Muslims, the Jesus (PBUH) freaks??? (v2)
by Dr. Laurence B. Brown, a graduate of Cornell University, Brown Medical School, and George Washington University Hospital residency program, is an ophthalmic surgeon, specializing in cataract and refractive surgery. Dr. Brown served as a respected ophthalmologist in the U.S. Air Force for a period of eight years. Following a personal ordeal involving his daughter, Dr. Brown redirected his focus to religious study, including his conversion to Islam in April of 1994. The results of his study are outlined in his non-fiction books.
When I was a child, growing up in the sixties and seventies just a few blocks away from the notorious Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, I was surrounded by the hippie movement. It was a “turn on, tune in, drop out” age of sexual freedom, cultural revolution and social recklessness.
Happily, I was never caught up in the hippie movement, but being so close to it, I could not help but observe its development. One thing I clearly remember is how many hippies were labeled “Jesus freaks.” As I surf my childhood memories, nearly four decades later, this euphemism strikes me as having been decidedly peculiar. These hippies were considered “Jesus freaks” because they dressed as Jesus did, grew their hair as he did, renounced materialism as he did, and propagated devotion to God, peace, charity and communal love.
Now, many whom embarked upon this path fell into hallucinogenic drug use and wanton sexual proclivities—practices which are far from the example of Jesus—but this is not why these hippies were called Jesus freaks. Rather, they were called Jesus freaks for their long hair, loose clothing, asceticism, communal unity and passivism, all a result of their effort to live like Jesus. The House of Love and Prayer, located nearby in the avenues, was a collecting point for many of these well-meaning souls, and the title of the institution reflected their focus in life.
Looking back, what seems strange to me now is not that people would wish to embody Jesus’ values, but that others would criticize them for it. What seems even stranger is that few Christians, in the modern day, match this profile. Indeed, what seemed most strange to me, prior to my conversion to Islam, is that Muslims seemed to embody Jesus’ values better than Christians.
Now, that assertion requires an explanation, and it goes like this: To begin with, both Christianity and Islam consider Jesus to have been a prophet of their religion. However, whereas Jesus’ teachings have been lost from the creed and practices of most Christians (see my article, Where is the “Christ” in “Christianity?”), these same teachings are respected and evident in Islam.
To be continued.....