By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 03/20/2011 01:27:26 AM PDT
Have you ever wondered how many people have died in the name of religion? How many were tortured by “God fearing” men? How many millions were demonized because they didn't practice certain religions? I have.
Before you decide I'm about to indulge in religion bashing, and the hair on your neck stands up, please read on. For the record, I believe all religions are right for those who choose to follow them. There are many positive things about religion that can't be ignored.
Some would argue that civilization bloomed because of religious influence upon governments. Religion is often the basis for laws and rules of behavior. Nearly all religions promote love, in one form or another. To each his own, I always say.
Now, I'll go right to my real bone of contention. That's the intolerance shown by some who claim to be peaceful followers of God. Case in point; the Christian extremists who are trying to sell the lie that Muslim “Sharia Law” is being forced upon people in the USA.
The poster boy for this attack on Islam is Pastor Terry Jones, the controversial Gainesville, Florida, pastor who made world headlines when he threatened to burn the Koran. He's at it again, folks.
He's promoting “International Judge the Koran Day,” today. Jones says the Koran will be judged, and he believes Muslims have to prove the book is a peaceful one.
Apparently Pastor Jones doesn't believe in the Christian admonition “Judge not, least ye be judged.” And who put him in charge of which religion is OK in America? Perhaps Pastor Jones should pay more attention to our Constitution. It guarantees freedom of religion.
He said, “I would not like it, but it's our right. We live in America. It is time to stand up and speak out on what we believe in. We believe that Islam is of the devil and is causing millions of people to go to hell. It is a deceptive religion. It is a violent religion. That has been proven many times.”
His reply clearly shows how screwed up he is. His hateful rhetoric would be laughable, if it didn't have such deadly overtones. No one in America is forced to practice Sharia Law, regardless of his baseless claims.
What's Pastor Jones and his followers biggest beef with Islam? It's really quite simple; “The Koran does not accept a normal Christian doctrine as presented by the Bible. It denies the crucifixion, resurrection, the existence of the Holy Trinity and the fact that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected.” They believe this is totally wrong.
Heavens! Can you imagine? Because another religion doesn't believe in your religion, they must be evil and out to destroy the world. Where do you think that kind of mindset will lead?
“We will be setting up a structured court session, including a judge, a jury, witnesses and representatives for both sides of the debate. We have issued pleas for Islam's best defense lawyers and attorneys to attend the event and make their case on behalf of all these so-called peaceful Muslims,” Pastor Jones told CNN last week.
Did you catch the part about “so-called peaceful Muslims” like such a thing is impossible? That tells you that no matter what argument is made for Islam, Pastor Jones and his prejudiced flock will find the religion guilty. Then what? Threaten to burn the Koran again and incite every devout Muslim in the world?
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this attack on Muslims is how many Americans are willing to believe the worst about Islam. I've heard people who normally don't strike me as extreme rant about the threat American Muslims present to our society. It's disheartening to say the least.
As It Stands, demonizing a religion out of mindless fear of a different doctrine will only lead to a societal breakdown and senseless prosecution of innocent people.
there’s been several positive emails, and this interesting one from the Council on American-Islamic Relations:
“As-salaamu alaikum (peace be upon you),
Someone, possibly you or a friend, wanted to join our e-mail list to receive pertinent information regarding news and events in the Muslim community.
We have upgraded our e-mail system and would like to offer you a choice for how CAIR press releases, action alerts and news updates can best serve you.
- Daily News Briefs: A bulletin of important news and information concerning the American Muslim community.
- Weekly Newsletter: A once-a-week newsletter that highlights the most significant items in one convenient email.
- Action Alerts: Alerts on an as-needed basis to mobilize and unify the American Muslim voice to respond to critical issues.
- News Releases: News items about the American Muslim community designed for media professionals.
If you’re interested in what this group does go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEBSITES THAT HAVE PICKED THIS COLUMN UP THUS FAR
World Focus News – The World’s latest news updates.
NEWSVINE.COM – Newsvine is continuously updated by citizens like you, NewsVine is an instant reflection of what the world is talking about at any given moment.
TOPIX NEWS FORUM – Linked to the Times-Standard
Christian Books – online shopping site for all things Christian
Article Newsvine – a website that generates news items from around the world
Genesis Christian Book Store – another online shopping site for Christian material.