I mainly pick on those of my own faith - Christianity - and my own particular church - the Mormons. This week, however, I started listening to a series of radio essays on BBC Radio 3 called The Islamic Golden Age. The third essay was by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim member to sit on the British cabinet, on the subject of the Persian scholar Imam Bukhari. She believes Islam is at its best when it encourages scholarly pursuits and education. (I feel the same with the LDS Church.) During this essay she brought up a few quotes by the Prophet Muhammad that were highlighted by Bukhari and a couple teachings by Bukhari himself that I would like to highlight. These teachings and/or quotes seem to me to be universal in value and I wish that so-called "values voters" would follow them.
The one who engages with people and society and faces difficulty as a result of this is better than the person who isolates himself from society and does not endure any hardship.Isn't that wonderful? So many times I get so fed up with evangelicals and others who insist that their children be home schooled. It seems like their objections are too much whining and too little trust in their own children's ability to judge right and wrong for themselves. It's almost as if they believe that Satan has more influence than Christ and the Holy Spirit. What kind of faith is that?
Fundamentalists of any stripe are guilty of this at most times. They believe their values are the only right ones and everyone should have to abide by them or else.
The second quote from the Prophet in the program really leapt out at me. It was about the sanctity of humanity and how it exceeds the rules that your faith throws at you:
Shall I tell you of a status better than fasting and praying and charity? It is improving the state of friendship between people.Incredible, right? How many so-called "values voters" do you know that are all about condemning and persecuting and attacking instead of reaching out in friendship? Pope Francis is a great example of a Christian leader reaching out instead of continually attacking. Look at people like Rush Limbaugh. Instead of showing us why he objects to a certain item, policy, or statement, he goes right out and calls a woman a slut. Pope Francis, on the other hand, when asked about gays - just opened his heart and his hands and said "Who am I to judge?" He praised them for searching for the Lord and didn't attack them for who they love.
The next two quotes I got from the program were from Imam Bukhari.
A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.
Anyone who does not have respect for our elders and compassion for our children is not one of us.He additionally taught "let not your enmity destroy anyone". Look at these quotes. They should make all so-called "moral" voters who vote Republican or who support the Tea Party or Libertarians blush with shame. Deep shame.
Look at all the so-called values voters who vote Republican because of abortion and gay marriage. Those who claim to "choose life". Yet, they support people who put forth policies that take food and shelter away from children and the elderly. Policies that encourage war and enmity between nations and take money away from the diplomats.
I don't call myself a "values voter", but I do vote my values. I think I would really have loved to meet Imam Bukhari and think he was a true man of God, a lot more than many "Christian" men of God. I think Baroness Warsi for introducing me to him and hope I can find more about him.