Interfaith Dialogue: Increasing Understanding or Compromising Faith?

There is one tenet of the Christian faith that is foundational: Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is God, just as the Holy Spirit is God.  This concept of a triune being is commonly known among Christians as the Trinity.  Deny the divinity of Jesus, and you simply aren't a Christian.

The divinity of Jesus is the linchpin of the faith.  If Jesus were merely a man, then His sacrifice on the Cross is simply another in a long list of Roman crucifixions rather than a propitiation for the sins of all humanity, past and future.

Consequently, it is this tenet of Christianity that is routinely assaulted by non-believers, some followers of other religions, and, dare I say, Satan himself.  Strip Christ of His divinity, and you turn the world's largest religion into something like a fraternal order, a cross between the Elks and Kiwanis.

It should come as no surprise, then, that among Islamic apologists, the divinity of Christ is a heresy offensive to Allah.  You see, if Jesus is divine, then Allah and the God of Abraham cannot be one and the same.

"There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things," said Mohammed, as he laid out the proper form of remembrance for Muslims to follow.

Throughout the Koran, the point is made repeatedly that "God has no partner, no associate."

When Mohammed began his religion, Christianity was widespread and already several centuries old.  Christian worship had established itself as the gold standard of the age, with the Acts of the Apostles well-known and frequently retold.

The divinity of Jesus posed a problem for the fledgling ideology/religion/political system of Islam, in that an acknowledgment of Jesus as God would render Islam little more than another apocryphal interpretation of Christianity (many of which had already sprouted and withered by the time of Mohammed). 

For Islam to stand on its own as a religion, with Mohammed as the prophet of Allah, Jesus had to be "demoted" from Son of God to prophet of God – the same level as Mohammed.

Islamists (defined as those who seek the supremacy of Islam over other religions and governments) reflexively claim to be followers of the same God as Jews and Christians whenever challenged on their aims of domination.  Yet the Koran itself puts the lie to such claims when the nature of Allah is described repeatedly as wholly singular.

Do Muslims believe we worship the same God?  Perhaps, but the contrasts between Allah and the God of Abraham are too stark to ignore.  The Christian God commands us to love one another regardless of faith.  Allah requires his followers to kill those who do not submit to Islam.  There are myriad contrasts equally jarring, but there's no reason to go into all of them here.

Either God and Allah are different beings, or both God and Allah are schizophrenic deities incapable of maintaining even a modicum of consistency.  I would expect that neither Christians nor Muslims would find themselves comfortable with the latter description.

In recent years, "interfaith dialogue" has become the buzzword of choice for the kumbaya crowd in both Christian and Jewish circles.  Unable or unwilling to fully grasp the reality that "the nice fellow down the street" follows a religion that requires the murder of those who seek to leave it, these well-meaning folk have sought to do what well-meaning folk have always done: to foster understanding among reasonable people.

This inclination would be laudable were it not for the nature of Islam, a thoroughgoing machine of subjugation and intolerance.  When the central tenets of a religion call for the subjugation or murder of every other person on the planet, then one might be forgiven for healthy skepticism regarding offers of interfaith dialogue from the devout adherents of said religion.

Unfortunately for liberals everywhere, tolerance of intolerance doesn't lead to understanding, but instead emboldens the intolerant to trample yet farther into the vineyards of the innocent, destroying any chance of a fruitful harvest.

The interfaith movement has its origins in Islamic dawa, or what is sometimes called civilizational jihad.  Through immigration, high birth rates, and taqiyya (lying for the benefit of Islam), Islamists intend to increase their numbers among the Western democracies until they are capable of overturning secular law in favor of sharia law. 

The dangers of irredentist Islam are so obvious that nothing short of relentless propaganda can hide them.  It's like the poor soul with terrible acne: despite the heavy makeup, you can still see the zits, but with every additional layer, they at least appear less red and angry.  So it is with Islam. 

The interfaith movement provides another major benefit to Islamists.  Their well-meaning Christian and Jewish partners feel compelled to defend their Muslim counterparts against any perceived injustice, which results in derailing any scrutiny whatsoever, as the Islamists hide their hand and play the victim card with melodramatic flair.

The genesis of the interfaith movement is with the operational arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America – the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which routinely uses interfaith initiatives as an entrée to public schools at all grade levels in order to implant their sanitized description of Islam into the minds of young kefir (infidels).

