Tag Archives: Islam

Does it Even Matter? Food in France Feeding Terrorism and Fears

I watched and read this article today in CBN News, by reported Dale Hurd (January 5, 2011). The article was titled “Muslim Halal Food Sales Supporting Terrorism?” The article went to point out a major discrepancy in French politics, while unveiling that buying Halal meat might very well be supporting Terrorism. I believe them.

And yet, the article irked me.  First of all, why are we being told about what is happening in French politics, on this one issue? The only thing I ever hear about France these days has something to do with Islam. Surely there are other things going on in France! The only reason we must be being told about it, again, from a new angle, is because we care. So then I ask myself, why do we care? Or more specifically, this branded Christian American news source (CBN) is reporting on possible terrorist links dealing with  food in France. And maybe, if that outrages us, we should look around us to notice we just might be eating the same food here. Tyranny!

I wasn’t too sure why this irked me, so I wrote out ten points, as follows, for no good reason, in which I analyzed this article from the what I believe is a Biblical perspective (note, not traditional American Christian- you can read all their comments in the comment page just to get a feel of their outrage at Halal):

1.) Halal meat is healthier than our typical drugged-up, corn and hormone fed, stuffed in cages meat. So, the way of health, you can easily say its preferable. If our bodies are supposed to be a temple of God, then yes, maybe we should all eat halal meat. I’ve considered it.

2.) If we should get rid of everything associated with Sharia, as the man at the end of the article was saying, then shouldn’t we also get rid of rice, flour, etc…? Those are acceptable under Sharia law, too, right? In fact, we should also get rid of many concepts of justice Islam and Western Democracy agrees on. That Christians agree with. Just because its Sharia. Really now, we can’t be against everything Sharia.

3.) Paul said its okay to eat meat offered to idols- hence the whole Mecca-Allah-professional Muslim cow-killer shouldn’t be a moral issue for Christians eating halal (unless you are causing others to sin because they believe it is wrong, which just might be the case, now thanks to this article).

4.) Was any of the money back in the meat-offered-to-idols day funneled towards religions/politics/ideologies that were not Christian? I assume so. Which means, I can argue that it is okay once again (from solely a moral standpoint) to buy/eat meat of another religion/ideology.

5.) When I buy from KFC or McDonalds, one could say I fund the spread of Westernism, Colonialism, Self-indulgence….maybe even humanism. In fact, we are terribly guilty of major damage on the world, possibly turning many away from the true God by our Western influence on the world. So, from that logic, would that mean I shouldn’t buy KFC or McDonalds? But, both the U.S. and in France are already seriously saturated in these humanistic ideologies which aren’t really for God. Does it matter which not-Jesus religion/spirituality we are living in culturally? Yes, we have our preference for freedoms, in democracy, but, is that anything more than a preference?

6.)  Please note that in France the concept of freedom of religion and separation of church & state is different in the U.S. In France, this goes beyond just keeping things separate.  It means that anything not French, whatever might be a threat to nationalism/state as first, is not allowed. The goal is to keep everyone the same, so nothing stands out except being French. My description might not be perfect of French politics, but be aware that there is a definite difference, and do some research on it. So, with that said, please note that the French politician + groups mentioned in this article are speaking from this worldview. Which means that it is probably even more horrible for them, than it would be for us, to see the French government having connections to Islam, which is overtaking the country. Their fight is slightly different from just a fight for democracy as we as Americans might understand it.

7.) I personally am not pro-Islam or Muslim by any means.  I think Islamization its something everyone needs to be aware of, because it’s already upon us (if you study population growth, migration, and birth rates, you will see that within this century our Western civilizations as we know them will look drastically different). I believe the question that this “threat” to our current culture is really a matter of learning how to live, as Christians, in a new world which will likely look more Islamic. The question isn’t “How should we put our energies into stopping it?” After all, in some places, especially in Europe, it’s too late for that.

