Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Common Word

This seems to be important. A group of Muslim scholars have produced a common statement of belief, with the aim of trying to get some kind of peace with the Roman Catholics.

However, the problems are all in the detail, and the BBC really don't get it... I'll just mention a few.

Significantly the letter acknowledged that the Prophet Muhammad was told only the same truths that had already been revealed to Jewish and Christian prophets, including Jesus himself.

Yes, but Muslims claim that the reason the beliefs are so different now is that the Christians and the Jews corrupted theirs, but the Muslims kept theirs the same. Incidentally, there is quite a lot of evidence for what the early Christians believed, and there is absolutely none that they believed the same as Muslims do today.

Or this, from the letter itself:

Non-combatants are not permitted or legitimate targets.

Well, quite. The question is over who isn't a combatant. Personally, I don't think that British civilians in London count, but others seem to disagree. And I don't think I've ever seen any Muslim in a position of authority arguing that Israeli women and children weren't combatants and that those who attack them are wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's good to work with Muslims and that it is helpful to agree on some important ethical issues. But the BBC's:

The document examined fundamental doctrine and stressed what it said were key similarities - such as the belief in one God and the requirement for believers to "love their neighbours as themselves".

once again misses the point. For Christians, this is a response to God's salvation. Christianity is not about obeying ethical precepts. It is about a relationship with Jesus Christ, which then leads to us seeking to follow him.

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