Missionaries of Charity home for handicapped children, Baghdad
This Washington Post story (thanks to Mrs. Obelix) about Christian missionaries in Iraq is much concerned about the hazards and methods used by the missionaries to proselytize in a country where (in a remarkable admission for the Post) “outbreaks of violence in the name of Islam [are] occurring on an almost daily basis.”
But what is most remarkable is a remark made by an Iraqi toward the end of the article:
Zainab Badran, 36, a pharmacist, said one missionary gave him a Bible.
Although he has no intention of converting from Islam to Christianity, he read it out of curiosity and said it was nice to learn about other religions. He believes Christian aid workers should be more open about their aims.
“I can hear their thoughts and this won’t harm me,” he said. “I can accept them or refuse.”
Of course, this is just one individual with no political power or infuence, but nonetheless, he has expressed here an anti-Sharia, anti-dhimmitude perspective: this man thinks he can hear a religious message and accept or reject it! In other words, he doesn’t have to have the power of the state stamping out the message and forbidding it to be preached. This is an attitude that comes from assumptions about freedom of conscience and human dignity that have nothing to do with Sharia. I take it, this sunny morning in Secure Undisclosed Locationville, as a small sign of hope.