On The Muslim Ban

“I am in love with every church
And mosque
And temple
And any kind of shrine
Because I know it is there
That people say the different names
Of the One God.”
— Hafiz
We are a nation founded on religious freedom. We are a nation of immigrants. The Muslim ban is not only morally wrong, it is unconstitutional, illegal, and un-American.

30 thoughts on “On The Muslim Ban

  1. I’m curious Natalie, on an autobiographical level, do you believe in a God? Because, “God” as described in most faiths differs not simply in our modes of expression, but in Their essential attributes, for which, I can’t imagine it would be appropriate to describe Hindus and Muslims worshipping the same God by a different name. In fact, to worship one as they’re understood in the Qur’an and traditions (namely Allah) would be to deny every other. To writes “Ops, Ganesha, Allah, it’s all one.” That’s flippant, to write mildly. To make my comment more closely related to the topic, as methinks that’s fair, just so long as we’re describing people as “anger”, and actions “hatred”, and views “dark”, while even saying most are essentially good and kind (a bit of tension there), we’re going to be communicating with a Trump in very superficial ways. Most of the “arguments” against him are just name-calling.

    Also, because I’m honestly curious, don’t you, I and everybody already (rightly) discriminate on the basis of religion, or on ideological grounds (to be seriously nuanced). By which I mean to write, we’d make distinctions, as that’s what it means to “discriminate”, against many a different sorts of people. In addition, we’d be very sensible to do so, would you not discriminate on religious grounds against a party bus of Taliban fighters who wanted to jam their bus into the nation? I hope we would discriminate!


    1. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are Abrahamic religions, monotheistic, and hold the conception of an omniscient, moral G-d. It is the same G-d, these three religions are just different ways to worship Him. And no, not all of us discriminate on the basis of religion. And “Taliban” is not a synonym for “muslim.” If any terrorist group were to “jam their bus into the nation” and, for argument’s sake, this terrorist group were Christian, I would know that most Christians are not terrorists. In this hypothetical, I would not discriminate against innocent Christians because of the Radical Christians who terrorized the nation with a bus but rather, I would help the innocent Christians seek refuge against the Radical Christians who are misinterpreting the bible and using the word to commit atrocities.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. By their narrative indeed Muslims do claim to be belonging to an Abrahamic faith, as is Mormonism Abrahamic according to Mormons, as both Muslims and Mormons, despite being part of faiths far removed from the Jewish culture in which both Judaism and Christianity came about, claim to be in their stories by some means, somehow, rooted in the same foundation as the Judeo-Christian beliefs. Although, to continue on that would be to allow for you to miss my point, that’s why originally I used an example from Hinduism and Islam (so to simplify), as my point wasn’t to distance Christianity from Islam, anyone who has simply studied the natures of God in both religions would be aware how they differ in their essentials (for which they cannot be the same). Nonetheless, my message was in reply to your original piece in the above, which wrote about churches, temples, mosques and even “any kind” of shrine offering up worship to the same god. When reading, I’d thought to myself, how nonchalant, not to mention offensive even, as in many cultures their shires are built specifically for long deceased relatives, not “Allah” or any other god concept which would be known by readers online. To shoehorn every church, temple, mosque and any sort of shrine into supposedly doing the same thing by another mode would also bother many Muslim readers who categorically deny such behaviours as idolatry.

        In addition, I’m unsure as to where I’ve lead you to believe in my message that Taliban was synonymous with Muslim (Muslim would rather be an umbrella term housing many viewpoints), since that’s not my intention. Rather, my message asked would you personally “make distinctions”? Would you “discriminate” against certain people who identifying as Taliban wanted entry into your once peaceful nation, even bus loads of such people. For “arguments sake”, you wouldn’t have to imagine such buses were with people who identified, rightly or wrongly, as Christian, unless what’s more comfortable to some person’s imaginations were to make category errors.

        Nobody would want that you “discriminate” (as if to write discrimination an ugly word) against unrelated people, for example, nominal Muslims, yet, my question wasn’t to do with how you would respond to nominals, or holiday believers, but rather, my question was to do with how you would respond to Taliban members who wanted access to your nation. My question being would you or would you not discrimination, show discernment, towards people who held such religious viewpoints?

        In addition, “on an autobiographical level, do you believe in a God? “?

