Madrassas and Christian Camps

Madrassas and Christian Camps

I came across a review of a new film by Loki Films entitled, “Jesus Camp.”  It looks to be pretty much an anti-Christian film about Bible Camps.

That’s cool – hey, if they want to be the next Michael Moore, go for it.

However, the review (which you can read here) equates Christian camps for kids with Madrassas in the Islamic world.  In actuality, the reviewer makes the point that Madrassas are probably better than Christian camps because they “provide some regular education and literacy where no other option is available, they do community work that is non-religious…and they take in aimless troubled youth.”

Oh boy….  There is a lack of understanding, and there is plain stupidity, and this understanding of Madrassas definitely falls into the latter “camp.”

I have not seen the film, so I can’t comment on it.  I can comment on Maddrassas – I’ve seen them, been in them, and observed them on more than one continent.  My personal observation is in line with what PBS found when they investigate Madrassas (which you can read about here).  Are they incubators of terrorism?  I don’t know if one could say that.  I do know that they are incubators of hatred toward the West and liberal democracy.  An article entitled “The Myth of Madrassas ,” published by the New York Times (and appearing in other places as well) had led to a wholesale dismissal of the Madrassa as a contributing factor toward the anti-Western feelings among Muslims.  This is very unfortunate as it is an excellent propaganda piece that is evidently having an impact.

Why does the reviewer have a need to cheer for the Madrassas?  I can only assume that this is at least in part because he sees the Bush administration as responsible for anything bad in the world and therefore Madrassas must not be the cause for anti-Westernism.  But I digress…

What makes this review so assinine is that these Madrassas are very different from Christian camps.  He states, “They (Christian camps) want to turn the U.S. into the “Christian” version of Iran or Saudi Arabia. A theocracy.”  Wait a second… that’s the very goal of the Madrassa movement!  Madrassas implant the idea of the Umma firmly in the minds of Islamic youth.  Is this okay?  Of course it is.  Religious freedom and all… right?  Err…  does the Umma practice religious freedom…

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