Monday, September 7, 2009

Mohamed's Moon 2: Good points

Time for the good points of Keith Clemons's Mohamed's Moon.

Culture. Muslim culture, that is. Clemons does a good job explicating the Muslim viewpoint for Americans, and he's not altogether unsympathetic in some cases. American degeneracy is a major excuse for extremists, and though it's exaggerated in the media, Christians share the Muslims' concerns if not their solution.

Balance. I was bothered at first by the statistical improbability of all the Muslim terrorists: most Muslims are at most sympathetic to terrorists. Yet Clemons makes this point himself as the story progresses; if anything, his average Muslims are less supportive of terror than real-world models suggest. Still, it's helpful to counterbalance the "Muslim = terrorist" idea that Christians can pick up.

Mohamed. The would-be terrorist is a surprisingly sympathetic character, though initially somewhat odious, and his development pretty much is the story. Although Matthew and Layla do have their own sections, it's Mohamed who gets the larger and more memorable parts, which is as it should be: he's really the strongest character.

Reality check. One feature that I did not like but admit is likely true involves Christians in Muslim lands. Clemons doesn't portray them as super-saints; they flee a lot, and they may decide to hole up and save their own necks now and then instead of doing the heroic thing. I prefer giving role models, but Clemons's picture is quite probable, annoying as I find it.

Tune in tomorrow for the weak points of Mohamed's Moon.

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cathikin said...

Because of my own very close relationships with many Muslim Arabs over the years, I find myself in agreement with much of what Keith portrays in this story. Of course, like any story, it begs the question sometimes, but not much. I have been amazed, though, by just how much otherwise intelligent and rational people were influenced by the propaganda spread by anti-Western sources. On the other hand, I've been amazed by how some Americans can be influenced by certain propaganda as well, whether it be propaganda on the 'right' or on the 'left.'

This book strikes a major chord with me because of my own experiences with Muslims in particular.

David said...

I thought your "Reality Check" was significant. We are taught to stand up for what is right, to do the courageous thing, at least so far as Christianity is concerned. However, at the present time no one has a gun pointed to our head, no one is threatening to burn down our homes and our churches. While standing up for what is right, as the apostles and early Christians did, may be right, we have grown too soft in our Christianity. When things get uncomfortable, we look for a way to get comfortable again. I can't see how this is any different than the Christians in Muslim lands. If anything it's worse, because we really don't have an excuse. People who are just learning about Jesus and are threatened with death, well, I for one pray they will remain strong. When they run and hide, I will pray for them, and hope they would do the same for me.

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