Augusta may soon have a mosque. Some of us will be worried, some will not care and some will choose to accept this new idea.

While I do think that the separation of church and state is a good idea, it is extremely important that we know something about all of the world’s religions. Why? So that we can know what questions to ask and know if either our fear or lack of concern seems to be sensible.

Given the news coverage about the various serious problems in countries such as Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, I think most of us are either fearful or at least confused about the violence and seeming lack of regard for life in the Islamic world. I have no idea about how many people have read the Christian Bible, but I would be willing to bet that extremely few have read anything at all from the Quran.

Each and every one of us should take just a few minutes to see what is written there. Do we understand any of it? How do we feel about what we have read? Does it change our opinion about what we read or hear in the news? Most public libraries likely have a copy (it may be spelled Koran).

After reading it, we should think about whether our acceptance or fear is reasonable. Are we liberal, a bigot or somewhere in between? Should we accept this faith? One thing I have come to realize as I think about this issue is that I don’t really know how to define a religion or if one can even evaluate one.

Peter SwartzFarmingdale

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.