Pee Oed

RESPECT?

Last evening while watching the news there was a segment from a correspondent in Cairo talking to an Egyptian protester. She asked him what he wanted to which he replied something about an apology from the U.S .and for  the west to start showing respect for their religion.  I was taught that respect was earned and that it was a two way street. I earn your respect you earn mine. Pretty simple isn’t it.

I have been thinking about what the Egyptian said and it has been slowly chewing away at me causing some considerable annoyance. Show respect for their religion when Islam shows no respect for other religions. Islam teaches that there are Three People of the Book, Jews, Christians and Muslims yet to Muslims all non-Muslims are Infidels, Un-believers who must be converted or perish. It is the Muslims who want to annihilate Israel and perpetrate another Holocaust.  Every major city in the Western World has Mosques yet there are no Christian Churches allowed in among other places Saudi Arabia. If a Muslim so much as thinks about converting to Christianity it means death. Muslims will say that theirs’ is a religion of Peace yet Mohammed encouraged violence and warfare ordering raids on caravans, capturing Mecca, then spreading Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula by the sword. From Arabia the Muslim Armies went on to conquer a large part of the Mediterranean World and the Middle and Far East. They have no respect for women, whom they treat like chattel, but claim that they are protecting them. Women have no rights, are forced into arranged marriages, and can be accused of adultery at a whim and stoned to death. If a female is seen talking to a male who is not a family member she can be killed for dishonouring the Family. Islam might not condone honour killings but if fosters the culture where it is practiced and does little or nothing to stop it. Islam is a man’s religion geared to keep the male dominant.

Both Christianity and Judaism are not blameless for they both have a history of violence and subjugation. The Old Testament is full of tales of butchery and genocide and once the Romans accepted Christianity as the state religion it also was spread by the sword. In fact Christianity was spread by the sword up to and including the 19th century with the expansion of colonialism. The Crusades came about because of the Muslim invasion of the Christian Byzantine Empire and the capture of Jerusalem. During the 300 years of on and off war each side calling on God to aid them happily slaughtered each other.

Of the three great religions, two, Judaism and Christianity,  have thankfully evolved and changed with the times. Although even to-day there are fringe groups of fundamentalists in both who would turn back the clock. Among the larger Christian denominations there is a far greater tolerance of other religions than amongst Muslims. It is not Christians who riot and run amok because someone insulted Jesus, their faith, or destroyed a bible. They might not like it but they don’t go out burning, looting, and killing those who they think are responsible. Respect must be earned so maybe the Muslims should start doing some soul searching and come to realize that there are differences of thought and start accepting and respecting those differences. All three of them claim to worship the same deity. 

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