Let us take a look at history, shall we? Let's see, randomly picking a country, we'll use Turkey as an example.
The apostle Paul was from Turkey and the Revelation was sent to John, also in Turkey. Yes, they were persecuted, but pay attention now. There were numerous elaborate Christian churches in Turkey. Let us ask ourselves: how many of those still exist, and who runs them now.
The most famous is of course the Hagia Sofia. It was built a Christian church. It originates back to somewhere between 300 and 400 A.D. Then on the 29th of May in 1453, the Muslim Ottomans invaded Constantinople. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it (who, by the way, has cited its sources).
In accordance with the custom at the time Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops three days of unbridled pillage once the city fell, after which he would claim its contents himself. Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city. Shortly after the city's defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors. Throughout the siege worshipers participated in the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, such as women, children and elderly. Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became spoils to be divided amongst the Ottoman invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved, violated or slaughtered; while elderly and infirm were killed, women and girls were raped and the remainder chained and sold into slavery. Priests continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders. When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church, he insisted it should be at once transformed into a mosque. One of the Ulama then climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada.Wow. I thought the Christian Crusades were the bad guys during the Middle Ages. To read any American history book, the Crusaders are clearly are marked as such. In fact, how many of us hear about that every time the Crusades are brought up? Yet, how many times do we hear about the raping and pillaging of Christians, by Muslims, during the Middle Ages? In any case, that is the story of only one of many, many, MANY churches taken over by Muslims.
In the end, most Muslims do not believe that anyone should worship in any way they choose. They believe their way is the only way, and so they take the rights away from others so there is little choice. You do not see this in Christianity. You do not see this in Judaism. You do not see this in Hinduism. You do not see this in Buddhism. In fact, the only large organized religion I can find this in is Muslim.
Yes, yes, I know. "Well that was the Middle Ages! It's not like that today," you say? Let me just point out that if you're saying that, then you are also probably one of those people who denounce the action of the Crusaders, and so declare Christians as violent hypocrites. If this is the case, then your argument is moot, not to mention the essence of hypocrisy.
It is true, it was the Middle Ages and that was a long time ago. However, let me ask everyone a question. How do you think your wife (or girlfriend, or mother, or sister) would feel if you told her that she MUST cover her hair at all times, because if not she will entice a man? Do not attempt to condescendingly tell me for a second that this is not repressive, in the least. Do not try and sugar coat it by saying it's cultural and about their beliefs. What then do you say on the beliefs of Christians witnessing? That is, to believe that one must preach to save non-Christians? What then of the beliefs of Christians to say Merry Christmas to you? Do not even go there with the cultural belief system garbage.
I condemn any so-called church that requires its women to wear dresses, or cover their hair, or anything of that nature. Especially one who cites the reason being because a man cannot control himself. I am not a feminist but there is simply no excuse for that type of thinking. The man is responsible for himself. Always and forever. Just ask the people who claim that a woman forced to have sex is, of course, raped. Would a flimsy excuse such as "he couldn't control himself" work as a defense? Of course not! Nor should it!
One of my daughter's best friends, I mean best, not just an acquaintance or plain friend, but absolutely best friend, is Muslim. She is Sunni and does not wear even the most progressive Hijab. She is a wonderful girl!
Her family fled here from the Sierra Leone after their village was taken over by criminals. Her father is a doctor and in fact, as a small child she was sat upon his knee by a criminal who put a gun to her head and told her father if he did not do what they asked, they would kill her. I do not know what it was, nor do I want to. The point is, it was horrifying.
God was on his side however, most thankfully. His daughter survived, they came to America and he is now a very successful doctor. My daughter loves her like a sister and they will be best friends, always. It just breaks my heart than anyone must go through what they did, even if it had a happy ending.
Now what sets her apart is that she isn't forced to cover her hair. The decision is hers and hers alone. That is what a peaceful Muslim is. The ones that allows freedom to women.
I'm not a feminist either. In fact I loathe feminism, in its extremes. That said, I do believe in equality. I believe in equal work for equal pay. As a side note, this doesn't apply to women in the American military, because they are not required to do the same amount of work as a man, yet they get paid just as much. Take a look at the fitness rules. They had to lower them for women. Trust me. I know this first hand because we were Army for 15 years, thanks.