        Lastly, and again I’m truly curious, when you describe protecting hypothetical Christians from an ugly band of terrorists who self-identify as Christians, which, I’ve read so to mean you’d also protect Muslims from an ugly band of terrorists who identify as Muslim, that’s clarified by your addition of the idea such bands of bad guys are “misinterpreting” the innocent group’s holy books, books which must not promote such things, with which they can then commit atrocities in the religion’s name. My question however, you’re happy to write not merely what Islam isn’t, but by so doing you’ve also supposed to know what Islam and Christianity are. It’s not just that you’re saying such and such aren’t an expression of Islam, but rather, that such and such are Islam. Do you personally feel so knowledgeable as to write such things? Of course, google be right there, 🙂 you can search, however, that isn’t the same as filtering sources or being aware of the material, I’m asking (in part) if you personally feel confident about making claims to do with religions, do you feel as though you have invested proper time into such subjects, or perhaps not. You can explain, and as ever, I hope my message finds you well.


      2. If you challenge your beliefs, you may learn something. Please reread my original response. I think you understood a lot of it but it sounds like there were parts you misunderstood.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You could try and explain, Natalie. I’ve asked many questions, some repeatedly, and I’m holding out on an answer. Surely my asking a question is in itself a form of having my own views challenged, or, at the least, inviting someone to explain their views, by which they might challenge mine. Moreover, people who really (I mean really) don’t want to have their views challenged, they’d simply find your blog, note you aren’t their people, then they’d block you. I’m not gonna block you, nor shun you, nor describe you as “angry”, “dark”, or filled by any kind of hatred (is that really our place to do?) I’m off for awhile, until tomorrow, nevertheless, if you’re able, I’ll look forward to reading up on some of your clarifications.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Some people listen to respond instead of listening to understand (I hope you are the latter). My view is simply illustrated in the poem. We are all G-d’s children, I don’t care if/how you worship.

        I don’t see different thoughts/opinions and think that people with those different thoughts/opinions aren’t “my people.” Even though I don’t know you, I respect you no less and no more than I do a Jewish neighbor or a Muslim neighbor (or anyone else for that matter). I do not discriminate my neighbors based on their religion, and I do not discriminate them based on the sins of extremists. And Islam builds on Christianity; the G-d Islam worships is the same as the G-d of the Judeo-Christian religions. G-d is G-d. Yes, Islam is very different, but it shares several commonalities with Judaism and Christianity (e.g. Jesus & Abraham).


      5. For any patience our conversation won’t be either (understanding) or (response), instead it’ll hopefully be both, albeit in choosing either an either/or or a both/and situation, deciding between the two is itself an either/or. 🙂 When you’ve replied “My view is simply illustrated in the poem.” would that be in answer to my question about whether or not you personally believe in God, because, for understanding’s sake, sharing “We are all G-d’s children,” leads me into believing of course, Natalie believes in God (in some fashion.) However, when you immediately follow by way of: “I don’t care if/how you worship.” that’s cause for to wonder, more plain clarification would be appreciated. Does Natalie’s God, who presumably for the poem would be everybody’s God, do they care whether or not people worship? Are terrorists their children just so much as peaceful people are? Do they have intentions?

        With regards to respect, about which hopefully you’ll agree, I’d be reluctant to write about respecting you no less than “a Jewish neighbour”, not because that’s suspect in and of itself, but because you’ve added “or a Muslim neighbour” immediately thereafter. Jewishness, that has to do with ethnicity, not merely faith, in fact, most Jews today are secular, and yet, being Muslim, that’s about ideology, that’s purely religious. As everybody, including yourself probably, would be aware, people can’t be specifically “racist” towards Muslims, albeit they might have an underline hatred of such people, that however isn’t racism.

        Which leads you and I around again to respect (my intention despite an important diversion), for, to respect Jewish neighbours, that’s to do with their human dignity, however, to write you respect “Muslims”, that’s grounded in our view of their shared humanity, fair? We’re not respectful BECAUSE (mind the caps) they’re Muslim. It’s not that their Islamic essences somehow merits our respect, but rather, that they’re treated humanely because of their humanness, yet, in turn, that’s not enough to keep people from rightly discriminating (or might even drive people to discrimination) more often. For example, in their book “the problem of pain”, author Clive Lewis wrote “Does any woman regard it a sign of love in a man that he neither knows nor cares how she is looking?” “nor cares” being of importance. They continue by adding how the beloved may be love in spite of having lost their youth, beauty or whatever, yet, they’re not loved because they have lost such things, and love yet wants for the removal of such imperfections.

