A few people weren’t enchanted by my article “What Islam Thinks About Christianity”. I actually expected this; this always seems to be the response of some in regards to something controversial said about the religion. One concern raised was that it seems to put all Muslims under the same category; if they actually read the article, which apparently they did not, the very beginning explicitly stated that I wasn’t attempting to make all Muslims seem hostile to Christianity as not all show animosity towards it. Another claim was, every time a non-Muslim talks about Islam, that automatically eliminates any credibility. Though people not affiliated with another religion often lack the knowledge thereof; e.g. Protestants or Muslims assuming Catholics worship idols, to make an off-the-cuff remark such as automatically eliminating the credibility of somebody based on their lack of affiliation with said religion is a logical fallacy and is commonplace largely among liberals. It is a way of avoiding any honest debate regarding any topic for that matter. Robert Spencer, Dr. Bill Warner, Ph.D., Raymond Ibrahim, Theodore Shoebat and Walid Shoebat are exemplary non-Muslims who criticize Islam based on their criticisms of other religions and their hostility; some of these by the way are ex-Muslims. So, who are non-Muslims to tell these ex-Muslims they are wrong on their assessments of Islam? Wouldn’t that automatically eliminate their credibility? Besides, by such an absurd logical fallacy that would mean anti-Nazis are automatically lacking in credibility to speak about Nazism. This is obvious nothing more than political correctness masqueraded behind fake scholarly approaches to a controversial subject.
The majority of quotes from Islamic texts were in regards to what Islam thinks about articles of the Christian faith, i.e. the Holy Trinity, the Crucifixion, Mary’s role in Christianity, the priesthood, the monastic life, the veneration of saints and their images. Few of the quotes focused on the violent, oppressive and tyrannical nature of historical Islam. Of course these are the ones that tend to draw the ire of the political correctness crowd.
So, what about the violent quotes? Islam is very different from Christianity in that Islam is a religion of the book, believing that the Quran is the literal word of God; Christianity on the other hand has never been a strictly Bible alone religion and even mainstream Protestantism does not go strictly by Scripture alone to define its doctrines. Due to its very nature, Islam allows for very little plurality in interpretation of its sacred texts, i.e. the Quran, the sunnah and the hadith. So, for example, Sunni and Shia Islam are the two major Islamic branches; the major topic of disagreement is over who may apply for the role of caliph; Sunni Islam says any pious Muslim many can become caliph while Shia Islam says the caliph must be a biological descendant of Muhammad; this is not a difference over interpretation of the Quran, but a historical and political dispute dating to the 7th century; the Sunnis followed Yazid I whereas the Shiites followed Husayn ibn Ali. Regardless, both branches uphold jihad and Sharia law; disagreements might exist over the extent, the method of execution or corporal punishment, or when to go to jihad, but the basic teaching is there. Even Ahmadiyyah Islam upholds Sharia law though it reportedly rejects offensive jihad. It also lacks credibility in the eyes of other Muslims since it was founded in 19th century British India. What about non-denominational Islam? This is a movement emphasizing there be no divisions in Islam; it means nothing about rejecting jihad or Shariah law.
In Islam, like Christianity, certain doctrines are commonly shared across denominational borders. In Islam those are jihad and Sharia law; in Christianity those are the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Crucifixion. In Islam, Muslims who reject jihad and Sharia law are heretics or perhaps apostates while in Christianity (Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Assyrians and Protestants agree) those who reject the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection and the Crucifixion are heretics or perhaps apostates.
So, why the difference? The Quran and other Islamic texts are hardly theological but certainly a list of do’s and don’ts; the Bible and other Christian sources are very theological and thus rely on interpretation. So differences in Islamic sects are hardly visible whereas they are very visible among Christians.
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