Thursday, March 12, 2009

No Surahs for You!

"Israeli Apartheid Week" 2009

Monday, March 2nd: Part 3
Ryerson University

But, but, the girls said, Israel is bombing our holy places and that's just wrong!

Then, perhaps to appeal to my religious sensibilities, they delivered the standard Muslim canard: "We worship the same God. We honour the prophet Jesus."

Attention Muslims: It is highly insulting to tell a Bible-based Christian that we worship the same God and you consider Jesus to be a lesser prophet. Don't get me wrong, you haven't insulted my faith: you've insulted my intelligence and my reading comprehension. I know what the New Testament teaches about Christ and I know what the Koran teaches about Issa: the two books are not talking about the same person. And, since my God had a Son and yours didn't, we're also talking about two different deities.

I listed those reasons as well as a few more and was denounced for insulting their religion. Oh, the shocked expressions, the turned-away faces and bodies, the affirmations of respect for the prophet Jesus!

At this point, a quiet, well-spoken man chimed in and helped to calm the rhetoric. First, he had the girls agree that Islam teaches that God does not have a Son and Christianity teaches that God does, indeed, have a Son. I think the man was Jewish, which would explain why he didn't mention the third part of the Trinity: the Holy Spirit.

He moved the conversation forward by saying, "We can argue about the causes and our differences but let's talk about solutions. What would you do to solve the problems and bring peace to the area?"

Neither of the girls had any ideas. It wasn't long before one of them went silent and walked away.

Higher Learning Lesson #3: Cut to the chase. Agree that there are problems and focus on creating solutions.

On my own with the quieter girl, the discussion slowed down. No more fingers flung in my face, no more overt anger.

She said, "So, you're a Christian," and seemed relieved when I said yes.

"So," she said, "it's not about religion for you."

That's right: it's about politics and common sense for me.

"The situation is very complicated," she said, "because God promised Israel to the Jews through Musa and He promised Palestine to the Muslims through Mohammed."

"Who's Musa?" I asked. "You mean Moses?"

"Yes, Moses."

"Humph," I said. "Israel is not mentioned in the Koran and neither is Palestine."

Oh, but it most certainly is, she said. At my request, she wrote down the references for me: Surah Baqarah and Surah Imran.

Later, at home, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and checked those two chapters and, of course, neither mentions Palestine or Israel.

Tricksy Muslima: made me look!

To paraphrase the two chapters: Muslims are the best. Mohammed is the best. Allah is the best. Jews are terrible and are going to hell. Christians are terrible and are going to hell. Oh, did we mention that Allah, Mohammed and Islam are the best and that Christians and Jews are going to burn forever in hell?

I also learned that, when I'm alone, I bite the tips of my fingers at Muslims in rage. Hooboy, that Mohammed had me all figured out. My fingertips are bloody stumps. In fact, there is a booming black market for fake fingertips for Christians. Shhhhhh, don't tell the Muslims it's true.

But I thought we weren't talking about religion.

Somehow the conversation moved on to modesty in clothing for women. According to this girl, women in Saudi Arabia voluntarily cover themselves from head to toe – they are not forced to do this, oh no – and as a result, there is no rape or child molestation in Saudi Arabia. None whatsoever! But Canada, she said, is experiencing an epidemic of rape and molestation because men are too tempted by the way women dress. She said, "There is a street in Toronto where all the pedophiles live!"

I told her that I'm glad I live in Canada, where I am, by law, equal to a man and where men are obliged morally and legally to control their own urges.

Our conversation wound down. She seemed like a nice enough girl. Was she simply misinformed or deliberately lying to me? I couldn't say. She proved to be a sneaky proselytizer, which I do not respect.

To be continued...

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