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Muslims to Christians: 'Make peace with us or survival of world is at stake' (Merge)


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http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23416235-details/Muslims+tell+Christians%3A+'Make+peace+with+us+or+survival+of+world+is+at+stake'/article.do

Prominent Muslim scholars are warning that the "survival of the world" is at stake if Muslims and Christians do not make peace with each other.

In an unprecedented open letter signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars from every sect of Islam, the Muslims plead with Christian leaders "to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and Pope Benedict are believed to have been sent copies of the document which calls for greater understanding between the two faiths.

The letter also spells out the similarities between passages of the Bible and the Koran.

The Muslim scholars state: "As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them - so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes."

The phrasing has similarities to the New Testament passage: "He that is not with me is against me" - a passage used by President George Bush when addressing a joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11.

The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, a non-governmental organisation based in Amman, Jordan, has organised the letter.

The Institute said: "This historic letter is intended by its 138 signatories as an open invitation to Christians to unite with Muslims over the most essential aspects of their respective faiths - the principles of love of one God and love of the neighbour.

"It is hoped that the recognition of this common ground will provide the followers of both faiths with a shared understanding that will serve to defuse tensions around the world."

It continues: "Finding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a matter for polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders.

"Together they (Muslims and Christians) make up more than 55 per cent of the population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world. If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace."

Among those launching the letter in the UK will be David Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity, and Fellow of Selwyn College, University of Cambridge and founding director of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme.

Aref Ali Nayed, a leading theologian and senior adviser to the Inter-Faith Programme, will also take part at the event in central London.

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Some interesting comments from the Brits so far on this story.

Perhaps if they'd generally practice what they claim is a peaceful religion we might have a bit more 'faith' in them.

- James, London

Sounds a bit like "Make peace with us or we'll kill you."

- R M, London, UK

Have I got this right the Muslim leaders are saying be friends with us or else the world will not survive or can I without fear of prosecution suggest that this is a nicely put threat to infidels as we are known.

- Pat, Sussex

Religion is simply politics in another form; it is about controlling and manipulating the masses. My atheist point of view.

These so called Muslim scholars however, are preaching to the wrong people. Clean up the mess in your own backyard first.

- Frank, Home Counties, England

It's a bit rich isn't it? Remove the log from your own eye before taking the speck out of mine.

- Squiz, Islington

Even as a 'non-believer' I am totally in support of this approach. There are radicals on both sides who are hell-bent on destabilisation and mass deaths of innocents. Politicians have shown they are completely incapable of solving this conflict -- indeed they seem intent on aggrevating the situation. If religious leaders can take a unified moral position here, then they should be welcomed.

- Philip, London, England

How about we just ban fairy tales and then they'll be no religion and thus no war, then everyone can concentrate on the important things in life.

- Trevor Roll, London

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I, personally have no problem with Muslims in general. I think they are wrong, they think I am wrong. From my point of view we can co-exist without violence.

Also, Islam and Christianity are not as similar as some of these folks would have you believe. They believe the Bible is wrong about Jesus and that Christians are Polytheists, and Christians believe Mohammed was a false prophet.

Again, no need for violence over that, but sadly many don't share that view. But, many more than that do not feel violence is necessary. :sad:

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Will any evangelicals here see this as further evidence of interfaithism and a sign of the end times?

Hey... whoa! Don't go painting me with that broad brush. As far as I know, there is precisely one evangelical here that fits that description (or at least is vocal about it).

But, that being said, I'm sure the answer is yes. :silly:

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I, personally have no problem with Muslims in general. I think they are wrong, they think I am wrong. From my point of view we can co-exist without violence.

Also, Islam and Christianity are not as similar as some of these folks would have you believe. They believe the Bible is wrong about Jesus and that Christians are Polytheists, and Christians believe Mohammed was a false prophet.

