I shall present to you my point of view on the basis of my experience in dealing and talking with people from different ages, cultures and places.
I shall begin with a question to make it easier to understand my point of view even if I failed to present it accurately
What is the difference between Khaled Said and Mina Danial?
Why is the first a Muslim and the second a Christian?
How and why was the first named Khaled and the second Mina?
Both of them were born not believing in anything specific, neither books, nor prophets nor messengers. That is the basic human instinct.
Here begins the first role of the parents and family. They are the ones that draw the first lines on that white paper (the child). They are the ones that form the concepts, the visions, the divine, the profane, the religious stories etc, to all the other religious, social and cultural concepts and ideas.
The child here is a mere brain that receives information and data and stores them, and from there develop his ideas, visions and beliefs.
Then comes the second and third roles. The roles of the worship places, the religious TV channels, then school, Friday lessons in mosques and Sunday schools in churches and religion lessons at school.
It is then that the child begins to realize that there are other children that differ from him in their belief and view of the world. He begins to listen to different stories, visions and beliefs he does not know and he begins asking. And it is then that the first actors (the parents) and the second and third provide more ideas, deeper ideas to prove the correctness of their belief and that he is the one in the right and those who differ in the wrong or misguided etc.
Not only that. They tell him that others do not understand or understand things wrongly or that whoever differs from our beliefs and customs will go to hell (eternal torture) and that the others are heretics, misguided or that their books have been distorted, etc.
The mind then unconsciously begins to distort every belief that is different to one’s own. Even if that person tries to read or research those beliefs and cusoms he will not be easily able to do so because of the distortion he suffered to his mind. Here I agree with the notion that “First impressions last”. It is thereby that family creates a human being with limited mentality and imagination. Exactly like a person who has never left his room and believes that his room is the best and most beautiful although he has never seen anything else. Not only that. This person tends to see anything different from that room as ugly and resists even its reorganization or change in any way.
Here I recall scientist “Hepathia” the last scientist and philosopher in the Egyptian Hellenic civilization:
It is therefore that I am not surprised when some Muslims ask me, since my name, the religion I was indoctrinated with a child and the one written in my ID and all my official papers indicate that I am a Christian:
That the priest or chaplain sleep with the bride before her husband does.
That lights are put off in Christmas to allow some time for “fun”, indecent behavior.
That Christians torture the children by immersing them into water and reading some verse to turn them into Christians
That Christians know that their books have been distorted and that the Muslim religion and proper are the only truth.
I therefore wonder whether this person is a real believer or a mere mutation of one.
I hope that I was able to present my point of view regarding how the instinct is shaped and why one is a Muslim or a Christian or otherwise. And how the beliefs have been shaped.
Someone told me once: a human being is instinctively born a Muslim. So I asked: Is he born Sunni, or Shiite, or Wahabist, or Soufi, or Moatazala or Bahaii or Quranic… etc? Does he consider the Niqab or the veil a duty or a tradition? And what about all the other controversial issues.
On this occasion I wish to pose a question:
If I were in china for example, born to Buddhist parents, would you then by a Muslim or a Christian or ……?