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It has been much harder than I expected to explain to Westerners why Muslims, even the moderate ones, behave the way they do. How does one describe the trees to a kid who only ever saw the desert? Even though it is fading, Christianity has been in the very fabric of the West, making all the wonderful things about Western culture possible, like critical thinking, respect for human rights and selflessness. None of these are fundamental in an Islamic culture. A Muslim child grows up in a world where sin and salvation mean something completely different, a world where the concept of grace is hollow and confusing. If we do not understand the culture, all our dealings with Muslims, either during daily encounters or engaging in dialogue, will remain shallow and fruitless.
I believe the most crucial difference between Christianity and Islam is how each system views the human person.
Prayers - Quran - Parts - Summers - Muslim
Memorizing prayers and learning to recite the Quran were crucial parts of my summers as a dutiful little Muslim girl. From an early age, I was filled with fear and awe of Allah, who demanded absolute submission without a smidgen of doubt or disrespect. However, in my child’s heart, occasionally I had the audacity to try to picture this supreme being. These irreverent falls of mine usually lasted mere seconds as an image of a pure bright being with rainbow eyes hovered in my mind. These moments of light-hearted imagination were followed by crippling fear. How dare I try to fit the all-knowing and all-powerful Allah into my measly human mind? After that, for days, I would struggle with this fear, waiting to be struck down or to be turned into stone.
Given that trying to picture Allah is forbidden, is it really hard to understand why Incarnation is not a good place...
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