What to make of this immense contrast between Christian and Muslim supplications to the deity? Of course, in former times, these contradicting approaches would simply have been interpreted as natural reflections of the divine and the diabolical.
Today, however, where moral relativism insists that all religions are viewed equally — that is, all are viewed as equally meaningless with no tangible impact on their devotees’ lives — no doubt many will conclude that the Christian prayers, calm and placid, evince Christian contentment in the Middle East, whereas the Muslim prayers, irate if not insane, evince sincere grievance.
Nothing could be further from the truth. If prayers and supplications were mere reflections of one’s level of contentment or discontentment with this world, then surely the Christians of the Muslim world — where churches and Bibles are burned, Christian girls are abducted and forced to convert, blasphemy and apostasy laws kill, and the state massacres Christians — would be praying for fire and pestilence to descend upon their persecutors.
Conversely, Muslim leaders are quick to point to anything to rationalize their prayers of hate. Thus when Professor Abd al-Latif was asked if Sharia law permits Muslims to pray for the “annihilation” of Jews and Christians, he said yes, since Jews are unjust to Palestinians and Christians are responsible for Abu Ghraib, adding that “the prophet himself used to invoke curses” against his enemies.
Indeed, Muhammad — who counseled cursing Islam’s enemies by, among other things, telling them to bite their father’s penis — condemned and called for violence against Christians and Jews (e.g., 9:29). This begins in the Quran’s opening prayer, the Fatiha, which Muhammad uttered many centuries before the creation of the modern state of Israel and the events of Abu Ghraib — that is, before any “grievances.”
The lesson? Prayers do not reflect one’s situation in the world; they reflect the teachings of one’s faith.