Monday, August 01, 2011

Response to a Muslim on Sura 1:7

NOTE: I recently emailed the quotes that I mentioned in Who are those Mentioned in Sura 1:7? to a bunch of friends, both Christian and Muslim as part of my effort to contribute to the movement against the implementation of Friday prayers in a middle school in the Toronto District School Board (click here for the news story). So far, I have had only one of the Muslims attempt a response, and it wasn't really all that substantial. Here are her comments and my rebuttal to them:
Every group should be allowed their right to the freedom of belief and religious practice.
I agree. However, there is a vast difference between giving freedom of belief and religious practice, and giving special privileges to one group that normally isn't given to anyone else. This is a clear case of the latter. I have Christian colleagues who have been denied when they requested to form a prayer group at their high schools. Not only that, but there have been a lot of concerns about the implementation of prayers in school causing students to miss classes. Not only that, but there are also concerns about non-Muslims being denied washroom access during these prayer times, and these same students also face intimidation from the majority of Muslim students. There is nothing equal here; TDSB is displaying an obvious case of favouritism.
As you have already quoted below, you can see that there are differences in understanding the verses of the Surah Fatihah.
I'm not sure if you actually read the quotes I gave you. I noted that the classical Sunni Muslim scholars are unanimously agreed on the interpretation of Sura 1:7 as a curse upon the Jews and Christians. It has only been in the past few decades that Muslims here in the west have been attempting to downplay--if not outright deny--the classical interpretation.
Because an understanding of the last verses of Surah Fatihah is disliked by some people, is not a reason to ban prayers in Schools.
I am sorry, but this is not a meaningful reply at all. First of all, it is not just "an understanding," but is the interpretation that virtually all Muslim scholars up until recent decades have agreed upon. Go back to the quotes I gave from Ibn Abbas, Ibn Kathir and the two Jalals. If one simply takes the ijma of the ulema on the interpretation of Sura 1:7, then there is no doubt at all that it is directed against Jews and Christians. It's not a simple matter of one "disliking" an understanding, but of two major world religions being singled out for condemnation in a verse that is recited by every Muslim who recites al Fatihah in their salat prayers.

If you don't want to acknowledge that this is what it means everytime you ask Allah not to make you like the al-maghdub or the al-daleen, then that is not my problem, because denying reality isn't going to make reality go away. The facts are there. I didn't make them up; you can confirm them yourself from Islamic websites such as the ones I linked to. If you care at all about the truth, then I would urge you to look these things up for yourself rather than just hastily dismissing the evidence because they don't match up with what you find comfortable.

May Jehovah God's blessings and mercy be upon you.