Wrote about this initially the other day here. Someone commented on the initial post, and I started to reply in the comment, but am raising this to another post because there's much to say in response.
Thank you for taking a different perspective on this story. While I admire your unique take on the subject, I don't agree with you. I am very much in support of religious tolerance in the world. We have fought too many wars since the beginning of time over this issue and enough is enough.
I agree that there have been too many wars fought over this issue; however, it's interesting that although the commenter begins with discussing religious tolerance, her next sentences belie the sentiment.
The biggest issue I have found to be 1 between the Christian and Muslim faiths is the fact that while Christians may snub unbelievers, they don't kill them. In fact a dedicated Christian will show love and kindness to unbelievers in an attempt to lure them to what they believe to be eternal salvation. On the other hand, Islam shows no tolerance for unbelievers and are taught at an early age that unbelievers are sinful infidels that must be destroyed.
Were that 1 then no Christian would be fighting wars, most particularly the conflict in Iraq. Secondly, Christianity, to evangelicals, dictates missionary work because anyone not a Christian is an infidel that will be destroyed. Some extreme sects, who agree with beliefs such as LaHaye's, believe that there will be wholesale destruction of infidels (or unbelievers) at Armageddon. Of course, the fact that even within Christendom there are many sects and beliefts is one of the main reasons that this country is not a Christian nation
but the founders, such as John Adams, made sure to write freedom of religion into our founding documents. (And, in the history of the world, there are many many instances of Christians destroying infidels; was reminded of one example during the viewing of "The Tudors" about King Henry 8th.
My main concern is teaching children of today 1 religious tolerance. Giving stage to a faith that believes in decimating all other faiths, as well as the agnostic and atheist communities, does not promote religious tolerance.
Just as Christianity has many sects and flavors and different interpretations, so do those who believe in Islam. Otherwise, for example, you wouldn't see Shia and Sunni muslims., as well as other variations. Beyond that, however, the issue that started this was apparently some act of intolerance towards a Muslim in the junior high. Whether one agrees with the muslim faith or not, an understanding of the religion, without prosletyzing, is critical in fostering tolerance. To cut off any discussion of views different than our own is the very definition of intolerance. People are better served to decide if they want to follow a religion or not by hearing about it. I personally, as I originally said, draw the line at prosletyzing, but certainly the place to teach one's children about what one believes is in the church or at home. Otherwise, if the cultural background of other religions that might help us understand others better can't be expressed in the schools, then I believe that the optional Bible courses also should be nixed.
Islam does not and never will promote peace, instead they are looking for ways to integrate into America for one purpose only; to destroy the infidels (all non-Muslims). How do I know this? Read the Quran/Koran and study it.
One can substitute Christianity for this as well-as long as some sects believe that non-believers will be destroyed or burn in hell for not accepting one way for salvation. As far as holy books are concerned, there are plenty of examples in the Bible of stories or principles that contradict each other and certainly cannot be wholesale believed. The Jews, as well as early Christians, believed in being apart from infidels and made issues about, for example, circumcision (pre-Paul).
Also, follow what CAIR leaders teach the Muslim masses, "Those who stay in America should be open to society without melting, keeping Mosques open so anyone can come and learn about Islam. If you choose to live here, you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam ... Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth." - Omar Ahmad Co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Here is a link to that statement above, from the newspaper. I personally don't think any religion should be THE dominant religion in this country but it strikes me such sentiments aren't much different than what some Christian sects who would like to change America into a Christian nation based on the Bible propose.
Because Islam is so volatile to humanity, I don't believe they should be given any stage to our children. Our children are the future and exposing them to hatred will beget more hate and more war. Exposing them to loving and forgiving beliefs will promote love, healing, acceptance and community. And the last time I studied the Bible, it promotes love. I'll close with this quote from the 22nd chapter of the book of Matthew from the Bible, "36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
I think it's the height of intolerance to frame Muslims as being hateful, not having loving and forgiving beliefs, etc compared to Christians and does a huge injustice to the many Muslims that live all over the world. (I have had the experience of knowing and working with Muslims from various countries in my last job and all were fine people, as were their families). But certainly those who hold the views, above, are welcome to teach them to their children, as long as they recognize that alternative views are also welcome in the schools.... because the schools are not religious institutions. Just don't pretend to be religiously tolerant.