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K. Bertha...another point

Reader comment on item: Resisting Islamic Law
in response to reader comment: DECEIVED

Submitted by Don (Pakistan), Mar 22, 2008 at 02:05

I hear and respect what you're saying about trying to immulate Christ, and that Christianity is about love and compassion. That is certainly true, and I'm glad to hear it and give me another opportunity to consider my own attitudes. Thanks - even though your post wasn't directed to me.

I have found this so much easier for me (to try to do) while living in the West and in a culture based on Christian values, or while in Buddhist or Hindu cultures also. (My line of work has me working 12-18 months at a time all over the world, and if I want to keep my position I cannot refuse contracts to Islamic countries, one of which I reside in now. It's usually very satisfying and adventurous. Sometimes, like this stint, I have to bite the bullet.)

Love and compassion and tolerance is much easier from America or Thailand or New Zealand or Vietnam or even China. But I confess that one of the most challenging things about working in an Islamic country, even a "moderate" one like Barhain or Kuwait, is containing my own hatred of what I see up close and personal coming from Islam. I do ask God for strength in this, and I think it does hurt me spiritualy to harbor such strong hatred for what I see as evil. It's a struggle seeing it constantly, not just reading about it from afar.

Just this morning, in a newspaper article, a 15 year old girl in this city, while she was sleeping, had acid thrown on her face by her older brother because she was so pretty that men would stare at her and she refused her father's demand to wear the naqib. The brother has not been arrested because he is family and it's considered a family matter. The father, apparently, will not press charges on his son.

Yesterday in Peshawar the Taliban made good on a threat to a girls school to close down. The school ignored it and paid the price. Honor killings, revenge killings, the few Seikh and Christians here being attacked and beaten regularly and accused of blasphomy and not having any legal recourse, political parties running roughshed over progressive activists who want more freedom for women and girls, and accusing them of being "unIslamic" and being dismissed outright (and who very well may have had a hand in Bhutto's assassination), literally tens of thousands of madrassas teaching hatred of Jews and Christians and violent jihad openly and being funded by the government, the press being stifled and prevented from investigating and expressing opinions, a uniform condemnation of Denmark's right to use it's free press and speech and a support for the deaths of the cartoonists, celebration of Jewish religous students being gunned down in cold blood, etc, etc, etc.

It never ends, and it wears a person like me down to the bone. It's like course sandpaper rubbing scouring my soul without break. And, like with everything and in every endeavor of life in an Islamic country, it all stems from Islam - even the most minute, seemingly inconsequential things. I try, but I am not strong enough to not hate Islam the way I do. There's a ray of hope when I have good meetings with nice, polite, friendly, even fun Muslims. But I know what they follow and what they believe and what they tolerate from their religion.

I ask Christ to forgive my hatred, and I believe He, of course, does. But I do honestly wonder if my hatred is justified in the case of Islam; shouldn't I hate a thing so evil and oppressive and hateful and violent...and all in the name of God? I wish there were a pastor here for me to seek guidence from. If nothing else positive about this God-forsaken country (and other Islamic countries not too unlike this one), at least it does make me appreciate and love my own faith even more.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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