Monday, October 25, 2010

Kraft on ex-Muslim Christians and the Second Generation

Child rearing emerged as the single most important theme in identity crises facing
Muslim-background Arabs who choose to embrace a Christian faith. While facing
personal challenges confidently, such as those that we have already discussed, many expressed a sense of inner torture when talking about raising their children. Because of the strong patrilineal source of identity in Arab countries, children of converts are generally expected to be Muslim, not Christian, and therefore the child of a convert to Christianity is actually a Muslim being raised as a Christian. At the very least, s/he may be a Christian who knows that s/he is different. Most of the challenges that converts face, their children also face. In addition, parents are concerned because their children are facing those challenges without any personal conviction that Christian faith is better than Muslim faith or that a different identity is worth fighting for. One couple, who was expecting their first child when I met them, said that they are afraid for their child's future, and had actually prayed that the wife might not be able to have children.

Kathryn Kraft, Community and Identity Among Arabs of a Muslim Background who Choose to Follow a Christian Faith, 2007, PhD diss, p 190.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pope wants religious freedom in Middle East

Another contribution that Christians can bring to society is the promotion of an authentic freedom of religion and conscience, one of the fundamental human rights that each state should always respect. In numerous countries of the Middle East there exists freedom of belief, while the space given to the freedom to practice religion is often quite limited. Increasing this space of freedom becomes essential to guarantee to all the members of the various religious communities the true freedom to live and profess their faith. This topic could become the subject of dialogue between Christians and Muslims, a dialogue whose urgency and usefulness was reiterated by the Synodal Fathers.

From here.

Am tired and it's late for comments on my part. But this is great stuff!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Riots in France and 'immigrant youths'

From Esther over at Islam in Europe, a great blog:

Yesterday I posted an article about the French rioters, many of whom are disaffected youth from the ghettos. Today a reader sent me two more articles which point the finger at North-African Muslim youth.

Ivan Rioufol, of Le Figaro, wrote the following on his blog (FR):

All students are obviously not rioters. But the rioters of the past few days - and Wednesday morning again in the center of Lyon - are indeed students. They are, mainly, from the ghettos. The hooded people aren't marching to defend retirement at 60, or even the welfare system which enticed their parents or grandparents.

They're there to battle the Republic, its culture and it's most visible symbols: the security forces, the schools. That's why a school was burned down in Mans. The scenes of urban guerrilla warfare that they're reproducing are very similar to the images of the intifada of the young Palestinians confronting the Israeli forces. Comparisons are misleading, but these ethnic insurrections of youth who are often of Muslim culture, also reject the state seen as a colonizer and oppressor. These wild people, each time more intrepid and organized, remind us of the failure of their integration.

These raids contradict the lullabies which assure us that France controls immigration. "Integration works," says, for example former assistant of PM Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Hakim El Karoui (LeMonde, 10-11 October).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Algerian Christians Acquitted of Eating During Ramadan

I always enjoy reading through the semi-monthly publication Mission Catalyst. The folks there gather together snippets of mission-related news from around the world, email it to you, and give you the links so you can read the complete story if you like. Really a valuable service. Thanks!

In today's issue which I just got in my inbox, there is an interesting story about tolerance in Algeria, may God prospoer that country and the church there. Here is a part of it:

The incident took place in Ain El-Hammam, a town in the province of Tizi Ouzou about 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of the Algerian capital. Tizi Ouzou is part of Kabylie, an area of Algeria where the country’s Protestant church has grown with relative freedom in recent years.

Officers at a nearby police station saw the two men eating and confronted them for not fasting. When police realized the two men were Christians, they accused them of insulting Islam, according to local French-language press reports.

“I do not apologize for anything, and I regret nothing,” Fellak said before the verdict, according to Dernieres Nouvelles d’Algerie. “I have the right to not fast. I am a Christian, and until found guilty, the Algerian constitution guarantees respect for individual freedoms.”

The rest of the story is here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Muslims, Jews, and the Nobel Prize

Interesting factoid here:

Apart from political leaders, a reasonably diligent reader of a quality newspaper in the West will not be able to name a single Muslim distinguished in any field of human endeavor. Excluding the politically awarded Peace Prize, Muslims have won only three Nobel prizes since their inception more than a century ago, or one for every 450 million Muslims alive today. By contrast, there have been 169 Jewish Nobel Laureates (excluding the Peace Prize), or about one for every 89,000 Jews alive today. During the past century, a Jew was 5,000 times more likely to win the Nobel than a Muslim.

