Islam and Christianity

I hear so many arguments, whether on talk shows, or just between average people, debating the pros and cons of religion. These arguments usually involve Islam and Christianity or Atheism and Christianity. It seems to me that Christians, and I do not mean all Christians, but only a vocal minority, refuse to see the merits of other religions, especially Islam, and the fact that people do not have to be Christian to be good people.

Moslems (it can also be spelled Muslim, but the spelling I use can also be considered correct) are not so different from Christians, though many Christians, regardless of their sect, refuse to see this. Moslems consider Jews and Christians people of the book. They believe that Jews and Christians practice religions that are incorrect, but that they will enter paradise because they believe in only one god (monotheism). Christians, and possibly Jews, on the other hand, believe that unless you practice the form of religion that they find acceptable, you are going to hell.

Moslem men are often criticized for 'forcing' their women to cover themselves. While this is the case in theocracies, I see many American Moslems who wear headscarves and generally keep covered. This, I believe, is a choice, especially because, upon turning 18, these women could very well cut off ties with their families and religion. Is our culture really so much better? Are people who encourage women to wear as little as possible really that much more civilized than Moslems? I thought that wearing clothing was a sign of civilization. We're first to argue that monkeys are uncivilized because they don't have clothing, but at the same time, we want to argue that Moslems are uncivilized because they wear too much clothing for our taste. Moslem women may not have many rights, and may not receive proper care when they are raped, but in America, if a woman is raped, she's told that she deserved it because her skirt was too short. Is that in any way fair, or superior?

Whether Christians like to realize this or not, there are Christian women who wear headscarves. In the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, which has headquarters in Jamaica, the women are subservient to men, and are expected to cover their hair. Women in Amish and Mennonite communities, both Christian sects, are also expected to cover their hair. In all of these sects the main job of the women is to reproduce and help the men. Is this so different from the expectations of Moslem men regarding their women?

I do not believe that Islam and Christianity are all that different. In both, homosexuality is a sin, even though both have groups of people who endorse it. Women, regardless of the views of some, are not considered equal, especially among fundamentalists. There are Moslem women who attend college, and have careers, just as there are Christian women who stay at home to cook, clean and care for the children. Moslem theocracies are not necessarily healthy, but many who study European history could very well say the same thing about Christian theocracies. Religion should not be used to run a country at all, plain and simple.

Yes, there are fundamentalist Islamic terrorists who cause great damage when they choose to do so. Do you think that there are not fundamentalist Christian sects who do the exact same thing? Charles Manson and the family, who believed that Manson was Jesus, killed people, including Sharon Tate, because they believed that they could reach their goal of a race war through such actions. Bombing abortion clinics, with people inside, whether you agree with their politics or not, isn't acceptable. Do these people think that getting an abortion is fun? Do they think that a decision like that is in any way easy to make? Are these people first in line volunteering to adopt crack babies or babies infected with HIV? That's exactly my point. They AREN'T…

Moslems and Christians really aren't all that different. Moslems, in fact, are more tolerant than Christians in some ways. According to Moslems, as long as you are people of the book (Moslems, Christians, Jews) you will enter paradise. Granted, they believe that Christians and Jews are incorrect in their religious beliefs, but they will enter paradise, nonetheless. Christians, on the other hand, believe that it's their way or no way at all. Christians do tend to respect women's choices involving clothing, but that's not the case in all sects. Maybe before Christians criticize the supposedly primitive culture of Moslems they should look at the primitive aspects of their own.