Muslims Erect ‘Allah Has No Son’ Banner in Nazareth

And now, some news from Nazareth, which is the largest Arab city in Israel, and it is in Israel proper, not the West Bank. It used to be a Christian city, but over the years the % of Muslims has grown very quickly.

Muslims Erect ‘Allah Has No Son’ Banner in Nazareth


[...] Journalists visiting the city saw two large banners--one in English, one in Arabic--hanging in the plaza in front of the Basilica of the Annunciation, with a verse from the Koran (112:1-4) contradicting the New Testament proclamation that Jesus is the “only begotten” of God.

“In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful, Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the) One and Only. Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute. He begetteth not, nor was begotten, and there is none like unto him,” the banner reads.

Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy played down concerns that a banner effectively denying Jesus’ deity was provocative to Christians, although he did question its position, in front of Nazareth’s most prominent landmark. [...]


I will tell you that most Muslims I know don't really embrace this sort of confrontational behavior. But that's how it is in Nazareth and other places in the Middle East as well, and it's being exported to the West.

Comments

BillyHW said…
I will tell you that most Muslims I know don't really embrace this sort of confrontational behavior.

But what do they do to stop it?
Samuel said…
I say we fight fire with fire! Let the Christians in the Basilica of the Annunciation raise a larger counter-banner that quotes John 3.16.

But what do they do to stop it?

Stop the words of the Quran? If they try to, they and/or their families could be killed. That's why Muslim moderates have their hands tied behind their backs; not to mention that politically they're in agreement with Islamist jihadists, even if they don't agree on religious matters. They're in a catch 22.
Abu Daoud said…
I would put up a banner that says, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you," or "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Love your banner idea Abu Daoud!!

Another option would be to put up a banner that says we agree that God does not procreate... since that is what is meant in that particular passage!

Samuel,

Have you read "Who Speaks for Islam?"

If not, based on your comment regarding theological moderates supporting radical practices and ideology, I think you might enjoy it. It shows the distinction between theologically conservative Muslims and politically radical Muslims.

Peace to all,
From the Middle East
Abu Daoud said…
Hi FTME:

I like it too. I have always thought a great exercise of the Pope's ex cathedra power (I say the pope because Muslims tend to know who he is) would be to say infallibly that "Anyone who says that God had sexual intercourse with the Virgin Mary, anathema sit!" I mean, no Christian would disagree with it, but it sure would stir up some good conversation with Muslims!

That's it, I'm gonna call BXVI and let him know about this idea...
Rob said…
-put up a banner that says we agree that God does not procreate... since that is what is meant in that particular passage!-

Well, the Creed says Christ is the "only begotten son of God", and the Muslims said that God is not begotten nor has he begotten. They seem to be taking a direct shot at the Creed, not just at the idea of procreation.
Samuel said…
FTME, thanks for the recommendation, I'm sure there are 100's such books I didn't read, but I have read respectable material on that part of the world, including its history, as well as following them up on the news, and judging from my personal encounters with Muslims whom I've met (including moderates who are politically allied with Islamist jihadists, including some moderates who professed to be atheist).

Concerning my comment, to which you have cited that book in response, I was referring to a number of key commonalities between Muslim moderates and extremists on some key policies.

First, there is the Israel-Palestinian issue, and we know that moderates generally agree with the Islamists on that one (from most Muslim countries), as borne out my many polls. Most Muslim moderates do not recognize Israel's right to exist, in full agreement with their extremist counterparts.

Second, we have the favorable attitudes of Muslims, including moderates, toward Hizbullah and Hamas; with percentages near 50% and above in Arab countries, with 43% in Indonesia favoring Hizbullah and Hamas, and 81% in Bangladesh favoring Hamas. (Christians in the Middle East, on the other hand, have a very unfavorable opinion of Hizbullah and Hamas---in the 80 to 90% range.)

Third, polls show that most Muslim countries, not just Arab, view the US as a military threat. From where I stand, that has a number of other political repercussions between Muslim moderates and Islamists.

Fourth, I have heard from a number of moderate Muslims who say that Iran has a right to develop nuclear technology, even including nuclear weapons---citing Israel, Europe, Pakistan, etc. That's another hot issue today which they agree with extremists on and which drives their political ambitions. (I will grant that some Arab leaders have raised concerns about Iran developing nuclear weapons but their populations seem less concerned since a nuclear Iran is a threat to Israel.)

