Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two Sides of the Same Coin

The community at Muslamics took keen interest in discussing this issue of the "Ramadan Resolution." I believe I took a more harsher perspective toward people who thought this was a a "PR" stunt. We even conducted our own poll on this which found that 24 of the 43 people who voted believed this was a shameless PR stunt. These individuals I believe share the perspective of the following religious leaders who published "letters to the editors" in the Glendale News Press.

They stated that the "congressional resolution recognizing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan as important is reportedly being touted by U.S. Muslims as an important sign that they are gaining acceptance in America and becoming part of the fabric of the country." And the following is how leaders in other faith communities- Christian- feel about Muslims:
I am first and foremost a Christian. Secondly, I am an American. These two labels once went together; not that we lived in a theocracy, or that everybody truly embraced Jesus as their lord and savior, but we testified with our hands on His Bible, our Senate opened with a Christian blessing, the Constitution was dated from the first Christmas (i.e., “In the year of our Lord . . .”) and the Pilgrims’ stated purpose in the Compact was the “advancement the Christian faith.”

My point is that our nation, however much certain people wish to deny it, began and sustained with a belief in the true and biblical God; not Zeus, or Ra, Odin, or even the Allah of Ramadan.

For Congress to endorse other gods essentially repudiates the exclusive claims of the One that we have known and are known for. Such resolutions should not be made anyway, but officially recognizing Islam as “one of the great religions of the world” when it is an imported belief system that denies all the essential tenets of Christianity is too much. Islam denies the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, that Jesus is the Son of God, and especially, that He is God, the Son.

We are at war with Muslims abroad, and we worry about their intentions here. Christians have no divine mandate to destroy those who oppose Jesus, but we do have biblical warrant to support America. Is this true of Muslims? They have yet to resolve as one voice to denounce the violence and intentions of jihadists, terrorists and Sept. 11, 2001.

Now, I don’t deny that we have become quite the pluralistic society, but should we exalt the foreign religions to a place on par or even above our own? We should sincerely love our Muslim neighbors, but just as sincerely oppose Islam.


Senior Pastor


Also here is something from our Armenian friends:

A congressional resolution recognizing Ramadan is certainly an act of political correctness, but then again, so are all these types of resolutions. What else can you say about them? It’s not like they’re advocating one belief system over another, they merely recognize a portion of reality. In so doing, they’re bringing a level of comfort to members of our community — other Americans.

We need to stop being scared to face reality.

There is a sizable Muslim population in America. And the beauty of America and her “dream” is that there is room for everyone in this country. I have heard the argument that “those countries” would never allow or grant non-Islamic minorities the equal status or recognition with the mainstream religion.

But to me, that’s exactly the point.

We are not like the other countries. That’s what makes America great: its ability to incorporate so many into something greater than the components that make it up.

Ironically, this week’s news headlines pointed to another recognition resolution regarding the Armenian Genocide.

We witnessed the sad demonstration of denial by the political establishment, the president included, which wanted to compromise truth and justice for the sake of politics.

You can’t escape the reality of an organized, systematic annihilation of one group of people by a government. Its called genocide.

And a great country like America, with all of its greatness, cannot be intimidated to not speak the truth.


Armenian Church

In His Shoes Mission

And here is yet one more:

I think most of us appreciate the freedom of religious practice our country affords. That means, of course, that I am honor-bound to be respectable to others of different faiths, and to recognize their right to believe as they wish.

Islam has gotten a lot of press post-Sept. 11, 2001, so recognizing it may well be a matter of political correctness. I’d certainly be uncomfortable, though, if Christianity had attracted attention in the same manner, and I’d be vocal about it.

A few folks may want to turn our country into a theocracy in line with their beliefs about God, but that’s not my concern. I am confident that when Jesus Christ returns, He will by Himself establish His kingdom on a worldwide scale. I’m happy to know that according to His promise I’ll be a part of it, and not cast out of it.

What I think is offensive to many religious people is the modern societal pressure upon us to accept all faiths as equally valid and true. I follow Jesus Christ because I believe He alone is the truth personified, He alone is the way to know God. I accept other faiths’ right to exist, but I reject the notion that their prophets are on a par with my wonderful Lord.


This really is only a certain perspective, one that is part of a larger trend according to Pew polls and other statistics done about having Muslims as neighbors. I do believe as I mentioned, given our circumstances, the challenges we face in this country and within our own Muslim community, this resolution is/was a "historical" marker on the integral nature Islam has played in America and will continue to play.

1 comment:

Huda Shaka` said...

Thanks for posting those diverse and frank responses Affad. I don't know where to begin with Rev. Griem's letter. The "Allah of Ramadan"? Hasn't he ever heard of the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths and the many common aspects they share (most importantly the belief in the One and Almighty God)?
"We are at war with Muslims abroad." And all this time I thought the US was fighting "terrorists" and dictators to bring democracy and peace to the people of the Middle East and the world.
I'm glad the Rev. was not worried about being P.C. because his response is a reality check, at least for me. So much work to be done...

I do agree though with Pastor Barta's point about accepting all faiths as equally valid and true.

As for the resolution about the Armenian genocide, I'll try to post on that soon insha'Allah.

I wonder what the younger generation of Americans think about the Ramadan resolution? I hope there are not as many Rev. Griems amongst them.