Good day to you all and especially to exwa as the de facto "leader" of the board.Before I begin my question I need to introduce myself.I am a British expat living and working in the Middle East. In total I have spent nearly 15 years working in a Muslim society. I sit next door to a Palestinian and have done for 7 years. My job requires us doing business and meeting with a whole swathe of Arab nationals, including Syrians, Palestinians,Egyptians, Saudi's, Kuwaiti's,Iranians, Omani's, Qatari's, Yemeni's and apologies to any I have missed out.All of course are Muslim and all are traders in commerce. They are not "political" nor rulers, they are of the "street" rather than the "palaces" and give me a very wide education upon Muslim views of current events within a Muslim setting.I am sure Muslim's in a Western nation can accept life is very different for a Muslim living within a Muslim country than it ever is for a Muslim in a non-Muslim Country.I post regularly on several boards in Fooldom and participate in a "pub" forum called Land of Sisu where every subject under the sun is discussed. This board was set up from the Nokia board as an aftermath of 9/11 where we felt we needed a different forum to the Business of Nokia as we had a lot of members wanting to learn more about what had led to 9/11.I should also state that amongst them I am the one most vociferously anti-Islam in the way it is being practiced in several countries in the Arab World and elsewhere.I stress this last sentence to differentiate it between the way Islam is supposed to be practiced in order I place personal distance between my views and those of someone like StorminNorman who was previously on this board.My question or dilemna is this. If Islam is a fundamentally tolerant faith why as a Christian can I not worship in a Church in Saudi Arabia, the keeper of the holy shrines?I am not interested to hear other Muslims go tsk'tsk Saudi Arabia, I would like to hear from a Muslim how he or she squares the circle of Muslim's in any Western country they would care to name are allowed and protected by laws to practice their faith in "Christian" countries yet we as Christians are not allowed that in the home of their Faith.How when we have a Mosque in the Vatican can fellow Muslims allow Saudi Arabia to "desecrate" their religion by banning Churches in the country that is home to 2 of the 3 holiest sites of their faith.It is especially relevant when every Muslim is obligated by their religion to visit Mecca and Medina at least once in their lifetime so no Muslim can ignore Saudi Arabia or the way they practice and protect the name of Islam.I have other questions but would welcome comments on this subject first.Although I do have very defined views I hope anyone here who is a Muslim would take up the debate in order a wider audience may see disparate views and argumnents aired in a civil manner, after all we cannot hit each other in a virtual World.RegardsCaesium
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