From Spengler at Asia Times.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Grammatical Errors in the Qur'an

A very nice, concise list is presented here, courtesy of some Orthodox Christians, no less. If you don't know Arabic then, well, it won't help you much, but if you do, it's quite nice:

Although the Qur’an states that it is in clear perfect Arabic tongue (al-Nahl 16: 103; al-Shu’ara’ 26: 195; al-Zumar 39: 28; al-Shura 42: 7; al-Zukhruf 43: 3), it could not be considered perfectly eloquent because of its imperfect Arabic grammar, its usage of foreign words, and its spelling errors. It contains many grammatical errors. The following are a few examples of these errors: al-Ma’idah 5: 69 (the Arabic word Alsabeoun should be Alsabieen); al-Baqarah 2: 177 (the Arabic word alsabireen should be alsabiroon); al-Imran 3: 59 (the Arabic word fayakoon should be fakaana); al-Baqarah 2: 17, 80, 124; al-A’raf 7: 56 (the Arabic word qaribun should be qaribtun); al-A’raf 7: 160 (the Arabic word asbatan should be sebtan); Ta Ha 20: 63 (the Arabic phrase Hazani Lasaherani should be Hazaini Lasahirieni); al-Hajj 22: 19 (the Arabic phrase ikhtasamu fi rabbihim should be ikhtasama fi rabbihima); al-Tawbah 9: 62, 69 (the Arabic word kalladhi should be kalladhina); al-Munafiqun 63: 10 (the Arabic word Akon should be Akoon); al-Nisa’ 4: 162 (the Arabic word Almuqimeen should be Almuqimoon); and al-Hujurat 49: 9 (the Arabic word eqtatalu should be eqtatala). Ali Dashti and Mahmud al-Zamakhshari (1075-1144), famous Muslim scholars, noted more than one hundred Quranic aberrations from the normal grammatical rules and structure of the Arabic language (Ali Dashti, Twenty Three Years: A study of the Prophetic Career of Muhammad, Allen and Unwin, London, 1985, p. 50).

From The Awakening.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Why won't Muslims in the West defend freedom of religion?

Persuading Western Muslim leaders to repudiate Shari’a-sanctioned violence against apostates can be a frustrating exercise, as Prince Charles discovered in 2004. Troubled by the treatment of Muslims who convert to Christianity in Islamic nations, the prince convened a summit of senior figures from both religious communities. It ended in disappointment. The Islamic representatives failed to issue a declaration condemning the practice, which the Christians had requested; they also cautioned non-Muslims not to discuss such matters in public, arguing that moderates would be more likely to make progress if the debate were kept internal.

From HERE.

I wonder if Imam Rauof of the Ground-zero Mosque would be willing to come and say clearly that apostates from Islam in the Muslim world must be afforded freedom to make such a choice. I bet not.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Dear Christians: And you thought Israel was your friend?

Israel is shutting down Christian schools:

At the beginning of this scholastic year, the Greek Orthodox School “Bishop Timotheos” in Kufur Yasif was shut down by the Ministry of Education as it did not supply the license needed to operate. A year ago, the Mar Elias School in Daboria, established by the Greek Catholic Bishop Elias Shackor, was shut down for the same reason. It seems that the decision to disallow the operation of these schools is in keeping with the opposition of the ministers of education over the last few years to schools that are “recognized but not official “, especially those that are Christian


The state raised the banner of pluralism in the education system and in its citizens’ rights to teach their children according to their own world view. In the name of these values it founded public religious schools and acknowledged the existence of schools of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector (Haredi) schools, who receive exaggerated benefits. A discriminatory attitude towards Christian schools that teach the core subjects and whose graduates excel in the matriculation exams should not be taken. Restricting these schools, which are firmly rooted in this land and are a success story, by preventing the opening of new such schools, despite the fact that their existence is a blessing and an element of improvement for the clumsy and tired mechanism of the Ministry of Education, is like shooting ourselves in the foot.

No comment. --Abu Daoud