THE EASTERN RELIGIONS
Hinduism isn't a religion in the proper sense of the word. By its very nature, it contains all forms of religiousness. However, the word 'Hindu' makes me think of India in the first place,
with its holy cows and its vegetarism.
Like the Hindu, I think we'd better leave the cows in peace instead of slaughtering them. But I don't like the system of castes. In this system, a brahman isn't allowed to mix with the untouchable.
This leads to discrimination.
About Buddhism I read in the encyclopedia: "All existence is suffering. This suffering originates in the desire of earthly things. To escape the eternal cycle of rebirths, we must strive after the annihilation of this desire. Then we attain to complete rest." So this rest is something quite different than our heaven: because Christian doctrine teaches we will see God in heaven.
When they were still little, my children used to sneer at my "moslem caps" whenever I drew a cap over my ears in winter. As a matter of fact, the elder Dutch male Moslems use to wear jackets and
caps from recycling shops, as I do myself. We don't do this mainly because we lack money. Just like me, Islam is clearly against dissipation of earthly resources. Giving alms to the poor is one of the
five obligations in Islam. In this religion, speculation with money is forbidden. Alcohol and non-halal food are evil. Moslems observe Ramadan better than we observe Lent. I sympathize with the Islamites when they take
offence at the dissipation and greed that pass all bounds in the United States. Of course, most Islamites will agree with me that this indignation should not end up in terrorism.
Here we touch a sore point. Islamites think too often that Allah requires they should punish the 'unbelievers'. They find this requirement in their holy book, the Koran. This ends up in terrorism too often. Islamic laws stress retaliation too much: 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'.
Islam does consider Jesus one of the great prophets. But they don't believe that this Lamb is the most important Way in which God reveals Himself.