Again, no need for violence over that, but sadly many don't share that view. But, many more than that do not feel violence is necessary. :sad:

Muslims don't believe Christians are polytheists

The fundamental key differences are that Muslims believe the Bible was distorted and changed by man (which when you look at how it was put together it was) and that Muslims deny the divinity of Christ

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Hey... whoa! Don't go painting me with that broad brush. As far as I know, there is precisely one evangelical here that fits that description (or at least is vocal about it).

But, that being said, I'm sure the answer is yes. :silly:

Personally, I don't know why they care, since they think they're going to be "raptured out" anyways and miss all of the fun. ;)
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Muslims don't believe Christians are polytheists

The fundamental key differences are that Muslims believe the Bible was distorted and changed by man (which when you look at how it was put together it was) and that Muslims deny the divinity of Christ

Essentially, Jews for Muhammad?

All three are basically the same thing with less emphasis here or there and Judiasm cutting it off at Jesus. Christianity believes the Christ has walked Earth and Muslims believe in much of what Christianity does with the exception that the Christ has been to Earth.

While in a whole, Islam seems to be more strict to the guidelines of the scriptures, they do seem to contridict themselves with Jesus in my opinion. They believe in him as a prophet, just not what he preached as the son of God. Can you explain that? Do Christians take his teachings to literally or what?

Were there any other prophets between 1 AD and 600 AD?

I still blame Abraham for this mess cause he started it. :silly:

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Essentially, Jews for Muhammad?

All three are basically the same thing with less emphasis here or there and Judiasm cutting it off at Jesus. Christianity believes the Christ has walked Earth and Muslims believe in much of what Christianity does with the exception that the Christ has been to Earth.

While in a whole, Islam seems to be more strict to the guidelines of the scriptures, they do seem to contridict themselves with Jesus in my opinion. They believe in him as a prophet, just not what he preached as the son of God. Can you explain that? Do Christians take his teachings to literally or what?

Were there any other prophets between 1 AD and 600 AD?

I still blame Abraham for this mess cause he started it. :silly:

Its quite simple. The core Muslim belief is there is One God and only One God and Muhammad (PBUH) is His Messenger

Muslims do not believe God had a son, or that there is a Holy Spirit or Holy Trinity

These are things that are believed to have deviated from the message of Jesus when the Bible was put together by man (i.e writings made 50-60 years after the death of Jesus, the Council of Nicea in the late 300s)

The Quran on the other hand has been the exact same for 1400 years and memorized millions of times over, keeping it the exact same

Basically Muslims believe that Jesus never preached himself as the Son of God, despite what scriptures that were written after his death say

(And if I recall correctly, the divinity of Christ was actually debated leading to the Council of Nicea)

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This article and headline is subtly distorted.

The gist of the article is that Muslim religious leaders are reaching out.

This historic letter is intended by its 138 signatories as an open invitation to Christians to unite with Muslims over the most essential aspects of their respective faiths - the principles of love of one God and love of the neighbour. It is hoped that the recognition of this common ground will provide the followers of both faiths with a shared understanding that will serve to defuse tensions around the world.

Somehow, the writers of this article managed to convert this outreach into a thinly-veiled threat against us. That is sad.

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Its quite simple. The core Muslim belief is there is One God and only One God and Muhammad (PBUH) is His Messenger

Muslims do not believe God had a son, or that there is a Holy Spirit or Holy Trinity

These are things that are believed to have deviated from the message of Jesus when the Bible was put together by man (i.e writings made 50-60 years after the death of Jesus, the Council of Nicea in the late 300s)

The Quran on the other hand has been the exact same for 1400 years and memorized millions of times over, keeping it the exact same

Basically Muslims believe that Jesus never preached himself as the Son of God, despite what scriptures that were written after his death say

(And if I recall correctly, the divinity of Christ was actually debated leading to the Council of Nicea)

How comforting to know that over this people want to blow up the world.

Human beings really are stupid creatures when you get right down to it.

~Bang

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The gist of the article is that Muslim religious leaders are reaching out.

Somehow, the writers of this article managed to convert this outreach into a thinly-veiled threat against us. That is sad.

