Thursday, September 20, 2007

Islamic and Christian proselytising

Islam protects itself against conversions by putting apostates in prison or by killing them. But its obsession with conversion includes a series of privileges it claims for itself. So much so that in many Muslim countries, even those that are supposedly secular, the right to promote the Islamic faith is taken for granted and is not enshrined in law. Conversely, the right to promote any other religion is considered de facto and de jure unacceptable.
Islamic propaganda is part of the state’s mandate. In Egypt for example public institutions disseminate songs, prayers, movies and written material that praise Islam and denigrate Christianity. Inevitably this favours conversions to Islam. By contrast, Christian propaganda (tabshīr) is banned by law.
Recently in Algeria, a new law was approved that condemns anyone promoting the Christian faith and anyone who converts to Christianity. Of course, some might say that this kind of law is directed only at Protestant proselytising. True! But Muslims proselytise as well? Should the law not be the same for everyone?
Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly the country where double standards in matter of religion are the most glaring. One example: Saudi Arab Airlines’ website explicitly warns its passengers that Bibles, crucifixes, and any other non-Muslim religious symbol are prohibited on board. If any are found they are confiscated. Another example is when two pieces of wood happen to end up across one another. However inadvertently that may have come about, the resulting cross becomes ipso facto a religious symbol and police are known to have ordered people who happened to be nearby to step on them.
Anti-Christian propaganda is also found in how words are used. In Arabic Christians are called Massihi. In Arabia they are also called Salībi, crusaders, and Nasrami, Nazarenes. Interestingly, at the time of the Crusades Christians were by and large referred to as Faranj or Franks. But the most commonly used word today is kuffar, unbelievers who must be killed. For the past 30 or so years, its use has increasingly spread around the Muslim world.
By some estimates, the number of Christians who convert to Islam in Egypt is around 10,000, usually prompted by practical reasons like the need to divorce, or to marry a Muslim woman (or man), or to get a job. Rarely does faith come into the picture.
More recently there has been some talk about thousands of Muslim converts to Christianity. Protestant missionary centres, based in the United States (the Zwemer Institute* has been mentioned), are said to offer money, apartments, passports, etc in exchange for conversion to Christianity. Such charges have often found their way into the Muslim press in relation to the Hegazi affair.
In Arabic Tabshīr means ‘evangelisation’ and has taken on negative connotations. In Egypt and other countries anyone guilty of Tabshīr can end up in prison or pushed out of the country. On the other hand, dawah, which means a call to join Islam, has positive connotations and is seen as duty for every Muslim. In some Muslim countries dawah has its own ministry (or Ministry of Islamic Propaganda, a bit like the Vatican’s dicastery De propaganda fide).
When shall there be a spiritual Islam?
Leaving Islam is seen as a religious, social and political outrage.
From a religious point of view, converts abandon the true faith for a false one. Indeed, the Qur’an itself warns that “The only religion approved by GOD is ‘Submission’ (Qur’an 3:19),” and “Anyone who accepts other than Submission as his religion [. . .] will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he will be with the losers” (Qur’an 3:85).
From a social point of view, someone who converts to Christianity and encourages others to follow him or her becomes a cancer on society.
From a political point of view, anyone leaving Islam is a traitor, a spy against his own nation who deserves death, because Islam is always viewed as a community, the Ummah.

Read the full report here


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The comment above clearly depicts the typical Muslim response to open critism to their barbaric religion. Why are you guys who claim to be following the most peaceful religion come up with a more civilized and rational response to others' observations on your religion. What is talked about here is the reality in Muslim countries today. They are the most backward, uncivilized and barbaric lot who are still following a beduine pedophile and murderer called Muhammed. History proves that beyond any doubt. Now it is up to the muslims to fully understand their own history.

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It is sad to know that we have this religous difference among this minor population. i was born a muslim and taught islamic manners and teachings. therefore although i was born as a one, i was provided enough to research and to think using my own brain without any influence from the rest of the world. i have learnt that muslims are the best educated, scially responsible and most feared people by westerners in this world. due to this non beleivers tend to keep on doing what ever they can to keep us under their controll as they are afraid to give us total freedom for the fear of us getting up on to our own foot and show to the rest of the world how civilized we are and how powerful as a group we are. i love being a MUSLIM and i will DIE as a MUSLIM......I am saddened to see the bad comment about our beloved prophet "Muhammad Rasoolullah" PBUH on this blogg. woe unto him/her who has posted that. he deserved complete punishment from "Allah" the most powerful, the most knowing.
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