I was born to a Indian Bangladeshi Sunni Muslim family and had been raised a muslim. My mother was a very “moderate” muslim girl who wore western outfits back in the 70’s! My father and mother actually dated for 6 months before they got married. That was really something being in a muslim country called Bangladesh in the 70’s – ask anyone from that place and time.
There were no “restrictions” placed in my childhood as was done so in the middle eastern nations particularly Saudi Arabia. Also me being a boy was not subjugated to restrictions of any kind. I was allowed to watch American cartoons, sitcoms and movies – very popular in Bangladesh in the 80’s. I was allowed to read DC, MARVEL and Tintin comic books from which I learned more than I did reading school books!
My grandmother was a very strict follower of Islam (as were many at her age that time). She would memorize each and every Arabic tales of the Islamic origin and would narrate them to me as if she was narrating Fairy Tales. I being a very young and curious boy would always get hooked to her way of telling the tales and the tales itself. There was a tale in which my grandmother stated that since we were born muslim we will go to heaven (eventually) but those who are not will go straight to hell! Now I had to stop her there and ask “why” since I had a hindu math teacher I was fond of at that time and also I liked non-muslim pretty blonde girls for reasons I can’t explain – even now.
When I did ask the question she replied “it is a sin to ask such a thing” and stopped me right there, but I wasn’t convinced or giving up at all so I asked again and added “what if a hindu guy is good and honest? he still goes to hell?” – her reply would be “yes! because he does not believe or bow down to Allah!”.
Now that made no sense as all specially when I had muslim classmates who would lie to my face and cheat in exams, yet they are bound for heaven. Something didn’t make sense. So I asked my mother the next day whether what grandma stated was true or not? Of course she had the same answer as she was also taught by her mother and father the same ideology as was their mother and father did ti them. She also added “son, they don’t wipe or clean themselves properly after they have been to the bathroom, so that makes them unclean. And unclean people cannot enter paradise!”
It still made so sense what so ever. How can this be? how can a person be judged by what they believe in and not what deeds they perform? Is that the reason why some muslim would cheat in business, dupe their business customers and lie about things to friends & families just to pray later to ask for resolution from God?
Then she would tell tales of how muslim woman are not suppose to let strangers (including male in-laws) see a single strand of her hair otherwise she would be subjected to punishment (burning and frying in hell fire, resurrect and then burn again) according to the number of hair that she has shown on her body to a male stranger! That is why the Saudi woman cover up in black burqa’a and wear black gloves as some of them have body hair on their hands. The eyelashes are considered as hair also but they need to see where they are going so the eyes are allowed to be shown – although Afghani women cover their eyes too.
Then were those mosque prayer visits with my father. The sermons delivered at the mosques would contain “hate speech” against the jews. Do not trust a jew, do not go to partnership with a jew and do not make friends with a jew for he will “back stab” you the instance he gets the chance. That according to the Imam (sermon deliverer) were the words of the Prophet and the Quran.
As I reached my teen years I made a hindu friend. He was isolated because of his religion by the muslim classmates. I did not feel pity for him, but what made us best friends was that we both liked drawing cartoon characters and he was very good in drawing. He was a good friend of mine and so was a muslim. But the muslim friend would always remind me that I am friends with a non-believer (hindu infidel) and that he is bound for hell. Also my hindu friend might take me to hell with him – I was told to be very careful.
That was the 70’s,80’s & the 90’s.This is 2016. The world is witnessing the emergence of a flawed belief that only muslim will go to heaven. Only muslim are to live a life under the Quranic Law (Shariah) and non-believers have no place on heaven or on earth. According to that ideology all non-muslim have to convert in order to please Allah or face the consequences.
Saudi Arabia is a muslim nation. It is also known as the birthplace of Islam. Home of Wahhabism which is the same ideology as of ISIS.