When interpreting statements and declarations issued in the Islamic world towards the West, it’s important to note how Muslims understands Islam’s role vis-a-vis Judaism and Christianity. It’s never from the position that Islam is just “one of” three great monolithic religions, that shares an equal footing.
Regardless of the statements by the followers of Mohamed that, “we believe in the same God, we honor all of the Jewish and Christian prophets and share much of the same holy texts, and consider Abraham the patriarch of all three faiths”, they do not believe however that Jews and Christians are people of …”their own books”.
In other words, all of the Hebrew prophets as well as Jesus of Nazareth practiced Islam, and that Jews and Christians are actually errant Muslims that must be allowed to regain the true path back to Islam. Any talk of “inter-religious dialogue between the three monolithic faiths” should be viewed under that rubric.
Yesterday, 130 Islamic scholars issued a decree to the Pontiff of Rome and other Christian leaders that; “there needs to be more open dialogue between the faiths”. I do not believe however, that it’s a statement for a true and honest dialogue. This latest Islamic letter offered to the leaders of Christendom must be viewed as being connected to the OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) gathering in Cordoba Spain, the Baron at the Gates of Vienna has posted on that conference here.
It could also have been issued in connection with the upcoming “Second Arab-European Dialogue on Human Rights and Terrorism” that is to take place in Copenhagen Denmark.
According to the BBC report, the letter insists that:
“It identifies the principles of accepting only one god and living in peace with one’s neighbours as common ground between the two religions. It also insists that Christians and Muslims worship the same god. “
Like I said, they do not view Christianity as a separate valid religion, but as a wayward sect, that has corrupted the ancient texts. I also deem the statement about the “living in peace” to mean that Islam in Europe is to be “protected”, in other words, allowed to thrive without any criticism being leveled at it, and definitely no pictures of Mohamed!
When it comes to worshiping the same god, Islam has its roots in paganism, stemming from the worshipping of the moon god, hence the importance of the half sickle moon, walking around the Kaaba, fasting during the month of Eid etc.. The letter goes on further to say:
“As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them – so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes,”
Well well, now we get to the heart of the letter. As long as Christendom is docile towards Islamic aggression, like during the long periods prior to the first crusades from Europe to Jerusalem, then all is well with Islamic/Christian relations. In other words, Christendom must remember the “turning of the other cheek” in regards to Islam’s encroachment, or risk damaging Muslim/Christian relations.
I believe that Pope Benedict should resend his famous letter (from a year ago) as a reponse, in which he quotes a 14th century Byzantine emperor who spoke of the Prophet Mohammad’s command to spread Islam by the sword.
“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
More here. *L* KGS