There was a similarly worded outreach, I believe, to the ruler of the Byzantines in the 7th century. We know how that turned out.

I would also be interested in the PARTICULAR leaders who signed the document, as we should compare what they say to their congregations and audiences with what they say to us in this letter.

That may seem unimportant to you but there are plenty of accounts from Interfaith Councils in the West that indicate the only people sincerely taking part (maybe aside from some Sufi clerics) in those meetings are Christians, Jews and others. Muslims view them as an attempt to correct Christians on their beliefs and to attempt underhanded proselytization, while Christians end up disenchanted with the process or are so paralyzed with fear of being labelled 'intolerant' that they continue on the empty road.

Also, certain words and select phrases from the Quran have a meaning that you or I would not immediately recognize. It's like the term 'ceasefire' or 'treaty.' Look CLEARLY where it mentions the part about "so long as Christians do not oppress them, drive them from their homes, etc." You may view this one way, but they view it differently, as illustrated countless times by other messages that sounded as conciliatory as this one. Then you go to the web and you find out what they say to their own people is that they will use every stratagem of war to defeat the infidel, including using the foundations of our own civilization against us.

No other religion, including old-style Judaism, has directives to making treaties with people until such a time as you are strong when you must break them to advance the faith. No other religion, except for old-style Judaism (which does not proselytize,) has such a supremacist worldview applied to worldly conquests and domains in THIS world. Well, maybe Shinto did but that form of Shinto was almost entirely destroyed in WW II.

You call it an outreach but considering what has been said by almost all of the most 'respected' sources of Islamic scholarship in the Muslim world, I'd say there is reason for hesitation. Especially since there seems to be no acceptance of any responsibility. This is not a war between two faiths. This is a war of one faith against all others since its inception, with only limited breaks here and there due to military or economic weakness.

The West is highly secularized. Even coming to some kind of agreement with Christian leaders would not change much of the fact that Muslims within and without the West are highly hostile to the secular values of the West and that Christians are terribly oppressed in just about all Muslim countries.

Nor would it immediately alter any relations between Hindus and other religious groups and Muslims.

Muslim clerics need more to reach out to THEIR OWN PEOPLE and I need to hear Arabic and Urdu translations of strong and savage condemnations of jihad and a construction of a NEW UNDERSTANDING of the Quran and of the imperialist and supremacist ideology underpinning their faith.

By 'reaching out' as you call it, it indicates they are unable to actually see the faults that exist in their own Ummah, TOTALLY INDEPENDENT OF CHRISTIAN OR JEWISH ACTION. The oppression the letter mentions is not only a theological or tactical device to insert the concept of Christian guilt for these crimes but also serves to obscure the fact that this is projection of the first order. The oppression based on religious identity in all its forms happens to non-Muslims (or those Muslims unlucky enough to be insufficiently Arabized or orthodox enough) around the world. Remove the plank from your own eye before you ask your brother to remove the mote of dust from his.

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How comforting to know that over this people want to blow up the world.

Human beings really are stupid creatures when you get right down to it.

~Bang

The last part is true but most people in the world would be fine with coexisting with others, except there is this one pesky holdout that refuses to get along ANYWHERE with anyone unless they are dominant.

THAT is what the rest of the world objects to...it's not like Christians or Buddhists are running around wanting to kill any and all who oppose them simply for theological disputes. Even though both have engaged in that in the past.

SHF--THe Quran is not unchanged. Most scholarship (those that DARE to investigate, as anything that challenges the 'truth' attributed to the Quran is met with great hostility) indicates it went through the same methods of collection, recitation, alteration and editing as the Bible. The only difference is that this was done in a much shorter span of time. There are also portions of it that are unintelligible and there is a belief that the Quran itself was retelling(partial or not) of the Bible but that there are portions that were being translated from Syriac and rendered the Arabic reading incomprehensible or illogical.

It would also explain why the Quran seems to retell SOME Biblical stories but sometimes gets them fairly wrong.

