From the excellent Islam Monitor
Reflections from a concerned Christian on interfaith networking
My belief when I first got involved in interfaith was that dialogue would lead to increased understanding and respect. However, the more I attended these sessions, the more I became uncomfortably aware that they were being used by Muslims for Islamic dawa (proselytism). The profound differences between Islam and Christianity were never discussed, or were glossed over by emphasising surface similarities, whilst the Jewish interfaith participants seemed to think the commonality of both not eating pork trumped the Islamic exhortation to kill Jews.
Mark Durie, while claiming religious dialogue was of great value, admitted there were security and human rights concerns, as well as rising anti-semitic and anti-Christian sentiment, as well as deep concerns about Islam’s attempts to use the UN to prevent discussion of religion. He admitted that interfaith could be used for dawa, exemplified in the Muslim letter to Christians “A Common Word” and noted other areas of contention, e.g. the Muslim claim that they are Abrahamic, and that Ibrahim (Abraham) was a Muslim.
Yasser Soliman told the audience the things a naÃ¯ve interfaith devotee wanted to hear.Â Reality was suspended.
An example of his rhetoric:
“It is very beneficial to dialogue.Â It dispels fears and suspicions. …it is important leaders have a breadth of vision.”
Despite his soothing words, Yasser Soliman made a number of outrageous comments.Â
1.Â Â Â “What caused the Cronulla riots?Â Lack of dialogue and contact. Simply having one side fly the country’s flag doesn’t make racism justified.Â We need to uphold the human rights of others if we want them to uphold our rights. We need to network to establish justice for all. We need trust, respect and cooperation.”
Where is the trust, respect and cooperation from Muslims, who are taught that they are superior and above our laws?
2.Â Â Â Interfaith is important as diversity exists and is here to stay. We can’t force others into our own image. We need to find ways of minimising tensions.Â There is a need to make sure the next generation gets it right and inherits cooperation. Â
Islamic societies are monocultural and force others into their own image, destroying diversity.Â
There is no choice but to cooperate (SUBMIT) or be killed.
3.Â History has many examples of the evil things people do to each other. The Holocaust is a glaring example, but many don’t learn the lessons.
The Holocaust is indeed a glaring example, where Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem allied in killing the Jews. The Mufti was said to have even suggested the Final Solution, and Muslim brigades alongside Nazis. And don’t forget the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks.Â From Mohamed to the present, Islam has been responsible for countless massacres. Sadly, we haven’t learned the lessons of the dangers of totalitarianism, especially Islam.
4.Â In Australia, we have a relatively harmonious and safe society.Â This is because of bipartisan support of a multifaith, multicultural society.Â All this was threatened in the last term of the Howard government.Â But the Victorian government has played an important role in facilitating meetings between communities and multifaith, multicultural activities, in some cases funding such things and providing grants for those seeking to reach out.
By giving money for interfaith, governments are facilitating the spread of Islam to the detriment of all other Australians and destroying our egalitarian values.
5.Â Some people feel threatened by engaging with other communities. The opponents of multiculturalism suggest it leads to ghettos, yet at the same time resist efforts to enhance integration. Many of these people seek monoculturalism and espouse the clash of civilsations theory.
Islamic text mandates that Muslims not integrate, but follow their own culture and not that of the country they reside in. This leads to religious apartheid, with segregated no-go areas forbidden to non-Muslims, as are often seen in European cities and even parts of Sydney.Â Several Islamic leaders have publicly stated that Islam is not here to co-exist but to take over.
Wafa Sultan remarked (before she disappeared underground after receiving death threats for daring to criticise Islam!) that it is not a clash of civilisations, but between civilisation and barbarity.Â
6.Â Melbourne was selected as the city to host the multicultural Parliament of World Religions. This conference has been allocated $4.5million from State and Federal Governments. The anti-interfaith movement have opposed the event, sometimes espousing absurd conspiracy theories designed to manipulate people away from interfaith.Â It is easier to destroy than to build, easier to hate than love, easier to start a fight than to make peace.
