Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fairness with Muslims

Fairness with Muslims
January 23rd, 2007
Recently I was sent 2 links, within as many days, on Islam.
Mission Gate Prison Ministry
BobbyDShow - U.S First War Against Islam

When dealing with Muslims, I think more than ever Catholics have to reach out with love (1 Jn 4 :7-8), ‘gentle as doves’. Yet being as ’shrewd as serpents’ (Mt. 10:16).In the Apostolic Letter on Ecumenism [DECREE ON ECUMENISM UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO] which although directed to unity of Christians, I think, of one statement that may be applied here. [The term “ecumenical movement” indicates the initiatives and activities planned and undertaken, according to the various needs of the Church and as opportunities offer, to promote Christian unity. These are: first, every effort to avoid expressions, judgments and actions which do not represent the condition of our separated brethren with truth and fairness and so make mutual relations with them more difficult; then, “dialogue” between competent experts from different Churches and Communities.]

While it is true that the Koran calls for ‘Jihad’ (2:191), it is unfair to portray all Muslims as following this advice.While there are Muslims who follow the ‘fundamentalist’ view there are many who do not. Just like there are many Christians who do not even remember that there are verses such as the following in the Bible.

Deuteronomy 13:12(13:13) “If, in any of the cities which the LORD, your God, gives you to dwell in, you hear it said 13(13:14) that certain scoundrels have sprung up among you and have led astray the inhabitants of their city to whom you have not known, 14(13:15) you must inquire carefully into the matter and investigate it thoroughly. If you find that it is true and an established fact that this abomination has been committed in your midst, 15(13:16) you shall put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, dooming the city and all life that is in it, even its cattle, to the sword. 16(13:17) Having heaped up all its spoils in the middle of its square, you shall burn the city with all its spoils as a whole burnt offering to the LORD, your God. Let it be a heap of ruins forever, never to be rebuilt. 17(13:18) You shall not retain anything that is doomed, that the blazing wrath of the LORD may die down and he may show you mercy and in his mercy for you may multiply you as he promised your fathers on oath; 18(13:19) because you have heeded the voice of the LORD, your God, keeping all his commandments which I enjoin on you today, doing what is right in his sight.

We are called, as followers of The Christ, to ’share the truth with love’ (Eph. 4:15). We are called to be more than ‘fair’ in dealing with others. In love, we can not misrepresent the Followers of Islam. However, this statement of love calls for truth, the ultimate truth of Salvation through none other than Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”


3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

For more on fairness in dealing with Muslims see my presentaion: The Bible - Koran Test