Thou Shalt Not! The WaPo's 'On Faith' Blog Spikes a Regular Contributor When He Writes on Islam
4. Muslims are now more aggressive blasphemers against Christianity. In Muslim lands more than a half century ago, I heard no tour-guide blaspheme my religion. Not so my latest experience: the tour-guides went out of their way to insert the statement, “God has no son.” Since we Christians believe in the Holy Trinity, the One God as Father/Son/Holy Spirit, to attack the Holy Trinity is the height of blasphemy.
5. Americans don’t have to go to Muslim lands to hear our religion blasphemed by Muslims. In a Christian church in Portland, OR, I heard an imam (an immigrant from Yemen) say to the post-worship assemblage, “God has no son.” (Not, “We Muslims believe that God has no son.”) When I yelled, “Blasphemy!” the assemblage was shocked to silence and he was so unnerved that he initiated a handshake with me seven times before he left the church.
6. Teaching Islam among “The World’s Great Religions” in the University of Hawaii, I learned how profoundly ignorant of one another’s religion those Christians and Muslims were. And worse than ignorant: misinformed. Growing up to the realities of our shrinking globe is painful, and obscuring differences stunts this growth. I taught the similarities and differences, and rejoice in the increasing efforts toward interfaith understanding. But we can make no essential progress, religious or political, unless we honestly and courageously confront the reality that our two religions are essential enemies, antagonists each to the other’s essence, mutual blasphemers. Only with that realism can the mutual blasphemers begin to learn to get along with each other without violence.
7. Wouldn’t it help if Christians and Muslims stopped trying to convert each other? This understandable question is ignorant of the fact that among the world’s religions, these two are the most essentially missionary: sharing one’s world-view, one’s way of seeing and living in the world, is optional to neither. Muslims will continue to strive (jihad) for dar es salam (a peaceful world under Allah) in dar es harb (the “war” world, all the world not yet under Allah -- especially where non-Muslim governments such as the state of Israel are in control of any part of the world that was once under Allah). And “the West” (with rootage in Christianity) will not cease pressing for religious freedom everywhere.