They are seeking an inoculation of sorts against the inevitable criticism of Islam the student will encounter later in life, as the brutal reality of Islamic domination grows increasingly clear to all.

These efforts are ongoing, orchestrated, and thus far dangerously effective.

One of the more popular initiatives of interfaith dialogue is known as "A Common Word between Us and You."  This program seeks to assuage the fears of the prudent by insisting that Islam and Christianity are based upon the same foundation.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity.

The materials produced for this initiative are persuasive and non-threatening to those unschooled in the principles of Islam.  However, if one is familiar with the central tenets of the religion of "peace," then the stratagem becomes ridiculously transparent.

The pitch is simple: both the Koran and the Bible have verses similar in content regarding worshiping only God and treating one's neighbor with respect.  The Islamists wish for us to conclude that all other disagreements in doctrine are immaterial and that we should forget any suspicions or concerns that stem from ideas that represent existential dangers to non-Muslims.

Of course, they couch this in slightly softer terms, but the intent is clear. 

As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against themso long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes, (in accordance with the verse of the Holy Qur'an [Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8].  [Emphasis mine.]

No less than 28 times amid barely twice that many paragraphs, the organizing document of "A Common Word" hammers on the singularity of God – "he hath no associate," "he has no partner," "ascribe no associate to Him," et cetera, culminating in the offer of a Hobson's choice among the final paragraphs.

Finally, as Muslims, and in obedience to the Holy Qur'an, we ask Christians to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions … that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God … (Aal 'Imran, 3:64).  (Emphasis mine.)

In essence, as long as we Christians deny Christ's divinity and do not raise our hands to Muslims when they do things to us because of their religion, then we will live happily ever after. 

Perhaps I'm simply a curmudgeonly skeptic, but I can find no distinction between the world envisioned by "A Common Word" and dhimmitude, the official second-class status of peoples subjugated by Islam.  Can you?

Dr. Mark Christian (www.globalfaith.org) is the President and Executive Director of the Global Faith Institute. A former Islamic imam who converted from Islam to Christianity, he has dedicated his life and work to the proposition that "the first victims of Islam are the Muslims themselves."  He wrote this piece with Joe Herring, a freelance writer who also serves as the communications director for the Global Faith Institute in Omaha, Nebraska.

There is one tenet of the Christian faith that is foundational: Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is God, just as the Holy Spirit is God.  This concept of a triune being is commonly known among Christians as the Trinity.  Deny the divinity of Jesus, and you simply aren't a Christian.

The divinity of Jesus is the linchpin of the faith.  If Jesus were merely a man, then His sacrifice on the Cross is simply another in a long list of Roman crucifixions rather than a propitiation for the sins of all humanity, past and future.

Consequently, it is this tenet of Christianity that is routinely assaulted by non-believers, some followers of other religions, and, dare I say, Satan himself.  Strip Christ of His divinity, and you turn the world's largest religion into something like a fraternal order, a cross between the Elks and Kiwanis.

It should come as no surprise, then, that among Islamic apologists, the divinity of Christ is a heresy offensive to Allah.  You see, if Jesus is divine, then Allah and the God of Abraham cannot be one and the same.

"There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things," said Mohammed, as he laid out the proper form of remembrance for Muslims to follow.

Throughout the Koran, the point is made repeatedly that "God has no partner, no associate."

When Mohammed began his religion, Christianity was widespread and already several centuries old.  Christian worship had established itself as the gold standard of the age, with the Acts of the Apostles well-known and frequently retold.

The divinity of Jesus posed a problem for the fledgling ideology/religion/political system of Islam, in that an acknowledgment of Jesus as God would render Islam little more than another apocryphal interpretation of Christianity (many of which had already sprouted and withered by the time of Mohammed). 

For Islam to stand on its own as a religion, with Mohammed as the prophet of Allah, Jesus had to be "demoted" from Son of God to prophet of God – the same level as Mohammed.

Islamists (defined as those who seek the supremacy of Islam over other religions and governments) reflexively claim to be followers of the same God as Jews and Christians whenever challenged on their aims of domination.  Yet the Koran itself puts the lie to such claims when the nature of Allah is described repeatedly as wholly singular.

Do Muslims believe we worship the same God?  Perhaps, but the contrasts between Allah and the God of Abraham are too stark to ignore.  The Christian God commands us to love one another regardless of faith.  Allah requires his followers to kill those who do not submit to Islam.  There are myriad contrasts equally jarring, but there's no reason to go into all of them here.

