An open discussion / dialog between Christians and Muslims


#1

Okay, there have been MANY threads on this board regarding Islam, some positive or neutral but mostly negatives. I understand that there are some people whose sole purpose in life is to bash Islam, but there are also others who are truly interested in knowing more about Islam. I also understand that there are some “Muslims” whose sole purpose is to bash other religion but there are also Muslims here who are genuinely interested in having a dialog with non Muslims, especially Christians.
So, please have an open mind. Do not bash Islam, Christianity or any other religion and be respectful of each member’s opinion. So, most likely cest, inJesus,murtad,daniel and host of others should try not to participate in this thread unless you know your manners. Same goes to ashok and freedomm to some degrees. I know you two want to correct the image of Islam but bashing Christianity or questioning irrelevant things are not the way brothers.
**My first question to the Christians are how many Muslims do you know in real life? and how is your relationship with them? **feel free to answer or ask me or any other Muslim a question. Feel free to question my beliefs as long as you dont try to abuse or bash my beliefs. Remember, have an open mind and be willing to learn and accept things with an open mind.
Thanks and happy posting. :slight_smile:


#2

Hi Muslim,

First, mash’ullah that you had the courage given to you to start this thread. Thank you.
To your question, I first knew a Muslim girl in high school. Her family were refugees of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Always helpful and knowledgeable. I really liked her.

Now, as a college freshman, I’ve briefly met a few more Muslims. I’ve also seen *musliimaat *wearing hijaab around campus. Some with skin as pale as my Irish complexion – I can only think they are Bosniaks. Tomorrow night is another meeting of the campus Interfaith Council, so I’ll update you if you’d like.

My question to you has to do with Palestinian Christians. I know that the issue of Palestine is huge in the Islamic world, even to the politically moderate Muslims. Are the Palestinian Christians viewed as trespassers on the *waqd al-muslimeen? *Is their status discussed in contemporary Islamic jurisprudence?


#3

[quote=Muslim]I also understand that there are some “Muslims” whose sole purpose is to bash other religion
[/quote]

Are you reffering to yourself?


#4

[quote=Irene]Hi Muslim,

First, mash’ullah that you had the courage given to you to start this thread. Thank you.
To your question, I first knew a Muslim girl in high school. Her family were refugees of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Always helpful and knowledgeable. I really liked her.

Now, as a college freshman, I’ve briefly met a few more Muslims. I’ve also seen *musliimaat *wearing hijaab around campus. Some with skin as pale as my Irish complexion – I can only think they are Bosniaks. Tomorrow night is another meeting of the campus Interfaith Council, so I’ll update you if you’d like.

My question to you has to do with Palestinian Christians. I know that the issue of Palestine is huge in the Islamic world, even to the politically moderate Muslims. Are the Palestinian Christians viewed as trespassers on the *waqd al-muslimeen? *Is their status discussed in contemporary Islamic jurisprudence?
[/quote]

hey Irene,
Assalamualaikum (peace be on you)
college freshman eh… it will be fun times… just dont get too carried away or you will end up repeating it like me :wink:
yeah Palestine is a huge issue, not only because most of them are our Muslim brothers but also that it is very unfair what Israel does and even non Muslims agree with that. Palestinian Christians have every right as any other Palestinian citizen. Remember, Palestine is a nation (or wanting to be one), not a theocratic state. I actually read an interview with one of the top Hamas leader about the status of Palestinian Christians and he said that they are our “brothers” and we are both struggling for the same goal of an independent Palestine and that they are protected and no one should harm them. I think Hamas or some other Palestinian groups protected tons of Churches in Palestine during the whole cartoon furor.
The thing about Islam is that, there is no official judge, ruler, etc. in Islam. You are responsible for your own actions and interpretations, etc. The more radical ones say that non Muslims are protected but second class citizens. Most of the Muslims, however says that non Muslims are protected and equal to Muslims. It all comes down to ones interpretation and the Government’s interpretation. I hope I have answered your question, but if you are still confused please feel free to ask. I am sure I will try to do my best to answer or maybe someone else could answer. My question to you is that how does it feel being a practicing and devoted Christian (i am assuming but I hope I am right) in college where everyone else is doing exactly the opposite. I know there must be tons of pressure.


