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Matthew, Mohammed & Micah: Children’s Story Confronts Misconceptions about Islam, Christianity and Judaism
by Ty Mc Naulty Monday, November 09, 2009
WOODLAND HILLS, CA. Nov. 9: As the holidays approach, millions of Americans eagerly anticipate Christmas, Hanukkah and Eid al-Adha. Eighty-five percent claim Christianity as their faith, 5% Islam and 5% Judaism. Outside of their own faith, few understand the what, how or why of their neighbor’s traditions.
The story Matthew, Mohammed and Micah, featured in the newly released Storybook Advent Calendar by Lewis Brech, (Laura Lewis and Michael Brech), bridges the three faiths by delving into the beliefs, traditions and celebrations within Christianity, Islam and Judaism this December.
“Since age ten,” Miss Lewis begins, “I’ve been asking my pastors, ‘if Christians, Jews and Muslims all share the first five books of the Old Testament, why don’t we celebrate the same religious holidays?’ I never got an answer; so I researched it. This story is the result.”
The story follows three 14-year old American boys: Matthew a Christian, Mohammed a Muslim and Micah who is Jewish as they walk home from school. Speaking about the holidays, the boys learn why each celebrates his holiday, how they’re similar and what makes them different. The book and its two companion music albums of classic American and British Christmas carols were developed to be educational as well as fund raising vehicles for non-profits. Matthew, Mohammed and Micah is one the book’s of seven original stories.
Those who have previewed or purchased the book often applaud and note the importance of this story. Elementary school teacher Ally Williams of Spokane, Washington sums up the responses: “The Storybook Advent Calendar reminds adults and teaches children the roots of the holiday. Stories flow with a wonderful mix of new and old. From classics like The Matchstick Girl to timeless treasures such as The Three Trees, this collection will promote important conversations between parents and children, including the addition of an original story teaching how the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths relate to each other and have more in common than not.”
Because of her work in the Middle East, critics have accused Lewis of having a political agenda with this story. The author emphatically rejects this assertion.
“My purpose in writing the story Matthew, Mohammed and Micah was curiosity,” she replies. “Thirty-one million people in the US are celebrating something other than Christmas. Yet most Americans can’t tell you what or why Muslims follow Christ and revere the Virgin Mary, but don’t celebrate Christmas like we do. Hanukkah and Eid al-Adha are festivals marking Old Testament events, why don’t Christians celebrate these too? Matthew, Mohammed and Micah tells you why.”
Asked what she hopes to accomplish with the book and story, Lewis responds, “Originally, I wanted to help non-profits raise funds to help people who are jobless, hungry, homeless and scared. 50% of the net proceeds go to the participating non-profits. All they have to do is sign up as an affiliate and they’re good to go. That is why I chose this method of distribution and why we’ve kept the book and CDs digital,” she replies before adding with concern.
“However, after the shooting at Fort Hood past week, I’m becoming increasingly alarmed. The doctor’s actions in Killeen are no more a part of Islam than Baruch Goldstein’s 1994 massacre in Hebron was a part of the Jewish faith; or James Oliver Huberty’s 1984 McDonalds massacre a part of Christianity. All three faiths strongly condemn the killing of the innocent. To believe otherwise displays an inordinately inflamed ignorance. The only people benefiting from ignorance are those profiting from it. Everyone else loses. It’s time to reverse that ignorance. The story Matthew, Mohammed and Micah begins that process by replacing fear and misconception with fact and common ground.”
The Storybook Advent Calendar features 24-short stories and poems designed to be read each night of Advent, (December 1-24). Non-profits can sign up to use the book and the book can be purchased, downloaded and printed at www.StorybookAdvent.com . It’s also available through Amazon and other online retailers.
ABOUT STORYBOOK ADVENT CALENDAR & CAROLS COLLECTION
The Storybook Advent Calendar™ and Storybook Carols Collections are created as turn-key fundraising vehicles, leveraging digital distribution and affiliate programs, for charities and non-profits. The book is a fully illustrated children’s book of 24-stories by American Laura D Lewis and English musician, songwriter and composer Michael Brech. The book’s themes follow various core beliefs in Christianity including The Beatitudes, (Blessed are the Peacemaker etc…), 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 aka ‘The love passages’, (Love is faithful, love is kind…) and Matthew 25, (that which you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto Me). The team also performs and produced the Storybook Advent Carols Collections™, two albums featuring classic Christmas carols: volume one American classics and volume two British classics.
About the Authors: Los Angeles based Laura D Lewis is the author of the Laid Off Now What?!? Surviving Unemployment series, a recognized expert/writer on Middle Eastern culture/history and the founder of online relationship site Couples Company, Inc. Brech is a 35 year veteran composer, musician and songwriter based near Exeter, England.
Contact: Ty McNaulty,
Storybook Advent, Couples Company, Inc.
Day or night: 310-717-6896
High resolution and web resolution art available for the individual stories, storybook and CDs
Digital promotional copies of the children’s book and both music albums available upon request.
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