Princeton Professor Robert George, a very public Catholic intellectual, has published a piece in the left-leaning Jesuit magazine America saying: “I urge my fellow Christians of all traditions to remember how much we share with faithful Muslims.” He declares that “Christians and Muslims must, as never before, join hands to bear witness to God’s sovereignty, to God’s love for each and every member of the human family, to God’s desire that we lead upright lives.” But as is always the case with exhortations such as this one, note how one-sided it is. Robert George tells Christians not to hate Muslims, which is a very good thing for him to tell them, but he never says a word about trying to get Muslims not to hate Christians.
George says: “Let Christians and Muslims never again regard each other as enemies. Let us rather recognize each other as brothers and sisters under the fatherhood of ‘the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth.’”
But as far as this article is concerned, the onus is entirely on the Christian side to build bridges and make peace. One may argue that George is a Christian, and so he doesn’t presume to preach to Muslims, and that’s all very well, but where are his “dialogue” partners, who include the American converts to Islam Hamza Yusuf and Ismail Royer, issuing similar exhortations to Muslims to regard Christians as friends and allies, and to lay aside direct and explicit Qur’anic commands not do so?
Here is that command: “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. (Qur’an 5:51)
Does Robert George even know that this verse exists? Does he think there are no Muslims who take it seriously? The renowned and eminently mainstream Qur’an commentator Ibn Kathir explains it this way: “Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them.”
Will Robert George’s dialogue partners tell him what they’re doing to mitigate the force of this passage and other anti-Christian material in the Qur’an and Hadith? According to Discover the Networks, in 1995, Hamza Yusuf “described Judaism as ‘a most racist religion.’ In 1996 he expressed his contempt for the United States. ‘[America] a country that has little to be proud of in its past and less to be proud of in the present. I am a citizen of this country not by choice but by birth. I reside in this country not by choice but by conviction in attempting to spread the message of Islam in this country. I became Muslim in part because I did not believe in the false gods of this society whether we call them Jesus or democracy or the Bill of Rights.’”
On September 9, 2001, Yusuf said: “They [Americans] were ungrateful for the bounties of Allah, and so Allah caused them to taste fear and hunger. That is one reason and, I would say, that this country is facing a very terrible fate. The reason for that is that this country stands condemned. It stands condemned like Europe stood condemned for what it did…. This country [America] unfortunately has a great, a great tribulation coming to it. And much of it is already here, yet people are too illiterate to read the writing on the wall.”
And here is some information on Ismail Royer from the Investigative Project on Terrorism:
When police stopped Royer for a traffic violation in September 2001, they found in his automobile an AK-47-style rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition. He was indicted in June 2003, with 10 others, on a variety of charges stemming from participation in the ongoing jihad in Kashmir. Specifically, the indictment charged that Royer engaged in propaganda work for Lashkar-e-Taiba and “fired at Indian positions in Kashmir.” Lashkar-e-Taiba was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization on December 26, 2001….On January 16, 2004, Royer pleaded guilty to weapons and explosives charges and agreed to cooperate fully with the government. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Royer got out early, of course, and now proclaims that he has rejected his previous “extremism.” All right. Will he, or Hamza Yusuf, start telling Muslims to take Robert George’s exhortations to Catholics as applying to them also, and call upon them reject Qur’an 5:51 and take Christians (and Jews) as friends? Don’t hold your breath.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.