8.) I believe we are called to be Christians above being Americans. We constantly need to check the basis of our concerns. Are we afraid of Islam because it will negatively affect our lives, our comfort, or worldview as we know it? That is a very understandable fear.  But why are we striving for the sake of democracy? I am far from saying this is bad. I am pro-democracy, I believe much less oppression happens in a Republic than any other type of government. And yet, I think we need to question the roots of any judgments we make or act on- do these judgments embody God’s character and would our actions be following Jesus? Or is the root our love for our homeland, America and the democracy we enjoy? These are sometimes in conflict. So we must ask ourselves, what is most important?

9.) I think we should consider other ways of fighting this process than just boycotting halal, freaking out, or trying to ban all things Islamic through the political process. Maybe these aren’t bad, but I think they aren’t going to bring about sustainable change. It might be too late for passionate campaigns, which encourage WASPs (and other good ol’ American Christians) have more babies in order to race with that insane growth rate of Muslim populations.

10.) I guess what it comes down to, is that I really believe loving Muslims, showing Jesus to them, is more sustainable than getting worked about halal. Even if they don’t all become Christians, which I think would be just awesome, at least being exposed to another worldview is a major force for change. It is undoubtedly more effective to promoting opportunities which provide meaning to life (like having an occupation rather than killing the infidels), while educating (giving alternate worldviews to radical extremist Islam).

The reason this article irks me is that it doesn’t consider the people who follow the religion of Islam, many who do so just culturally rather than fanatically. It feeds the fear American have against Muslims, urging us to run the opposite way, rather than encouraging us to show love. The article might seemingly be about justice, a character trait of God.  We can choose to let an ideology which we are uncomfortable with turn us away from following Jesus, who says to love our enemies, and teach others to follow Him.  I don’t remember Jesus saying we should not buy Halal meat. What if we were able to help lead the guy who sales Halal kabobs to Christianity because we spoke with him, laughed with him while we ate what he made us- rather than boycotting him. Maybe preventing innocent deaths through terrorism would be what would happen if we ignored the halal-guy, or picketed his meat. At minimum, though, we should seriously consider what furthers God’s kingdom more.

Recently a guy from my town  was captured for assisting a plot (a fake plot, sneakily created by the FBI) of terrorism made for the D.C. metro system. I am glad they caught him. But, I can almost guarantee you, no American had ever invited him into their home or really befriended him. Can you blame him for not changing his worldview, when we, the rich self-focused Americans in my town, never relationally presented him with another worldview? When instead we probably only reinforced his hate for us? In his culture he would have been accepted in a new place. In ours, he was shunned. For all I know, I might have walked right by him five times in the course of five days, while never even smiling at him. The people who carry a culture and religion is what perpetuates that ideology. We, the people, by changing our attitudes towards Muslims just might have influence on the very ideology we fight in courts against.  Simply, by just showing some love.

Muslim Halal Food Sales Supporting Terrorism?

Advertisements

Qur’an Burning: America’s Response to the Spread of Islam

It seems that the only thing in the news this week has been all about the proposed Qur’an burning. Ever heard of the Burning Man Festival? I once watched a documentary on this yearly spectacle in America’s Southwest.  The Burning Man never gets public outcry, but maybe that is because if the effigy they used was sacred, everyone would know what it was just to be mad about it. Or maybe no one cares because there are naked people at the Burning Man and everyone likes naked people.  It made the documentary more interesting, that is for sure. I wonder if people burned the Qur’an naked, there would be no violent response. Then maybe American’s wouldn’t pay attention, either.

The President, the General, and my parents say that publicly burning the Qur’an will hurt Americans overseas: “You are putting lives at risk; there will be needless deaths!” (as if any death was ever needed).  I tend to believe this view. Yet I can also see why others would think that it might not really be that big of a deal.  Regardless of what the hypothesized results will be, of this Qur’an burning party, I am pretty sure that most people all around the world think its stupid. Burning hairspray is cool. Burning bras- that was cool in the 60’s. Burning books? Um, didn’t we learn in American English from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 that book burning is the end of society as we know it? But burning one fifth of the world’s population’s holy book!? Dude, we don’t burn cows as a public outcry against Hindus! We only burn cows if we like our steak very very well done! But that is a whole different thing.

