Q&A: Are Muslims Anti-Christian Women Oppressors?
I was blessed to, during my "I'm-not-updating-my-website" downtime, receive some private messages from a lovely soul who happens to follow my ramblings on social media. She allowed me to share some of her questions and some of my responses, and I thought it may help rather than for me to bother formulating a super-catchy new article [assuming, of course, that you agree that I produce super-catchy articles...if not, sowwie].
“It's not my intention to offend. My intention is to be educated. . . .I'm just confused on the notion that Muslim = anti Christian and 9/11. For instance, main stream media has everyone believing that this country is no longer free of religion; it is more persecution of Christianity. Like removing [the] Ten Commandments ect. I'm torn b/c my heart wants to believe the best in people at the same time I want to defend my beliefs. . . .Also, are woman viewed as less than equal as men in Islam? And now that you mention it, I am curious as to why women have certain dress code where Muslim men seem to be free to wear anything they wish…I do hope my wording hasn't offended."
Not at all!
I appreciate the comments and questions.
Does Muslim = 9/11 and anti-Christianity?
Short answer is NO and the large answer is that you first should think to yourself that you should be able to assess/judge a religion by what it teaches. So, if there is anything in Islamic scripture or teachings to cause 9/11 or anti-Christian attitudes, then that's how Muslims should be judged (regardless of what we say or do), and if there ISN'T, then that should be your verdict. I've written heavily on this topic on my website which is currently down but will, God-willingly, be up-and-running soon enough. For now, though, I'll say that there is a $40 BILLION dollar anti-Islam industry right now trying to convince Americans that Muslims mean harm, but this is more of a political brain-washing that the powers that be need you to believe.
The reason they need you to fear Islam [imho] is because Islam has extremely just attitudes towards everything from finances to interest to government and politics and they wouldn't be able to:
- milk the public for the salaries they are currently taking,
- continue to take American rights away, and
- maintain the current interest-based system which helps the wealthy and harms the poor and middle-class if more and more people began to adopt Islamic ethics.
So there's a huge interest from the top powers to maintain a fear of Muslims and Islam, and they'd have you believe that any Muslim who practices his or her faith is somehow anti-Christianity or pro-9/11, when this is the opposite of true. The 9/11 hijackers were not even practicing Muslims and they don't have a shrivel of Islamic evidence to support their claims that they were acting out of faith. They were acting out of desperation and anger and neither of these actions are sanctioned in Isla--and FYI, the punishment in Islam for suicide is that the one who commits it will be repeatedly committing the same suicide for all of eternity in hell, so those hijackers couldn't have known too much about Islamic teachings if they wanted to be in a good place in the Hereafter.
Also, for the anti-Christian thing:
Islam is the ONLY other religion that believes that Jesus (peace be upon him) is a legitimate messenger of God. So why would we hate Christians? I think you could worry that any other religion on the planet hates you, but not us (haha). We have entire chapters of our holy book, the Quran, dedicated to Mary (peace be upon her), her family, the miraculous birth, and Christ's message (peace be upon them all). We also believe that he is returning.
Historically, Muslims have protected Christians and allowed them to rule themselves autonomously both socially and politically (meaning, Christian communities were governed fully by Christian laws, and Muslim courts would uphold Christian laws in, say, divorce and other matters, when the citizens were Christian. The same was provided for Jews). In fact, even monotheistic Christians fled Europe historically from genocides during the Byzantine empire and afterwards to Muslim lands to seek protection from Muslims against fellow Christians in Europe! Even my grandfather in Syria used to always donate money to this one Christian man who would come to his little shop in the downtown market place, and one day my grandfather said, "You live right across from a church, by you come to a Muslim for help every day?" and the man responded that he was a Maronite and the church was Catholic and didn't recognize him as Christian and, so, would not help him feed his family.
Most of the anti-Christianity you hear about, unfortunately, is part of the $40 billion buck industry referenced above. There are people way wealthier than you and me who are trying to psycho-manipulate the masses into believing a stigma that just isn't true and can't be upheld on historical, theological, or logical grounds. But they still succeed in making people afraid because they're so danged loud about it all.
