Tag Archives: Muslims

Muslim Converts To Christianity In Egypt-A First?

In theory, Egypt allows freedom of religion to Christians but there are limits as to what the nation’s Coptic religion is allowed to do. Any Muslim is allowed to try converting a Christian to his religion, but freedom to convert ordinarily halts at the door of the church. Egypt’s Coptic Church has for the first time issued a certificate of conversion to a person who was born into the Muslim religion and decided to become a Christian. Maher al-Gohari is seeking to change his religion on official documents to indicate he is now a Christian. This is the first time the Coptic Church has issued such a certificate. It is only the second time a Muslim has officially requested having his statement of religion changed on identify cards.

Last year a court rejected such a request by a Christian convert from Islam. Tension between Coptic Christians and Muslim continues in Egypt. Ironically, Muslims argue that Jews took the land of Israel from Muslims, but Coptic Christians predate Muslims in Egypt by hundreds of years.

Is Obama Good For Turkey?

President Obama’s strong statement in support of Turkey’s application for entrance into the European Union caused some negative reaction among European leaders such as President Nicolas Sarkozy of France who thought the American was attempting to get involved in the internal affairs of Europe. Some Turks wonder if the Obama endorsement will damage their application, but most analysts believe it can only be a positive factor. Grenville Bysford, a long time researcher on Turkey noted in reference to any damage that might result from the Obama support: “It would be if Bush had said them, but Barack can get away with things Bush could only dream about.” There is still a tremendous resentment of Bush within the European Union and thus its leaders are willing to bend over backward to support the new American president.

Most Turkish leaders believe the Obama comment can only stand to give greater credence to their application for entry into the European Union. Obama has come across as a Western leader who is gaining support within the Muslim world for his positive comments about Muslims and his desire to heal old wounds.

Obama Urges Turkey To Be Bridge

President Barack Obama continued his voyage of diplomacy in Europe and the Middle East. On his visit to Turkey, the American leader urged Turkey to become an important bridge between Christian nations and the Muslim world. He emphasized as an American, “we don’t consider ourselves Christian, Jewish, Muslim. We consider ourselves a nation bound by a set of ideals and values.” He made clear his nation and Turkey could develop a new partnership which can bring together Muslims and Christians. The goal according to Obama is creation of a modern international community in which nations respect one another despite differences.

He also refused to back down on earlier statements that Armenians were murdered during the Ottoman Empire. Obama said it was time for both Armenians and Turks to move on and cease fighting old battles. No truer words could be spoken. The past is dead, we live in the present and if Turks disagree with the view that Armenians were murdered, so be it.

Headscarf Wars Rage In Denmark

Nations of the world are experiencing serious economic problems, people are losing their homes due to inability to pay mortgages, but to some in this world, the key issue is what is worn on top of the head. The Danish Police Department has decided to take a firm stance in defense of the inalienable right of police personnel to go around with bare heads. Chief Constable Lene Frank told the press: “As the uniform regulations are right now, it is not permitted to wear headscarves uniform.” She insisted no police person had challenged the headscarf issue, and if one did, their request would be examined. The Danish parliament actually discussed this issue and came down with the solution one could wear a headscarf but not the full length hijab when addressing the assembly.

I guess this issue is very important to some people. They remind me of those in the 1960s who were violently upset when young men wore their hair long. It is much ado about nothing.

Indonesians Hail Obama, BUT!

President Susilo Yudhoyono hailed Obama’s assumption of power as the dawn of a new era in relations between the United States and his country, and also expressed hope there would be a more objective approach in dealing with problems in the Middle East. “I will work with him and other world leaders in any way we can to promote enduring peace and progress in our time.” However, the speaker of Indonesia’s legislature warned although Obama was better suited to work for Middle East peace it would require shifting from the Bush willingness to turn away from any mistake made by Israeli leaders. Golkar Party leader, Hairiyanto Thohari “it would be a mistake to think it could turn its back on the long history of favoring Israel” and the new president has to break with the past if there is to be peace.

The message is clear from many Muslim nations they seek an American president who is objective and seeks to work for a peace that meets the needs of both Muslims and Israelis.

Seek Ban On Topless To Protect Muslim Sensibilities

A Conservative Australian MP is proposing to ban topless bathing in order to protect the sensibilities of Muslims and Asians who are not accustomed to being on beaches where people are nude. “Our beaches should be a place where no one is offended, whether it’s their religious or cultural views.” He argued Muslims and people from Asian societies come from countries where women do not engage in topless bathing and most women wear a lot of clothing. ” MP Fred Nile said: “I don’t want to have any provocations or disturbances on our public beaches.” He argued if topless bathing is allowed what is to prevent women from going around in the nude.

