Recommendation for the Europeans dealing with Muslims

March 24, 2016

Kant mentioned once that a good way to start in disarming a dogmatic assertion was via a contrary assertion which were equally dogmatic.

Accordingly I would recommend that the Europeans include in their school courses on the history of the United States at least one lecture on Joseph Smith, the exceptional genius who came up with a new religion, the Church of Latter Day Saints, a/k/a Mormons, which has been very successful and has found tens of millions of converts in America and elsewhere.*

* This Mormon religion relates to Christianity much the same as Islam relates to Christianity and as Christianity and Islam do to Judaism.

The lecture should present Smith as an example of American creativity and innovation. No judgements need be made concerning the truth of the religion. The primary intention is that the European students should understand the essential elements both of the religion and of Smith’s narrative (and genius). Later then, on the playground and among the social and discussion circles of the students, when the topic of Islam arises, the students will be able to compare the assertions regarding Mohammed and his angel, Gabriel, with those regarding Smith and his angel, Moroni. They will then be able to spy their extraordinary similarities and then also the superiority of Smith’s story with regard to the tie-in with the earlier Christian scriptures and also, and especially, with modern science. And while it is very doubtful that Mormons will find new converts via such lecture and discussions, it is very likely that the Muslim students will begin to look more critically at the stories concerning Mohammed and Gabriel, and begin to doubt them, at least to the extent of thinking of some personal future besides martyrdom and chaos.*

* The power of this comparison is so impressive that one could almost believe that Smith’s angel, Moroni, presented it to Smith in order that some day, perhaps today, the Muslims might be awakened from their “dogmatic slumber” (Kant’s term in another regard) and take a fresh and more critical look at their religion.

See also this posting comparing Mohammed and Smith. And see especially this New York Times article concerning a Muslim shooter in Chattanooga, TN, USA, who wrote in his diary:  “Don’t be fooled by your desires; this life is short and bitter, and the opportunity to submit to allah (sic) may pass you by.”

I was especially taken by an article in The New York Times of August 15, 2015, about a girl from Mississippi (USA) who converted to the Islam of her boyfriend. One of the reasons she began to doubt her Christian teachings is because (according to her understanding) the translations of the New Testament were doubtful while the renderings of Mohammad’s Qu’ran were very secure and authenticated.* This situation is precisely trumped by Joseph Smith who, unlike the illiterate Mohammad, could read the “divine documents” (the “Golden Plates”) for  himself and could confirm their accuracy, and not have to take the word of the being Mohammed called Gabriel.

* In this particular regard the blog Jesus Without A Stenographer might be worthwhile.

It might be better for some Christian groups to produce attractive tracts (like those of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) in which there is a clear and accurate comparison of the stories of Mohammed and Joseph Smith, and to pass these out to the Muslim youth on the streets of Muslim neighborhoods.* This might be more palatable to the Europeans than including such stories in the school systems.

* It would be extremely important, of course, for such tracts to avoid any errors and unfair comparisons which, when uncovered, would cast doubt on the entire enterprise.

Author contact: pmr#$, replacing #$ with @


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March 2016

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