Viral Email: "Muslim Belief"
The following email has been widely forwarded. Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below. Please feel free to copy and paste it and send it to your friends.
[note - all mistakes below are original to the text]
Sent: Mon, Jan 4, 2010 8:32 pm
Subject: Muslim Belief
This is a true story and the author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry. The man who walks with God always gets to his destination. If you have a pulse you have a purpose.
The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States , especially in the minority races!!!
Last month I attended my annual training session that's required
For maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who explained each of their beliefs.
I was part icularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video.
After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.
When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: 'Please, corr ect me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?'
There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, 'Non-believers!'
I responded, 'So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?'
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.'
He sheepishly replied, 'Yes.'
I then stated, 'Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!'
The Imam was speechless!
I continued, 'I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me!
Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?'
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame. Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the Diversification training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth about the Muslims' beliefs.
In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. To elect the President!
I think everyone in the U.S. Should be required to read this, but with ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us send it on! This is your chance to make a difference....
FOR GODS' SAKE! SEND THIS ON!
Thanks for sending this my way. If this indeed was true, it would be disturbing and very frightening. We should not have to worry that our neighbors and coworkers might hurt us because their religion commands them to.
Luckily, I looked into this a bit more and found that the story seems to be made up.
The person in question, Rick Mathes, is executive director of Mission Gate Prison Ministry and this event took place at a correctional facility in Missouri. The folks over at Snopes.com reached out to the facility and one of their spokesmen gave an altogether different version of events. Here is how they reported it:
According to Tim Kniest, Public Information Officer for the Missouri Department of Corrections, the event described was a training for prison volunteers, for which ministers from several faiths were invited to give presentations in order to acquaint prison volunteers with the varied religious beliefs of the inmate population. The man who gave the presentation about Islam was not a Muslim minister; he was an inmate pressed into service to present a short film on Islam and answer some questions when the prison's Volunteer Coordinator was "unable to find an Imam to speak."
Moreover, reported Mr. Kniest, the prison's Volunteer Coordinator said that "The inmate did a good job," adding, "He was asked a few questions that were beyond his ability to answer. But he was not asked anything like that question [in the editorial]."
Of course, the fact that this exchange did not occur is not enough proof that the underlying claim is false. Are Muslims instructed to kill non-Muslims? Of course not. In 2007, for example, you'll remember that some of the most prominent Muslim leaders in the world sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders "urging greater understanding between the two faiths."
The letter was signed by prominent Muslim leaders, politicians and academics, including the Grand Muftis of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Russia, Croatia, Kosovo and Syria, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt and the founder of the Ulema Organisation in Iraq.
Are Muslims instructed to wage war against those who are not Muslim? Not according to some of the most learned Islamic scholars in the world.
These days, attacking Islam and creating suspicion towards Muslims is a very profitable venture. Many people have become very wealthy by writing books and going on speaking tours impugning Islam and Muslims.
Some people even claim to be former Muslims to give their
words legitimacy. Take for example Ergun
Caner who is president of the theological seminary at Liberty University. Egrun's claim to fame is that he was born and
raised in Turkey,
participated in jihad and debated some of the leading Muslim scholars. As Christianity
Today reported, it turns out that Caner actually grew up in Ohio and there is no
proof that he has had the debates he professes to have had. Would you really trust someone like that when
he tells you what Muslims are commanded to do?
These days, people will say and do virtually anything to become famous and to amass a following. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest people who are seeking to bring divisions between us.
Lastly, the e-mail claims that in next 20 years, "there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. To elect the President!" This too is false. Check this out: http://mediamattersaction.org/emailchecker/200910020005
I hope this information helps.