Fifth, most Muslims deny the Holocaust, and promote outlandish conspiracy theories (to no end), like the Protocols of Zion, which I have heard even moderates in North America cite as evidence of a global Jewish conspiracy (including blaming Israel for 9/11, and the "Zionists" for the economic crisis). Such political propaganda, common with Islamist jihadists, do not bode well for those moderate Muslims, or even Muslims in general.

These are a sample of key points that Muslim moderates and Muslim extremists agree on, and which illustrate (perhaps more clearly) the point of my comment.
Brother Rob,

The banner is not so much a shot at the triune nature of God as you believe... in its original context.

The evidence for this would be that it is a direct quote from the Generous Qur'an itself which defines the Trinity as God, Jesus and Mary.

I have met few Muslims who defined the Trinity as we do... most, that I have visited with, think we believe the "Son of God" is the product of a sexual union between God and Mary. ولد "begotten" is a horrible word in Arabic that implies sexual union to the Muslim ear.

Of course, I am sure that this was meant more as a political statement that a theological one!

Peace to you brother,
From the Middle East
Brother Samuel,

One of the major points the above referenced book makes is that, based on a multi-year, multi-country study done by Gallup, what makes a radical is not theological conservatism, but a highly politicized Muslim (conservative or moderate theologically). If I remember correctly, they define radical as those who support acts of terror against civilians (i.e. 911).

This mirrors my personal experience (and apparently yours) in that there are many theologically conservative Muslims who do not agree with things such as 911 and many moderate (and even liberal) Muslims who are staunch supporters... what gives? The study shows that theological conservatives and moderates are just as likely to support radicalism. The deciding factor is whether or not they are highly political folks. Interesting read to say the least.

Peace to you brother,
From the Middle East
Samuel said…
Hi FTME, thank you for your response. It looks like we agree on several key points. Just a few thoughts on some of them, though.

most [Muslims], that I have visited with, think we believe the "Son of God" is the product of a sexual union between God and Mary.

This is not at all surprising since most Muslims have the common attribute of deliberately misunderstanding their opponents in their rebuttals. They do this all the time in political discourse, so in religion and theology is no exception. They look for conspiracies and propaganda as their weapons. That's one of the mental declines that accompanied the demise of their civilization. It would be much smarter to disagree with the Trinity, for example, instead of understanding it in ways not taught by Christians.

"begotten" is a horrible word in Arabic that implies sexual union to the Muslim ear.

More horrible than suicide bombing and wiping Israel off the map? Apparently so. It is difficult to discuss such matters with a miseducated people no matter what intelligent explanations you put forward. If God decides in some manner that a virgin become pregnant with a Child whom He has chosen, then how can that be more impossible than His creation of the universe?

what makes a radical is not theological conservatism, but a highly politicized Muslim (conservative or moderate theologically).

But where does such a "politicized Muslim" get his/her views from? I would argue that its source is the very political system of Islam itself, from its leaders, and the fact that it is not merely a religion but a political system, with a gov't and social structure, aiming for world domination and expansion. That mindset of that system is part and parcel of these 'other' "politicized Muslims" (whether they are religious or not)---which in fact also agrees with the data showing that they have similar political aims. The Islamic system has been influencing that part of the world for 1400 years. So it is difficult to believe that the people under it did not suffer its political biases and reflexes. So, my view is: Islamic politics came first (been there for 1400 years), and it affected most people in that part of the world, creating such a political animal as the "politicized Muslim" and the radical (believer or not). So it is in fact theological conservatism---coming from Islamic religion, Islamic law, Islamic gov't, and Islamic culture (not to mention their history with the Crusades which shaped their political leanings).

We also need to remember the expansionist ambitions of prominent Muslim leaders throughout history.

Here is a sample from some hotshots:

Muhammad: I was ordered to fight all men until they say `There is no God but Allah'.

Saladin: I shall cross this sea to their islands to pursue them until there remains no one on the face of the earth who does not acknowledge Allah.

Ayatollah Khomeini: We will export our revolution throughout the world ... until the calls 'there is no god by Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah' are echoed all over the world.

And Osama bin Laden agrees with them:

bin Laden: I was ordered to fight the people until they say there s no go but Allah and his prophet Muhammad.

See, for example, Islamic Imperialism - A History, by Ephraim Karsh. (See esp the Intro.)

