الخميس، فبراير 02، 2006

A response to Comments re: This Danish Affair

This post is in response to the comment on my post "This Danish Affair", and specifically to address Alison's comments.

First of all, thank you for your comments, and please accept my response with an open mind. I do value your contribution and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me.

Alison; I think your opinion is very much coloured by your experience in life…as are the majority of people’s opinions and views. That’s natural. I admit my opinion is deeply affected by my experience as a Coptic woman in Egypt, constantly aware of how I am judged in my own society, aware of the fact I am a 3rd grade citizen at best in my own home country.

You seem to blur the lines between the “sorry” campaign we had here in Australia to the Aboriginal community for the stolen generation (which my family and I signed because we believed in it), and this issue in Denmark.

The Danish newspaper didn’t kill or torture or oppress anyone by publishing those cartoons. They merely exercised their right to freedom of press, freedom of expression. I acknowledged the fact it was offensive to Muslims…I just find their reaction ridiculous.

Your comments on my post and in your own blog don’t cast Christianity in a very positive light. As a Christian, I find them hurtful. Yet I acknowledge that you have the freedom to your opinion and you should be able to express it. I have the freedom to be offended and to stop reading your words…or to contemplate them…but I don’t have the right to demand you apologise to me. That would be absurd.

"I don't blame all Christians for the stupidity of a man in Rome so why blame all Muslims on the sad fundamentalists?"
Who's the man in Rome? The pope?
I don't blame all Muslims for the actions of a fundamentalist. This issue has nothing to do with punishing Muslim people. It's about a group of people who for some reason believe it is their right to do something (insult and defame other people's faith as is the common practice in all predominantly Muslim countries) but nobody can do the same to them. In fact, when books were published, TV programs aired and articles written to insult the Christian faith in Egypt, we didn't even have the right to say we were offended, let alone have the chance to response, let alone demand an apology.

As for the war mongering in the old Testament, there are two things I have to say about that:

1 The wars in the Old Testament were for the purpose of acquiring the promise land or defence against communities around the Israelites who would have threatened their existence. There is no Jihad in Judaism or Christianity. And the wars were never intended to spread Judaism. In fact Judaism is an exclusive club if you will. There’s them and there’s the gentiles. Islam however condones war for the purpose of spreading Islamic ideology (among other things), and it condones it in Quran and Hadith and Sunna.

2 The Christian faith is based on both Old and New Testaments. The purpose of the Old Testament for us is to explain why salvation was needed and provide an account of the prophecies that concerned this salvation. I challenge anyone to find me evidence that Jesus called for or condoned war, killing or humiliating another person in the Bible for any purpose at all.

Finally the “sins” for the church. These were sins committed by misguided men hundreds of years ago. And incidentally, Pope John Paul the 3rd DID apologise for them on behalf of the Catholic Church. Where are the apologies for the 100’s of thousands that were killed in the name of Islam? Where are their apologies for oppressing people in predominantly Muslim countries? Where’s our apology for our culture that they wiped out, our tongues that they cut off, and our children they killed…..etc???

Muslims live in Western countries including Denmark, enjoying all the rights and freedoms of those countries, protected by their laws and are able to not only practice their faith but to preach it to non Muslims. Did you know that even mentioning anything pertaining to the Christian faith to a Muslim in a Muslim country could land you in jail???

Again; please keep in mind that the Danish newspaper didn’t kill or torture anyone. And that the Danish government has to protect the freedoms and rights in their country…saying sorry because someone exercised their right is unacceptable.

12 Comments:

Anonymous غير معرف said...

just a few comments:
1] why do you spell your blog name so?
2] do self proclaimed christians not realise that when they follow their claim of christian faith with an unchristian ,bigoted statement, they forfeit any credibility of the arguement they present?
3]does the fact that your prime minister habitually lies,obfuscates and misleads you not bother your christian conscience?

I,m not trying to be a smart arse, I just want to know what makes you tick/ think.

فبراير 02, 2006  
Blogger Blue said...

