Monday, February 23, 2009

Religious Self Criticism

Last month, I referred to a devout Muslim American whose name is Khaled Hamid who blogs at Khaled Hamid Forum. He recently wrote a wonderful post criticizing the state of his own faith for not addressing the important issues Muslims face today such as Sunni-Shiite tensions and behaving righteously (by not beheading your wife).

Here is an excerpt:
Listening to recent Friday sermons debating the authenticity of Christmas as a religious occasion, or of the devilish pagan origins of Halloween seems to me and to many fellow Muslims like disputing whether our neighbor's house has proper foundation or not, while our own house is on fire.
A commenter that goes by the name of bettyzoole leaves this comment:
I once heard a rabbi say that most people worry about the spiritual well-being of other people and the physical well-being of themselves -- but that what God wants from us is to worry about the physical well-being of other people, and the spiritual well-being of ourselves!

Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all agree on this. It is very sad that most of their followers don't, really.
All religions suffer from this. If you notice that your clergy is criticizing your neighbor's house while his is on fire, let him know.


Comrade Tovya said...

Hey that's a pretty cool. I would like to see a lot more this really...

People think I'm joking, but I really do hate to see Islam demonized. I wish they would clean up their religious house, and I'd be the first to reap praises upon them.

Michael W. said...

I think most Muslims hate the radicals among them, especially those in the US. But I don't think many acknowledge that they have a problem and their religious leaders aren't addressing it.

Comrade Tovya said...

True. Furthermore, I believe that most of them fear speaking out against radical Islam.

Two of my very best friends in the world are Palestinian Muslims (very non-religious though), and they tell me that it is a fact.

They say that at least 1/3 of Muslims in the Middle East are actually NOT ant-Israel or anti-American... but if they don't go to the anti-West rallies, they will be beaten, killed, or called a Zionist supporter..

Therefore they are forced to be vocal in support of something that they actually do not agree with.

It's a shame really.

Michael W. said...

This reminds me of when Iran shut down a student newspaper during the Gaza war because the newspaper condemned Israel and Hamas, and not just Israel. Iran has many secular intelligent people but the country is ran by "criminals" so they try to live under the radar.

Comrade Tovya said...

Iran, for all the criticism it gets from me because of its leadership, has a wonderful citizenry. I have a deep affection for the Persian people.

Iran's people largely would be elated to be democratic... they desperately desire the freedom to choose their own destiny.

That's why regime change should be both the U.S. and Israel's #1 goal. Unlike a lot of the Islamic world, Iran is itching to live in a free society... and if we'd just give them the support that they need, both Israel and the United States would have a great friend in the region--and a true friend at that.

Iran is NOT a backwards nation, they unfortunately are simply ruled by backwards leadership. If they were to get the regime change that they desire, Iran would literally overnight be a beacon of light in a very dim part of the world.

And almost as important, there would be another "moderate" Islamic nation outside of Turkey. And that would actually add a lot of credence to the claim that a moderate form of Islam truly does exist.

Furthermore, this would encourage other moderates to consider pushing for regime change in their nations as well.

I've never believed that Islam in and of itself is fascist, but I do believe that the way Islam is largely interpreted by its followers is.

Islam wasn't always this way... funny enough, at one time, it looked saintly when compared to the Christian world.

The question is, how do we in the west help the moderate minority with regime change without an unnecessary amount of violence? Outside of speaking out against radical Islam, I've never really found another way that is effective.

It's very odd to love my Islamic brothers as a Jew, yet have to speak out against them in the same breath. It's very frustrating.