#5

My first roommate in college was a Muslim. He has moved away long since then, but his cousin that I have known all that time is still one of my best friends… some time ago I would have just said “best” friend, but a several times recently he has had too many internal struggles and ill-planned attempts to fit in with the in-crowd for me to hang out with him near as much as I used to. Sometimes my only feasible choice has been to stand back and let him get burned. Geez, that’s all another story in itself… :frowning:

I’ve met a few other Muslims in college off and on as well, and known them to varying degrees.


#6

[quote=Muslim]Okay, there have been MANY threads on this board regarding Islam, some positive or neutral but mostly negatives. I understand that there are some people whose sole purpose in life is to bash Islam, but there are also others who are truly interested in knowing more about Islam. I also understand that there are some “Muslims” whose sole purpose is to bash other religion but there are also Muslims here who are genuinely interested in having a dialog with non Muslims, especially Christians.
So, please have an open mind. Do not bash Islam, Christianity or any other religion and be respectful of each member’s opinion. So, most likely cest, inJesus,murtad,daniel and host of others should try not to participate in this thread unless you know your manners. Same goes to ashok and freedomm to some degrees. I know you two want to correct the image of Islam but bashing Christianity or questioning irrelevant things are not the way brothers.
**My first question to the Christians are how many Muslims do you know in real life? and how is your relationship with them? **feel free to answer or ask me or any other Muslim a question. Feel free to question my beliefs as long as you dont try to abuse or bash my beliefs. Remember, have an open mind and be willing to learn and accept things with an open mind.
Thanks and happy posting. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I knew one muslim in college. We got along pretty well, he was a pretty nice kid.


#7

[quote=Muslim]hey Irene,
Assalamualaikum (peace be on you)
college freshman eh… it will be fun times… just dont get too carried away or you will end up repeating it like me :wink:
yeah Palestine is a huge issue, not only because most of them are our Muslim brothers but also that it is very unfair what Israel does and even non Muslims agree with that. Palestinian Christians have every right as any other Palestinian citizen. Remember, Palestine is a nation (or wanting to be one), not a theocratic state. I actually read an interview with one of the top Hamas leader about the status of Palestinian Christians and he said that they are our “brothers” and we are both struggling for the same goal of an independent Palestine and that they are protected and no one should harm them. I think Hamas or some other Palestinian groups protected tons of Churches in Palestine during the whole cartoon furor.

[/quote]


Who were they protecting the Churches from?  Certainly not Christians or Jews.  Where was the protection when terrorist took over the Church of the Nativity a few years ago?  Palestinians could have had their own state years ago if they would have accepted the Oslo accords.

I know 2 Muslims, neither of them is at all religious.  Several years ago I knew a militant Palestinian Muslim who was a big time backer of the PLO.  His brother was in prison in Israel for shooting an Israeli soldier.  I don't think he was in any way representative of Islam.  So I must admit that my personal knowledge of religious, regular Muslims is very limited.

#8

[quote=Muslim]Okay, there have been MANY threads on this board regarding Islam, some positive or neutral but mostly negatives. I understand that there are some people whose sole purpose in life is to bash Islam, but there are also others who are truly interested in knowing more about Islam. I also understand that there are some “Muslims” whose sole purpose is to bash other religion but there are also Muslims here who are genuinely interested in having a dialog with non Muslims, especially Christians.
So, please have an open mind. Do not bash Islam, Christianity or any other religion and be respectful of each member’s opinion. So, most likely cest, inJesus,murtad,daniel and host of others should try not to participate in this thread unless you know your manners. Same goes to ashok and freedomm to some degrees. I know you two want to correct the image of Islam but bashing Christianity or questioning irrelevant things are not the way brothers.
**My first question to the Christians are how many Muslims do you know in real life? and how is your relationship with them? **feel free to answer or ask me or any other Muslim a question. Feel free to question my beliefs as long as you dont try to abuse or bash my beliefs. Remember, have an open mind and be willing to learn and accept things with an open mind.
Thanks and happy posting. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Im sorry but christians dont do “muslim bashing”. The only bashing being done is by muslims against already established christian beliefs. Just go to whyislam.org and u’ll get the picture.


