"All the religions in the world teach only two things – love and peace."
Do you agree? George Vanner didn't, and so he wrote a letter to the editor of The Cambridge Times in response to an article that opened with the above claim. In his letter, George voices his disagreement and encourages the article's author to find out what is really happening to Christians and other minorities in Islamic countries today.
A friend of VOM recently mailed us the newspaper clipping and so I thought I would share it with you as well! Both the article and George's response can be read below. (By the way, if you are interested in writing to your local paper, click here for more information on how to get started.)
If you saw a similar article written in your local paper, would you write a letter to the editor? What would you write? How do you tell others about what is happening to Christians in Islamic countries today?
Guest column-Yasmeen Sultana - Jun 09, 2010
All the religions in the world teach only two things – love and peace.
However, human beings, for their selfish motives, mould the religion, and create discrimination and hatred. This is about the Niqab or veil issue in Quebec.
Islam represents a religion of humanity, love and peace. Unfortunately, due to the wrong deeds of some misguided Muslims, the entire Islam community has been blamed in recent times. Islamic political values have always been misunderstood.
Is the Islamic political system a rival to democracy?
The word Islam refers to peace. Like all other religions, Islam teaches its followers to live harmoniously with fellow human beings. Islam does not practice any form of compulsion. This religion does not tolerate oppression.
The purpose of Muslim communities is to promote the principles of Islam and help Muslims get their due respect. Religion always teaches peace, but they are people who use religion incorrectly for their own purpose.
The veil is not a mandatory injunction of the Qur’an. Women must cover their body and head properly, but not the face.
If veiling a face was an Islamic ideology or an order of the Qur’an, then why do Muslim women not cover their faces on occasion of holy Hajj (third part of Islam) and Umra? Muslim women are not ordered in the Qur’an to veil their faces at Hajj and Umra – the ultimate forms of Islamic rituals. In Hajj and Umra, men and women are in close proximity in a very crowded space.
Islam has fallen into the same category where it can be identified by its dress, just like a Catholic priest or a rabbi. On the contrary, Islam stresses morality of intentions, behaviours and actions.
Instead of following principles of a dress code, a specific dress has itself become the principle. It is a classical example of maintaining the shell of the religion.
Globalization and the freedom of thought that it provides give us individual freedom to choose a dress of our liking. But I see it as a problem when a given dress is worn and enforced in the name of Islam.
Clearly the Qur’an defines basic standards of a dress: raiment that covers your nakedness.
And the purpose of dress: a source of (your) elegance and protection.
Goal of a dress: so that they may attain eminence. Body can be covered with a big fabric sheet. There are no such words of Burqa in Qur’an.
Niqab defines the above requirements of a dress, i.e. it neither covers nakedness nor is a source of elegance; yet in present times is a source of scrutiny thus denying the protection except that of a sun blocker.
It is someone’s own choice, like some Sikhs do not wear a pug ad on their head or, in 1996 in Canada, women are given choices to jog topless. Finally the veil is not the basis of Islam or Qur’an.
It is against Canadian values of hiding your own identity in common day life and being Canadians, we have to respect Canadians laws.
In response to the guest column of Yasmeen Sultana, Veil not Mandatory in Islam, June 11.
In her letter she says, “The word Islam refers to peace”.
The main meaning of the word Islam is Submission to their God, not peace. She also says, “Islam does not practice any form of compulsion.
This religion does not tolerate oppression.”
If this is true as she claims, then organizations like The Voice of the Martyrs would not have to report that Islamic authorities are doing what she says they don’t do.
Not only are minority Christians under compulsion and oppression in these countries, many are suffering with beatings, rape, kidnapping, forced marriages, forced conversions.
I suggest Ms Sultana check out the website www.persecution.net to see what is happening in many of these Islamic countries.