        Similarly, it’s not that my Muslim friends are loved (or respected) by me because “There’s no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger” (the standard Muslim declaration of faith), to me such an idea isn’t sensible, instead, they’re loved for far deeper reasons than their religion. When you have shared “I respect you no less and no more than I do a Jewish neighbor or a Muslim neighbor (or anyone else for that matter).” my question can only be something to the effect of, does an Islamic ideologue who throws men off of buildings merely on account of their sexual attraction hold equal respect in your eyes to the man on the ground floor doing their best to save their lives?

        It’s not in me to be hair-splitting, or fault-finding, or even tabling correction, however, methinks correction would be helpful when you write: “I do not discriminate my neighbors based on their religion, and I do not discriminate them based on the sins of extremists.” My question, which you’ve neglected, isn’t about your views with regards to non-combative, non-violent people who identify as Muslim, as in nobody would want you to discriminate against an unrelated party, rather, my messages have asked whether or not you would discriminate against Muslims who do sin on account of their religious beliefs. When Muslims fight so to impose their religious beliefs upon others, ought they to be discriminated against? Are people prepared to discriminate against Muslim terrorists based upon their sins?

        Lastly, “Islam builds on Christianity” you’ve shared, in addition to “Yes, Islam is very different, but it shares several commonalities with Judaism and Christianity (e.g. Jesus & Abraham).” Briefly, for anybody to drive home differences suchlike ablutions, prohibitions on alcohol use and so on, such reminders might be really interesting and informative, however, they wouldn’t be truly relevant to our discussion about whether or not Muslims and Christians worship the selfsame God. Consider again my comment about shrine worship in the far East, as again, it’s so pointed as to really make distinctions everybody agrees upon, since neither Muslims, nor practitioners of certain forms of ancient ancestral worship, would take kindly to their worship referents being purposely confused with others in other faiths so to make points about other god concepts. For person C to conflate person A’s god with person B’s god so to promote their own third ideas of the divine wouldn’t be particularly fair-minded, would you not agree?

        When you share by your messages how Jesus is part of Islamic and Christian commonalities, that’s simply untrue, allow for an example by Paul Copan: “Who was Jesus? Was he a wandering hasid, or holy man, as Géza Vermes and A. N. Wilson proposed? Was he a “peasant Jewish cynic,” as John Dominic Crossan alleges? Was he a magician who sought to lead Israel astray, as the Talmud holds? Was he a self-proclaimed prophet who died in disillusionment, as Albert Schweitzer maintained? Was he some person first-century personage whose purported miracles and divinity were mere myths or fabrications by the early church, as David F. Strauss, Rudolf Bultmann, and John Hick suggest? Or was he, as the Gospels assert, “The Christ, the Son of the living God”?

        Some of the examples I could draw from would whiten our hair, they’re actually rather distasteful, some so shocking it’s almost as if whoever cooked them up simply wanted to generate controversy, anyhow, my point. You wouldn’t write bishop John Selby Sponge, who wrote how Jesus was born of rape (amidst other absurdities), was “building on Christianity,” right? You wouldn’t write everybody in the above had commonalities and believed in “the same” Jesus, correct? Similarly, “Īsā” as found in Islam isn’t even remotely like Jesus Christ as found in our Christians sources, which come a staggering 700 years before Islam. And as irrelevant as it at first may appear, Natalie, Christ in fact features into our “same God” discussion.

        Islamic conceptions of Jesus differ, with which Muslim ideas of God differ, how much so, as I’ve explained, in their essentials, for example: Allah in Islam isn’t “all loving”, yet, in your first message, you’ve explained how you believe both Christianity and Islam “hold the conception of an omniscient, moral G-d.” However, both differ in their “morality”, for which it’s much like their contradicting portraits of Jesus. One portrait of Christ comes by Christianity, which was penned in some parts within months of Jesus’ crucifixion, and described Him as God. Then there’s Islam, which denies Jesus was crucified altogether! (being in direct contradiction to both Christian and secular scholars of the age).

