I had hoped that all my previous posts were enough for those that do not know me to realize that I am quite secular in my social and political views. Having said that, let me make it clear that having a secular view point does not mean you don’t care about religion or, at least, theology and/or the idea of religion.
But, apparently, some people think that’s true. It is amazing how, in e-mail correspondance with someone I do not know personally, I was addressed in a radically different fashion when I pointed out that I consider myself an Agnostic.. and I do consider myself an Agnostic. It just pissed me off that were I not an Agnostic (as was thought by the other party) then whatever I say, as someone who is officially considered a Muslim, is just… useless nonsense.
The reason I write this post, though, is that I came across an interesting website. Now, again, I have nothing against anyone attempting to let their plight be known to the world through the internet. I do have problems with something that looks like mere propaganda and totally un-substantiated by fact. The sad thing would be if these claims were supported by facts. Why on earth do they not show them, in some form or another, these facts?! I’ve had Christian friends (and Muslim friends as well, but I suppose that they wouldn’t pass the Officially Reliable Source Inspection) that specifically say that most of these incidents are Christian girls who fall in love with Muslim men and run away.
They also say that sometimes the man doesn’t love them, or wants to steal their jewellery and sell the different rings/necklaces/bracelets for money or just wants to have sex with a good looking chick or whatever. But, that these men don’t force the girls to run away in any manner different from that which a lover (or someone who makes the other believe they love them) would use. Their (my friends’) point is, they don’t believe they’re really kidnappings.
Now, again, I’m not saying that no one gets kidnapped… not at all! I don’t know who or when or how many people get kidnapped. It just gets pathetic that even those times that girls say they weren’t kidnapped, I hear claims from Christian Blogs and websites that they were “drugged” or “not fully aware”. What? Were they drugged with super-coke? Did they remain in their drugged state forever? So let’s say they were drugged… why not interview them after the drug’s effects wear off. It’s just amazing how these girls that say they weren’t kidnapped ALWAYS manage to make it into the news whilst in a drugged state.
It’s also quite amusing to think that the kidnappers are adept at obtaining and using the type of drugs that put the girls in a delirious state for days.
Finally, I am not saying that there aren’t Muslims who attempt to convert Christians to Islam (and/or vice-versa) in Egypt. I just want substantiated stories. Not 3-4 vidoes which are apparently irrefutable proof that this is a phenomenon as opposed to isolated incidents. Damn! Most of the videos aren’t even videos of the girls. They’re either telling us that this happened or they interview Egyptian Christians who describe how the girl in question failed to show up somewhere after leaving or going somewhere. I suppose that if she runs away, she’ll come back home for her dinner and her bed then up and run-away in the morning again, won’t she? These videos say nothing concrete and can be interpreted in any way that anyone wishes. They sure aren’t concrete proof. Well, unless you’re the sort of person that just needs to hear someone to tell you that “something” occurred for you to believe it.
I’ve heard it being said that the only reason families believe their girls have been kidnapped is because they cannot conceive of the idea that their girl ran away with the male in question. Not only that… but because of Egyptian culture… it would be quite dis-honorable and shameful for the family. I’ve also heard that the families say their girl was forced to convert to give her a chance to use the same argument with the Church so that she could claim that being forced to convert (for probably a completely silly reason) means that she shouldn’t be excommunicated. Personally, I can imagine this happening in a variety of issues in Egypt that have nothing to do with Religion.
I have to say though that I don’t know how the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, and other Churches here, treat Christians who willingly convert to Islam and them want to return to christianity. Personally, I’d take him back; They were probably thinking about the whole thing.
Honestly though? People should take this religion thing with a grain of salt. If only they’d confine their feelings towards whatever supranatural entity they believe in to the private domain (and by this I mean anyone who follows any religion/way of life) we’d all be better off. You can leave”Missionary Notes” on bulletin boards and those interested can pick ’em up, read about your religion and then choose if they think it works for them or not.
Oh and one last thing, and this goes to both sides: If you’re going to quote scripture (Qur’an or Bible) then at least get your god-damned meanings right and stop this half-assed out-of-context bullshit that infuriates the hell out of anyone that understands the language and doesn’t even follow the faith!!!
Here’s hoping people grow up. Academically as well as psychologically/emotionally.