Thursday, September 30, 2010

Islam: A Wise and Peaceful Religion

When Islam came into being around 600 AD, it revolutionized the Middle East for several centuries. We don't hear about it in school, because American "World History" is mostly European history. However, during the European dark ages, the Middle East was thriving in education and technology. They had a large amount of religious freedom, something that can't be said for Europe at that time. About the same time as the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe, the Middle East started to decline. Because of that decline, as well as the hostile and predatory colonization of the Middle East by European powers, the positive effects that Islam originally had were lost. They lost their unity, their education, their supremacy.

A few turn to bitterness--the terrorists and warlords. Many turn to their religion, trying to reclaim the goodness and wisdom that Islam meant all those centuries ago. However, most of them are just struggling to survive.

My point is that the source of Middle Eastern terrorism is NOT Islam. It is bitterness, poverty, and ignorance. And the good people in those countries know it. They do everything they can to get their children educated, to develop their countries, and to fight violence.

I once heard a Jordanian prince speak at my school. He spoke English with virtually no accent, and he was working to get an education--a graduate degree in Public Health, actually.

I've also come to admire the Queen of Jordan. She has thousands of fans on Facebook and over a million followers on Twitter, because she devotes countless hours to serving people, to reducing the violence between Israelis and Palestinians, to improving education, etc.

I've met several Middle Easterners who were sent by their parents to a private Christian university, largely because they wanted a school with good values and morals, a place where their kids wouldn't waste their entire lives on alcohol, drugs, sex, or other potential addictions.

Throughout the Middle East, education and human rights are slowly improving. If you'd like a good example of how Islam should be separated from traditions of human rights violations, read this 1996 New York Times article: "Blame Men, Not Allah, Islamic Feminists Say".

(You may need a free New York Times account to be able to read it. I'm not sure.)

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