Monday, November 10, 2008

More reading, videos, and a busy life

I'll confess that I haven't been reading or checking in on this blog as much as I'd like. However, I have still been reading regularly. I recently finished "The Call of the Minaret" by Kenneth Cragg, a professor and bishop and longtime student of Islam and the Middle-East. Coming from a Christian background, his analysis of Islam was very even and fair, I'd say. Although he remained unwavering in his Christianity, the book usually spoke from both the Christian and Islamic perspectives as each being true and simply related the two. It was primarily an analysis of Islam for the Christian but rather than simply introducing the tenets, it primarily focused on social and political structures within Islam, how they developed, and how they affect Christians, both those in the Western world as well as Christian populations within primarily Muslim states. It was an interesting and though-provoking book but wasn't deep in comparative religion, theology, or apologetics.

Just today I started on another book titled Why I Am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq, who was raised Muslim as a child but has since rejected Islam and all religions and considers himself a "secular humanist." I'm really not looking to join him in casting off religion as a whole but I figured this might provide a critical look at Islam from an inside perspective. As I just started it today, I haven't gotten very far but, from the Introduction, it seems that he is primarily critical of Islamic society and the actions committed in the name of Islam and only secondarily of the religion itself. As I make progress, I'll comment more.

I was recently sent a link to a video about a few Dutch women who converted to Islam. The documentary is an hour long and is all in Dutch with English subtitles and can be viewed here. It shows some of the hardships that they've experienced but I was impressed with their zeal and dedication through it all. I actually think they had it much harder than I would because Western Europe seems to be somewhat more critical of Islam because of the immigrant situation. Additionally, some of the women were still living at home with their parents or were in high school, making family and peer relations much scarier.

I still also intend to watch some of the other Ahmed Deedat videos.

Finally, I've been reading my Bible but not as much as I had hoped. It's interesting rereading the Old Testament stories, many of which are also in the Quran, sometimes unchanged and sometimes slightly different.

That's all for now but as always, if there are any special requests, pointers, questions, or comments, I'm very happy for any input.


Azooz said...

My only pointer is the same old one, keep reading the Quran and do not hesitate to question anything there becuase it claims perfection.

"Ibn Warraq" I doubt he can write anything even in English to point out mistakes or weakness in the Quran. For deep critical views of the Quran you need to know Arabic, there really is nothing like it, it says so often enough :)

Here is a youtube clip I found a few days back, light on theology but very nice:

Priests and Preachers enter Islam


Searching For Truth said...

I've actually been to a talk by sheikh Yusuf Estes before and I've also read his autobiographical conversion story. I wasn't really very impressed with his talk. It might have been because the groups who brought him managed to build him up significantly. I feel like my Christian experience is very different than his was and I've definitely never had the mindset he had.