Opinion Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith

What I learned teaching Islamic studies in Texas

Simran Jeet Singh interacts with his students during class at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2017. Photo courtesy of San Antonio Express-News/Ray Whitehouse

(RNS) — As far as I know, I was the first Sikh hired to teach Islamic studies at an American university. I loved every minute of it, especially because my employer, Trinity University, was located in my beloved hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

My first real job also shed new light for me on what it’s like to be an underrepresented minority in this country. Most Americans, in short, don’t know who Sikhs are. Typically they presume we are Muslims, mostly as a result of Islam being racialized in the past few decades: It’s not just a faith, it’s also a look, and the resulting stereotypes square with the appearance of many Sikh men — brown skin, turban, beard. That’s me.

Of course I had long since learned what “looking Muslim” meant in post-9/11 America. I knew firsthand the violence that came with misguided understandings of Islam, and as a Sikh especially, I felt compelled to do something about it. It’s precisely what sent me down the path of studying religious communities and addressing the racism they experience. I decided to make allyship with Muslims and those affected by anti-Muslim hate a centerpiece of my life.

Because my path seemed so obvious to me, I never considered my field of study to be odd. Only when I began interviewing for jobs did I realize that some might find it strange for a Sikh to teach Islam. “How can you teach a religion you don’t even practice?” people would ask, including the president of a university during a job interview.

I wanted to point out to the president that the scholars in his own religion department, like most of the religion scholars I knew, did not practice the faiths they taught. It’s considered normal for white scholars to be interested in traditions other than their own. I didn’t alert him to his bias — I wanted the job, after all. But ever since I’ve wished I could have asked why it was problematic for me to express the same interest — because I’m a person of color? Because I identify as a religious minority?

My wife lived in New York City when I was hired at Trinity, and because she was working and we didn’t yet have kids or a firm long-term plan, I commuted to and from Texas every week. I would fly out Monday morning and return on Thursday evening, a brutal schedule that my generous colleagues bent over backward to accommodate.

Passengers walk through an airport terminal. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

But traveling had its perks — tons of frequent flier miles, for one. I also got so familiar with airport security officials that they often let me slide through without subjecting me to otherwise common racial profiling and secondary screening procedures.

But there were uncomfortable aspects. On my regular carrier, Southwest Airlines, whose first-come, first-served seating policy normally sets off a scramble for favorable seats, my fellow passengers consistently chose not to sit beside me, no matter where I was sitting, until no other option was available. I sometimes made a game of it, counting how many empty seats were left for the unseated passengers, trying to guess if I would get a row to myself or at least an empty seat next to me so I could spread out a bit more freely.

It wasn’t just me. Check out the Twitter hashtags #FlyingWhileBrown or #FlyingWhileMuslim or #FlyingWhileSikh. It’s a real thing. I was grateful for the extra space, but part of me would feel sad that people viewed me as someone they didn’t want to be around.

My conundrum in this situation was whether to prepare for class. If I pulled out a book on the Quran or on Islamic history or on politics in the Middle East, would it cause unnecessary distress? After hiding my books for months, reflecting constantly on the Sikh teaching that “A truly wise person neither fears anyone nor inspires fear in anyone,” I eventually put fake book jackets on what I was reading.

Some may say I gave in to illegitimate fears and should have simply read and graded unapologetically; if people felt worried, that was their problem.

I see that argument and honor it. But as a racialized body, it’s not always easy to dismiss others’ fears. For one thing, these fears often have consequences for people who look like me. This is a reality that all people of color know because they live it every day of their lives. There is a real psychological impact of being so cognizant of one’s own appearance and how it’s perceived in public. Even things that seem mundane to many people raise questions for me.

Simran Jeet Singh teaches a class at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2017. Photo courtesy of San Antonio Express-News/Ray Whitehouse

For instance, I was surprised (though I probably shouldn’t have been) by the hate aimed at me in my job. People were angry when I spoke out about a 14-year-old Muslim boy in Texas who had been wrongfully accused of bringing a bomb to school. Local law enforcement handcuffed, detained and questioned him for 90 minutes without permitting him to see his parents. My tweet of solidarity with the boy became part of the story on “Good Morning America” and CNN International. Some called our university president’s office demanding I be fired.