The study shows that theological conservatives and moderates are just as likely to support radicalism. The deciding factor is whether or not they are highly political folks. Interesting read to say the least.

It looks like the study fails to see that both of these groups, and the general culture of the Muslim world (as reflected in polls of Muslim countries on political issues), are products of Muslim political ideology for 1400 years, which has been the fundamental source for both. (In fact, maybe even a few Christians in that part of the world are influenced by it.)
Brother Samuel,

Based upon your comments it appears, to me, that you have only interacted with blood-thirsty, unreasonable radicals. This has not been my experience at all. To the contrary, when I have explained Christian doctrines to Muslims in a way that connects with their worldview (as is exemplified in the New Testament), they have shown great respect and agreement on most points, gladly receiving correction when I explain how what they reject is not, in fact, what I believe either.

With regard to Islam, Islamic history and the Arab-Islamic culture in general, I would agree... but with the caveat that often culture has driven Islam more than Islam the culture. You might take a look at a post I wrote here for greater insight into how I would distinguish between Islam as taught in Generous Qur'an, the systems which developed as a result of Muhammad's teachings and the mixing of Arab culture (or even Semitic culture in general) and Islam.

At any rate, it sounds to me as if you have had some very negative interactions with Muslims and for that I am sorry. My prayer is that you will meet some of the majority who are not dead-set on killing all the infidels in the world... maybe even some who desire to cultivate genuine relationships with people who are willing to walk with them in learning about life, God and how to submit to Him in greater measure.

Peace to you brother,
From the Middle East
Samuel said…
Based upon your comments it appears, to me, that you have only interacted with blood-thirsty, unreasonable radicals.

And perhaps most of whom are also representative of their counterparts in that part of the world who want to see Israel wiped off the map and who support (or justify) terrorism. There were only very few good ones I met, but largely my experience and chance encounters have not been that good, but pretty much exemplified by the vastly negative attitudes in the Muslim world towards the West, and especially toward the US and Israel.

with the caveat that often culture has driven Islam more than Islam the culture.

That's nice political maneuvering, but I'm afraid not. Islam has created that culture (both adapted and adopted what it saw to be right in its eyes). The culture of the Middle East has been very much shaped by Islamic life and history all thru 14 centuries. That's not something that one can make light of. But I can understand your apologetic approach to Islam as a survival mechanism and as a means of luring them to listen to you.


You might take a look at a post I wrote here for greater insight

Thank you, if I have time I will read it. I too recommend reading Ephraim Karsh's book, "Islamic Imperialism - A History," and the works of Bernard Lewis, such as "The revolt of Islam"; "The roots of Muslim rage"; and his recent book "The Crisis of Islam."

Generous Qur'an

What is so generous about it? It and the system it entertained played a crucial role in destabilizing the region, with numerous wars, eliminating Christianity there, expelling Christians and Jews from the Arabian Peninsula, injected a failed mentality in its people, denigrated women to second class making them slaves to men, and calls on its followers to

"not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people" (Sura 5.51),

and

"And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!" (Sura 9.30).

(And the primary Hadiths also have some more awful things to say about Christians and Jews.)

I realize that you're quoting the title of the Quran which is predicated with 'Glorious' but I could not resist debunking it. But perhaps you feel you should appear apologetic toward Islam so it looks politically correct in the part of the world to say 'Glorious Quran' instead of just 'Quran'. Playing the game of quid pro quo (or is it a free trade agreement?), and appearing as a quasi Muslim apologist, is one way of encouraging them listen; but is it an honest method? Did Jesus stoop down to the Pharisees and use such methods when he rebuked them head-on in the Gospels? Jesus was brutally honest and never played games with His opponents.

My prayer is that you will meet some of the majority who are not dead-set on killing all the infidels in the world...

Well there are always a few good people---but only few from what I've seen. With the vast majority, however, I had lots of trouble, much too contrary to my basic beliefs to feel at ease with them---their antisemitic, anti-western, anti-Christian sentiments, and many other such qualities, are much too problematic for meaningful dialogue.
Abu Daoud said…
Hi Samuel,

I have not read all the books you mentioned, but I have read both the Crisis of Islam and Islamic Imperialism, both of which are very good books. I do think it would be a good idea for you to read some of the other material on Islam out there though.

What you are saying about Islam is largely true, but I think it is only part of the truth. Have you read anything by Kenneth Cragg? He is critical of Islam but in a very respectful way.

