Friday, August 20, 2004

Reasons to become a Muslim

Lengthy but interesting discussion at FrontPageMag on the motive of Westerners for converting to Islam.
...Western converts to Islam, like initiates into a cult, are treated very well initially, differently from other Muslims. Mr. Haidon's mentors encouraged him to challenge Islam. However, these same "moderate" mentors would not permit any native-born Muslim the same privilege. For a person born in it to challenge Islam is to invite persecution or even death. The so-called ”moderate” Muslims do not defend such “apostates.”. Bin Laden is thought of as savior of Islam by majority Muslims who did not criticize him or Islamic teachings after 9/11/2001.

Western converts who will attempt to reform Islam to end the violence will be accused of being CIA infiltrators or Zionist conspirators. Islam has to reform from within.

Shoebat: I agree with Ms. Darwish and to add to it, with Black Muslims for example, they have been fed the idea that Islam is the religion for the disenfranchised, poor, and ill treated masses. This without realizing that the Muslims had contributed into the slave trade from time immemorial.
One of the panelmembers is Walid Shoebat, "a former PLO terrorist who has become an ardent Zionist and an evangelical Christian". Why the scare quotes? I'm not too ashamed to admit it (but ashamed I am), but I simply have trouble believing a former PLO terrorist would become "an ardent Zionist". I hope I'm wrong. Anyway, read on.
Shoebat: [Shoebat's mother] was drawn to what my father told her – the peaceful verses, the wonderful culture, fasting Ramadan contributes to your health....

He had her think that he was discriminated against because he was an Arab and lured her to do his college homework, she believed everything he said because she was in love. She later on moved to Bethlehem, prevented to go back to America, and then moved to Saudi Arabia. In Aramco (Arab American Oil Company) in Saudi were my father taught, he started teaching anti-American things that America was conspiring against Muslims, stealing the oil and paying nothing to the Saudis. He got fired of course, and to my mother that was the evidence that Americans hate Muslims. She then moved back with him to Bethlehem but could never compete with the rest of the women as how to behave as a "good Muslim", she could never be good enough, she still longed for western ways of life, she wanted to go home. The Six Days War erupted and the American Embassy came to take her out, but my father prevented her. She realized that she was literally in prison and could not escape. That's when she learned by experience that women are second class citizens in Islam. It was too late.
Another panelmember is Thomas Haidon, "an American lawyer who was raised in the Catholic faith but converted to Islam". Strange that in spite of everything he seems to be aware of in Islam, he converted anyway. In his introduction, he states (among other things) that
The more I learned, the more I realised that the foundation and values of Islam were very similar to my own religion. Indeed, this was quite a surprise to me, as I had initially adopted quite an orientalist perspective on Islam.

In May of 2001, I returned to Cairo to study Islamic jurisprudence. After several years of study, I felt I was ready to take "shahada" (the testification of faith). I did so at the Al-Azhar Institute in the presence of friends and colleagues.
Interesting introduction. He basically says here that he was a religious person to start with. Islam was similar, but better somehow? This I understand (ironic, not being a religious person myself, but logical I think). Islam is still a dynamic faith compared to Christianity, wich (in Europe at least) is stagnant and mouldy, characterized mostly by factional disputes over what Protestant groups will or will not merge, and just exactly how bad the Pope is really.

So if you're into religion AND action, Islam is the way to go. I guess.
But Haidon does not strike me as the worlds worst hater.
Native Muslims in Muslim countries have no choice but to accept Islam, and leaving Islam could lead to certain death. Even being critical of Islam can result in severe punishment (Abu Zayed in Egypt who simply said the Qur’an should be interpreted differently). Again this is evidence of a bigger problem, the state of Islam. Muslims must undergo a radical self-examination.
He may not be nasty, but the conclusion that he is naive is a foregone one. Unless when he said "radical self-examination", he meant to say "radical self-extermination". That would work for all the radicals.

Just angry old me. But read the discussion. All panelmembers are knowledgeable and interesting. You will be wiser too after reading it.


Blogger Thomas Haidon said...

Greetings Daniel:

I am Thomas Haidon and actually took part in the debate. I am not sure why you believe I am naive. Far from it my friend, I have seen too much in my short life to be naive. I think you should take a look at the organisation I represent:

I like your blog site very much.

Yours sincerely

Thomas Haidon
Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism

6:20 AM  

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