My university supported me, as it did when I got a credible death threat and had to involve authorities. And the time right-wing outlets published defamatory pieces that confused me with another Sikh man, landing me on the notorious Professor Watch List.

In this sense, what I learned by teaching Islamic studies will always be with me. I can only hope that other universities won’t have second thoughts about hiring me because I’ve appeared on an academic watch list.

But this stays with me too: the wonderful students, colleagues and administrators who welcomed me and listened when I shared my darker lessons as I have here. The sharing of our experience helps others see realities that would be hard to imagine otherwise. Through my own stories I hope they too saw what our Muslim neighbors and every minority goes through in trying to overcome the racial and religious supremacies so deeply embedded in the world around us.

(The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

About the author

Simran Jeet Singh

Simran Jeet Singh is a scholar of religion currently based at NYU’s Center for Religion and Media. He is also senior religion fellow for the Sikh Coalition.

47 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • Putting it all in proper perspective in the 21st century with The Great Kibosh of All Religions for those who not seen:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  • It’s probably BETTER for students when religious tenets are taught by practitioners of some other religion. Why? Objectivity.

  • Just pray for him:
    Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Saviour of the world, we humbly beseech You, by Your most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Your fold may in one days be converted to You, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
    Amen.

  • New York Times origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions — the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years — have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity — until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called ”Etz Hayim” (”Tree of Life” in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true ”is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis,” observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to ”Etz Hayim.” But some congregants, he said, ”may not like the stark airing of it.” Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that ”virtually every modern archaeologist” agrees ”that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all.” The rabbi offered what he called a ”LITANY OF DISILLUSION”’ about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have ”found no trace of the tribes of Israel — not one shard of pottery.”

  • The Apostles’ / Creed 2019 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

  • From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi————–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    “1. Belief in Allah”

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    “2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gib Gnab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.

    “3. To believe in the existence of angels.”

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented.

    “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the uneducated masses in line. Today we call them fortune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invalidated by the natural gifts of Free Will and Future.

    “5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone.”

    Mohammed spent thirty days “fasting” (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

  • AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/SATANIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni and Satan/Perdition/Lucifer. (As does M. Romney)

    “Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.”

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God and of course Satan and his demons.

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tin-kerbell” got around) and of course the jinn.

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Many contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these “pretty wingie/ugly/horn-blowing thingies” to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

  • An important passage from Professor J.D. Crossan:

    “When I look a Buddhist friend in the face, I cannot say with integrity, “Our story about Jesus’ virginal birth is true and factual. Your story that when the Buddha came out of his
    mother’s womb, he was walking, talking, teaching and preaching (which I must admit is even better than our story)—that’s a myth. We have the truth; you have a lie.” I don’t think that can be said any longer, for our insistence that our faith is a fact and that others’ faith is a lie is, I think, a cancer that eats at the heart of Christianity”

  • Yes, of course. It is quite possible for a person to be knowledgeable enough to teach any of them or several of them, without subscribing to any of them. It is important for anyone who teaches them, though, to really know what they are talking about.

  • Continued from above:

    “3. To believe in the existence of angels.”

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented.

    “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the uneducated masses in line. Today we call them fortune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invalidated by the natural gifts of Free Will and Future.

    “5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone.”

    Mohammed spent thirty days “fasting” (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

  • Once again:

    Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

    So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

  • The unfortunate thing is that osama bin laden got exactly what he wanted – he wanted to change the world.
    And he did. Not only are we inconvenienced with airport security; but he increased the tension between Islam and the west.
    I feel bad for those that have to fly while brown; but at the same time, I’m glad for the extra security.
    Maybe there will be a day when people stop strapping bombs to themselves or driving trucks into crowds of civilians- then maybe we can live without fear; but until then…

  • Objectivity of that sort has more to do with the character of the professor. Pure objectivity is impossible though. Everyone has a bias.

  • I will always be grateful to the atheist professor who motivated me to seriously get into Christian apologetics. The right liberal/skeptic, can help you fight liberalism/skepticism.

  • “Obviously, Crossan’s vision … bears no resemblance to the New Testament.” — Dr. Albert Mohler

  • How is it objective teaching when a person who chooses to be a Non-Muslim for example teaches you about Islam?

  • People who are bound by their Islamic statement of faith cannot be objective on the question of whether the claims about Muhammad and his sayings are actually true. Only about 1/7 of the people on earth are Muslim, after all, and 6/7 are not.

