Do you have to die in the same religion that you were born into?

Yesterday I was invited to an award distribution program. Mother Teresa awards. This year the theme was combating Terrorism through Education.

Many erudite, well-educated Muslims including the former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Syed Ata Husain Lt General, and the mother of a teenager who was killed by terrorists in Dhaka for standing by his friends and refusing to recite the Koran which his mother had taught him since childhood. Another lady who was in the AAP and now is in the BJP also came.

What surprised and disappointed me was the recurring theme of their statements: Terrorism is not Islam. Islam is peace. The tendency to blame others for terrorism.

For example, both the former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Dr Farooq Abdullah mentioned the US and Right wing Hindu parties respectively for creating terrorism in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Trying to shift the blame to others and outsiders is, to me, a sign of immaturity.

If you are born a Muslim, you will go to great lengths to try to deceive yourself and others that it is a religion of peace, and that Islam means peace.  But what is the truth?

Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, and means “submission” or “surrender”. Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, and means “one who submits” or “one who surrenders”.

Religion denies you the free will to choose.

All religions in the world deny its adherents the freedom to choose other faiths. All religions. Except one, but I will talk about that later.

A cup full of black ink kept on a table would resemble any other cup of tea, until it is shaken. Then what comes out tells us what was within.

The former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai said that it was the US who in their pursuit of national interest [To combat Communist Russia] created terrorists. He also mentioned that the US did the same in Chile and Czechoslovakia. But one wonders why terrorist organizations only sprung up in states with an Islamic worldview and nowhere else.

Freedom to choose can come only in a loving relationship. A relationship born out of unconditional love.

The test of true religion is this: Does it force its adherents to follow and defend and justify it despite all evidence to the contrary?

Islam demands surrender to its ideology, and anyone who dares to question it is silenced or killed.

My question then is, to all well-educated Muslims and people of other faiths out there: You were born as a human being. You were born into a family that has followed a particular religion, may be for years, decades or a few centuries.

Does that mean that you should live and die in the same religion? Don’t you have a freedom to choose for yourself and find the truth for yourself? Do you not have that basic freedom?

The loving God who created you and me, never forces his will on us because it is He who has given free will to human beings, and he alone knows the value of it. The Creator God knows and respects free will.

The enemy is the one who hates free will. Who creates a religion that demands submission at any cost.  And who makes its adherents, howsoever well-educated they may be, to try to justify it. Like I saw yesterday at the Mother Teresa awards ceremony held at the J W Marriott in Mumbai.

Then you may well ask, is it not true for all religions or faiths or even for atheism?

No! There is one way of life that never forces its beliefs. A child born into a Christian family [or for that matter any family] is not a Christian unless he, after attaining the age of understanding, willingly makes that choice and repents of his sin, believes in the atoning and substitutionary sacrifice of the sinless Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Jesus Christ defeated sin and death with the most powerful weapon, unconditional love. The Loving God entered our world, our dimension, to show humanity His love. His Grace.

So, my challenge to people of faith, or lack of faith, who have read through all this is simple: are you ready to face whatever it is that you are afraid of facing, whatever obstacles that you know lie ahead, to dare to find the truth? Because God your Creator has promised in His word, that to the one who seeks Him with a genuine heart, He will reveal Himself. And to the one who overcomes, there awaits a crown of life and joy everlasting.

It is your choice dear reader. I pray that you think carefully and consider your ways. All the best!



Published by Dr. S. P. Mathew

A Mumbai-based practising Physician, passionate about God's wonderful creation, fitness, and integral health, writer, activist and family man. Saved by God's Grace alone :-) to be his Ambassador.

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