The Satellite Sheik "Ahmad al-Shugairi" - On Fundamentalism

Although he claims to not be a sheik, Ahmad al-Shugairi teaches religion over the Arab networks. His show attempts to express moderate Islamic views to the fundamentalist culture in the Middle East. The glimpse that he gives us into the struggle between the moderate and fundamentalist Muslims sounds very similar to the struggle within Christianity.

For his fifth season, all of the episodes have been filmed in Japan. He wants to show the Arab world that the Japanese "are implementing a lot of the things that we are just preaching." He claims that the Muslim culture focuses only on "alcohol and sexual issues." If they abstain from impropriety in those two areas, then they think they think are right with Allah. Beyond that, they are not focusing on the teachings of Islam. It sounds a lot like the problem facing many American Christians. Focus on a few true points and lift those up to the place where your adherence to them makes you presume you are right with God. Forget that God desires your whole heart and not just a handful of actions and abstentions.

Here is a portion of the On The Media interview between Brooke Gladstone and Ahmad al-Shugairi:
I'm just trying to make the Arab world feel jealous from the Japanese streets. I mean, I ask the Arab world, if the Prophet Muhammad came today, who will he see implementing his teachings more, the Japanese or the Muslim world? A big question mark.

And I say that, by the way, also about the U.S. Most of the prophetic teachings are practiced in the U.S. much more than they are in the Islamic world. Our problem is we focus on two major things and we just shove everything else aside. We focus on alcohol and sexual issues.

So we see the U.S. — they're open in these two arenas, so we say we're better than them because we don't have those. However, we forget that these are two out of a hundred. Barack Obama’s presidency is a great implementation of a human virtue that Prophet Muhammad and Jesus before him promoted, which is all humans are created equal.

When you see an African American leading the most powerful country in the world, out of election, not out of force, and this cannot be implemented anywhere else in the world, anywhere else, this needs to be acknowledged.
This made me examine myself, the church I am in, and Christianity as a whole. Are we living out the gospel more than those who do not even claim to be part of Jesus' Kingdom? Do we just cling to a few practices, albeit true practices, and claim that those practices or abstentions make us right with God? Do we preach doctrines so often that they become hollow and meaningless? Are we living out life as the body of Christ here and now; are we Jesus' hands and feet in this world?