Either God and Allah are different beings, or both God and Allah are schizophrenic deities incapable of maintaining even a modicum of consistency.  I would expect that neither Christians nor Muslims would find themselves comfortable with the latter description.

In recent years, "interfaith dialogue" has become the buzzword of choice for the kumbaya crowd in both Christian and Jewish circles.  Unable or unwilling to fully grasp the reality that "the nice fellow down the street" follows a religion that requires the murder of those who seek to leave it, these well-meaning folk have sought to do what well-meaning folk have always done: to foster understanding among reasonable people.

This inclination would be laudable were it not for the nature of Islam, a thoroughgoing machine of subjugation and intolerance.  When the central tenets of a religion call for the subjugation or murder of every other person on the planet, then one might be forgiven for healthy skepticism regarding offers of interfaith dialogue from the devout adherents of said religion.

Unfortunately for liberals everywhere, tolerance of intolerance doesn't lead to understanding, but instead emboldens the intolerant to trample yet farther into the vineyards of the innocent, destroying any chance of a fruitful harvest.

The interfaith movement has its origins in Islamic dawa, or what is sometimes called civilizational jihad.  Through immigration, high birth rates, and taqiyya (lying for the benefit of Islam), Islamists intend to increase their numbers among the Western democracies until they are capable of overturning secular law in favor of sharia law. 

The dangers of irredentist Islam are so obvious that nothing short of relentless propaganda can hide them.  It's like the poor soul with terrible acne: despite the heavy makeup, you can still see the zits, but with every additional layer, they at least appear less red and angry.  So it is with Islam. 

The interfaith movement provides another major benefit to Islamists.  Their well-meaning Christian and Jewish partners feel compelled to defend their Muslim counterparts against any perceived injustice, which results in derailing any scrutiny whatsoever, as the Islamists hide their hand and play the victim card with melodramatic flair.

The genesis of the interfaith movement is with the operational arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America – the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which routinely uses interfaith initiatives as an entrée to public schools at all grade levels in order to implant their sanitized description of Islam into the minds of young kefir (infidels).

They are seeking an inoculation of sorts against the inevitable criticism of Islam the student will encounter later in life, as the brutal reality of Islamic domination grows increasingly clear to all.

These efforts are ongoing, orchestrated, and thus far dangerously effective.

One of the more popular initiatives of interfaith dialogue is known as "A Common Word between Us and You."  This program seeks to assuage the fears of the prudent by insisting that Islam and Christianity are based upon the same foundation.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity.

The materials produced for this initiative are persuasive and non-threatening to those unschooled in the principles of Islam.  However, if one is familiar with the central tenets of the religion of "peace," then the stratagem becomes ridiculously transparent.

The pitch is simple: both the Koran and the Bible have verses similar in content regarding worshiping only God and treating one's neighbor with respect.  The Islamists wish for us to conclude that all other disagreements in doctrine are immaterial and that we should forget any suspicions or concerns that stem from ideas that represent existential dangers to non-Muslims.

Of course, they couch this in slightly softer terms, but the intent is clear. 

As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against themso long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes, (in accordance with the verse of the Holy Qur'an [Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8].  [Emphasis mine.]

No less than 28 times amid barely twice that many paragraphs, the organizing document of "A Common Word" hammers on the singularity of God – "he hath no associate," "he has no partner," "ascribe no associate to Him," et cetera, culminating in the offer of a Hobson's choice among the final paragraphs.

Finally, as Muslims, and in obedience to the Holy Qur'an, we ask Christians to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions … that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God … (Aal 'Imran, 3:64).  (Emphasis mine.)

In essence, as long as we Christians deny Christ's divinity and do not raise our hands to Muslims when they do things to us because of their religion, then we will live happily ever after. 

Perhaps I'm simply a curmudgeonly skeptic, but I can find no distinction between the world envisioned by "A Common Word" and dhimmitude, the official second-class status of peoples subjugated by Islam.  Can you?

Dr. Mark Christian (www.globalfaith.org) is the President and Executive Director of the Global Faith Institute. A former Islamic imam who converted from Islam to Christianity, he has dedicated his life and work to the proposition that "the first victims of Islam are the Muslims themselves."  He wrote this piece with Joe Herring, a freelance writer who also serves as the communications director for the Global Faith Institute in Omaha, Nebraska.