'I'm a Christian and I Love the Qur'an': Admirable, or Contradictory?
The above photo was apparently taken at a recent demonstration in Washington, D.C.
The young lady holding the sign is Jordan Denari, and she works at the anti-“Islamophobia” Bridge Initiative, which is housed at Georgetown University’s Saudi-funded Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
“I’m a Christian and I Love Muslims”? Absolutely. However, love for Muslims represents a far different sentiment than love for the Qur’an.
Denari presumably believes that Jesus is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who was crucified and rose from the dead for the salvation of the human race. Yet she is professing love for a book that not only denies all of that, but also insists that Christians are accursed, vile beings who should be waged war against until they submit to the hegemony of a group that believes differently. One wonders if Ms. Denari’s attempt at Muslim-Christian understanding includes a comprehensive understanding of the below verses from the book she professes to love:
-- Jesus is not the Son of God, belief in the Trinity is “excess”: “O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, ‘Three’; desist -- it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.” -- Qur’an 4:171
“It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” -- Qur’an 19:35
-- Jesus was not crucified: “And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger -- they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.” -- Qur’an 4:157
-- Those who believe in the divinity of Christ are “disbelievers”: “They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary.” -- Qur’an 5:17
-- Christians “forgot a good part” of the divine revelations they received: “From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.” — Qur’an 5:14
-- Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed: “The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! ” -- Qur’an 9:30
-- Christians who do not become Muslims “are the most vile of created beings”: “Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion. Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the most vile of created beings.” -- Qur’an 98:6
-- Muslims must fight against and subjugate Christians: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” -- Qur’an 9:29
Although few Christians would dare say so publicly nowadays, to be a Christian at all assumes a denial that Muhammad is a prophet and the Qur’an a holy book, for they both affirm as matters of faith beliefs that Christians do not hold, and -- as per the above passages -- deny many that Christians do hold.
Perhaps Ms. Denari considers herself a Christian in the spirit of the below Qur’an passage?
“Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans -- those who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness -- will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.” -- Qur’an 2:62
This passage appears at first glance to be a marvelously forward-thinking example of ecumenism. Qur’an commentator Muhammad Asad exults:
With a breadth of vision unparalleled in any other religious faith, the idea of ‘salvation’ is here made conditional upon three elements only: belief in God, belief in the Day of Judgment, and righteous action in life.
But Asad contradicts himself by adding “in this divine writ” after the words “those who have attained to faith” in his translation of Verse 62. That is, to be saved one must believe in the Qur’an as well as the earlier revelations. Indeed, Muslim commentators are not actually inclined to see this as an indication of divine pluralism, but only as an affirmation that those Christians who become Muslims will be saved. The translators Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, as well as Asad, all feel it necessary to add parenthetical glosses that make the passage mean that Jews and Christians (as well as Sabeans, whose identity is disputed) will enter Paradise only if they become Muslims.
Qur’an.com adds “before Prophet Muhammad” in brackets after “Jews or Christians or Sabeans,” making it clear that those three could only be saved this way before the advent of Islam. Now, they must convert to Islam to get to Paradise. Further, according to Ibn Abbas, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 3:85:
And whoever desires other than Islam as religion -- never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.
Sayyid Qutb opines that 2:62 applied only before Muhammad brought Islam to the world, a view supported by a saying of Muhammad recorded by Tabari, in which the Prophet of Islam says that Christians who died before his coming will be saved, but those who have heard of him and yet rejected his prophetic claim will not be.
It is unlikely, of course, that Ms. Denari, holding the above sign, has thought any of this through. She is just trying to be “multicultural” and support “diversity.”
She is unlikely to have pondered why she hasn’t seen a Muslim carrying around a sign saying: “I’m Muslim and I LOVE the Bible.”