We must understand that Islamic civilization at this point in history is in some ways superior to Western civilization: The West has decided to birth-control and abort itself into non-existence. Islamdom has not. What good do scientific and military and economic superiority do when the people have opted for self-elimination?

Islamdom still has families and children, something that the West has largely done away with.
Brother Samuel,

1. Are you saying that Islam is NOT a direct result of the culture into which it was born and that 7th century Arabia was a peaceful land with little violence? If not, then how is it that culture did not affect Islam?
2. The Qur'an is generous because that is its title and I choose to show respect to all regardless of whether or not I agree with them. I would also regard it as generous in that is has pointed MANY Muslims towards the Messiah... that's right, many Muslims first became curious about this man Jesus when they read about his unique characteristics in the Generous Qur'an.
3. I thought about quoting a few of the more violent or judgment-based passages from the Bible in response to your quotes from the Generous Qur'an, but I'm sure you've read them before and I do not really have time for this today. Do you really not see the similarities between Old Testament Law and much of Shari'a? Do you not see similarities between the taking of the Promised Land in Joshua and what you are railing against? How about the Crusades? How about Manifest Destiny and the Puritans? How about the Inquisition?
4. Do you understand Arabic? The reason I ask is because there is a nuance in one of the verses you quoted (5:51) that is not present in the translation you chose to use.
5. Let's go ahead and clear up this idea of me being apologetic toward Islam. Truth, wherever it is found, is what concerns me - not arguing. I have found that showing respect towards others, yes, even loving them when they do not love me is what God has led me to. At the same time, I DO NOT compromise truth - as I perceive it of course ;^) The way I communicate with Muslims is based upon the contextualization patterns found in the New Testament. It has nothing to do with "encouraging them to listen," but has everything to do with modeling love and respect while proclaiming the Greatest Story Ever Told in a way that is comprehensible to my listener.
6. If you really think that Jesus ONLY rebuked people head-on in the Gospels and never used any other method (including "playing games"), I respectfully request that you reread the Gospels with this in mind.
7. Regardless of whether or not we feel comfortable with Muslims, we, as a followers of Jesus, are commanded to love them... even if they ALL persecute us. This includes speaking the truth to them, but it also includes so much more...

Peace to you brother,
From the Middle East
Samuel said…
Hi Abu Daoud. No I have not read Kenneth Cragg, but I bet you I will agree with him on many things---but whether we will agree on most things ... well, not even scholars may agree.

I have a hard time respecting a system that teaches hatred against Jews, Christians, and Westerners (especially in the current climate of terrorism and 9/11). I may as well show respect to Nazism, the KKK, and other hate-preaching systems. Some systems you can't just respect, sorry. And a religious system that maligns my faith and country I cannot respect. I'm sure you disagree with me on that, but that is your right. It is understandable, though, for a generic person living in Nazi Germany to show, or pretend to show, respect for it to save their skin.

I do think it would be a good idea for you to read some of the other material on Islam out there though.

I do. I read what I can when time and opportunity present themselves. But I ain't a sucker, I don't believe everything I read--I do what I can to examine the extent to which what I read is reflected by other scholars (and of course there is always room for opinion).


We must understand that Islamic civilization at this point in history is in some ways superior to Western civilization: The West has decided to birth-control and abort itself into non-existence. Islamdom has not. What good do scientific and military and economic superiority do when the people have opted for self-elimination?

I would beg to differ that this presents a valid argument that Islamic civilization is superior to ours, even if I agree with you on the abortion issue. (Birth-control being a separate matter in my view.) Although the Islamic world does not practice abortion, it managed to exacerbate their poverty and further deteriorate their economic conditions to horrible levels, leading to a net Arab GDP comparable to just one European country (Spain). It can rightly be questioned whether this is in fact progress toward a more superior civil standard. And by the way, the US population is growing---we just reached 300,000,000---so hardly self-eliminated. (Ditto Canada and other Western countries.) In spite of that, however, I am quite uneasy about abortion, but it's one of those evil things that avoids an alternate evil (more poverty and lower quality of life)---another social catch 22, which for me presents a real difficulty and a challenge to which I wished I had a simple answer.

Islamdom still has families and children, something that the West has largely done away with.

