Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are Christians trained to hate Islam? (And) The lack of creativity in Islamic societies

Salome has an articulate and well-reasoned refutation of Ahmed Deedat's refutation of the Gospel's narrative of the crucifixion. She ends by reporting how Deedat complains that Christians have been trained to hate Islam. I left a comment on her blog:

Deedat will have some accounting to do on the day of the judgment, I suspect. Thanks for writing this.

I also think that Deedat is wrong about Christians being trained to hate Islam. It is true that many, perhaps most, Christians hate or at least dislike Islam, but that is largely a product of what Muslims have done and are doing around the world. If we look for Muslim contributions to art, science, medicine and so on, we are very hard-pressed to find anything at all over the last centuries. Historically, when Muslims did take over such centers of learning as Constantinople and Alexandria the eventual outcome was always decline and stagnation. This will be the future of cities like Paris and London, I suspect.


If one is tempted to point to dar al hikmah in Abbasid Baghdad let me point out that a) the shari'a as it exists today was not yet developed, and b) once the Christians and Jews were properly submitted to Islamic rule and their rights and prerogatives circumscribed, decline was the only option, and indeed that is what happened.

4 comments:

Don said...

My experience is that most Christians, before terrorist acts put them on notice, didn't know enough about Islam to have an opinion one way or another.

My first extended exposure to Islam was while as an undergraduate student at Texas A&M. I don't remember any special hostility to Islam them, even with the living representatives amongst us (although the cultural differences between Texas and the Middle East/South Asia certainly were an issue.) And it's noteworthy that, in a school with a strong conservative Christian presence in both present and former students and after 9/11, one Shariq Yosufzai (Class of 1974) is now the chairman of the Association of Former Students.

I never noticed any such prejudice during my working career, even in the oil industry where Muslims are a big deal. I did note admiration for the Saudis' strict adherence to their religion. Same when I went back for my master's degree at UTC, even towards hijab wearing women on campus, this in the "Bible Belt."

As far as churches and Christians directly are concerned, I think the attitude can be summed up best in a good Muslim term: jahiliya. Islam just hasn't been on the radar screen in the US, either in churches or elsewhere.

I think the situation in Europe is a little different due to historical factors, but the fanatical multiculturalists and secularists have smothered that to a large degree.

Until, of course, Muslims starting killing people on the scale of 9/11. That got everyone's attention. There's a lesson for those in the "dar al salaam," but the issue in this case is whether anyone will be a good student.

Salome Bintullah said...

I can honestly say that I didn't hate Muslims or Islam either prior to the terrorist acts - I only had the vaguest idea of what Islam was or what they worshiped until after 9/11. And after that I didn't hate Islam or Muslims, although I disagreed with them theologically. I didn't even feel irritated toward Muslims until after I lived in the Middle East and saw that the problem with Islam is Islam itself. Not that I think all or even most Muslims are bad - just that I noticed a smug sense of superiority coupled with a refusal to see things from anyone else's viewpoint. And I see that in Deedat's writings as well as the writings of other Muslims who try to refute Christianity. They never even consider the possibility that Christians may have thought of their objections and answered them. And they always fall back on the old defense of "Well, the Qur'an says Christianity is false and therefore it is false. And you should accept this just because I say so." My critique of Deedat's chapter 2 is going to be very brief because that's basically what he says.

Salome Bintullah said...

I should probably add that I don't hate Muslims now, either. I just have serious issues with many of their beliefs.

Salome Bintullah said...

I've been reading further in Deedat's booklet, and I see that I have my work cut out for me. Apparently he was under the strange delusion that "resurrected" means "brought back as a spirit," and the fact that Jesus constantly referred to himself as flesh-and-blood after the crucifixion means that he was *not* resurrected. It boggles the mind. He didn't even *try* to understand Christian beliefs in order to refute them. Good grief.