Neferteeti,

Thank you for your well worded response. I have no particular religious affiliation. I do have a problem with organised religion - however it is my problem. I would never dream of condemning a person because of their belief's. I would condemn them for their actions & the words that come out of their mouths (collectively) however.

Unfortunately, there are a number of countries where religious freedom is non-existent; as is tolerance and a number of other freedoms.

In response to Anon above:

A person of any faith, is just that. As with any goal or religion there is a striving to achieve. Just because a person belongs to a religion doesn't mean that they are suddenly 'greater' or should be put on a pedestal and lamblasted if they fail in a given area. Being a christian for example, means that you believe christ died for your sins and that you are saved by grace.

Unfortunately, due largely (IMHO) to the tirades perpetrated from the pulpit against Sin and 'Evildoers' *all* christians seem to be tarred with the same brush. Christians are human beings with human failings, trying to be better people thru a relationship with their particular God.

The attitude in blasting christians when they do something perceived by the greater population as being 'non-christian' is akin to blasting all muslims because of the actions of a few.

Faith is an individual choice. I agree that if a person of faith starts decrying the sins of others, without checking their own (log in own eye) then Yes they deserve to be verbally horsewhipped.

On the subject of the Prime Minister - the words that come out of his mouth regularly bother many people. His lies however are a matter for his conscience & his alone.

فبراير 02, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

WOW Bluebolt!! you pretty much summed it up...well done matey :)
But I wanna answer Anon anyways.

Q1] Why do i spell my name this way?
A]Why not? ;p

Q2] A true Christian who follows Christ's teachings shouldn't be a bigot or racist. However, Christianity doesn't entail we all become saints and angels...even those sin and err actually. We are all but humans who strive to better ourselves...we are not perfect.

I'm not sure if you're implying I am being a bigot here. It's OK if you are...It may come across that way. But please note I never claimed to be some sort of "super Christian" :) I am Christian and I am committed to my faith, but I'm not an overly religious person. I have issues with Islam as an ideology...I just studied it and didn't like what I learnt...that's all. If Muslim people had left us alone (us being Copts of Egypt...and Mid Eastern Christians in general) I wouldn't have given the whole affair a second thought.

I think a person would lose credibility if they expected a certain behaviour from others, but exempted themselves from it. Dunno if that answers your question.

Q3] My prime minister. Aaah! Good old Johnny Howard.
Does he bother my Christian conscience?
A] First of all what's a "Christian conscience"??? I am a human being, Christianity just teaches me to be a good person. So I just have a "human conscience"!!! I didn't like the new IR laws, or getting involved in Iraq war or the children overboard. A lot of people say they don't like Mr Howard. But at the same time he keeps winning elections and outdoing Labor in theopinion polls. I don't pretend I hate or even resent the guy. I believe that generally he actually does a good job leading the country, that's why I voted for him. And I know that if Labor were in power they would have stuffed up sometimes too.

I guess to answer your Q2 and 3: Nobody's perfect...even Christians.

Sorry for going on a bit, but your questions are a bit vague...I feel you have more to say but you're holding back. Oh and I'm absolutely stuffed...I tend to talk alot when I'm sleepy.
G'nite all :)

فبراير 03, 2006  
Blogger Marcguyver said...

I love how Islam is supposed to be 'accepted' and that we are to be 'tolerant' of all religions; yet as soon as you do something to anger the Muslim Community, then they can assault you, fire bomb your business, kidnap your family, cut your head off, burn your flag, and blow your brains out!

What a bunch of bunk! They're nothing but a bunch of thugs and punks who hate anyone or anything that goes against their religion.

For pete's sake, if Muhammed was really that concerned about someone using his 'image' in a cartoon....then let him do something about it with all of his god-like power. Oh ooops, he's dead.

فبراير 03, 2006  
Blogger Egypeter said...

Dear Girl of the Nile -

My goodness you are so so patient!! I love listening to your calm, level-headed, INTELLIGENT responses to these emotional and illogical questions!

I, on the other hand, am an utter hot-head who can get pretty damn emotional...It had to be the middle east in me, hahaha!

macgyver - All I can say is "ditto"

BTW, just a quick point for everyone. Notice how I said "middle east in me" and not the "arab in me."

