Can Muslims Be Good Americans? A counterpoint…


We Watsons aren’t much, but we marry well.

My wife got one of those email forwards from a friend and fellow conservative Christian who, in her mind, probably meant well as a patriot, but had a need for serious corrections to her line of thinking about “all Muslims”.

It got me to re-think some of my more bombastic statements about terrorism with regard to our airports. I’m still an advocate of more profiling at airports and other public places because of the fact that what we’re doing is seriously NOT working, and apparently getting worse. BUT, I think we need to tread very carefully as Christians when we start initiating stereotyping based on another person’s heartfelt religious beliefs.  Having been a recipient at times of prejudiced and bigoted statements from fellow Christians simply because I don’t believe in basing all my knowledge of God solely on extra-scriptural creeds, I have to say this response from my wise and kind wife hits the nail on the head.

Self-proclaimed “Christians” like the one she’s responding to are the reason our Muslim friends have very few Christian friends. This person is an example of why people like my wife are able to share the Gospel with Muslims at all.

(Emphasis added. Names changed to protect identities.)

Hey, Martha. 🙂  I’ve inserted my own perspectives just from my friendship with the two Muslim women I know best (my fellow co-worker, Afrah, and Haleema who lived with us for a year):

> Theologically – no. . . . Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon
> God of Arabia.
>
You could then say that Christians cannot be good Americans, because our allegiance is to the God of the Bible instead of to our country…?  This line doesn’t make much sense to me.
> Religiously – no.. . . Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah
> Except Islam (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)
My Muslim friends have talked with me a lot about how they as Muslims consider us to be Brothers (and sisters 🙂 ) of the Book – I don’t know the Qu’ran enough to know where to find it (of course), but you might be able to find it here:  http://www.google.com/search?q=%22brothers+of+the+book%22+qu%27ran&btnG=Search&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=HcQ&sa=2
> Geographically – no . Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he
> Turns in prayer five times a day.
…as I am sure there are many Orthodox Jews who feel that extreme allegiance to Israel as well – does that mean they aren’t good Americans?  I have never heard any of my Muslim friends say that they consider themselves “loyal to” Mecca over America anymore than I have heard a Christian say they are “loyal to” Israel over America – but those are sacred places in our worship, hearts, and minds.
> Socially – no. . . Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make
> Friends with Christians or Jews .
That’s definitely not the case.  Afrah and Haleema are my dear friends.

You could also say that the NT commands us to not be friends with anyone who is not a Christian; would living that way make us good Americans?  ((2 Corinthians 6:14), etc.)

> Politically – no.. . . Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual
> Leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America,
> The great Satan.
Also not true of all Muslims worldwide – that’s like saying that Christians are not loyal Americans because they follow the Pope.  First off, not all Christians follow the Pope – just the Catholics.  Different factions of Islam have different mullahs, whose interpretation of Qu’ranic Law varies.  Would you say that Catholics aren’t good Americans because if the Pope tells them to do something that contradicts something American law states, they would? (I don’t even know if that’s true – I’m just making the analogy.)
> Domestically – no. .. . Because he is instructed to marry four Women and
> Beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34 )
Within Islam, there is much debate about the correct interpretation of that verse (http://www.brandeis.edu/projects/fse/Pages/adifficultverse.html, for example).   You could similarly use the “spare the rod” verse to justify child abuse, from a Biblical standpoint – these people do:  http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/557922
>
> Intellectually – no. . Because he cannot accept the American
> Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the
> Bible to be corrupt.
So do millions of non-religious Americans in this country (believe the Bible to be corrupt).  I think I’m having trouble accepting that a “good American” by definition is only one that accepts a literal, narrow interpretation of the Christian Bible.
> Philosophically – no. . . . Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does
> Not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot
> Co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
>
88% of Bangladesh is Muslim.  They have a president, parliament, and prime minister.
> Spiritually – no.. . . Because when we declare ‘one nation under God,’
> The Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to
> As Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran’s 99
> Excellent names.
A problem that a lot of non-Christians have with accepting Christianity is the God of the Old Testament.  They read the account of how Joshua was commanded to have every living thing slain, and they don’t think that screams “love and mercy”.

