Religion

Various writings on various religions

Canada, Multiculturalism And Terrorism

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The Calgary Sun had an article by Licia Corbella, where her premise is that Multiculturalism threatens Canada.

She quotes one Dr. Mahfooz Kanwar of  Mount Royal College in Calgary, whom she describes as a "devout Muslim" and "Pakistani-born". He says: "Multiculturalism has been bad for unity in Canada. It ghettoizes people, makes them believe, wrongly, that isolating themselves and not adapting to their new society is OK". Kanwar justified alleged mistreatment in prison because "for accused terrorists, this should be expected". Kanwar also advocates that covering one's face should be illegal.

Christian Game Promotes Violence: Left Behind: Eternal Forces

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Here is yet another example that extremism and militancy can be in any culture or religion, as well as the commercialisation of religion is a common ever occuring theme.

There is a a Christian computer game called Left Behind: Eternal Forces based on the Left Behind series of novels by Tim LaHaye and  Jerry Jenkins, portraying an end of times scenario.

In the games, Christians shoot Jews, Muslims, Catholics, gays  and other "infidels" while shouting "Praise the Lord!".

Some Thoughts On Prophet Muhammad Cartoons Controversy

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In September 2005, The  Jyllands-Posten right wing conservative newspaper publish 12 cartoons, including some of Prophet Muhammad. These images are deeply offensive to Muslims, since most of them portrayed him as being the cause of terrorism or violence.

The Cartoons

While some of the images are fairly neutral, some are indeed very offensive. The most offensive images are:

  • Showing him as the typical Hollywood evil Arab with menacing features, with his turban as a bomb about to explode.
  • Showing him as a man who has a halo that is also two horns, associating Muhammad as a devil or as Satan.
  • Showing him as a bushy browed, unruly beard and with two veiled woman (implying polygamy). This also has the stereotypical menacing evil Arab look, and holding a scimitar.
  • Showing him at the gates of heaven telling incoming suicide bombers "Stop! Stop! We ran out of virgins".

These images are very offensive to a Muslim, since they mock a person held in high regard and central to the religion. They are more offensive since they directly associate contemporary terrorism and violence with the prophet himself, saying indirectly that  he is main cause of Muslims being uncivilized savages, barbarians, ...etc. rather than attributing terrorism to its real root causes.
 
The Jyllands-Posten newspaper insisted that it is a Danish tradition to lampoon religious figures, and that they would do that to any religion, despite recent revelations that they refused to publish cartoons of Jesus.

Cedars Worship And Community Centre: Church And Synagogue All In One

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A few minutes from where I live, there is an interesting phenomenon, believed to the be the first of its kind in North America: a single building is used for both Reform Jews and United Church of Canada.

Of course, both are on the moderate/liberal side within Judaism and Christianity, and it would not have been considered if they were more conservative. 

Historically, this is not the first time in that two different religions shared a building, as I will detail in another article on the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria. 

Resources

George Saliba of Columbia University on Islamic Science

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Dr. George Saliba of Columbia University gave a lecture at Princeton on Islamic science. A few years back, I attended a lecture he gave at the University of Waterloo, and wrote about it. I got his permission to republish some of his articles as well. I later started digging some of what he discussed, and the result was many articles on my site about Leo Africanus, Joseph Barbatus, Elmacinus, Erpenius, Rhazes, Alhazen and Ibn Khaldun.

Orthodox Rabbi Says He Can Live Under Palestinian Rule

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Menachem Fruman, a Jewish Orthodox Rabbi in the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, and head of a religious seminary there, has stated that he would not mind living under Palestinian rule. He also says that had talks with Yasser Arafat and Ahmed Yassin where the latter said that "you and me can make peace in five minutes". In the  same article though, an immigrant from the form Soviet Union stated that he would not accept living under Palestinian rule.The pragmatism of the Rabbi is to be commended, and shows that not all religious people are extremist. It shows that extremism and absolutism is a mindset of its own. 

Simmering Under The Surface: Copts and Muslims Clash in Alexandria

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Last month, there were clashes between Copts and Muslims in Alexandria, Egypt. It started when someone leaked a CD of a theatrical play performed inside a church said to be disdainful of Islam. Three were killed in the clashes. The government was quick to blame a conspiracy by "external entities", or the religious parties (Muslim Brotherhood), for the soon to be held parliamentary elections. The problem is that someone to blame is always sought, whether internal or external.

Britain's Prince Charles to "plead Islam's cause to Bush"

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Britian's Prince Charles will be visiting the USA shortly. During this trip he will be holding talks with Bush and trying to reverse the anti-Islam/anti-Muslim rhetoric that is so rampant there.Well, I have to say that this is a noble cause: narrowing the gap between cultures and faiths, and trying to ease tensions. Those can only lead to a more tolerant and a better world.However, I am not sure if Charles' campaign will be met with any success. I am not holding my breath that it will, but I hope I am proven wrong.

Scripture and Treasure: The Bible says Israel has Oil

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John Brown from Texas is drilling for oil in northern Israel based on him receiving divine inspiration that there is oil  in Israel, and  that he has to drill for it to help Israel. He says that "God sent me for one purpose: to help Israel with oil".Brown and other born gain Christians believe that the Bible spells out exactly where the oil is. The often wacko right-wing WorldNetDaily has an article with a map of where the oil is based on what Brown says are the verses that pin point the location. The verses are also listed in that article.

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