An examination of Islamic behaviour worldwide confirms that Islam finds it is preferable to destroy, hate and fight than live in freedom and equality with others. This is based on empirical evidence, not conspiracy theories.
At the last Parliament of World Religions, Islamist and apologist for terror, Tariq Ramadam, was a keynote speaker, which gives an idea of just how multicultural it was.
7.Â Almost all religions have injunctions to love and respect people of other faiths. Nothing is too controversial to talk about and debate.
ÂCan we really debate it?Â
Almost all religions, but not Islam, which mandates hatred and even death for people of other faiths. And Islam forbids non-Muslims from discussing Islam, as was seen in the Two Dannies case. Honest critique of Islam is considered “defamation of religion” and out of bounds for infidels.
8.Â “If Muhammad, Jesus and Moses were here they would be cooperating and working with each other.”
As Muhammad wanted to destroy all other religions, this is a doubtful claim. Moses and Jesus were Jewish, so Muhammad would probably have had them killed.
9.Â I find nothing in my religion that teaches Islam must be hostile to those of other faiths. Look at the example of Jews, Christians and Muslims living together in Spain.
Andrew Bostom’s lengthy book “The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism” documents theÂ Islamic text and history ofhostility to Jews. There are also many texts hostile to Christians, who are to this day persecuted in Islamic countries. A look at the Barnabas Fund literature is a powerful testament to the prevalence of Islamic persecution of Christian minorities.
10.Â After 9/11, there has been a lot of us v them. It would be easy for me (YS) to isolate myself. But we are all in the same boat.Â Sometimes people do crazy things, but we need to understand why they do them.
John Levy made the following points:
b. Looking at Christianity, Judaism and Islam, he felt they had much in common – all three have scriptures from which they learn and teach are all monotheistic religions.Â Â
To assert this is to ignore the gaping chasm in moral values, attitudes to others, individual freedom, separation of religion and state etc which reveals that ethically we are polar opposites.
c. All share the idea that history is meaningful, the concept of one God and that the universe makes sense, without which Western society couldn’t exist in the way it does.Â We can’t understand Judaism without knowing the other faiths. Many things in Judaism can’t be explained without remembering that for 600 years most Jews lived in Islamic lands and flourished under Islam (with restrictions). The Crusades marked a turning point, when Jewish history developed in Europe and we learned to live with Christianity. Â
The lands Jews originally lived in were not Islamic, but Jewish, Zoroastrian, Christian, pagan or ‘multifaith’ UNTIL Islam took over violently and destroyed cultures, subjugating the remnants of formerly harmonious societies.Â The claim that Jews flourished under Islam is to ignore the genocide of all Jews in Granada (~5000) in 1066 because a Jew was elected to power, or constant attacks around Cordoba etc by Muslims!Â Jews lived in constant fear under dhimmitude, their lives dependent on the mood of the Muslim crowd and the whim of the current ruler. Â We must not forget to mention that Muhammad himself annihilated all the Jewish tribes in Arabia in the 7th century, only to steal whatever he could steal from them and sold their women and children into slavery./ed
d. In the Islamic world, conspiracy theories are out of control e.g. in Arabic press, the financial crisis is a Zionist plot.
e. You can’t dialogue with Christians or interact with Christian society without knowing something of the New Testament or with Muslims without knowing something of the Qur’an.
Agreed. Unfortunately, many Jews and Christians come to interfaith profoundly ignorant of Islam’s texts, and naively rely on Muslims to enlighten them, believing their deceit that Islam is just like our religions – peaceful and good.Â I believe that before attending interfaith, it should be a prerequisite to read the quran, hadith and laws and discover the frightening truth about Islam.
Challenging questions addressed to Yasser Soliman included the following:
Q 1.Â How can a Muslim reconcile interfaith with quranic verses that say don’t be friends with Jews and Christians?
Yasser Soliman (YS) initially denied the Quran said that, but when the questioner made it clear he’d actually read it,Soliman changed his tune and came out with the usual “but have you read it in Arabic?” i.e. it’s a translation problem!Â
YS:” In Arabic ” auliya ” means protectors and as Muslims were fighting with Jews and Christians, it would be silly for them to take them as protectors.”