Here are the 99 names of God according to Islam – many of them talk about mercy, forgiveness, love (see 48), kindness (see 31, 49, 77)  – http://www.themodernreligion.com/basic/islam_99_names.htm

> Therefore, after much study and deliberation…. Perhaps we should be
> Very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. – – –
Unfortunately, I don’t think the writer of this email did -any- study or deliberation – I would actually doubt they know anyone who is a Muslim.  Do I believe that Islam contains “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”?  Of course not – as a Christian, I believe that is only found in Jesus Christ.  However, I also think it is contrary to what Jesus Christ taught to vilify millions of people and to make broad (mostly incorrect) generalizations about them or their faith in order to promote an “us vs. them” mentality.  Christ could have spent his days rebuking the Samaritans for their incorrect practice of Judaism and reminding them that they were considered to be the least of all humanity, or traveling far and wide to spread His gospel to those who had never even heard of Judaism, let alone him….but instead, He spent his time not only teaching the hurting who were right in his surroundings, but also heavily rebuking those scholars, leaders, and teachers who ought to have known better, who should have been the first to accept His teachings if they were truly as spiritual as they liked to believe (Sanhedrin, Pharisees, etc.).

I can’t think of a single major world religion whose followers have not committed atrocities in the name of that religion – Jews, Christians, Muslims, we’re all in that same boat.

On the other hand, almost every person I have met that I would consider to be a true follower of his or her religion has exemplified almost the exact same standards of kindness, patience, love, forgiveness – all of those things we know to be the fruits of the Spirit – and I believe that our Father blesses those who live according to His truths, even if they don’t have all of those truths in one place or even if they find them in a different place than I did.  I don’t imagine Him saying, “Well, my daughter Haleema, you showed the Watson family so much love and kindness, patience and helpfulness – but I’m sorry, because you were taught to do that from the Qur’an instead of the Bible, it doesn’t count and I can’t bless you for it.”

heh  Sorry this got a little long. 🙂  It just bothers me -a lot- when I see hate- and fear-mongering going around that could eventually come to hurt people that I care about very much.

*hugs* to you,

Shannon 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Can Muslims Be Good Americans? A counterpoint…

  1. I could just hug you – thanks so much for that great post! This problem and generally the problem of sending chain forwards is so bad, especially among Christians that it is fanning the fire of anti-Christian hatred because these chain letters perpetuate not only wrong-headed beliefs about Muslims, but terrible stereotypes about Christians as well. These chain letters and anyone who believes and passes them along, are giving Christianity a black eye. It infuriates me so much that I am actively seeking out other Christians who think like me and will NOT be chain letter sheeple and spread around hatred toward other religions. And that is all these insidious religious/politically charged forwards do. And we are definitely hated, but it is by people who generally turn their back on theism or at least any God-centric religion. The hate doesn’t come from Muslims against us, it comes from some atheists and some neopagans, some, not all. But chain letters that target Christians and whip them into a frenzy of forwarding on absolutely wrong things is only giving the anti-Christian contingent more reason to hate and “lulz” at Christians in general.

    If you’ve looked around for sites with debunks and rants against chain letters, you’ve probably run into tons of people who turn out to be anti-Christianity almost as much as they are anti-chain letter hoax. Well, I’m sick of that. And there are very few Christians in comparison, who speak out against chain letters of any stripe. It’s time that changed.

    So, thank goodness some of us are finally speaking out. I’m linking to your post on my site for Christians who smash chain letters. It is simply excellent!

    God bless, and happy new year!

    Capri

    • Glad you like the post! I love the woman who wrote most of it. Please do spread it far and wide. I like your chain-breakers Ning. Very cool.

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