UI – Part 354a – What Christian Parents Can Teach Kids so they can Begin to
Learn About Islam
It is important for everyone to understand Islam, to include moderate Muslims. It is important also for everyone to understand Christianity. Oddly enough Christians would agree and welcome a study of Islam more than Muslims would agree as to Christianity. Not very objective I know. You could say this is lesson #1. This is the first of two parts. The second, next week, will list 20 comments useful in discussing Islam to a Christian, or for a Muslim to understand the polemic from a Christian viewpoint.
From the Quran – Doubting
What follows are passages from the Quran that provide emphasis about doubting or questioning the dictates of this Book. The exclamation point would be a concern by Islamists of ‘apostasy.’ Leaving the faith, convinced another path is your righteous path, is to be punished. The Quran does not call for killing the apostate, although the Hadiths (discussed later) do. Sura 3.19 – if one disbelieves in the messages of Allah then Allah can take action (a reckoning.) Sura 4.56 – if one disbelieves in the messages of Muhammad – consequence – severe chastisement. Have ‘no doubt’ as to the words in the Quran. Sura 4.135 & 136 – do not disbelieve in the Quran. The Quran does not make an affirmative statement that the book is Truth, as does the Bible. It simply cautions followers to stay the course, do not ask questions or raise issues. If you must ask, then seek out a scholar of Islam – but then their response will more than likely be, “Do you believe in Allah? If so, how can you question what he has said? His word is correct?” By asking questions, raising concerns or doubts, a Muslim, especially an Islamic teacher, may feel threatened, and also consider the gesture that of promoting another faith, another way of thinking, thus proselytizing. Sura 4.140 says, “Beware of the proselytizer.”
Muhammad in the early years of his development was quite disruptive, questioning any who believed other that what he professed. He upset his family and was asked to stop. Yet Sura 5.33 effectively states those who cause disorder in a settled society, against Allah & the Messenger, and make ‘mischief’ in the land, should be imprisoned, murdered, crucified or have their hands and feet cut off. Sura 5.101 & 102 discuss having ‘doubts’ about Islam. The concern is “People before asked questions & became disbelievers.” This may be an expression as to how insecure the faithful are in what they are told to believe. In Sura 7.31 Muslims are instructed to take Islam seriously or be forsaken, left in the lurch, abandoned.
In Sura 8.55 the Quran refers to non-Muslims, those who do not believe in Islam, or infidels, as the ‘vilest of beasts.’ The Bible seeks out those who do not accept the saving grace of Christ, or believe and follow Christ, wanting them to know the gospel and the good news. The goal is to have them embrace the hope and joy to be realized as a Christ follower. They may be considered foolish, but not ‘beasts’, and offered the love of God knowing that hearts can be changed, opened or reopened.
Call it paradise, but when Islam is understood this paradise is a police state in which residents are born and raised in the ideology of Islam, a culture considered backwards in even the least advance countries, and burdened by the dictates of Muhammad and their god, Allah, whose enforcers are men. Inherent in the nature of man are all the frailties, inadequacies, prejudices, selfish wants and perversions of men, in this case the unequalled male and not the female, who are given the charter to lay down the law and inflict punishment as they deem appropriate, giving Allah’s Will all the credit.
Sura 14.13 suggests non-Muslims be driven out of Muslim areas, expunged. This eliminates any potential controversy. It builds a singular culture, a unified system of governance and theology, inside of which no invaders can survive. Invading a non-Muslim country and growing the population of Muslims, by birth or conversions, forced or otherwise, until the majority are Muslims is the imperialistic goal of Islam. Once firmly entrenched the expulsion of non-Muslims, closing or burning churches, is permitted.
Teaching the Children
Given the number of followers of each religion justification to study is warranted, if only to discover the appeal of either. Teaching your children about Islam or Christianity I believe should be done at home so you do not feel your child will learn in the wrong way, or in a fashion at odds with your own beliefs. But please be open-minded, objective and encouraging.
As parents we are responsible for our children’s upbringing, not just as to financial support, but also as to character development and knowledge. Education is important and affording a child’s education can be a factor, but in America there are many avenues available to obtain even a higher (college) education when parents do not have the means. Self-motivation helps, but is not necessarily a trait that can be taught. We all desire our children have this quality. It may be present, but not in the way, or with the same objective, as the parent might prefer. Parent’s religious belief often become that of the child, but clearly objectivity and open-mindedness is a trait valuable to inculcate. Rigid thinking is wrong. To be independent is to have the ability and freedom to discover and find your own way in life.
America’s value system encourages independence as well as independent thought. For Muslim parents this freedom is problematic as it reduces the obedience and respect of their children, and many then seek religious education, Islamic education, to correct their vision. But it is a concern also that the children may discover, within our open society, a path other than Islam, a path that is more truthful and loving than Islam. This would cause dishonor to the family.
Environment is a major influence. Inherent in the environment, and we are not talking about desert or seaside or mountainous areas, is culture, that of the city, state or nation where we are raised. Foods, smells, laws, leaders, common elements, and majority opinions (or systems of belief) are material in shaping a child’s attitudes, thoughts, development and opinions. I revert to the freedom of being ‘independent.’ In that I mean parents need to be independent in their ideas and willing to encourage their children to think for themselves, even if it is counter to the philosophy of the parent or the environment, no matter how entrenched. This is generally quite difficult, especially in areas, such as Muslim dominated cultures, with dictators at the helm.
Again for Muslim parents in America their homeland is a foundation, but not the same for their children, thus the common string becomes the ideology of Islam. What emerges are a new Muslim-American attached, through an Islamic education, more to Islam than their parents roots. It can lead to radicalization. Beware.
Education Beneficial to the Whole World
Educated parents and children are beneficial to a world continuously evolving, growing, changing and modernizing. In many areas where dictators or autocrats are present, surely in politically Islamic centers, education is viewed negatively, as a threat to the establishment. Why?; because the more educated the person the more objective and independent they can become. Also a modern world is anathema to Islamic fundamentals, bringing with it freedom of thought. The educated child represents a threat to the methods, the treatment, the laws and the directives applied by the leadership, thus to those in charge, and as dissenters are seen as traitors. Where there was/is naziism, fascism, communism, and indeed, Islamism, the State, their ideology and rule of law, when problematic for some, became a cancer that the leadership insisted had to be exterminated. Those seeking reform become dissenters of the established order and pariah. Observe such structures and immediately what is obvious is the separate police or military contingent, the special guards, dedicated to protecting the totalitarian government. It is the fear of an uprising against the inhumane practices that even those leaders realize they employ. Therefore they protect their castle with a moat of military might to let their constituency know who is the boss.
Next week. 20 points to understand – 20 Steps to Learning About Islam.
Grace and Peace.