Americans and westerners have children too! :) This is, unfortunately, one of the misconceptions in the Middle East regarding the West, and America in particular. The vast number of Americans are very family oriented---that's why family values is often an important campaign issue during our elections (along with laws that support families in many ways). Family structures vary, yes, but they still do exist (I assure you!).

My replies to FTME coming up soon (after the following commercial break).
Samuel said…
Howdy FTME. Here are my respective replies to your versed post. (By putting verse numbers on your post you have elevated your words to divine status.)


1. Are you saying that Islam is NOT a direct result of the culture into which it was born and that 7th century Arabia was a peaceful land with little violence? If not, then how is it that culture did not affect Islam?

No I didn't say that. As I stated: "Islam has created that culture (both adapted and adopted what it saw to be right in its eyes)." So from this it is clear that Islam also adopted some of the originally existing culture---but that's not to say that such pre-Islamic culture has, as you claimed, "driven Islam." For that we would have to define our terms more precisely and show in what sense "driven."

then how is it that culture did not affect Islam?

The word "affect" here is too general and loose to make this a helpful statement, since anyone can say that anything can affect anything else that's nearby. The more pertinent thing is the extent of that effect. We cannot single out culture, since it was also the politics and religions of the day that came into play, as well as the conflicts that Muhammad has encountered with the Arabs of his day (he was rejected by them) as well as with Christians and Jews (with the religious disputes and differences they had). These, I would argue, have had the greater effects on the formation of Islam than any specific culture. Plus, Muhammad was a smart and charismatic military leader with a vision. So there were extra-cultural factors that played a huge role too---most especially, religious and political.



2. ... I would also regard it as generous in that is has pointed MANY Muslims towards the Messiah... that's right, many Muslims first became curious about this man Jesus when they read about his unique characteristics in the Generous Qur'an.


Well, I would say 'some' not 'many' since the Middle East is still virtually all Muslim, and Muslims place Muhammad well above Jesus. So I don't see that as a big plus, and certainly not when it teaches false things about Him, such as that he was not even crucified. That's teaching a false messiah, not the real one that Christians in fact believe in.

3. I thought about quoting a few of the more violent or judgment-based passages from the Bible in response to your quotes from the Generous Qur'an, but I'm sure you've read them before and I do not really have time for this today.

I'll save you the trouble and let you know that I know about them. But they do not preach hatred toward Muslims in particular as the Quran does toward Jews and Christians.

Do you really not see the similarities between Old Testament Law and much of Shari'a? Do you not see similarities between the taking of the Promised Land in Joshua and what you are railing against? How about the Crusades? How about Manifest Destiny and the Puritans? How about the Inquisition?

Yes, there are similarities of course, but thanks to Christ, as Paul preached, we have been freed from the 'law'. Islam, in this respect, is a regression into the past, dismissing Christ and reducing him to just one of the prophets. The taking of the promised land by Joshua was under God's order, if we believe it to be so, so it was legit. The Crusades? A direct result of the jihadist expansionist military threat of Islam against Christendom. In large measure, the Crusades were fully justified (in my view). I support Manifest Destiny and the Puritans---for their time at least, but I don't support some of the evils that occurred subsequently (that's history). The Inquisition was more your department: a catholic problem, not for me to answer to. Only now is the Roman Church coming around to recognize the value of Galileo (who was himself a believer).

4. Do you understand Arabic? The reason I ask is because there is a nuance in one of the verses you quoted (5:51) that is not present in the translation you chose to use.

Why do I need to understand Arabic when I have the Quran translated into English? I don't know what you are referring to, but if you like I can quote Sura 5.51 according to Yusuf Ali (which is highly regarded in the Muslim world) and which basically says the same thing:

5.51. O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

5. Let's go ahead and clear up this idea of me being apologetic toward Islam. Truth, wherever it is found, is what concerns me - not arguing. I have found that showing respect towards others, yes, even loving them when they do not love me is what God has led me to.

That's highly commendable and shows you have a very kind heart---much better than mine.

The way I communicate with Muslims is based upon the contextualization patterns found in the New Testament. It has nothing to do with "encouraging them to listen," but has everything to do with modeling love and respect while proclaiming the Greatest Story Ever Told in a way that is comprehensible to my listener.

Please explain in what way you mean "Contextualization patterns."

6. If you really think that Jesus ONLY rebuked people head-on in the Gospels and never used any other method (including "playing games"), I respectfully request that you reread the Gospels with this in mind.

