The New Yorker “Culture Desk” printed an article titled “How Muslims View Easter” by Rollo Romig on Friday. It’s an interesting article, although it could definitely be better. The author barely even really addresses how Muslims view Easter. He does mention a variety of theories scholars of Islam posit to explain what supposedly happened to Jesus – was he crucified, was someone else crucified, etc. I was actually hoping for an idea of what Muslims think of Easter itself – the celebration of Jesus’s supposed resurrection.
Zombie Jesus Day has always seemed a little silly to me. I know it is a very holy day for devout Christians, but the celebration we have today, in the US at least, seems to resemble a spring equinox or fertility celebration rather than a Christian holiday. I hardly see how anything my family does on Easter relates to a man rising from the dead after sacrificing himself to save humankind (or something like that).
I’m rather curious to know the actual opinions of Muslims about the holiday itself and how it is celebrated. We’re talking about a major religion in which people actually fast for a month of every year. It would seem extremely reasonable to me for Muslims to see the popular celebration of Easter as contemptible considering the oft apparent devotion present in Islam.
I found the comments on the article rather intriguing. Here’s a sampling:
The top comment responds to the one below it. Apparently Qasembarrettobis didn’t read the article. I’m glad someone pointed out the error of his criticism.
I understand the point of the next comment, but I think nmoghul1 is being a bit silly. I think it’s pretty clear from the article that Jesus is not viewed as a savior in Islam. Maybe that’s just my educated brain talking. I am curious as to the religion of nmoghul1. The last sentence seems to suggest greater personal accountability than certain branches of Christianity have, “on the day of Judgment, each of us shall be called to account for our own actions,” so perhaps they are Muslim?
The third comment I’ve included: “I assume most are aware that Islam and Christianity have nothing of substance in common,” if they are aware of that, then they’re aware of a very oddly incorrect thing. Islam and Christianity share much of substance, just like Judaism and Christianity do. Simply being an Abrahamic religion means they share substance. Both are monotheistic – both believe in the divine and a single god. Both religions, as described in the article, share many prophets…er, characters? Jesus included. Both have contradictions. I could keep going, but I won’t. Certainly they’re different religions, but I don’t think you can say they “have nothing of substance in common.” As for their comment about not taking the “he’s not God” thing as an insult, a lot of people do take it as an insult. A lot of Christians do – I’ve both spoken to these people and read a lot about them.
The irreverence of this last comment (below) is quite funny. They deliberately choose not to use the word “holy” to describe the religious texts of Islam. I have no idea if this person is Christian or atheist or something else entirely. My biased opinion is that they are a Christian. If they only demonstrated Islamaphobia, I wouldn’t think so, but they also demonstrate a particular respect for Jesus. Then there’s the whole, “delema of facts” comment – most atheists are skeptical enough not to refer to religious anecdotes as concerning outright facts. Also, a lot of us are tech savvy enough to do some sort of spell check on our comments. Anyway, damagedgoods seems to ignore the diplomatic tendencies of the article and seems to lean toward extreme intolerance. Instead of seeing the article as an attempt to bridge a culture gap and encourage tolerance or even acceptance, damagedgoods sees it as full of lies and deceit. It’s not nearly as sinister as he or she paints it.
Look! A panda puppy. Uh, that’ll make sense when you click on the link.