Many verses in the Quran tell Muslims not take any disbelievers as protectors, helpers, supporters or friends (Auliya) eg 3.28, 4.144, 5.51, 5.57, conflict or not, and this is extended to non-believing family members (Q9.23, 58.22)!Â Auliya is often translated as ‘friend’.Â That the command not to be friends/helpers etc applies in general forever becomes apparent when the text is studied in the context of other text, particularly in the final over-riding Medina text of the quran which exhorts lies, hatred and violence towards others.Â Â Other text also tells Muslims they are only ‘friends’ of Muslims.
It is not the disbeliever that a Muslim becomes friendly with who should be feared, but allah, who threatens Muslims who become friends with disbelievers eg Q5.51 says if you take such friends you “become one of them…wrongdoer”, Q 4.144 asks “Do you want to offer allah a manifest proof against yourselves?, Q3.28 whoever takes disbelievers as friends “will never be helped by allah in any way…And allah warns you against himself (his punishment)..”
In Q58.22 the Arabic word used for friendship is ‘Yuwaadoon’ which simply means ‘make or become friends’ but this is forbidden even with non-believing family! Â
Other text tells Muslims to “fight the disbelievers close to you…let them find harshness in you”, (Q9.123), beÂ “stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the way of allah”(Q 5.54), be “severe against disbelievers but merciful among themselves”(Q 48.28).Â Â There’s heaps more ‘fighting’ text!
Q5.80-81 tells us that Jews took disbelievers as friends/helpers /protectors (Auliya) but if they had believed in allah they would never have taken the disbelievers as Auliya.Â Â
Don’t be fooled by Q5.82, where Christians are referred to as closest in love, because if you read Q5.83 you will see that it’s only those Christians who on hearing Islam believe and become witnesses!Â Â Plenty of other text soundly abuses and threatens Christians!
Islamic text doesn’t promote equal friendship with others and any tolerance shown is for the purpose of dawa and this is taught today!Â Â Since Muslims are in a constant battle against non-Muslims until all the religion is allah’s (eg Q8.39), they can NEVER be friends.Â
Q2.Â Why don’t Christians demand that Muslims stop calling their Isa Jesus? Islam’s Isa is Muslim, was not crucified, is a slave of allah, is not divine and is coming back to earth to destroy Christianity.
Yasser Soliman claimed that Christians had put together a religion about Jesus rather than a religion OF Jesus.Â
He added that if Jesus (or Muhammad?) comes back and says they are wrong, he’d be the first to respond and change what he believed, and that when the end comes we’ll find out who’s right…if he fights the Christians, they are right etc
Clearly the violent slave of Islam, Isa isn’t the Jesus of Christianity!Â If Christians don’t demand Muslims stop using the word Jesus, then the lie that they are the same will continue.Â Muslims use their claim of sharing Jesus to promote their religion to gullible Christians, who think they can revere the Christian Jesus within Islam.Â But the Christian Jesus was a Jew who taught his religion – the 10 commandments and loving thy neighbour as thyself (missing in Islam).Â The Christian Jesus would rail against Islam’s perversions, abuses and violence.
Q3.Â One of the major hurdles for interfaith is fanatics and extremists within your ranks.Â How do you deal with that? Â
YS:Â Recent events make me an expert on this! (laughter)Â Islam doesn’t have a monopoly on fanaticism.Â Others have done it before. They are not doing it because of religion. There is no justification for killing innocent people.Â We need to think why they become extremists, and to identify where people feel isolation, hate and fear and facilitate discussion.Â Some people don’t know how to resolve conflict without violence.Â We have to focus not just on the symptom but also on the cause.