Circling back around to my topic, I would like to point out another fact. From its inception, Muslims have waged war. From the moment Mohammed (I personally reject the new "correct" spelling since Arabic is Cyrillic writing and not Roman; this was the spelling when I grew up, and so I shall keep it; others can do what they want) died, the war began.
Again, I shall call attention to an example that Wikipedia explains:
Shia Muslims believe that just as a prophet is appointed by God alone, only God has the prerogative to appoint the successor to his prophet. They believe God chose Ali to be Muhammad's successor, infallible, the first caliph (khalifa, head of state) of Islam. Muhammad, before his death, designated Ali as his successor.As you can see, the killing began right after their original leader died. Right after! When did Christians begin waging war? It surely wasn't just after Jesus died, I can assure you. In fact, Christians were hated and and mutilated for absolute centuries. Muslimism began voilent, continued its violence throughout history and is violent today.
Ali was Muhammad's first cousin and closest living male relative as well as his son-in-law, having married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah.
When Muhammad died in 632 CE, Ali and Muhammad's closest relatives made the funeral arrangements. While they were preparing his body, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah met with the leaders of Medina and elected Abu Bakr as caliph. Ali and his family accepted the appointment for the sake of unity in the early Muslim community. It was not until the murder of the third caliph, Uthman, in 657 CE that the Muslims in Medina in desperation invited Ali to become the fourth caliph as the last source, and he established his capital in Kufah in present-day Iraq.
Ali's rule over the early Muslim community was often contested, and wars were waged against him. As a result, he had to struggle to maintain his power against the groups who betrayed him after giving allegiance to his succession, or those who wished to take his position. This dispute eventually led to the First Fitna, which was the first major civil war within the Islamic Caliphate. The Fitna began as a series of revolts fought against the first imam, Ali ibn Abi Talib, caused by the assassination of his political predecessor, Uthman ibn Affan. While the rebels who accused Uthman of nepotism affirmed Ali's khilafa (caliph-hood), they later turned against him and fought him. Ali ruled from 656 CE to 661 CE, when he was assassinated while prostrating in prayer (sujud). Ali's main rival Muawiyah then claimed the caliphate.
Do not get me wrong now. I condemn hate. This is not a supporting commentary on hating them. The other day my daughter was at work and she works in a veterinarians office as a vet tech. She said one of their best dog owners are Muslim. There is an adult daughter, a father and mom. The daughter never covers her hair, but the wife does. The other day they came in and the wife wore a hijab. The husband told her that she could take it off, but she refused. In fact, he asked her again to take it off, because he felt uncomfortable with her having it on.
That presents an entirely different problem. We live in the deep south. The fallacy that southerners are rednecks abounds. Southerners condemn prejudice, despite what the media says about us. We are much more progressive than any New York Times writer will tell you. People from the city, such as New York, look at smaller town folk with condescension. Ask anyone what they know about visiting New York and they'll say that the people there are rude. They say it because it's true.
I visited in '10, myself. Walking along in Times Square, looking for something in particular, I got turned around. I asked a woman which direction was whatever it was, I can't remember now what I was looking for, the woman actually sighed, rolled her eyes and acted like I was the most annoying thing in the world. She rudely told me it was that direction and guess what? It was not. She purposely sent me the wrong way, all because I asked her a question. That was the first time I ever spoke to a New Yorker in the city in my life. That's quite a first impression, isn't it?
Anyway, so my daughter's male customer felt uncomfortable, in our conservative town, because she had her hair covered. I am so sorry he felt that way and I hold responsible anyone who gives them unwelcome looks. The truth is that if she wants to wear it, fine! Let her. Just please do not force her and please do not make people feel uncomfortable for doing so.
Also, please do not buy into media lunacy. The plain truth is not to believe anything the media tells you, and what you see on the web. Do the research for yourself! In fact, check up on what I've said here, with the obvious exception of intruding on my daughter's life, I ask you nicely. I encourage you to do so!
Please be kind to Muslims, but also be aware that though the Koran preaches peace, most do not.
Are we not glad to be American? Thank goodness for our founding fathers and Happy Presidents Day to you all!