#9

[quote=jayb]Im sorry but christians dont do “muslim bashing”. The only bashing being done is by muslims against already established christian beliefs. Just go to whyislam.org and u’ll get the picture.
[/quote]

I don’t want to disagree but I must. Yes, some of us have been guilty of ‘bashing’ Muslims, me included. ‘Muslim’ started what to me seems a very civil discourse, let’s all try to keep it that way. We can have our differences with out being nasty. I do not accept the teachings or beliefs of Islam but I think we should try to be respectful with our disagreements. I am trying to be better at this myself. I am not always successful but I am trying.


#10

My boss, a number of years ago, was Muslim, as were many of the higher ups in the company. While there was a distinct preference given to muslim employees (extra assistance, business leads and contacts etc) Robert was pretty fair in wanting all of us to do well.

But it was also clear that he was not “active” in any of the five pillars… so maybe he does not count.

During the same time period, the 80’s, I lived on the outskirts of what is the largest community of Muslims in the country, I believe - Dearborn Michigan. The climate has changed drastically. My neighbors who were at one time quiet, peaceful, and not a lot different from non-Muslims (except in dress) slowly became defensive, and arrogant… even demanding to speak in Catholic Churches to Catholic parishioners to “explain” who and what they were. Two pastors actually allowed it, and recently that effort has again surfaced.

I really don’t remember any efforts in the Christian community to do the same thing… instead, the non-Muslim businesses just moved out, and most of the main streets in eastern Dearborn look nothing but Muslim.

Since 9/11, the neighbors who I have been in contact with since moving (the non-Muslims) only wish to move. They are not concerned about property values… on the contrary, they will get full value… in American dollars too;)


#11

Hi Muslim, I know dozens of Muslims in real life. Some are family, some are friends, some in passing.

Now, how many Christians do you know in real life?

And, yes the muslims I know like to debate.


#12

I know a Muslim couple from India (not Pakistan). They are nice people. We haven’t discussed religion.

Muslim, I don’t want to be someone who bashes Islam. I don’t think two of the world’s great religions should be at odds with each other. I question the motives behind some of the spin on the stories about clashes between the two.

But then stories like Abdul Rahmen’s situation, frankly, scare me. Any Christian would feel empathy for this man. And the fact that he has been released but some local clerics are still calling for his death by a mob killing is REALLY scary too.

When we question things like Abdul Rahmen’s situation the replies we get from muslims on here are:
“That’s not real Islam”.
“Then what is?” we ask. We get vague answers in response.
“Do you think he should die?” Again we get vague answers about something called fitnah. References to Christians killing apostates 1000 years ago.
“Does the Koran command this?” Once more, vague answers about not being able to understand the Koran unless you read Arabic.

Would these kind of responses make YOU feel safe, Muslim?

Anyway, I think Islam’s reputation, if not essence, have been kidnapped by militant Wahabi-ism, and I’m not sure what if anything could be done by that.


#13

[quote=Daniel Marsh]Hi Muslim, I know dozens of Muslims in real life. Some are family, some are friends, some in passing.

Now, how many Christians do you know in real life?

And, yes the muslims I know like to debate.
[/quote]

plenty… i live in a Catholic neighborhood where there are atleast 15 Churches in this neighborhood…the older people are more devout and stuff but the younger ones are all messed up. this neighborhood has a huge gang problem.


#14

[quote=Ella]I know a Muslim couple from India (not Pakistan). They are nice people. We haven’t discussed religion.

Muslim, I don’t want to be someone who bashes Islam. I don’t think two of the world’s great religions should be at odds with each other. I question the motives behind some of the spin on the stories about clashes between the two.

But then stories like Abdul Rahmen’s situation, frankly, scare me. Any Christian would feel empathy for this man. And the fact that he has been released but some local clerics are still calling for his death by a mob killing is REALLY scary too.

When we question things like Abdul Rahmen’s situation the replies we get from muslims on here are:
“That’s not real Islam”.
“Then what is?” we ask. We get vague answers in response.
“Do you think he should die?” Again we get vague answers about something called fitnah. References to Christians killing apostates 1000 years ago.
“Does the Koran command this?” Once more, vague answers about not being able to understand the Koran unless you read Arabic.

