Islamists are always telling us about the growth of Islam, and how more and more people are becoming Muslim, but they avoid talking about the flip side, which is growing at possibly a more rapid rate. We can understand why Islamists don't want to recognize Muslim to Christian conversions, after all, the converts themselves have a huge problem with it. When converts make their conversion known publicly, they are subjected to threats and discrimination. Sometimes, it is even their friends and family who shun them. “In Muslim countries,” they lose their civil rights and face the danger of the death penalty.
To say that these measures tend to "dampen discussion" on the matter, is quite the understatement, yet many Muslim to Christianity conversions do occur. Although personally, I'm not a huge fan of proselytizing (I subscribe more to the Mother Theresa approach: "There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I've always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic"), given the degree and frequency with which so many Muslims are becoming more radicalized, I'd be hard-pressed to have a problem with giving them a helping hand in understanding the peace and love of their fellow man that lies at the basis of Christianity.
And when it comes to giving Muslims a helping hand ( or words) in understanding the peace and love of their fellow man that lies at the basis of Christianity, Father Zakaria Boutros, who looks like a mild-mannered, unassuming priest, is delivering a message that is rocking much of the Muslim world. As you might expect, Father Boutros's broadcasts have generated intense anger in the Muslim world, and there's a $60 million bounty on his head (interestingly, as with the Pope's comments that there is much violence in Islam, Islamists respond with violence to recount it - go figure!):
His television program called 'Truth Talk' is broadcast daily into the Middle East over the Al-Hiyat satellite channel. On it, he challenges Muslims to examine what he says are inconsistencies in Islamic doctrine – inconsistencies that he says Muslim leaders don't want exposed and ordinary Muslims are told never to question.
“Islam cannot stand in front of intellectual questions and no one can understand because of contradictions in Koran, contradictions in Hadith, contradictions and false doctrines. So they don't want anybody to ask and to learn. 'This is Islam, you have to accept it as it is' lest you should be killed,” Boutros said.
Boutros doesn't stop at challenging the teachings of Islam. He also questions the Prophet Mohammed himself, who Boutros says had his mind set on wordly pursuits.
“He said that his concerns are three things: women, perfume, and food,” he said. “Where is the kingdom of God? Where is the glory of God? Where is the salvation? Where is love? Where is the mission of a true Prophet of God?”Continue reading, "Talking Truth to the Muslim World."
He says the provocative statements are designed to challenge Muslims to examine their faith.
“This is my way: short, sharp, shock for the unconscious,” Boutros said
That was the case with James, an Egyptian who began watching Truth Talk late at night while the rest of his family slept.
More 'Truth Talk'
And while Father Boutros is challenging the teachings of Islam, a Muslim scholar is about to do the same from an Islamic perspective. On Oct. 8 in Surabaya, Indonesia Achmad Jainuri, a Muslim scholar, is about to face about 600 Islamic clerics and scholars from across East Java to urge the "revitalization" of Muhammadiyah (followers of Muhammad) and will remind delegates that Achmad Dahlan, the founder of Muhammadiyah (here it refers to a moderate Islamic organization in Indonesia) early last century, regularly and freely discussed social and religious issues with Catholic and Protestant leaders (I wonder how many death threats he'll end up receiving). Jainuri, obviously a pious and "truly moderate" Muslim, says he has no problems with the Pope's comments, and that the difficulty lies with those that hear and read the Pope's lecture but don't want to debate and argue:
... I have no problems with the Pope speaking like that. The difficulty is when his speech is heard and read by certain groups that don't want to debate and argue.Continue reading, "Muslims trying to get back to basics."
Radical Muslims, the bombers and others, come from a small group in the community. They think they have the right and the power to solve political problems themselves.
They think the United Nations is powerless, that the Indonesian government is powerless, so they do it themselves. They never hear alternative opinions. They never read my articles in the newspapers. Their minds are shut. I can't even get into their pesantren (Islamic boarding schools).
They think they have to fight unbelievers and the evils, and that they have to do this forever. This is their jihad.
The majority of Muslims believe that the jihad is within us, and the battle is to cleanse our minds and souls and do good work. That's how we read the Koran.
Why don't the radicals concentrate on the real evils in society -- like poverty and the exploitation of children instead of trashing nightclubs? Just down the road from this religious campus little kids are begging at the traffic lights. That's evil.
... terrorism is wrong, 100 percent. For me, that's not the way to behave. Islam is peaceful and it's most important to prove this through teaching. I know many in the West don't understand that. Why are Muslims seemingly so worried about Christians?
Muslims are in the majority. If you're firm in your faith you have nothing to fear from other religions.
In the past Islam was strong. In modern times it's weak, economically and socially. In almost every aspect we are behind. My fellow Christians have long-term thinking and orientation.
Why are some afraid of Christians? I don't know. Maybe because they know that Christianity, like Islam, is a missionary religion seeking to convert.
Our task is the Islamization of Muslims, particularly the abangan (people who are indifferent to their faith).
As a footnote, while it is my own personal belief that the peace of Christ will eventually prevail among all men, regardles of the faith that they now practice, long strides down such a road have to begin with the first steps. Moderate Muslims being willing to take a stand and stand up to radicalism, along with Christians and Jews being willing to take risks in sharing their beliefs with Muslims, are indeed important first steps.
I'm reminded of another one of Mother Theresa's quotes: ""Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." From what we see in these two articles - some are in fact doing that.
Hat tip - Gary G.