I recently made a post about a website I had come across that was geared towards explaining Islam for Christian (Protestant) missionaries. It was interesting in that at least regarding Islam it attempted to be balanced and informative instead of tilted to breed hatred towards Muslims.
What happened though, in the last couple days, is some missionary must have discovered my blog, most likely thanks to that post. And he/she left a few very odd comments on some various older posts of mine--not really comments, actually, but pasted articles mostly from a noted anti-islam website (which I will not link.) I deleted them pretty quickly since I don't have any need for that sort of thing on my blog (and it is very rude to copy/paste articles as comments, I think!)
But it was kind of amusing--in case any of you are wondering what sorts of things a missionary might post on a Muslim convert's blog, I thought I'd share a few bits.
(1) On When is a good time to let go? the comment began with what I think was the poster's own, "Jesus is so different!" she wrote. (I'll call the person a she just because I have a suspicion, that's all.) Different from what? I was feeling actually quite desperate about some events in my life, and very troubled. But by material things. Spiritually, I was actually quite on a high and I had tremendous hope in the mercy of Allah (SWT.) I think my visitor thought I must have been considering leaving Islam, which, couldn't have been further from the truth. Alhamdulillah. Anyway, what followed was a very convoluted conversion story by "sister grace." Now, sister grace described herself as, "a convert to Islam, who has rediscovered Jesus, and returned to Him." So basically she was born a Christian and decided to try Islam because she kind of liked it, I suppose. And then she met an Indian Christian family who apparently exceeded her prowess at religious debate, and they were praying for her, so she concluded that God in the Qur'an was "distant" and "far."
This is a claim that many Christians make about Islam, but it's totally unfounded. Muslims understand Allah to be Great, Almighty, Lord of the World, but also Gentle, Forgiving, and Loving. He says in the Qur'an that He is nearer to man than his jugular vein! You see, Christians want Muslims to think that "Jesus" (not the real Jesus, but their distorted perception of him) is close to them and that without him, God is far away. But in fact, we can see they don't understand Islam in the first place, because God is not far or distant in Islam.
Now, this poor convert person already admits to having a bad opinion of Islam while as a Muslim, and then went on, she says, to find the same aforementioned (non-linked) anti-Islam website which apparently cleared it all up for her. And then... magically, or mystically, she had a dream! Yes, a dream, and then she went back to Christianity. Overall, it's a pretty unremarkable story, I think. It might even be true. Basically this person thinks that Muslims have reason and logic and sense but no emotion and apparently don't really love their faith. Weird impression, I'll say, but anyway. Allah is the One Who Guides. :-) May He guide us and keep us firm on His deen.
(2) Now, the second post she left on my blog, for my post "The Bachelorette" was another story. She must have thought that marriage in Islam is something totally wacky, like what this story portrays--you'll see. What I found so amusing about this one is that I had read it before! You see, I have actually visited this anti-Islam website I keep mentioning, in fact before I embraced Islam I made a point to read all the converted-out-of-Islam stories. And I found them to be so bizarre it actually increased my faith in Islam. Subhanallah. This is one of those bizarre ones. Again, the poor girl is a Christian woman who converted to Islam, apparently because it was cool (she doesn't really say why) and then "soon things began to fall apart in my life." Indeed, what happened?
Well, she writes that she "belligerant to my co-workers and was soon fired." I can't figure out how Islam is related here. Muslims aren't supposed to be belligerent or anything of the sort, but gentle and merciful. Then we read that her Imam told her that she "had to return to my parents home since Islam forbids single women from living alone." Fancy that? Back to living with her parents? Okay okay, I'll keep going. Back in with her parents, she points out that they didn't like her wearing the "traditional Muslim garb" (her words, not mine... lol) and tried to forbid her. And then her friends didn't want to be around her (probably because her own bad attitude, which she's described) and she would only spend time around Muslims. Then the story really takes off...
She writes that a month after moving in with her parents again, she was "introduced" to her "future husband." Introduced? This sounds fishy... read on: "I was simply led into a room and told that he was the man that I was supposed to marry and I had no choice in the matter." I'm sorry... I really couldn't help cracking up at this point. Anything in the story which might have otherwise seemed true was pretty much blown out of the water by this shockingly bizarre development. Led into a room? By whom? Who has the authority to set her up with someone without her permission? Yeah right... somebody didn't do their homework. No choice? Give me a break.
Well anyway, since she didn't run for the hills at that craziness, she married the guy and then, as she says, "soon entered hell." She wasn't allowed to leave the apartment without permission, and never allowed to run the air conditioner, in 100-degree summer heat. And that apparently caused her to get a heat rash and heat exhaustion. And then her husband, whose name we learn is Mohammed (go figure, right?) makes her give her car back to her parents so she would really be "stuck at home." Not to mention her husband is some kind of slacker who doesn't come home much and won't take her out. Then she learns music is forbidden and her husband hits her.
You might not have thought it possible, but this story gets even worse... apparently, we learn her husband would often starve her--not leave her with anything to eat. So she asked a friend of his to bring her food which enraged her husband and resulted in extensive beatings and physical damage. So then her crazy abusive husband goes to Morocco, and eventually lets her get a job and eat, and even have her car back. Sorry... I'm rolling... So anyway, she eventually begins to see that Islam = abusive men, and oppressed women. What she called before the "traditional Muslim garb" became "heavy oppressive clothing." She had some more bad experiences with Muslims, cried, prayed, her husband left her (said he didn't care what she did!), she got a divorce, and went back to church!!
Now, I don't mean to belittle anyone's suffering, but doesn't this tale seem a little far-fetched for anyone to take seriously? It's just one stereotype after another. Like someone made up this girl, put her through all the experiences they could imagine to portray Islam badly (wife beating, hijab in the heat, not allowed to leave home or drive, forced marriage) trying to justify those activities in Islam (when of course we, the Muslims, know none of this is allowed.) Ultimately it's a story designed to give a woman (in particular a woman) doubts about the treatment of women in Islam, by telling this story of a woman who experiences all the basic stereotypes, plus some extras for added suspense.
Anyway, what's the moral of the story? That Muslim men are bad abusive hypocrites who treat their wives like trash--according to Christian missionaries. At least, pretending that they are makes for good stories and propaganda to try to lead poor confused Muslim women away from Islam. Especially those who might have converted from Christianity. A lot of women do, I think that is the target audience for stories like these. Anyway... I'm somewhat untrusting I suppose, but I really just have a hard time actually believing this one.
(3) The third exciting comment she left on my post 12 Characteristics of an Effective Da'ee was an article written by a known anti-Islam writer featured on aforemented (non-linked) site. And basically it pulls some ayaat out of the Qur'an, out of context, and attempts to prove that the Qur'an calls Allah (SWT!) a liar. A'udhubillah. It was pretty much garbage and I won't even bother summarizing it since I really don't see any benefits or lessons to learn from it.
That aside, given the nature of my blog, I found it pretty amusing someone would have the audacity to post such drivel here. But the conversion stories were especially funny--to me anyway. I don't mean to make fun of anyone here--and I seriously hope that nobody actually experienced the events in the second story. But I expect we will all find our Recompense in the Hereafter, and believe that Allah Almight is The Just.