YS:Â The Muslim community is having security issues similar to what you (Jews) have.Â That is just plain BS/ed
Yasser Soliman suggested that we need policies to make sure that people felt included (ie it’s our fault if jihadists attack!), ignoring that they are following mainstream Islamic text. Our constantly appeasing them is fruitless, as their demands and threats are endless, and only conversion to an Islamic state will satisfy them.Â As for therebeing no justification for killing innocent people, many Muslim leaders have stated that Westerners aren’t ‘innocent’ and indeed are oppressors simply by refusing to convert to Islam.Â
As for comparing Muslim security needs to those of the Jewish community, this dishonest attempt to equate the two communities, rather than recognising that Muslim aggression necessitates Jewish security, should have had the audience protesting en masse.
Q4.Â How do Muslims participate in interfaith when Islamic text-hadiths and laws state that apostates from Islam must be killed by the caliph or anyone as there is no penalty for killing an apostate?Â This negates equality, individual freedom, tolerance or respect for other religions. Â
Wrong! Muslims who reject Islam are threatened in the quran eg:sura 4.89Â If they turn back (from Islam) take them and kill them wherever you find them and take neither Auilya (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them.
There is lots of text in the hadith, particularlyÂ Bukhari volume 9 (the most authentic)Â where Muhammad told followers to kill anyone who leaves Islam.Â There is also the story of 8 men who accepted and then rejected Islam. Muhammad had hot pokers put in their eyes and cut off their limbs, leaving them to die because they deserted Islam, killed a man and stole some camels, but rejecting Islam is always stressed and underpins the sadism of their punishment (told in lots of hadiths in Bukhari and others). Â
If the instructions in Bukhari are ‘weak’, then all the hadiths should be thrown out ( Shariah would have to abandonded) and Islam would collapse completely.Â Â This ‘weak’ hadith excuse is used to trick the West, shocked by Islam’s text.Â Â
He also failed to mention that the no compulsion bit has been completely abrogated or over-ruled by later very intolerant text!Â Â
Q5.Â If you Mr Soliman are so keen on freedom of religion, tolerance, equality, multiculturalism and multifaith, surely you should be spreading that message in countries like Saudi Arabia or the Maldives where all religions except Islam are banned, and throughout the Islamic world where others are constantly persecuted?
Q6.Â You’ve said Islam is not hostile to other faiths, yet I have this book by Andrew Bostom showing the anti-semitic Islamic text.
Yasser Soliman .Â I can’t comment because I haven’t read the book.Â I don’t feel the need to defend the actions of al-queda…allah does not love the aggressors.
Questioner: but this book has the original anti-semitic Islamic text.Â These are Islamic teachingsâ€”there is anti-semitism in the text.
This outlandish claim that we were all Muslims, made in a Jewish/Christian/Muslim interfaith session, was so monumentally insulting that the speaker should have been made to apologise for such offensive insanity.Â Better still, he should have been asked to leave forthwith and never return! Â Typical Islamic BS. Â That we are all born Muslim, that Abraham, Moses and the Jewish prophets were all Muslim, is one of the most bizarre claims Muslims make. Yusuf Irfan, a shyster for Islamic causes in Australia, recently made that claim when he launched another swipe at Daniel Pipes. “We’re all Muslim, deal with it”/ ed
As a Christian, I was stunned that no Jews in the audience brought up the very serious problem of Al Manar, the Hezbollah TV station, broadcasting anti-semitism into Australia, including calling Jews the offspring of Apes and Pigs and suggesting they used the blood of Christians to bake their matzoh.Â (Jews never eat blood!)Â Â Roland Jabbour, head of the AAC (Australian Arabic Council) endorsed these sentiments.Â Â Not only is this an horrific abuse of Jews, but it is also designed to foment ill-feeling between Jews and Christians and endorses Islamic hatred of Jews. You would have thought that this would have been of great concern to our panelists and audience, yet none raised the issue.Â You would think that in the interests of interfaith harmony, Yasser Soliman and all other Muslims leaders would be quick to condemn these statements and distance themselves from the odious Roland Jabbour.Â Their failure to do so would suggest they agree with them, in which case Islamic interfaith with Jews and Christians, premised on mutual respect, not Islamic dawa, loses all credibility.