Islam Specialist Fr. Mark Gruber Calls for Honest Dialogue
April 3, 2007
Benedictine priest and Professor of Anthropology at St. Vincents College Reverend Mark Gruber, O.S.B., delivered a talk entitled Islam Among the Nations at Christendom College on Monday, April 2, before a crowded auditorium.
Honest, self-respecting dialogue is what we need in communicating with the Muslim nations, Gruber said. When the religion of Islam proposes a way of life, it does not mean the same thing that Christianity or Judaism mean. Islam proposes a nationa statea constitutionwhen it proposes a way of life.
According to his vast research on the matter of Islam and its followers, Gruber believes that Muslims cannot be citizens of another nation, for they belong to the nation of Islam. The Muslims who try to spiritualize the teachings of the Koran are a very small minority, less than 1%. The message of the Koran is realized in an earthly state.
Gruber received a Masters in Anthropology and a Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences from the State University of New York. His anthropological studies in the religion of the Middle East have helped establish him as a nationally circulated spokesman regarding the culture of Islam. He has authored Journey Back to Eden: My Life and Times Among the Desert Fathers and Sacrifice in the Desert, which was a study of a minority religious community, the Copts, in Egypt.
The mainstream media likes to paint a picture that Islam is peaceful and that it is just extremists who hold this point of view, he continued. But that simply is not true. While I was working on my Doctoral Dissertation, I spent a year in Egypt and other Muslim countries. During that time I got to see first-hand what the Muslim children were learning. And it was pretty enlightening! Parents would teach their children songs about killing the infidelsongs about death and destruction. Cars, with loud speakers attached, would drive through the streets repeating the message, Let their woman be raped, their men be killed, and their children enslaved.
To be able to accurately judge a religion, we have to pay attention most importantly to what it teaches its children, not to what it says to the outside world, Gruber said. No progress will be made unless we speak to each other with self-respect and honesty. There is hope for peace, but we must face the facts and use common sense.
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