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atha
05-29-2006, 11:50 PM
Assalam-u-Alaikum

I just had a very interesting day. I was recently hired at VWR International, Alhamdulillah, after almost six months of vigorous job searching. My superiors and colleagues are really nice people. On the first day, my supervisor herself came to discuss accommodations for saying my salat, which I think was a very a beautiful gesture. It’s a corporate environment and I intend to progress and develop within it. The atmosphere is really warm and friendly, Alhamdulillah.

Today, one of my Christian colleagues started a religious discussion with me. He was first talking about racism and discrimination and later he somehow went on towards religion. He asked some really intriguing questions. One of them kind of remained stuck in my mind since I didn’t know how to answer him without offending him. He asked why is it that an Afghani who changed his religion to Christianity was given the execution sentence in Afghanistan. He was surprised that the majority of the Muslim clerics agreed on this. So does Islam tell the authority figures to have the people, who change their religion (from Islam to another religion), killed? If yes, then doesn’t this defy the notion of free will? I mean consider someone who is born in a Muslim household but realizes that he doesn’t believe in Islam and would rather want to be a Jew. Then, if he converts, should he be killed? What is Islam’s take on this issue? How do I explain this view to a non-muslim/Christian person?

This brother also commented that Islam makes it impossible to consider other religions. He says that's the reason why people follow Bin Laden, the terrorist. Its because their religion makes it impossible for them to consider other religions. My take on this comment was to talk about Islam's take on terrorism and also to talk a bit about difference between cultural and religious values. I tried to explain that none of the religions promote voilence. Usually people who do such things, bomb a place and then say its in Quran, have their own political agenda in mind and they don't mind twisting the words of Allah for their own personal gains. But when I actually tried to explain the difference between religion and culture, he said both are interwined. This comment puzzled me a bit. I was unable to fully explain the difference between culture and religion although I understood. Perhaps the atmosphere there prevented me from thinking further. Its a corporate world. :-) I have to be careful about what I am saying without offending anyone. So my question is how exactly are culture and religion different and how do they relate or interact?

Thanks
Take care
Assalam-u-Alaikum
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Joe98
05-30-2006, 12:01 AM
Originally Posted by atha
Assalam-u-Alaikum
About the Apostates--How to answer a Christian brother?

Mulsims ask this over and over again due to the uncertainty of the answer.

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Noora_z3
05-30-2006, 12:04 AM
Originally Posted by Joe98
Mulsims ask this over and over again due to the uncertainty of the answer.

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Not because of the uncertainity of the answer...but because they dont know the answer.
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Noora_z3
05-30-2006, 12:09 AM
Sister, Islam and apostasy was disscussed in great detail in another thread, have a look at it, specially at the first few posts, u will find ur answers insha Allah.

Wassalam
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czgibson
05-30-2006, 12:25 AM
Greetings atha,

Originally Posted by atha
How do I explain this view to a non-muslim/Christian person?
Perhaps you will find this thread helpful: Islam and Apostasy

On the question of culture and religion, for me as a Westerner it's easy to see the distinction, because I don't adhere to any religion (along with most of the people I know), but I still value culture immensely.

Culture covers many areas, as can be seen from this definition of the word. For me, it refers to the essence of society's attitudes and intellectual products. What a society's views are will vary from one nation to another, but intellectual products will be found to share similar forms. Art, literature, music, film, theatre, architecture and other media are all constituent parts of a nation's culture, and these may or may not be religious in character.

Religion and culture are certainly intertwined, but to varying degrees. For example, certain aspects of English literature are mysterious without an understanding of the Christian background that it developed within, but most of it is readily comprehensible even without this background knowledge. Given the homogenous nature of Islamic culture, however, I would have thought a familiarity with Islamic concepts would be essential to an understanding of the literature of an Islamic society.

Peace
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