Would these kind of responses make YOU feel safe, Muslim?

Anyway, I think Islam’s reputation, if not essence, have been kidnapped by militant Wahabi-ism, and I’m not sure what if anything could be done by that.
[/quote]

well, the Abdul Rahmen story is kind of crazy. these people make me sick but look at Afghanistan’s history. before the taliban almost nobody was religious, there were alcohol everywhere, prostitution, then the war… then the taliban came and it was peaceful for some time and they started getting overzealous and the people who grew up in the times of the taliban learned nothing but war and murder… i had a friend long time ago whose parents escaped from the taliban with him and his siblings but back then no one knew what the taliban were and what kind of sick things they did until 9/11 came.
i have no idea where they get that you have to execute an apostate. its true it was done during wars but thats because apostasy was considered treasony and believe it or not treason is still punishable by death in most countries. these people are the kind of people who takes stuff out of context and uses it for their own beliefs.
i dont think these crazy people have kidnapped by religion but like you said it kidnapped the repuatation of it in the Western world.


#15

[quote=Muslim]Okay, there have been MANY threads on this board regarding Islam, some positive or neutral but mostly negatives. I understand that there are some people whose sole purpose in life is to bash Islam, but there are also others who are truly interested in knowing more about Islam. I also understand that there are some “Muslims” whose sole purpose is to bash other religion but there are also Muslims here who are genuinely interested in having a dialog with non Muslims, especially Christians.
So, please have an open mind. Do not bash Islam, Christianity or any other religion and be respectful of each member’s opinion. So, most likely cest, inJesus,murtad,daniel and host of others should try not to participate in this thread unless you know your manners. Same goes to ashok and freedomm to some degrees. I know you two want to correct the image of Islam but bashing Christianity or questioning irrelevant things are not the way brothers.
[/quote]

Well, in all honesty, my perception of Islam has changed drastically over the years. I went to a Catholic high school and my first encounter with Islam was in a world cultures class; in fact my perception of Islam as a peaceful religion was shaped there. In light of events over the last five or six years I no longer believe Islam is a peacful religion. I do not say this without reason… As recently as Monday in Afghanistan I read: …hundreds of clerics, students and others chanting "Death to Christians!" from: foxnews.com/story/0,2933,189312,00.html . And that’s just one example. Recalling the cartoons of Muhammed… They were published in Denmark (if I’m not mistaken) why then would Muslims hack my local newspaper’s webside (in almost the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania) in retaliation? Our local paper never printed the cartoons… The Muslim response was not rational and without justice.

[quote=Muslim]**My first question to the Christians are how many Muslims do you know in real life? and how is your relationship with them? **feel free to answer or ask me or any other Muslim a question. Feel free to question my beliefs as long as you dont try to abuse or bash my beliefs. Remember, have an open mind and be willing to learn and accept things with an open mind.
[/quote]

I am aware of many and I know several, they tend to keep to themselves and yes, I treat them with the same consideration as I do everyone. There is one exeption… a cashier at a local grocery store. She’s polite, considerate, helpful - she’s great, but also in the back of my mind I know that in another country she’d be executed for just talking to me…


#16

[quote=Muslim]**My first question to the Christians are how many Muslims do you know in real life? and how is your relationship with them? **
[/quote]

I have only gotten to know a single man that is Muslim. His story is incredible.

He came to the US as a war refugee from Somalia. He and his wife were physically separated in the war. He found her 12 years later and it took another 3 for them to be reunited. She finally made it here to the states and they have a child together now.

I liked this guy (I have moved and we no longer work together). When ever we would talk about generic faith matters (prayer life, living out the will of God) our conversations were always good. But we could not discuss politics or current events because he was so anti-Jewish.

Then Sept 11 happened. He delighted in the 9-11 attacks saying it was Israel’s fault and now America would wise up to what Zionism is all about. That was it for me. I kept our conversations work related after that.

This is my only interpersonal relationship experience with a Muslim. It gets mixed reviews from me.


