Letter From An American Muslim
Posted by bosskitty on August 4, 2007
Pious Christian and Jewish values are not inherently in conflict with American civic life, as secular folk tend to forget. Devout immigrant Muslims don’t belong? That ship has sailed. This is a letter to your beautiful heart: We are your blood, says Mohja Kahf.
Fayetteville, Arkansas – A certain Middle Eastern religion is much maligned in this country. Full of veils and mystery, it is widely seen as sexist. Often violent, sometimes manipulated by demagogues, it yet has sweetness at the core, and many people are turning to it in their search for meaning.
I’m talking about Christianity.
This Muslim squirms whenever secular friends – tolerant toward believers in Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Native American spirituality – dismiss Christians with snorts of contempt. “It’s because the Christian right wants to take over this country,” they protest.
That may be, but it doesn’t justify trashing the religion and its spectrum of believers. Christianity has inspired Americans to the politics of abolition and civil rights, as well as to heinous acts. Christian values have motivated the Ku Klux Klan to burn houses, and Jimmy Carter to build them. You can’t say that when Christianity informs politics, only bad things happen.
This may strike you as odd coming from a Muslim. But it’s true: people of faith do not signify the apocalypse for democracy. And that goes for believing Muslims as much as for other religious folk. Muslims, in a very specific way, are not strangers in your midst. We are kin. Not just kin in the lovely way that all humans are. We carry pieces of your family story. (see entire letter)
This story is poignant because we do not hear from enough centrists.
All faiths have something to contribute to our spiritual well being, but lately the centrifuge has spun so fast that organized religion has been flung to the edges. It is refreshing to hear from someone who espouses a more thoughtful demonstration of their faith. This letter is so correct that middle eastern religions grew from the same root. The family tree whose limbs fight each other is no more than sibling rivalry. All those siblings appear to be trying to get special attention from the same parent.
God is supposed to be over ALL those who believe in God as their spiritual parent. What the hell, then, is an Army of God? The idea that an army can battle in the name of God is an oxymoron. Religions should not to be used as weapons! What is the point? The world conflict we find ourselves in is NOT religious but political economics driven by marketing geniuses.
We are so naive to have fallen for the oldest magic trick, sleight of hand. They hand you a cat but call it a dog. The words of our political leaders when they talk about religion are designed to appeal to your inner-most beliefs so you don’t look at the facts. If you fall for this, then you contribute to the destruction of this world through ignorance. Politicians use marketing to get your vote and approval for their decisions. This is a marketing ploy. See it for what it is. Learn the facts, even if you have to dig for them. But don’t distort those facts through a religious filter.