  • I dislike the topics Mann has chosen to talk about.

    First, there is no discussion of Muslim theology. Here are some topics from Islamic theology that are worth discussing. They are worth discussing because they come up when Hindu-Muslim relationships are sought to be improved through a process of dialog, rather than riots.

    1. Why do some Muslims regard Sufism as an invalid form of Islam?

    2. Why do Muslims disallow music inside mosques? (A possible exception is Allah-u-Akbar, which some Muslims might put under the heading of music.)

    3. Some Muslims visit tombs known as dirgahs. Other Muslims object that visiting dirgahs is against a doctrine known as tauheed.

    4. In inter-faith marriages, Muslims insist that the Muslim wedding be the last. Weddings of the other faith must be done first. Why?

    Second, there is far too much discussion of the Mann’s savior role. Who needs saving? Muslims. Why do they need saving? Muslims are victims of some or another form of discrimination. Mann presents a few anecdotes to support that Muslims are indeed facing discrimination. Therefore Muslims need a savior. In this article, the savior is Mann.

    I don’t blame Mann personally for acting as a savior; rather, the social sciences have made it so that the only way a man for a man to be liberal is to be the savior of some or another demographic group. In the US, the UK, India and Israel, the demographic group that needs a savior is the Muslim.

    All I can say is it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the the US, the UK, India and Israel, the Muslim behaves like a deer caught in headlights. The Muslim has no agency. The Muslim cannot judge the non-Muslim fairly. The Muslim cannot take interest in the welfare of the non-Muslim and solve the problems of the non-Muslim. There is no liberal Muslim intellectual.

  • As noted many times before, the solution:

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi————–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    “1. Belief in Allah”

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    “2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gib Gnab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.

    continued below:

  • “3. To believe in the existence of angels.”

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented.

    “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the uneducated masses in line. Today we call them fortune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invalidated by the natural gifts of Free Will and Future.

    “5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone.”

    Mohammed spent thirty days “fasting” (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

  • One is a Muslim, so he can not be objective about Islam, is your argument. One is not a Muslims, so he can be objective about Islam. If the first argument would be true, then the second would be true as well. So in the end, no one could be objective about Islam for example, according to you.

  • Your first sentence is true. Your second sentence is true. Your third sentence is true. Your fourth sentence does not follow in logic. Look carefully at what you wrote. okay?

    First of all, my original general comment is about students taking religion classes in schools, not about criticizing Islam or Muslims. What would be wrong with a Muslim, for instance, who is knowledgeable about Catholicism or Hinduism, actually teaching those subjects? Why would we necessarily need a Catholic to teach Catholicism to people who only want to know about Catholicism and are not planning to convert to Catholicism?

  • Just reading the first sentences of you, I think you didn’t understand what I was trying to say. If (!) a Muslim can not be objective about Islam because he is a Muslim then a Non-Muslim could also not be objective about Islam, because he is a non-Muslim. Does the rest of your answer deal with this statement? Otherwise, think about it.

  • Of course a non-Muslim can be objective about Islam. Objective is objective. Any fair-minded student can be taught the history and fundamentals of Islam. Any fair-minded teacher who happens to know the fundamentals and history of Islam can also teach them, whether he or she is a Muslim or not.

    Imagine you are a Muslim who wants to learn the fundamentals and history of Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism. Imagine you might be learning about these religions at an Islamic university in Iran or Saudi Arabia. Would you expect or demand that such a university furnish a practicing Jew, Christian or Hindu to teach those courses? Would you be upset if a Muslim taught Christianity?

  • Well no but I do understand that to learn the best about Jewish theology for example, it would be from Jewish scholars.

  • I am not a believer yet I’ve counseled young friends of young friends on “the traditional and generous core of Christianity” to help them overcome being enmeshed (sometimes to the point of eating disorders and hospitalizations) in toxic, mean spirited, abusive congregations. I suggested a healthy local church they might join. They joined, and have bee happier and healthier since.

