Friday, December 22, 2006

Are We Finally Getting It?

You might not know it, but I'm prone to bouts of excessive dewy-eyed optimism. If I put my rose coloured glasses on, it doesn't take me long to be totally convinced that everything is going to turn out exactly the way I want it to. You should know that because what I'm about to say is way out there.

I wonder are we (Muslims and Christians) finally starting to realize that people of faith have far more common interests than differences? Any sincere believer wants the ability to practice their faith and to share it in public. We're fortunate to live in a culture that was based on a fundamental right to practice your faith and express it publicly. Unfortunately there is a real threat to religious freedoms from secularists that wish to totally marginalize religion from the mainstream of our society. A recent example was when a judge in Ontario ruled that a Christmas tree could not be allowed in a courtroom. Hardly news given the battle going on in our culture.

The exciting thing is the reaction of Muslim leaders to the news:
"It's so stupid, I'm at a loss for words," said Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. . . ."If people are offended [by a Christmas tree], I'm glad they're offended," he added. "I think it indicates a serious mental disorder when people want to bring down other people's happiness."
This isn't the first time that Muslims and Christians in Canada have been able to cooperate when the cultural elites are actively working against common values. This fall religious leaders from several Christian denominations and representatives of the other major faiths united in support of traditional marriage.

So, and this is a stretch, if mainstream Muslim groups and Christian groups can work together against the anti-religious secularists in the west, this should protect religious freedoms here and facilitate the dialogue that Pope Benedict is beginning with Muslim leaders. This dialogue, by the way, is the best hope to disable Islamic terrorists; secularists by contrast show disdain for all people of faith, which will only continue to cause tension between Muslims and "the West."

1 comment:

TarekFatah said...

Dear Patrick,

Thank you for posting my comments. I just want to clarify that even though I am a Muslim, I do beleive in seperating poltics and religion.

This does not mean an absence of religion from society, but far from it, its constituional protection with the caveat that laws of the country be based on human created legislation, not divine texts.

I do beleive that religion has the possibility of playing a crucial role in the developing of indivdual character and compassion, but we cannot deny that our religions are also used to enhance political power and silence opposition, as it was done in 15th century Europe and present day Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps if we all walked in the footsteps of Jesus and imbibed his example, we would be able to bring peace on earth. But too many people invoke Jesus' name to do the opposite; too many Muslims are invoking God on their side as they kill and terrorize.

Merry Christmas