        You’ve very kindly shared three points in which you believe Islam and Christianity are in engagement, which, being slightly condensed, would read: Abraham & Jesus (for one). Monotheism (two). Omniscient, moral G-d (for three). In light of Islamic ideas about Jesus not drawing from Christian sources, but rather being based upon Gnostic material, in addition to my not being able to imagine wildly contradictory portraits of Jesus, like those of David F. Strauss, A. N. Wilson and the Talmud, being “built on Christianity”, I’d have to write how Islam doesn’t share Christianity’s Jesus, ditto Abraham, for which they also lack their God. Furthermore, to return again to morality, Allah’s idea of to act morally loving would be very different from God’s moral character in Christianity, since Allah categorically doesn’t love you and I, unless you’re Muslim. Reading my Quran: “Allah loves not the unbelievers.” (III. 33). “Allah loves not the proud.” (IV. 37). “Allah loves not the prodigal.” (VI. 142.).

        In Islamic theology, only Muslims have earned Allah’s love by adopting an appropriate posture, submission, yet, for everyone else, that’s not so, we’re not loved by Allah, their nature in that isn’t anything like Christianity’s God. Take an example from my Bible, when Christ taught: ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

        Morally, Allah’s love isn’t impartial, rather, it’s dependant upon our love for him, meaning, Allah’s love can only be rewarded to people who have become Muslim. Until then however, “Allah loves not the unbelievers”, for which you must be offered to convert to Islam. God as taught by Jesus however, They love you, period. Christ taught Allah’s sort of love doesn’t reach above an average first-century person’s level of love, someone who only greets their own.

        Are people fair, or nuanced, when they ignore such wide distinctions, even essential differences in nature, and if not, but they’re also unprepared to revise their viewpoint, how far could people draw such methods out. Am I an expert on Abe Lincoln, who should be described as believing in “the same Lincoln” as historians, because I’ve researched Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? In another fashion, Islamic conceptions of Jesus run entirely contrary to how historians describe Jesus of the first-century (Christianity doesn’t however).


      6. Infuriating double post time, 😉 I’m off again for the day (boo, work), but I’ll be back in a day or so. I understand my message is a biggie, still, I’m hoping you’ve enjoyed reading some of the content, as I have enjoyed the discussion thus far. Please take your time in replying (if you do), consider our points, and feel free to ask questions too, if you’d prefer.


  2. Pingback: Art History blog
  3. I like to think the one good thing to come out of Trump’s administration will be that it becomes very obvious what hatred and bigotry look like. We seem to have forgotten exactly how ugly people can get because they’ve gotten very good at hiding. Once he kicked over the rock and they call came crawling out, it reminded me (for one) that racism and sexism aren’t dead and we still need to be vigilant about what’s lurking out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this. Sometimes it is hard for me to fully understand why someone could ever in their right mind come up with an idea like the Muslim ban. I agree with you and all the comments above. It is important for us to work against this and the hate that is rising up right now in the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Every nation on earth today is making an effort to bring religious equality. This I believe makes a nation more stable and peaceful. In such an era it’s really unfortunate to see such an action by Trump. Security is a priority for everyone but terrorism has no religion.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I support your stance, all it is, is a diversionary tactic, to take the attention away from real issues like jobs and health care. He knows it will pit one side against the other. He has no substance whatsoever, just talk. If you aren’t Native American, you’re an immigrant.


  7. Far be it from me to defend Trump, but it’s really not a Muslim ban because it only involved 7 countries out of all the Muslim countries in the world. I think it was an unfortunate choice of words from the administration that didn’t really fit the circumstance. The media would have typically jumped on the error, but didn’t want Trump to appear better in the eyes of the world. Christians from those 7 countries were banned, as well before the court stepped in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They did mention that people who were religious minorities in other muslim majority countries would be granted priority over muslims as refugees coming to the U.S. and that a religious test would be required of these refugees to ensure that they are the non-Islamic religion they claim to be. Luckily this executive order has been blocked.


  8. I love this poem. I worship the Goddess, the original deity for humans, who was stamped out violently by the monotheistic religions. Yet I see much value in the monotheistic religions and welcome their worship of a God of Love.
    Discourse with people who believe the only way is their way ultimately is fruitless. It is humans not God/Goddess who have turned the spiritual teachings of enlightened humans into forces of hate, fear and division. Just because something is written in a book doesn’t make it true. God/Goddess is Love and we are all Her children, including the non-human beings.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s