There is always a thin line between respecting the cultural views of minorities and allowing national norms to be operational. The problem with Mr. Nile’s proposal is that most Muslim societies would not allow bikini bathing suits or the showing of cleavage which is so common on most Australian beaches. Or, is he arguing since many Muslim women wear heavy clothing than all Australian women have to wear heavy clothing on beaches? Frankly, fundamentalists whether Muslim or Jewish or Christian will always be offended by the current bathing attire displayed on many beaches in the world.

If one chooses to live in a multicultural society then one must accept certain national norms. In the United States army I ate ham, pork and bacon despite being a Jew. One adjusts to the reality of life in a multicultural society. All views in reality can not be respected or accommodated. That may not be fair but it is reality.

EU Will Not Screen Anti-Muslim Film

The European Parliament has banned the viewing of the anti-Islam film, Fitna, on its premises. The film was made by Durch right-wing MP and Freedom party leader, Geert Wilders who reacted by storming out in anger claiming it was a blow against democracy. A majority of members of Parliament believe the film merely incites hatred of Muslims and does not contribute to raising issues other than those of blind hatred. Originally, the film wa to have been shown in a conference room, but the projector was taken away. Fitna reminded his audience the film already had been show in London and elsewhere.

The basic thesis of the film is an examination of the Koran reveals it encourages war and violence. It contains a collection of quotes and news footage of terrorist attacks. It would not be difficult to make a film which contains quotes from the Bible as well as footage of Christian violence including the Holocaust. Issues in this case have nothing to do with democracy, they simply deal with taste and refusal to foster anti-Muslim hatred. Mr. Wilders is free to show his film around the world. There is no doubt a ready audience for such films is available among those who hate Muslims.

G.I. Atheist Sues Army Over Forced Religion

An American soldier, together with the Military Religion Freedom Foundation, is suing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates over the issue of forcing member of the military to attend sessions at which the Christian religion is propogated. Spc. Dustin Chalker argues he has been compelled to attend mandatory military formations where Christian prayer groups do their work of telling soldiers about the benefits of being a Christian. The Foundation recently uncovered videos which depict missionaries who were embedded with the American military urging the assembled soldiers to do their work of spreading Christianity among Muslims. They videos also show missionaries handing out Darsi-language bibles to Muslims.

In itself, this may not be the most grievous error of the Bush administration during the Iraq war, but it is symptomatic of the ineptness of those in charge of the American armed forces. To actually believe an American armed force is helping to deal with terrorists by handing out Bibles speaks volumes of the ignorance of Bush and the other fools around him. The Muslim world has been complaining since day one of the Iraq invasion that America is simply another “Crusader” sent to spread Christianity. The videos prove this view has a foundation in fact.

Australian Muslim Leaders Charged With Condoning Rape

A report by the Islamic Women’s Council of Victoria in Australia, says some imams perform polygamous marriages and apply sharia law when it benefits men but not when it benefits the rights of women. The report was rejected by the Victorian Board of Imams, but the Islamic women’s group charged some imams told women seeking divorce they must leave with “only the clothes on their back” and not seek support or a share of property because they can get welfare payments. The report was commissioned and funded by he prior government of prime minister John Howard. The report is based on extensive interviews with police, lawyers, court workers, and academics as well as discussions with the Victorian Board of Imams.

The report apparently is based on extensive discussions with key people in the Muslim world of Victoria and can not be lightly dismissed as coming from a group of women who wish to make trouble. The study claims polygamy is increasing among Muslims as well as more underage marriages. The Board of Imams denies all allegations.

German Neo-Nazi Party Remains A Political Force

Sixty three years after the end of Nazism, Germany has a political organization, the National Democratic Party, whose views are blatantly racist, and anti-semitic. Although, the German constitution prevents the government from banning the party, there is now an effort to cut off its government funding. At present the NDP obtains nearly 40% of its funding from state sources. Most observers believe if the NDP lost state funding it would have difficulty surviving as a viable political force. However, it is still unclear if a party which has not been banned can have its government subsidy cut off.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has termed the NPD as hostile to Jews, non-whites and Muslims. In fact, NPD officials have praised Iranian President Ahmadinejad for saying Israel should be removed from the map. It is ironic the Muslim hating group supports a Muslim leader. Polls in Germany indicate about 80% of the population regards the NPD as undemocratic and damaging to the nation’s world image. The major question is whether attempting to ban or cut off funding for the NPD would backfire and only enhance its prestige among disaffected people.

A ban on a political party invariably results in making it stronger. It is best to allow the public to decide the fate of the NPD by refusing to vote for it.