So are you admitting that you are "playing games" as you believe that Jesus did? When Jesus 'played a game' it was in response to a 'game' played by those who tried to find fault or test him. You, on the other hand, are not playing games with your Muslim listeners in order to demonstrate, as you said, "modeling love and respect while proclaiming the Greatest Story Ever Told in a way that is comprehensible to my listener." :)

7. Regardless of whether or not we feel comfortable with Muslims, we, as a followers of Jesus, are commanded to love them... even if they ALL persecute us. This includes speaking the truth to them, but it also includes so much more...

Well, aren't I showing love to them by showing how crappy their beliefs are? I would not criticize people I don't love (and people I wish would turn to Christ). :) But I have to honestly confess that I find it hard to really love them. I will not hide or rationalize that (as I just did). But I guess sometimes you have to condemn people for their evils because you love them in the hope they will change. Jesus loved his opponents even as he rebuked them. Parents do that too to their children because they love them (and even spank them). However, being in the Middle East as you are, there are limitations on what you can do and the methods that you can afford to employ in your ministry there---which I applaud and highly praise.

By the way, my apologies for giving you and Abu Daoud a hard time.

God bless, Samuel
Abu Daoud said…
Hi Samuel,

My point about demographics was hyperbolic and exaggerated, intentionally so. And you have correctly identified one very significant problem about the standard of life being so low and the overpopulation of much of MENA.

But, even then, I think there is something sad in a society (and we will just say Europe for the time being) that has opted over decades to NOT re-populate itself.

Is such a society not, in some significant way, inferior to that of Islamdom?
Brother Samuel,

I will be quite honest with you. I do not perceive that you are open to dialogue with those whose view differ from yours. That being the case, I will answer one question, clarify the words of mine that you have completely misunderstood, offer a bit of advice and leave the last word to you.

1. I would recommend Dean Flemming's Contextualization in the New Testament as a first step in understanding biblical contextualization.
2. I never gave the context in which I "play games." But, yes, I do play games when the situation calls for it. Please do not assume you know when or how I do so. Nothing on this comment stream indicates how or when I do it. 
3. I have found interaction with you to be more difficult than conversation with all but a couple of Muslims I have encountered. In this statement I am not referring to the substance of your argument(s), rather your attitude. While you may be very different in person, your comments come off as quite arrogant and ethnocentric. I do not make this observation lightly, all who know my blogging will be shocked at what I am saying here and I have prayerfully considered how to respond for the last couple of days. I will freely admit that my evaluation is based upon this comment stream and the one preceding it in which you argue for the superiority of American culture based on American values. And thus, I may certainly be in error. In that case, you have my apologies.

It is not for you or me to condemn any person my brother... their acts certainly, but not people. And I certainly stand with you in condemning heinous acts, be they in the name of Islam or in the name of Jesus... though you seem less inclined to condemn hatred and violence in the name of Jesus. My advice to you is to consider whether your rebukes and desires to discipline Muslims come from a pure heart that loves others or from your cultural baggage or from some pain that you have suffered or even from an area of your heart that is still dark and needs Jesus' grace to expose and redeem it. After considering this, I would encourage you to consider that the common denominator with all of these difficult to reason with Muslims might be you.

Print is not the best medium for this type of interaction and I pray that you understand my comments above were written with much humility and love.

God's peace be yours in abundance,
From the Middle East 
Samuel said…
Hi Abu Daoud, I don't understand what you mean by "opted over decades to NOT re-populate itself," when our populations are increasing. I do agree that both civilizations, and all others, have their pros and cons. The US (and the West) is far from perfect and has its faults, I'll grant you that. What criteria do we use to compare civilizations or cultures, or to judge superiority? Perhaps one's criteria will depend on one's culture. (Sounds like a complex and long discussion.)

Hi FTME, I apologize if I have come across as being arrogant and if I have caused you offence. For that, I owe you the last word and an apology. (Thanks for Flemming's recommendation.)
Abu Daoud said…
Samuel: the birth rate in the US is flat, the population grows by immigration. Same with Canada I think.

Almost all the countries in Europe have a birthrate below replacement, which is about 2.1 children/woman. W. Europe is around 1.3 in general. That means that more people die (by far) than than are born. The population grows only by mostly Islamic immigration.

It is hard to respect a population (Europe) that doesn't have enough children to stay in existence.

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