, members of the Bajrang Dal have murdered scores of Christians who refused to reconvert to Hinduism. (Most Indian Christians are descendants of converts, often from the lowest Hindu castes.) Peaceful villages have been reduced to ashes; a church-run orphanage was torched; dozens of churches have been destroyed; missionaries and priests have been murdered in cold blood. Thousands have been forced to flee their homes, and at least 30,000 are homeless. The rallying cry: “Kill Christians and destroy their institutions.”

Too many Christian-Muslim dialogues, Vatican says

“In my opinion, there are too many Christian-Muslim initiatives. Everybody’s doing it,” he told Reuters in an interview. “One doesn’t know where this will go. That proves there is a great interest, but it sows a bit of confusion.

“There’s a risk of overlapping… It may be the price to pay for all this interest that interreligious dialogue incites.”

Dialogue between Christians and Muslims is nothing new, but the Sept. 11 attacks and sharpened tensions between western and Muslim states have given it a new urgency and sparked concern about a growing gap between the world’s two largest religions.

Scout leaders plan more Muslim troops

Muslim leaders are planning to build on the success of Scotland’s only Muslim Scout troop by establishing more across the country…

They will say Muslim prayers instead of Christian ones, and children in their Beaver colony, for those aged six to eight, may colour in pictures of mosques instead of secular buildings. The Beaver and Cub groups are mixed sex, whereas the Scout troops – for those aged 10 to 14 – are single sex for religious reasons.

5 Responses to ““Peaceful” religions cannot reach peace”

  1. on 08 Dec 2008 at 9:17 am 1.blair raines said …

    i dont know why you would insist on trying to crush someones faith… if you dont believe he is there fine, but he gets people through the day. there is alot of evil in the world but i dont see very many athiest going on mission trips to help people or any of the other things that need to be done… i dont want to come off sounding mean, i have seen suicidal people come to know our lord and savior and now they are happy, productive members of m church and society, i have seen my friends die in both afganistan and iraq i have seen family memvers turn to god and you would rather take away their hope that their depart are not in a better place? to crush someones spirit is practically the same as murder… people like you will never shake my faith, but i know you will continue…

  2. on 08 Dec 2008 at 9:20 am 2.blair raines said …

    I Hope God Blesses you all, I will pray for you -Sgt. Anthony Raines

  3. on 08 Dec 2008 at 7:30 pm 3.the loved one said …

    faith kills.
    prayers are futile.
    keep it to yourself.

  4. on 08 Dec 2008 at 7:48 pm 4.the loved one said …

    “to crush someones spirit is practically the same as murder…”

    that is absolute rubbish.

    let’s apply this to a faith outside your own bubble of delusion. here a a couple of examples.
    I have a friend who has complete faith that she will win the lottery if she buys 50 tickets every day. Now she can hardly pay her rent, her children are eating scraps and of course she has yet to win big.
    Now is it murder to explain to her the basic facts of reality? that her chances of winning are next to none? I consider it a service.
    Would it be such a horrible thing to help suicide bombers out of their delusion? They are exemplars of true belief. They believe that they will be rewarded for their actions. Consider your own sentiments toward *somebody else’s* belief.
    I know you will be inclined to argue that some beliefs are more benign than others, but I would argue that there is no way other than intense dialogue or (more often) intense violence to settle disagreements of beliefs. The simple fact of the matter is that beliefs are not based in measurable reality. So when one person says “I believe this bread is the flesh of christ” and another says “I believe in Santa Clause”*** and another says “I believe I am the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix” the thing they all have in common is that all these beliefs are devoid of evidence as a foundation. They are equal from an objective standpoint. Yet people will die for (and kill for) their beliefs.

    ***the question comes to mind: is it murder to shatter a child’s belief in santa as they reach an age where the belief is no longer cute?
    well, we as a people need to make these same decisions for ourselves. are these myths damaging, are we ready to admit the big santa in the sky is not real?

    the reason we are here is because we know that faith leads to greater violence. we can all think of gruesome examples of people defending their ‘faith’ – I don’t think I need to start listing examples.

  5. on 09 Dec 2008 at 3:49 am 5.Hermes said …

    Blair raines, what do you think of Pat Tillman and his family?

    Additionally, have you looked at the statistics that show that more faithful societies have higher levels of immorality?

    Point being: Patriotism, heroism, and bravery are not the unique domain of the religious. While *immorality* isn’t the unique domain of the religious, it seems to correlate and that alone should give you pause in defending faith as a virtue before you inform yourself of the details.

    If people aren’t willing to look at what they believe and how they actually *ACT* as opposed to the lip service they give, then I’m not impressed with requests that special considerations be carved out for them. After all, I don’t see many Christians in the USA working against turning the USA into a Christian Taliban theocratic state.

    If I did see more Christians working in a positive manner, I’d be encouraged that speaking out against the nonsense I do see is not necessary. Since that is not the case … well … here we are.

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