Anyways, the irony is that in a SECULAR America, you actually have LESS rights as a Christian in some ways than you would have in a Muslim land. I don't know how rigidly you practice Christianity, but I can make several arguments that America, being secular, really does require monotheists to violate things we believe in order to separate church and state. For example, the lending/money system is against Christian ethics, the marriage/divorce/affairs/custody is dealt with in a way that really harms Christian rights, even in fields like my own (embryology) there are several things I am required to do that aren't "ok" in my beliefs (and there are even more things that aren't "ok" by Christian beliefs). All these things would have been respected in, say, Syria--but in America, we have no choice but to participate in a system that has totally removed the concept of God.
As for women:
We are spiritual EQUALS to men. However, the problem is that we don't think that "equality" means we have to be the "same." In math, 4/2 is equal to 2. They are equal, but they are not the same. We believe that God gave women a degree of beauty and sexual attractiveness over that of men. It isn't that He made us any less equal, but He simply gifted us with the great power and gift of beauty and the ability to be sexually alluring.
It's hard for Americans to swallow this because girls are taught at a very early age in America that we SHOULD dress in a way which is sexually appeasing to the opposite gender. Even on the radio, "If you're sex-ay' than flaunt it" played over and over again in Bruno Mars's hit. This concept is totally foreign to us Muslims. I don't understand, to save my life, WHY I should try to sexually attract someone that I don't actually INTEND TO HAVE SEX WITH? I totally get wanting to be beautiful for my husband, who I love dearly. I totally understand wanting him to feel that I am the most gorgeous bombshell on the planet--but why do I need that sort of validation from, say, YOUR husband? I don't.
We feel very strongly that the way we dress not only commands respect for ourselves from others, but it also more importantly reminds others (especially men) of what to focus on when dealing with us. I am only interested in other men looking at me and seeing my intellect, my spirit, my kindness--NOT my sexuality or external "beauty." We also feel very strongly that this kind of modesty only helps the family unit--if women stop trying to appear sexually attractive in front of one another's spouses, it REALLY helps us feel more secure in our own marriages. I would never wear something in front of another man that I wouldn't want the most beautiful woman in the world wearing in front of my own husband. It has nothing to do with me feeling less--not at all. I feel ten times more beautiful than any man I know and that's why I cover--I VALUE that beauty, and it empowers me to CHOOSE who gets to see it and who doesn't.
This is a lot of my own speculation--the simple answer for why Muslim women cover like this is because we were asked to by God. Ironically, Christian women and Jewish women are required to cover as well and it is also in the Bible. The problem is, when Christianity spread through Europe, the higher powers confiscated the Gospels and did not allow the general population to learn scripture or to apply it. They took away their rights as Christians but they also took away their responsibilities, except for what they wanted their congregations to do. There is nothing in true Christianity (as it was revealed to Christ, peace be upon him), for example, that says that you should convey your sins to a priest to seek God's forgiveness for you. This was created to exert a degree of control over the privacy of others, but it's still practiced in many Christian communities today and most christians don't even know the difference between what was historically added and removed into their religion and what actually remains of the original teachings. But, for dress code, the proof is in the pudding--look at any depiction of the Mother Mary (peace be upon her) and you will find her veiled like me.
Ironically, Muslims have a better documented history of Christianity than Christians, and we carry forth the original message of Judaism AND Christianity before they were adulterated. The Quran repeatedly asserts that it is "a confirmation of what is with them" and them is referring to the Christians and the Jews, although "what is with" refers to the original Scriptures before any edits were made (the Bible was edited by over 11 people and none of the original Gospels remain 100% in tact today, however every letter and syllable of the Quran does with 0 editing).
TBH, I kind of get where people are afraid Islam will "take over," because it is the fastest growing religion in the world and people become Muslim every day. My own mom became Muslim, and she was a white American from a Christian background (one of my uncles almost killed her). So I guess people who really care about stupid things like world dominance may be like "OMG, we won't statistically be a part of the majority anymore!" But fearing for their lives? Let's be logical for a moment. Islam is the second largest and fastest growing religion in the world--if people were killed for "associating" with us, you'd all be dead already haha.