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(And if I recall correctly, the divinity of Christ was actually debated leading to the Council of Nicea)

The results of Nicea was the unofficial belief held in the church already at the time. The council was called because an Alexandrian presbyter named Arius was teaching otherwise. So they agreed that it was heresy and wrote the Creed of Nicea.

From Wiki:

The purpose of the council was to resolve disagreements in the Church of Alexandria over the nature of Jesus in relationship to the Father; in particular, whether Jesus was of the same substance as God the Father or merely of similar substance. St. Alexander of Alexandria and Athanasius took the first position; the popular presbyter Arius, from whom the term Arian controversy comes, took the second. The council decided against the Arians overwhelmingly (of the estimated 250-318 attendees, all but 2 voted against Arius). Another result of the council was an agreement on when to celebrate the resurrection (Pascha in Greek; Easter in modern English), the most important feast of the ecclesiastical calendar. The council decided in favour of celebrating the resurrection on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, independently of the Bible's Hebrew Calendar (see also Quartodecimanism), and authorized the Bishop of Alexandria (presumably using the Alexandrian calendar) to announce annually the exact date to his fellow bishops.
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believe the Bible was distorted and changed by man (which when you look at how it was put together it was) and that Muslims deny the divinity of Christ

Just so we're clear, the level of distortion in the Scriptures that would be required for the Qu'ran to be correct is immense, and far beyond the mostly minor scribal errors modern textual criticism highlights, so this position has to be held as an article of faith. Which is fine with me (not that you need my blessing). :)

These are things that are believed to have deviated from the message of Jesus when the Bible was put together by man (i.e writings made 50-60 years after the death of Jesus, the Council of Nicea in the late 300s)

Nicea had nothing to do with the composition of the Bible. The informal process of selection was going on for centuries before Nicea, while the first "official" canon did not come about until about 50 years later.

(And if I recall correctly, the divinity of Christ was actually debated leading to the Council of Nicea)

Nope. :)

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The last part is true but most people in the world would be fine with coexisting with others, except there is this one pesky holdout that refuses to get along ANYWHERE with anyone unless they are dominant.

99% of your post is thinly veiled islamophobia. There are 1.3 billion muslims in the world, if muslims refused to get along with the rest of the world there would be unstoppable terrorist attacks on a daily basis almost everywhere in the world. Seeing as how that is NOT the case (i.e. terrorist attacks happen seldom and only in isolated parts of the world), I think it is safe to say that Islam & muslims are perfectly fine with coexisting with the rest of the world. The problem is that most of the rest of the world, particularly the west, has been meddling in the internal affairs of muslim countries for centuries and thus many muslim nations are skeptical by anything the west does. As for the Quran being altered Im going to need something more than pure hearsay to believe any of that. Nice try though.

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I, personally have no problem with Muslims in general. I think they are wrong, they think I am wrong. From my point of view we can co-exist without violence.

Also, Islam and Christianity are not as similar as some of these folks would have you believe. They believe the Bible is wrong about Jesus and that Christians are Polytheists, and Christians believe Mohammed was a false prophet.

Again, no need for violence over that, but sadly many don't share that view. But, many more than that do not feel violence is necessary. :sad:

Well Said Dr Z

:cheers:

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"This historic letter is intended by its 138 signatories as an open invitation to Christians to unite with Muslims over the most essential aspects of their respective faiths - the principles of love of one God and love of the neighbour. It is hoped that the recognition of this common ground will provide the followers of both faiths with a shared understanding that will serve to defuse tensions around the world."

Hard to see how this is an effort to threaten or take advantage of us.

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"This historic letter is intended by its 138 signatories as an open invitation to Christians to unite with Muslims over the most essential aspects of their respective faiths - the principles of love of one God and love of the neighbour. It is hoped that the recognition of this common ground will provide the followers of both faiths with a shared understanding that will serve to defuse tensions around the world."

Hard to see how this is an effort to threaten or take advantage of us.

I agree. Embracing our similarities in the cause of peace is a wonderful idea.

... because we can't convert 'em if they're dead. :silly:

(I was serious about the first sentence, by the way. :))

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