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Consistency of the message

Reader comment on item: Predicting a Majority-Muslim Russia

Submitted by Sudeep Pathak (United States), Jan 22, 2009 at 05:05

Dear Dr Pipes: Increasing percentage of muslim populations in almost all societies of the world may be a matter of concern to non-muslims -- increased muslim population percentages usually lead to civil wars and breaking of countries. But most cases of conversion in the western countries do not involve anything illegal, coercive or deceptive on the part of muslims. The core messages of all three major western religions are monotheism and non-idolatory but Islam's definition of these two concepts is more strict than that of the other two. When a western person seeks perfect monotheism/non-idolatory, s/he finds that Islam comes closer to the perfect definition than his own religion. So he converts.

Thinking deep and hard about monothiesm and non-idolatory indicates many things. First, these two ideas are not synonymous. Neither is implied or denied by the other. Second, certain forms of idolatory and non-monotheism have crept in all religions including Islam. Third, absolute monotheism is an elusive concept. Attributing any characteristics to God --even a name--, dilutes Him by making Him anthropomorphic or materialistic. Finally monothiesm and non-idolatory are neither necessary for salvation nor for spirituality. If God can take many man made names, He can probably also take many shapes attributed to him by men. Why not? If we can adopt this realization, more tolerant versions of all our religions will develop and exclusionary boundaries between them will fall.

Sudeep

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