28 December 2006

Religious reciprocity

I am certainly no Catholic, but I have to agree with the Pope when he demands religious reciprocity from Muslim countries. We in the west are extremely tolerant when it comes down to it, accepting peoples of any faith. Try exercising your personal religious beliefs in regions dominated by Islam, and you will quickly see how intolerant of a religion it is.

Reciprocity means that "if Muslims want to enjoy religious freedom in the West, then Christians should have an equal right to follow their faith in Islamic states, without fear of persecution."

The double standards of muslims is apparent by the recent case of the cathedral in Córdoba, Spain. It was originally built as a testament to the greatness of Islam by the Moors during their occupation of the Iberian peninsula (it was the second largest mosque in the muslim world). Converted to a cathedral in the 1300s when the Moors finally got the boot, it remains a magnificent piece of architecture to this day.

"The Roman Catholic bishop of Cordoba in southern Spain has rejected an appeal from Muslims for the right to pray in the city's cathedral, a former mosque." according to the BBC online. Would a Hindu, Christian, pagan, etc. enter any mosque in the world and attempt to pray, they would likely be stoned to death.

This double standard is most notably evident in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount הַר הַבַּיִת (aka the Noble Sanctuary الحرم القدسي الشريف) is a similar place of dispute. It is the 3rd most holy site to muslims (depending on who you consult), but the most holy site to Jews. Yet, to avoid confrontation, Israel allows muslims to manage the site, and as a consequence nobody can pray here except muslims. Try it, I dare you. I was stopped at the door and not allowed to enter under threat of violence.