By Ibrahim A Aziz (Imam/Chaplain)) Retired
I am writing the following few lines in a spirit of reconciliation, religious understanding and good will. The other evening I happened upon your CBN show and you once again presented your extremist views on Islam and attempted to malign my faith and falsely accuse Muslims in general, rather than the terrorists whom are despicable by all standards especially Islamic ones. Oddly enough you praised Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Sisi and stated that President Elect Trump will take a much clearer stance than President Obama in helping Muslim Nations against extremists. You failed to mention that President Sisi is a believing Muslim and is in the forefront of the battle against the criminal terrorists. I am certain that President Sisi believes that his battle against the extremists is to defend both the honor of his Islamic faith as well as his country. That he as former President Mubarak embraces the Christians of Egypt and envisioned a nation shared by all faiths based upon of the tolerance of Islam. President Mubarak reached out to the world years before 9/11 warning of the coming storm of fury—sadly his clarion call fell on deaf ears. He had witnessed the assignation of Anwar Sadat and stressed that the same nefarious thugs would spread their terrorism around the world. It was as he predicted the same gang whom masterminded the attack on the world trade towers and US pentagon.
You offered your mistaken position that Islam is not a religion of peace; rather you maliciously declared it a religion of war, stating that the Quran is the force behind the malignancy of the terrorists. Strangely enough you espouse a version of terrorist Islam; you seem to also harbor with the terrorists the idea of a Christian crusade to crush Muslims. With no knowledge of Arabic you inaccurately mistranslate Islam as submission which is only accurate if one intends submission to God and his Omnipotent will. I am hard pressed to think that you can define Christianity as other than loving submission rather than demonic rebellion against the Lord of all Being and His most basic commandments of decency.
Arabic shares the Semitic structure of Hebrew and as is universally known the greeting of Salamu Alikum means Peace be upon you and could hardly translate as submission be upon you. Hebrew shares a similar greeting of Peace be upon you.
I am an American Muslim of now a half century; I proudly accept my faith and defend it against the current hostile and often hateful speech which is being irresponsibly spread around by people such as yourself who should know better.
Islam shares with all religions especially the Monotheisms a glorious history and yet being practiced by fallible humans has some incidents which may not always be blameless.
Let me remind you in I hope a friendly manner that the last 3 centuries have been dominated by Europe and its culture inspired by its Christian heritage. I will not dishonor the Churches and their teachings which Islam has always defended although of course having a different position on many of the fundamentals of current Biblical faith.
The late Father Massigon pointed out that Islam in his view, which played a large part in Vatican 2, was much closer to Christianity than Judaism which rejected Jesus Christ and his Mother and maligned them both whereas the Quran and Muslims believe and revere both of them. Indeed as you must know the Virgin Mary is the only female to have an entire chapter of the Quran dedicated to her story. To believe in Jesus Christ is as mandatory for Muslim faith as is belief in the Prophet Muhammad. Indeed Islam shares with you the belief in the Basic Bible tales of Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Jonah, Abraham, Joseph, John the Baptist, Solomon and King David. Of course the Quran stresses life after death and final judgement. The basic commandments are shared by all of us and that is why the great medieval thinkers Thomas Aquinas and Rabbi Maimonides philosophically lived in a world of Islamic Arabic thoughts and ideas. Most historians hold that the benefits of modern science are indebted to Arabic scholarship that was passed on to Europe. The world of Islam is so closely woven to the Bible that even until today pictures of life in the time of Jesus are taken of current Palestinian Bedouins.
I feel in good faith I should not continue to allow reckless, false denigration of the noble religion of Islam or the Glorious character of the Prophet Muhammad and his monumental accomplishments for Islam and the entire world.
I embarrassingly remind you that many of the atrocities of the past few centuries have come out of Christian lands –although I know that the religion of Jesus Christ has no accountability for these crimes. Perhaps you have forgotten:
The inquisition against both Muslims and Jews, torture, execution and finally expulsion from all of Spain.
The transatlantic slave trade and the horror of centuries of bondage and its lingering impact. The assault upon Africa was especially brutal due to perception of blacks as the least human of all races furthest removed from whites. This would be shared both by Christians based upon their interpretation of the Bible, and scientific racists using pseudo-science…
The colonization and destruction of indigenous cultures worldwide, China, India, Middle East, Africa and South America. Include in this the brutal assault upon the American Natives.
Many scholars hold that the hopeless situation of worldwide inequity between the first and developing worlds was put in place by these forces and have left a perpetual heritage of poverty and underdevelopment.
The two world wars both Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin were baptized Christians.
The Holocaust and the rise and spread of philosophical racism.
The acceptance of doctrines of “scientific” racism leading to US segregation and South African Apartheid.
The unleashing of philosophical atheism inspired by European thinkers from Christian background, Darwinism, Communism, Nazism and Atheistic Secular Humanism.
Development of modes of production that severely create permanent underclasses and widened the gap between rich and poor. These same machines of development have unleashed ecological forces that threaten the environment. Much of this came about by the exploitation of colonialism.
The widespread adoption of immorality as valid life styles, sexual cohabitation free of matrimony or marriage redefined in ways unimaginable to traditional cultures worldwide.
The whole sale validation of alcoholism and drug addiction. The exploitative practice of usury which has enslaved many of the world’s poorest.
The spread of pornographic culture and its normalization and adoption of immoral codes of dress and behavior as a part of normal life.
Finally the spread of doctrines and lifestyles that seek to destroy the very the fiber of mankind as we know him/her throughout all of human history.
I am aware of many of the blessings to all of us that have also came in these centuries—I think that they are based upon our shared Judeo-Christian-Islamic heritage. All three of us benefited from the cultural genius of the Greeks and Romans.
So Pastor, I humbly request that you cease your propaganda war against Islam and Muslims, join in with President Sisi and the majority of Muslim nations and simple Muslims against the terrorists and see them as an aberration rather than a normal aspect of Islam. Please cease the virulent attacks upon Islam that seek to flame the fires of mass hate and may lead some to violence.