  • Rational Conclusions:
    What you said is what in actuality is being a Christian or a Sikh or a Hindu or a Jew or a Human in general means to many! So I see a Sikh in you if you do all those things in your last sentence and probably same with others. Sikhism teaches working hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings. So does Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and so on. To correct you, Sikhs don’t believe in tikerbells, fairies or angels as you have described. Search and examine within yourself and you will see the other person in you. That is what being divine is and you can call it whatever you want. It doesn’t matter if one believes in God or Allah or Waheguru or thousand other names for the creator. It is unfortunate that you haven’t examined your inner self all this life as to who created you, where you have come from and where you are going. Once you do, you will realize that you were wrong no matter what your belief is or will be. Take care of yourself and keep doing those things even if you don’t believe in any religion.

  • In particular, I would disagree with your last paragraph. There are Muslim judges and politicians in the UK, Muslim politicians in the US. Even in Israel, a Muslim served a 9 month terms as a Supreme Court of Israel with a career as a district judge while others have been members of Knesset. It was a Muslim who won the 2014 World Mayor prize, the first time a Canadian won the award. I think we lose when we deal with generalizations about any group of people based on skin colour, ethnicity, religion, gender.

  • And you are in error as Sikhs do believe in angels (aka fairies and tinker bells). Maybe you missed that class?

  • You list Muslim judges, Muslim politicians and Muslim mayors. But what about Muslim liberal columnists? What about the range of topics that Muslim columnists write about?

  • Well that is an add-on. If I respond affirmatively – the right answer BTW – then there will likely be simply be another what aboutism.

  • What I was after was the question “What about the range of topics that Muslim columnists write about?”

    Just because Muslims become judges, politicians and mayors, it does not follow that a liberal Muslim intelligentsia will form, that Muslim columnists will write about a range of topics, especially topics that are uncomfortable to strict sects of Islam.

    Let me put it this way: If the Caucasian intelligentsia were like the Muslim intelligentsia, US textbooks would not cover the topic of Rosa Parks and the bus, for that topic would be deemed uncomfortable to Caucasians.

  • you are reading from biased sources, because of your biases….. try an exhaustive research regime of your own, but use published science and archeology documents as your source rather than opinion or dogma. be objective.
    and dont forget, there are some things we’ll never know. accept that.

  • i am attempting to be a “samaritan” of information….. i cant take the guy to the inn, nor can i afford to pay his way…… but i can tell him the Truth as i know it….. such as i have, i give to him.

  • My sources are not biased and are readily found on-line, at your local library, Google Books or from Amazon books.
    some examples:

    1. Historical Jesus Theories,
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the
    contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the titles of their over 100 books
    on the subject.
    iEarly Christian Writings,
    earlychristianwritings.com/
    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
    30-60 CE Passion Narrative
    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
    50-60 1 Thessalonians
    0-60 Philippians
    50-60 Galatians
    55-60 1 Corinthians
    50-60 2 Corinthians
    50-60 Romans
    50-60 Philemon
    50-80 Colossians

    50-90 Signs Gospel

    50-95 Book of Hebrews

    50-120 Didache

    50-140 Gospel of Thomas

    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel

    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ

    65-80 Gospel of Mark

    70-100 Epistle of James

    70-120 Egerton Gospel

    70-160 Gospel of Peter

    70-160 Secret Mark

    70-200 Fayyum Fragment

    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion

    80-100 2 Thessalonians

    80-100 Ephesians

    80-100 Gospel of Matthew

    80-110 1 Peter

    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas

    80-130 Gospel of Luke

    80-130 Acts of the Apostles

    80-140 1 Clement

    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians

    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews

    80-250 Christian Sibyllines

    90-95 Apocalypse of John

    90-120 Gospel of John

    90-120 1 John

    90-120 2 John

    90-120 3 John

    90-120 Epistle of Jude

    93 Flavius Josephus

    100-150 1 Timothy

    100-150 2 Timothy

    100-150 Titus

    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter

    100-150 Secret Book of James

    100-150 Preaching of Peter

    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites

    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans

    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas

    100-160 2 Peter

    4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html –”The JESUS DATABASE is an
    online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings
    of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era.
    It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to
    the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”

    5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

    6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

    7.
    http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html
    – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT

    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman,
    Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

    9.The Gnostic Jesus

    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)

    by Douglas Groothuis:
    http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/gnosticism-and-the-gnostic-jesus/10. The
    interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission

    Presented on March 18, 1994

    ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:

    wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?title=Jesus_Database

    12. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:

    faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html

    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:

    mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

    13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies

    14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/

    15. D-iseases in the Bible:

    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

ADVERTISEMENTs