Truly, a large portion of Muslims don’t believe in violence. Note: I am not saying there are not verses in their Qur’an which aren’t violent against others who don’t believe in Islam, I am only saying that there are a lot of moderate or nominal Muslims who don’t subscribe to these verses. I was actually just looking through a list of verses in the Qur’an which many Muslims understand to mean living in tolerance with Jews, Christians, and other minorities who are “people of the book.” The historical concept of dhimmi under Sharia Law doesn’t call for the death of the non-believer, either, although maybe a second class status. To me, it doesn’t matter what the Qur’an says. It matters what people understand it to say.

In the Bible, we have terribly violent things too- in the Old Testament at least. I will not lie by saying that some of the Old Testament law has really disturbed me in some points. And, unless you are a studied and practicing Christian, one might easily not understand why we can justify these verses  and why we don’t follow them today.  After all, Christians have had their own share of violence. The Crusades are a horribly wonderful example: killing off the Muslims for Jesus. Many ethnic wars, including the Rwandan Genocide and even WWII, have roots in severe twisting of Christianity. The KKK clan and terrorist bombers at Abortion Clinics are other examples of a skewed worldview which some claiming Christianity have held to. Still, someone pointed out that the percentages of extremists in Islam is a little higher than the modern day terrorist claiming Christianity. I don’t want to get killed by a Muslim. Personally, I just don’t want to get killed, even if it is carried by Interfaith Terrorists, Inc.

You want to know what I think? Probably not, but here I go: Sure, Islam can be very violent. Christianity can be too. If following the Torah, Jews would be very violent as well. There really is no helpful point in arguing whether a religion is violent or not. It doesn’t matter. Buddhism isn’t violent, but anything without Jesus never has pure peace.

I think most American Christians- those who are cultural Christians, without “sincere love” (as the Bible calls it), those who are legalistic, and who are so self-righteousness they have no humility to try to understand someone else- these are no different in the slightest than Muslims, moderate or extreme. Yes, I am bashing on Christians. I am the first to say that I fit in this category much too often. I might not be killing people, but sometimes, inside, I am no different than an extremist Muslim. Didn’t Jesus say that hate is the same thing as murder? I think there are plenty of good ol’ American boys and girls who hate Muslims.

I have the feeling that if someone publicly burned our Bible, with huge amounts of media attention leading up to it- on our Christmas –  America would probably be a little feisty, as well.  Proposed Qur’an burning day, September 11th, happens to be at the end of Ramadan this particular year. Which is a holiday equivalent to our Christmas.  Then take into account all the lifestyle differences, cultural aspects, and acceptances of living in the Islamic world (poverty, life expectancy, war). Add to that an extreme form of Islam actively being propagated (mind you, while the truth of Jesus is NOT being shared- most Muslims in the Islamic world have never even heard of Jesus, even if they have heard of Christianity)- heck- there will be problems! When it comes down to it, Islam is no worse than anything other than pure religion, which I believe is knowing grace in Jesus.

The point is, although there is a problem with Islam, there is no reason to be disrespectful, better-than-thou, or feed into a national phobia against Muslims. It doesn’t help. I don’t really like Islam, mainly because its a quickly spreading belief system which I don’t subscribe to. Even so, I think my Muslim friends are great and I love the values and sincerity they have. I think most American’s don’t like Islam solely because they feel it is a threat to their lifestyle and culture. If we are trying to live out sincere Christianity, above Americanism, we can’t just go around combating Islam by feeding hate and spreading gossip. I’m not too into promoting blind tolerance, either.  I guess this gets political, and I don’t really like politics, defining the Separation of Church and State, blah, blah, blah. So, instead I will say maybe our first step should be to take the time to get to know a Muslim or two- not with the goal of converting them, yet with the goal of living out grace and love beside them.   No need to be burning things or burning things while getting naked.

So, I guess I am glad the pastor got smart and canceled it after all.