Someone once asked me if during the 1990 "coup" attempt in Trinidad by the "Jamat Al Muslimeen" group if I had been asked to choose between my changing my religion and death which would I have chosen? I immediately answered "death!"
It is easier to be a martyr than a saint.
Of course, when I think about it I would not want to die and leave my children behind. My dad died when I was seven years old... and I grew up ok, I guess. However, once God gives me this responsibility (children) how do I know that He would prefer me to die that take care of them.
What I know of Islam, it is a religion of dedication and love. The culture is different from the European and American cultures, so there are many who do not know, understand nor care for what it stands for.
Little is said about the great Salahudin. This was a great Arab king who was revered by the Crusaders. Oh! He was muslim. It was general knowledge at the time that European ambassadors to Ottoman Turkey would not stay more than a year. Excess time among the muslims and they would convert (willingly) to Islam. It is an attractive religious, if you give it thought.
I have many muslim friends and I would shed blood for them. I respect their faith and they respect mine. I truly believe that. They may never want to enter a church. But that's OK. I don't want to attend their Juma. We worship the same God, so why should we fight. Judgement is God's. NOT OURS! They might be better servant to God than I am... or maybe it's the other way. Only God knows.
Having said all that I did, it saddens my heart to hear that the annual inter faith meeting between the Pope and Muslim religious leaders has been cancelled due to the current issue in the middle east that the Pope has gotten himself (rightly so) involved in.
A quick synopsis is that: there was a killing of an individual for converting to Christianity in Pakistan. This led to a Muslim cleric denouncing violence. He was killed for his stand. The Pope chimed in on this and other issues, including the bombing of a Coptic church where 23 christians were killed, saying that governments of Muslim run countries are not doing enough to protect Christians from opression. Now there is a huge firestorm of muslim leaders who are saying that the Pope should stay our of their internal politics.
I support the Pope in denouncing violence, and I thank God that we in the Caribbean do not face such troubles and issues.
For those who wish to know about current opression of Christians worldwide check out OPENDOORS.ORG.