That is because Coptic Orthodox Christians of Egypt are NOT, AND I REPEAT NOT ARABS!

This is an important point to know. Please make a note of it :)

فبراير 03, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Thanx Pete. Actually I'm a bit hot headed and stubborn too. But that's what I mean about Christianity inspiring me to be a better person. Nobody is perfect, but we can try and with the grace of God maybe we can get a little closer :)

فبراير 03, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

as for "intelligent"...dunno about that. I just like to research understand things (the scientist in me) that's all :)

فبراير 03, 2006  
Blogger ffff said...

Dear Neferteeti,
I apologise if I offended you in any way. I am very sorry to have insulted you re your Christian beliefs. I would not want to do that for anything. I guess I thought with an open heart and wrote with an open keyboard. I am sorry.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my hurt and I will always take everything on board so I can learn more.
I shall always stand up for those less fortunate and for those who have no voice. You have a voice so I shall leave that in your capable hands. I guess I am a little sensitive about the way we poisoned , shot and destroyed our original peoples lives. I want to stand up for them, beside them.
I feel a bit cynical about religion ( of any colour) as I have studied so much and feel that those most capable ( by their teachings) to be leaders let their own faiths down. However I never intend to insult anyone's faith. My deepest and sincerest apologise.

فبراير 03, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

deares Alison, you don't have to apologise. I really mean that. I do understand where you're coming from because it is very similar place to where I'm coming from!! It is a great passion of mine to give my people (who are still being oppressed, killed and humiliated this very minute) a voice for their pain.
I truly appreciate everything you have to say and hope this isn't the last time I hear from you. You know we Christians ain't all that bad, lol.
Bless you Alison.

فبراير 03, 2006  
Anonymous D'artagnan said...

hi , first Ishould apologise for signing of as anonymous, I am a new user of the system, and did not know how to put a name to my comments.
re: the spelling of your name;I have not seen it spelled this way before, and thought there might be some esoteric reason for it.Of course, if that is your choice of name, spell it how you like, I thought I may have needed some education in the area of egyptian history.

for blue bolt:
yeah, I know that claiming a faith doesn't make one perfect,and shouldn't make one a target for moral potshots from the great unwashed,but it ALWAYS seems like the person who introduces him/herself with the statement"i'm a christian and ...." is setting an agenda which allows them to distinguish between us and them.

And if one doesn't like what the pm does in your name, how in the name of one's faith in Christ can one possibly defend having voted for him???

Might I suggest ,that if you don't have "a christian conscience, but a human conscience" that you move beyond mention of your christian base? It just seems like a neat way to circumvent any personal examination of your actual stance in these moral issues.

فبراير 03, 2006  
Blogger Blue said...

Hey D'artagnan,

Fair call. I agree. Anyone who makes statements about themselves up front are stating an agenda. In the case of some I appreciate some clue as to where they are coming from. It also allows me in a very human way to put them into little boxes. I try hard not to do it, but some people fit so darn well :-)

As far as faith in the PM goes- I have none. I didn't vote for him. Having said that however, I believe that we have a 'god given'(or should that be constitutional) right to vote, having taken my option I have the right to complain when things don't turn out the way I would like. Anyone who denies that right (say by 'monkeying' their vote) no longer has the right to complain.

I have many stances on moral issues - I just don't identify as a christian. I am a spiritual, intelligent, independent woman. I have a conscience and I am judged (by myself most often) against that. I may make judgement calls about the actions of others eg the PM - but that is my right. I don't vilify anyone publically & when I do it privately it is with people who know me well enough to understand my perspective and aren't likely to invoke libel laws.

Happy to discuss moral stances. You will find some of these in reading my rambles & brain dumps.....

Come on down

فبراير 03, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

hey guys
something was seriously wrong with blogger today. I couldn't view my blog or add comments but funnily enough I was able to post new posts. So D'artagnan, I replied to you comments in a new post.
Glad everything is back to normal now (i hope)

فبراير 04, 2006  

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