For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The True Face of Islam?

First of all, a warm welcome to my new readers.  I never expected my posts on Obama's citizenship would get such a response!  Glad to have you all here, and thanks for the feedback.  I hope you enjoy my ramblings. :-)

Today has been a busy day of unexpected running around today (and having a friend of Eldest's move in with us), so I haven't had a chance to go through my morning news at all.  I did glance through my facebook news feed, since it's my home page.  One of my Muslim friends shared a video.  Unfortunately, I can't find it anywhere else but on facebook, including the site listed after the clip, so I can't post it here.

The video is titled "The TRUE face of Islam."  It consists of a news clip that included some security video, then ended with "Proud to be a Muslim" and a URL to a pro-Muslim site that I thought was the source, but I'm not sure.

Anyhow.  I had time to watch the video and read the comments some other friends had made below it, and that's it.  The comments were all going on about how this clip showed the truth about Muslims being generous and kind.

I wish I could embed the video so you can see for yourself.  Hopefully, some of you tv watching folks have seen it and know what clip I'm talking about.

The news clip includes some security video footage of an attempted store robbery with voice over, and a few seconds of comments from the store owner.  Basically, a guy came in to rob the store.  The store owner pulls a gun out from behind the counter, instead.  The would-be thief drops to his knees and apparently starts apologizing and giving a sob story about how he's unemployed and has a family to feed.  Which may even be true.  The store owner ends up giving the guy $40 and a loaf of bread, then letting the thief go.  The interview clips of the store owner had him telling us that he'd felt sorry for the thief.

Understandably, this was the part my Muslim friends and the people commenting under the video are talking about when they were saying that this was the true face of Islam.

I didn't have time to comment myself, or even really think about it, before I had to head out.  It stayed with me, though, because the whole thing was bugging me.  It didn't take long for me to figure out why, and it has to do with details of the clip I haven't described yet.

After the would-be thief dropped to his knees and gave his story of sorrow, the shop owner - gun still trained on the still kneeling man - gave him the money and bread.  The thief apparently also said he wanted to become a Muslim (I'll have to trust the voice over for this).  To this, the shop owner, gun still trained on the man, had him raise his right hand and repeat a Muslim prayer.

Now, I can understand why people are going on about this guy's generosity to the man who wanted to rob him, but I don't think this video is really showing the "true face of Islam" they think it does.  First off, how difficult is it to be generous to someone begging on their knees while you've got a gun on them?  Unfortunately, what I'm seeing is a man who clearly felt that his life was in danger, and that claiming he wanted to be a Muslim would save him (how did he even know the shop owner was a Muslim?).  He was then made to recite a Muslim prayer while staring down the barrel of a rifle.

I'm afraid "Would-be Thief Converted to Islam at Gunpoint" isn't the politically correct headline that could have been used.  I would apply this to any other religion, but I haven't heard of anyone from another religion doing something like that.

Not that I haven't heard of other victim to victory incidents. Over the years, I've heard of a few, but as far as I know, they haven't been making the news (keep in mind that 1) I don't usually watch tv and 2) I especially avoid tv news, but that I am actually a news hog that follows stories online around the world).

Here's the difference.  In most (actually, all the ones I've heard, but I'm sure there are plenty of others I haven't) stories, the victim isn't the one with the gun.  In fact, the victim never physically turns the tables at all.  Yet they still managed to turn the situation around.

I'll use one story as an example, simply because I know more about it.  A young woman was the victim of a carjacking.  She's stopped at a light when a man with a gun jumped into her car and ordered her to drive.  The woman was, understandably, terrified.  As she drove, she prayed silently to herself for courage.  After a while, she started talking to the carjacker, who'd only spoken to her to give orders.  She began talking to him of God and Jesus and faith.  He said nothing, so she kept talking.  After a while, the carjacker ordered her to pull over.  When she did, he simply got out of the vehicle and left.

I've heard similar stories, and while most were about other Christians (understandable, since most people I know are Christian), I've also heard of the same involving Buddhists and others with no religion mentioned at all.  The thing they have in common is that the calm strength and generosity of the victim somehow won over their aggressor who had the upper hand.

Which is not what I saw in this clip.  In this case, the victim became the victor with a gun.  The victim became the aggressor.  Not to say the shop owner should have been a passive victim or not used the gun.  Far from it.  I believe he had every right to stand up to the thief.  Good for him.

If the shop owner had simply given the man the money and bread and told him to "go and sin no more," then I would have agreed with my friend.  But was this really the "true face of Islam" she intended to share?  I don't think so.  In fact, I think this shows quite a different face of Islam, and not one she meant to promote.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Drop me a line...