#17

I used to live in a country where the major religion is moslem. Some of my teachers in catholic primary & secondary schools were moslems. Some of my class mates were moslems.

Now my son goes to a catholic primary school. His last two years class teacher was a moslem. She was very gentle in class and my son’s favorite teacher.

Most moslems I know, most of them does not read the Quran. Some who can read Arabic, but do not understand the meaning of what they read (They read the arabic letters, not necessarily understand the language).

I find them “moderate” in practicing Islam. Their ethnic background is much stronger than their “Islam”. They are very tolerant to other religions and easy to befriend with.

When I was in the university, I met some guys who understand the Quran more, because they read the translations and learn the language. I find them more “political” and “having prejudice” about many things.

Although I used to have many moslem friends, I don’t consider Islam as “peaceful religion”. Because the more somebody embrace The Quran, the less peaceful they are. There are many problems in my homecountry, that I believe rooted in Islam.


#18

Muslims I have known:

My local pizza guy. An Albanian Muslim, but more Albanian then Muslim. He had a pic of Mother Teresa on his wall since she was Albanian. He hated Serbs and loved America. Nice guy.

An Egyptian waiter I worked with. Was nice till the conversation turned to Copts. He lied about their persecution and when caught said “they deserved it”. Attacked Christianity without really knowing much about it. My first experience with this kind of duplicity.

A Muslim guy invited to speak to a church youth group. Came in and immediately used the opportunity to try and covert us all to Islam. Kids didn’t know how to respond and no adults were supposed to talk. I, a seminarian, finally stepped in and refuted him. The kids were very happy as it showed we could respond. It was a learning experience for me about being careful in interfaith situations.

2 Muslim clerics in Jerusalem. One smiled and was friendly enough. The other slapped my hand when I politely offered to shake his. He muttered Arabic curses of some sort. Would probably have beheaded me if he had the chance.

That will do for starters.


#19

[quote=francisca]Most moslems I know, most of them does not read the Quran. Some who can read Arabic, but do not understand the meaning of what they read (They read the arabic letters, not necessarily understand the language).

I find them “moderate” in practicing Islam. Their ethnic background is much stronger than their “Islam”. They are very tolerant to other religions and easy to befriend with.

When I was in the university, I met some guys who understand the Quran more, because they read the translations and learn the language. I find them more “political” and “having prejudice” about many things.
[/quote]

Yeah, that’s been my experience too! My friend I referred to in the above post was once telling me of some type of celebration they had for him when he had finally finished reading the Quran in Arabic (He doesn’t know Arabic). Apparently this is a pretty common thing to celebrate, when children first read the whole Quran cover to cover in Arabic. Obviously he didn’t understand anything he read while he was doing this, so I found it odd why they would consider it so important to have him do this. I asked him if he had read it the same way in English and he said no. Mainly he just hears various passages sometimes, as interpreted by his imam.

What strikes me as particularly odd is that even though he’s recognized by his peers as having read the Quran front to back in the “official” way, every time I ask him a particularly tough question about his faith I pretty much always get the response “I’ll have to ask my imam.” He seems like a very tolerant person usually, just like you mentioned, but a lot of times you can tell his religion is really just so engrained into his cultural identity that he will adamantly defend it no matter what.

Like you, I have also generally found that the Muslims who are more “religious” and understand the Quran and the original interpretations more on their own (usually they tend to come straight from foreign countries in the instances I’ve seen) do indeed tend to be more prejudicial toward certain things. Not to mention they often place a very high importance on obstinate ritualism. These people usually won’t say those type of things to my face, but sometimes I will hear of it anyway when one of their more “moderate” friends slips up in a conversation and mentions things they heard from them elsewhere.


#20

Muslim,
My son in law is a Christian from southern Lebanon. He said that the civil war in Lebanon was the fault of the Palestinians who came into Lebanon when they left Israel, or were driven out depending on your point of view. He gets along with most Lebanise Moslems but detests the Palestinians for what he said they did and are doing to his country. He thinks the Syrians were a little better than the PLO and the Israelis a little better than the Syrians. He wants them all out of Lebanon, including the Palestinians most of who were born in Lebanon. Are you familiar with the situation there and if so what is your perspective as a Muslim?


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