To Peter, Mohamed and Mustafa
Because I missed the opportunity to respond to a few comments, I thought I'd address them in a separate post.
First of all, thank you all for everything you contributed to this discussion.
Pete; I just wanted to say thanks mate. I really appreciated your info on the early history of the Copts. I learnt some things I didn't know before.
Here are the points I wanted to address:
* RE: books cited in a previous post that attack Christianity, Mohamed said: Christians shouldn't take it as offensive...
But we do. Same way Muslims around the world thought the cartoons were offensive, but the cartoonists didn't think they were. They are offensive. That man Abu Islam Ahmad Abdalla who wrote some of the books cited, and owns that "Center for Enlightenment" has a website FILLED to the brim with anti-Christian slogans. If you are interested and can read Arabic go to http://www.baladynet.net/ and see the hatred oozing out the screen at you.
What do you call that Mohamed??
That vile individual says the following:
- Responses to "the people of the cross"
- Crimes of the Christians
- We're here to resist "Christening" our society (what on earth is he talking about??)
Here are some of his books:
- Sharia is the solution (to what?)
- The story of a nation called Egypt: where he claims to dispel "lies" by the Christians that Muslims aren't originally Egyptians and Copts (the man must be hallucinating)
- Sexual deviants in the church
- Pope Shenouda and Sectarian violence
And many more outright ridiculous claims and absurd arguments that are at best conspiracy theories and half truths. He even attempted a couple of articles about Catholics and Orthodox dialogue, like he can even begin to understand that issue. Do you not think that's offensive??
He's there attacking everything we hold dear and holy, beginning with our faith, our Christ, our Bible and ending with our Pope. Yet how many Copts did hear of that demanded an apology from him?
How many demonstrations peaceful or violent came of this?
How many Copts went on TV and threatened him with murder, like Amr Adeeb threatened Father Zakaria indirectly that if he set foot in Egypt he'll be "torn to pieces"??
Keep in mind that Father Zakaria never uses such vulgar expressions and emotive language like this guy. I personally have listened to and watched
70 episodes from Fr. Zakaria's program and there was never an insult directed at anyone. He merely discussed issues that are written in Islamic books...books that are not from biased sources, rather they are books that Al Azhar would use and endorse.
If you see a wrong thing and hope to tell the one who believe in this thing that it's not correct,but in the same time you want to keep his feelings,Will you leave him,saying that his feelings is more important than correcting his ideas?!!
No Mohamed, but I wouldn't antagonise him/her either. Besides, how do YOU know you aright and I'm wrong?
It's human nature for each of us to believe that they are right. Otherwise, we wouldn't carry on something that we believe is wrong. We all have values and beliefs that we are convinced are correct. That's fine. What's NOT fine is to get too comfortable and disregard other people's values and views.
We live in an age where information about just everything is just a click of a mouse away. If I wanted to learn a language, get an obscure recipe, chat to a guy from Iceland, learn about Buddhism, see Alaska I could do so right here from my own comfortable home.
What's more important than showing someone the error of THEIR ways, is showing them the goodness of yours. In the Christian faith we learn that the best way to glorify God is to show others how His love can change you. The Lord says: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Matthew 5:13
At the end I apologize if I insulted you or your religion or if I caused harm to you,and ask Allah to forgive me if I did wrong.
No Mohamed, you don't need to apologise to us. Christianity has endured 2000 long years and it is still standing firm. As a Christian I believe that a word uttered against my faith, or an act intended to weaken my church is as much for the glory of God as a good word or a charitable act.
22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
23Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.Luke 6:22-23
Thank you for your well worded comment and your your good sentiment. Please allow me to discuss a couple of things you brought up.
* RE: the definition of Copt: You are correct, except we (Christian Egyptians) were always labeled Copts. Perhaps a distinction left over from the days when Christians were strictly Egyptians and Muslims strictly Arabs.
Also if we really want to live with each other in peace & harmony we should forget all the past. Then we should really think about the relationship between Muslims & Christians in Egypt.
I respectfully disagree Mustafa. By no means is it positive to dwell on the past. However, the past must be acknowledged before we can move on. If we simply forget the past, we will not learn from past mistakes. If we simply forget the past we cannot understand how the current situation precipitated.
The first thing a doctor does when attempting to diagnose or treat an illness, is to check the patient's history. What the Egyptian society is suffering these days is an illness. Before we eradicate it we need to know where it started and how it got here. Until we all, Muslims and Christians acknowledge this, it will be too difficult to heal.
Another point is the impact on the Coptic community. I'm not too familiar with Egyptian law, but here in Australia and I believe in the States they have a similar thing (Pete am I right?), we have something called "Victim Impact Statement". This is a chance given to victims of crimes (Or their families if the victim themselves is deceased as a result of the attack) to tell the court how the crime affected them. This statement is often considered by the judge when handing down the sentence. But more importantly, the victim knows their feelings are important and that they've been heard.
That's what I personally would like to see. It hurts more than you can imagine when good, level headed Muslims who don;t condone violence and are peaceful people, deny the obvious. If all you moderate Muslims came out and said "it's true, there's been injustice...let's work on it" then things would be different. What has been happening however, is that mostly, moderate Muslims lecture us on the glories of peaceful Islam and maybe sometimes they might admit there's possibly an injustice or two against some Copts by a tiny minority of Muslims who probably don't understand Islam.
The idea of not accepting conversations between us in religion really scares me out. Because let's face it, if I died while I am practicing the wrong religion then I might get damned from salvation. I always remember something my prophet said one. He said that if god has a son then I should be the 1st to believe in that. Simply this means that Muslims & Christians really should talk about what the believe. Through history there were hundreds of conversions from each side as a result to these conversations.
Religious dialogue is not a bad thing. However, when it's one sided then it IS. The comment I made to Mohamed was in light of his constant one sided argument that absolutely disregarded anything of the opposite side. Also Mohamed has constantly asked me (and Amillennialist on his blog): not to take verses out of context, and to cite neutral sources. Two requests I feel he himslef failed to carry out numerous times. I am not having a go at you Mohamed, I'm just explaining the context of my comment to Mustafa.
Christians should never accuse Muslims of kidnapping their children & force them to convert.
No they shouldn't, if it were untrue. But in many cases it is in fact the truth that girls are kidnapped and/or coerced to convert.
Mosques don't really need permission to be built. I dream that someday Churches get the same facilities like mosques
Bless you for that, so do we!
At last I have to say that none of our dreams will be accomplished if we didn't really have the well to accomplish them. Both religions believe in love & believe that god is love. We all should ask god for mercy & salvation. We all should ask god for guidance
Amen to that!! But God isn't going to do it all for us, like you said WE have to have the will to change things. I for one, add my voice to yours in prayer that God guide us all to what is right.
Now that I waffled on for so long, I probably bored you all to tears :)
Thanks again for your valuable contributions.