Understanding Islam – Part 17 (Persian or Arabian Gulf)

The differences within the sectors of the world in which Islam is prevalent continue, especially between those considered Arab and Persian.  Here is a most recent press release:

Monday Feb 22, 2010 (Associated Press)  

“Iran Threatens Airlines Over ‘Persian Gulf’ Rift.’

TEHRAN, Iran  —  Airlines not referring to the waterway between Iran and the Arabian peninsula as the Persian Gulf will be banned from Iranian airspace, the transport minister told local media Monday.

The warning was directed specifically toward the airlines of neighboring Gulf Arab countries who have a history of referring to the body of water as the “Arabian Gulf.”

“The airlines of the southern Persian gulf countries flying to Iran must use ‘Persian Gulf’ on their flight monitors,” Hamid Behbahani told the IRAN daily.

Airlines ignoring the warning would be banned from Iranian airspace, while repeat offenders would have their planes grounded in Iran and “the companies’ flight permits to Iran canceled.”

The report said Iran expelled a Greek flight attendant from the private Iranian airline, Kish Air, for using “Arabian Gulf” on a monitor over the weekend.

Iranians are traditionally sensitive over the historic name of the waterway between Iran and seven Arab nations.

Last month the Saudi-based Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation said it canceled the Islamic Solidarity Games in April because its Iranian host planned to use Persian Gulf on banners and medals.

In 2004, Iran banned American National Geographic for using Arabian Gulf instead of the Persian Gulf. In 2005, National Geographic revised its world atlas use Persian.”

Consider the differences between Sunni and Shiite?  Who should be the head of Islam in your country?  Imam, Caliph, Sheik, or what?  As rigorous as the fundamentalist may be, differences remain.  different interpretations remain.  Suggestions of Reform have been made.  Historically reform has brought ideologies into a more current setting, by going back they also came forward.  This was the Case for the Protestant Reformation.  By going back to basics, to the essential faith in Jesus Christ as savior and living life as per His example, filled with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of the Trinity, God-Son-Spirit as One, and using the Word as the guide the two principal commands come to the surface, the cream, Love God and Love your neighbor.  The creeds, doctrines, the sacraments and their interpretation imposed by man, accrediting their structure to God,  became walls around a faith whose barriers prevented the freedom Christ wanted for us. Spending time in the Word, understanding, discussing, reading and re-reading, finds current advice in a timeless document. 

For the Muslim, going back does not bring them forward, but returns them to the violent culture in which Muhammad lived and perpetuated a way of life, that of Muhammad, a killing machine, a person of many wives, ill-tempered towards women, having a desire for power and control, wanting to tell all others ‘this is how you will live,’ not allowing for choice.  That suggests more Al Qaeda that love of fellow man.  Cut off the hand when one steals; behead the infidel; disallow the practice of any other faith in the neighborhoods of the Muslim; perpetuate the religion, the law, the governance of Islam and close the gates to any other way of thinking.  Islam is a Wall around the mind of the Muslim, a Wall, more a barrier to independent thinking; more a means to keep those indoctrinated encamped in the castle of Islam, the moats surrounding to keep out all others – the infidels – the enemies of those in Power.  It is not God who is in control, but man.  Yes,  reform is needed, but for Islam they must not go back, only forward, looking to free societies that know and love God, a forgiving God, and taking from these productive cultures the rule that enables all neighbors (even of different religions) to live on the same street.  The Gulf is not Persian or Arab, the Gulf is between the mind of those trapped in the burqa, those whose mind has memorized the Quran or recited the Quran without knowing its true meaning, those ‘brainwashed’ and rote in their prayer, those never really allowed to chose for themselves a loving savior, and freedom.  In that freedom they can be of their own mind and find God, or no god, or find Buddha,  or Allah, indeed it is for freedom Christ set us Free.  Christ wants to be your choice, but free will allows you to chose, while still be loved by the Triune God. 

Let the Gulf of Freedom be that which is filled and prepared for all nations to stand upon and respect and learn from each other’s cultures, religions and faiths without condemnation.  Leave the Dark Ages in the past; today’s light is shining and should not be dimmed.  Choose your Lighthouse but never overtly destroy that of another. 

Grace and peace,

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