Growing up in Vancouver, I attended an Islamic school every Saturday. There, I learned that Jews cannot be trusted because they worship â€œmoolah, not Allah,â€ meaning money, not God. According to my teacher, every last Jew is consumed with business.
But looking around my neighbourhood, I noticed that most of the new business signs featured Asian languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Punjabi and plenty of Urdu. Not Hebrew. Urdu, which is spoken throughout Pakistan.
That reality check made me ask: What if my religious school is not educating me? What if it is indoctrinating me?
I am reminded of this question thanks to the news that Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses and ten other works of fiction, will be knighted by the Queen of England. On Monday, Pakistanâ€™s religious affairs minister said that in light of how Rushdie has blasphemed Islam with provocative literature, it is understandable why angry Muslims would commit suicide bombings over his knighthood.
Members of Parliament, as well as the Pakistani government, amplified the condemnation of Britain, feeding cries of offense to Muslim sensibilities from Europe to Asia.
As a Muslim, you better believe I am offended â€“ by these absurd reactions.