Stop opening churches to Muslims – Mark Durie
Islamic prayers cursing Christians and Jews have no place in chapel
Last week, Fox News posted a report that Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tenn.,
and Aldersgate United Methodist Church near Alexandria, Va., have made their
church buildings available to Muslims to use as places of worship.
Critics of these outreach initiatives, such as Mike Huckabee, have been
accused of ignorance. However, the contents of Muslim prayers and teachings
about Isa, the Islamic Jesus, give reasonable grounds for churches to reject
Often described as aÂ blessing, Â Al-Fatihah has a sting in its tail. After introductory praises,Â the final sentence of Al-Fatihah is a request for guidance “in the straight
path” of Â Allah’s blessed ones, not the path “of those against whom You are
wrathful, nor of those who are astray.”
Who are the ones who are said to be under Allah’s wrath or to have gone
astray from his straight path? According to the revered commentator Ibn
Kathir, Muhammad himself gave the answer: “Those who have earned the anger
are the Jews, and those who are led astray are the Christians.”
Al-Fatihah is as central to Islamic devotion as the Lord’s Prayer is to
Christians: It is recited at least 17 times a day as part of daily Muslim
prayers. Yet according to Muhammad himself, this prayer, which is on the
lips of every pious Muslim day and night, castigates Christians as misguided
and Jews as Â objects of Allah’s wrath.
Another good reason for churches not to host Muslim worship, paradoxically,
is their veneration of Isa, the Islamic Jesus.
Muslims venerate Jesus, but as a Muslim prophet. In the pages of the Koran,
the disciples of the Muslim Jesus declare, “We are Muslims” (Sura 5:111).
The Islamic Jesus is not the Christian Son of God, the divine suffering
Savior who died on the cross for the sins of the world.
Certainly there are some similarities between Isa of the Koran and Jesus of
the Gospels. The Koran calls Jesus “al-Masih” – the Messiah – and both
figures are said to have been born of a virgin, to have performed miracles
of healing Â and to have raised the dead. Yet here the similarities end. Isa
of the Koran was not crucified and did not die but was raised up by Allah
It is in Muhammad’s vision of the end times that the role of the Muslim
Jesus comes into sharp focus. Muhammad taught that when Isa returns, he
“will fight Â for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill pigs, and
abolish the poll tax. Allah will destroy all religions except Islam” (Sunan
Abu Dawud Â 27:4310).
What does this saying mean? The cross is a symbol of Christianity. Breaking
the cross means abolishing Christianity. According to Islamic law, the poll
tax, or jizya, buys protection of the lives and property of Christians (and
Jews). Abolishing this tax will mean that jihad will be restarted against
Christians and no more protection shall be afforded to those who do not
submit to Islam.
The Egyptian jurist Ahmad ibn Naqib stated in his compendium of Shariah,
“The Â Reliance of the Traveller,” that the toleration of Christians living
under Â Islamic law only applies “before the final descent of Jesus. … After
his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking
the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent… for he will rule by the
law of Muhammad … as a follower of our Prophet” (translation by Nuh Ha Mim
Keller, pages 603-4).
In this end-times scenario, the Islamic Jesus becomes the ultimate destroyer
of Christianity, when, by his sword, he compels all followers of the Christ
of the Gospels to become Muslims and live in accordance with the Shariah of
Churches should not welcome into their buildings the veneration of Isa the
Islamic Jesus, who, as a true Muslim, is intended to bring about the final,
violent destruction of Christianity. By all means, let Christians show
kindness to their Muslim neighbors, but the sentiments embedded in Islamic
daily prayers, which curse Jews as the target of Allah’s wrath and
Christians for going astray, can have no place in a Christian church – even
if recited in the cadences of classical Arabic.
Posted: Feb 3, 2011Â –
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