As Christians look forward to celebrating Christ's birth we need to bear
in mind five topics pertaining to Christmas that afford a wonderful
opportunity to engage our Muslim neighbors in seasoned-with-salt
conversation. One topic is the star that caused the eastern wise men
to search for the new born King of the Jews. You may ask, "Why did they
believe a star indicated the birth of a king?" One clue to answering
this is an oracle by a Gentile seer named Balaam as recorded in
the Torah (Numbers 24:17). Another clue is the prophet Daniel
(Arabic: دانيال, Daniyal) who was chief of the wise men and astrologers
in the kingdom of Babylon. Being a devout Jew he probably knew
Balaam's prophecy and passed on this knowledge. Five hundred years
later, when the star of Bethlehem appeared, some magi (astrologers)
from the east concluded that a king was born in Israel.
Considering the hew and cry we keep hearing about Islamophobia,
it is amazing to read how a Christian went up to a Muslim stranger
and offered to give him a hug. But what's even more incredible is
seeing how he responded!
Considering the many resurgent Jihadist Muslim groups around the
world who are tarnishing the image of Islam as a "religion of peace",
it was no surprise that international media giants were keen to report
the story of Salah Farah, a heroic "Muslim" who risked his life shielding
Christians from Al Shabab terrorists. But will these broadcasters (CNN,
BBC & Al Jazeera) correct the mis-impression they gave their viewers
by telling the real story behind the story, as they like to pride
themselves for doing? Will they tell the real story now that overwhelming evidence has come to light showing why Salah was so brave?
The only narrative we have heard in our schools about slavery concerns the 'Atlantic Slave trade', reminding us of the millions who were taken by force, over a period of 400 years, from Western Africa to the Americas (North and South America), to work against their will, and whose progeny number in the millions today. There is, however, another side to the story that is rarely told.
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