There is a trial going on down at Gitmo, putting on trial those who were responsible for planning the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings September 11, 2001. The female lawyer who is defending one of the men showed up in court the other day dressed like a Muslim woman, which she is not. She has asked the judge to declare that every woman who shows up in court be dressed the same way, "out of respect for my client's religious beliefs." She believes that her client should not have to betray his religious beliefs by seeing a woman dressed the way American women usually dress.
This brings up an on-going argument about the disparity between our views of eternity and those of the radical Muslims. We do share one truth, that is we are all going to experience an afterlife. In the view of the radical Muslim, God will be running a brothel for them, placing at their disposal 72 virgins. It is this viewpoint that encourages their radical activity. They feel they will be rewarded by having at their disposal 72 previously untouched women, presumably for the pleasure of these men.
This is the religious view we are asked to respect. This and the arcane demand that women in this life dress so modestly as to never allow any part of their flesh to be seen, from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet. To accomplish this they dress in what is called a burqua.
Now, I have no problem respecting anyone else's religion, no matter how out there it may be. However, in respecting their religion I am not required to adopt it. Women dressing as the defendant's attorney has requested would be tantamount to adopting the religion of these radicals, which goes way beyond respecting them.
I have a different view of the eternal afterlife than my Muslim counterparts. I expect them to respect my view, but I will not be surprised nor offended if they do not adopt it as their own. If their idea of heaven is a 72-girl playpen, that is their business. It is not my view and never will be. The fact that they believe such a thing is not a product of their religion, but of those who teach their religion. Apparently, Muslims place a lot of faith in those who preach and teach in their holy places. Much more so than Christians do, it appears. Some radical religious teacher came up with the 72-virgin idea as a means of encouraging young men to blow themselves up in public places, taking as many "infidels" as possible with them to the eternal life.
If the idea of playing with 72 women for eternity appeals to these young men, so be it. My idea of eternity is something different. I respect their idea, but reject it for myself. I will not be adopting any tenet of the Muslim religion as my own.
Respect? Yes! Adopt? No.