Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Muslims Gather in Washington

Something that so far has not been widely reported in the mainstream press is that on September 25, there will be a gathering of Muslims on Capitol Hill. The scene of presidential inaugurations, Promise Keeper events, the annual March for Life, and various other activities will be the site for 50,000 or more Muslims to gather for prayer. This prayer gathering is being organized by a mosque in Elizabeth, NJ, and is supposedly not a political or “Islamic Pride” rally, but a spiritual event.

Event organizer Hassen Abdella said, “There are a lot of people who are Muslims who feel that the image of Islam has been portrayed very derogatorily. We believe that it's very important that the other side of Islam, the real reason people become Muslim, is portrayed as opposed to what people believe in the politics of Islam.

“We’re trying to illustrate the spiritual component. Because there’s too much emphasis on other things in Islam, and that's the problem. Too much emphasis on the politics as opposed to the spirituality. You're not getting to heaven for your politics. The politics will get you in hell; spirituality will get you salvation.” said Abdellah, who is African-American.
(quoted from Churchwatch: Craig von Buseck)

I’m sure there will be some negative reactions by some because of this Islamic prayer rally at the Capitol, but before you react, let me point out a few things for your consideration:

(1) The First Amendment guarantees freedom to practice your religion. Therefore, Muslims have just as much of a right to gather in Washington, DC, as any other religious group, provided they get the proper permits and obey the law. Militant atheists have been trying to suppress religious expression by Christians, and we have been fighting these attempts to trample the Constitution. Should we Christians now turn around and try to prohibit another religious group from gathering for prayer? That would be hypocritical and unchristian.

(2) This will certainly feed the fringe groups who believe Obama is a Muslim. The permit for such a gathering comes from the City of Washington, DC, government, not from the President of the United States. I suspect Obama had nothing to do with this, so don’t let this event fuel the persistent belief that he is a Muslim.

(3) Although this country is diverse religiously, the majority of people are Christian in some form or another. What we as Christians need to do is build up our own faith, reach out to the nominal Christians (the unchurched), and practice our faith as God calls us to do. This country is deteriorating spiritually, not because of Muslims or militant atheists, but because of our own apathy. We’ve raised a generation of young people that don’t know what the inside of a church looks like, and then wonder why they misbehave, don’t respect authority, and have no moral or ethical code to speak of. A strong Christian foundation is the best defense against our enemies.

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