Apparently, the interfaith idea was more or less invented by Islam. Or, more correctly, by whoever created that part of the Koran.
One interfaith Muslim writes:
"The Qur'an is very enthusiastic about interfaith dialogue. Muhammad himself often engaged in the practice with Jews, Christians, and idolaters."
Over and above the fact that the word 'interfaith', let alone the words 'interfaith dialogue', must surely be the foisting of contemporary politically-correct religious fashion on the Arabia of the 6th century, we still must ask exactly why Muhammad "often engaged in the practice" of interfaith. Was it for reasons of empathy with other religions with a 'shared tradition'? Did he want to acquire knowledge of Christianity and Judaism? Or did he simply want to convert Christians and Jews to Islam, as InterFaith Muslims do today? Was Mohammed's interfaith simply a vehicle to sell Islam to gullible Jews and Christians, as is the case today?
Perhaps Muslims themselves can answer these questions. (If they will cease their taqiyya for long enough to do so.)
The cat is let out of the bag, so to speak, when it is said that "[t]he growth of interfaith dialogue [was] long the province of the Jews and Christians". Umm. Are their sour grapes being expressed here? It is a case of Muslims never having had a look in or input into these 'interfaith dialogues' at least not until the rise of multiculturalism in the mid-1960s and perhaps before.
The case becomes clearer.
Apparently, ever since "the dismantling of the Ottoman [Islamic] Empire... interfaith dialogue has taken on the tone of conquered and conquerors".
Yes. Exactly. Christians/Westerners were the conquerors and Muslims were the conquered. This raises the question as to whether liberal/PC interfaith dialogue could have exited at all during this period is that were truly so. Rowan Williams certainly doesn't see himself as 'conqueror'; and no Muslim today will see himself as 'conquered'.
Another question is begged here.
Would InterFaith Muslims today, as they were before the 'dismantling of the Ottoman Empire', prefer to be the conquerors? Of course they would!
We can put more flesh on this strange idea that Mohammed practised InterFaith dialogue by seeing what InterFaith Muslims think the Koran itself offers us in this department.
One InterFaith Muslim makes the extreme claims that "the Qur'an... has a complete analysis of Christianity"! A complete analysis of Christianity? I doubt that even a single Christian tome or Christian theologian could offer a complete analysis of Christianity.
In addition, if the Koran offers a complete analysis of Christianity, then why did Muhammad, and why do Muslims today, need to indulge in InterFaith dialogue in the first place if their Holy Book already contains a complete analysis of Christianity? What would Muslims gain from what everyday Christians have to say about their faith? Nothing? Then perhaps Muslims indulge in InterFaith for other reasons...
Apart from all that. This Islamic complete analysis of Christianity puts Muslims in a far more superior position, vis-à-vis InterFaith and much else, when it comes to Christians. It (sort of) automatically follows from this, in a Muslim's own words, that "while the average Christian will be completely in the dark about Islam, the Muslim is already well versed in both faiths". The obvious and logical result of this scenario is that InterFaith Muslims have nothing (really) to learn about Christianity, whereas Christians have a hell of a lot to learn about Islam. So, in that case, what do InterFaith Muslims get out of interfaith dialogue? Nothing about Christianity but, instead, lots of da'wah (proselytising) about Islam, which is just what many of us suspected.
However, instead of selling Islam outright during interfaith meetings, InterFaith Muslims can, instead, chip a little bit at a time off the old block that is Christianity (much as political entryists do in opposition meetings). For example, one InterFaith Muslim says that Islam "has influenced many Europeans to question the validity of the trinity theory". A Muslim, in fact, can 'prove' his point by quoting from the Koran on this subject. He may quote this passage:
"They are blasphemers, those who say that Allah is the third of three in a Trinity. There is no god but the One God."
The problem with InterFaith Islam's Jesus is that he's not the same Jesus of Christianity. He is not the Jesus of Christians. Just about the only thing Islam's 'Jesus' shares with Christianity's Jesus is the name 'Jesus'.
Christians will no doubt be astonished by how different Islam's Jesus is to their own Jesus.
For example, take this introductory passage:
"The Qur'an claims that Jesus was not killed or crucified, but that it was made to appear so to them... Allah saved Jesus and took him to be in Paradise until the hour came to complete his mission in the end-times."
The first point to make is: what's the point of Muslims saying "we share Jesus" if their Jesus is not only fundamentally different to the Christian Jesus, but he does not believe or do any of the things which importantly made Jesus a special part of their religion? What's the point of a "shared Jesus" who was not "crucified for our sins"?
It gets worse.
Muslims "believe that Jesus predicted the coming of Muhammed". And if Jesus predicted the coming of Muhammed, then he surely also predicted the replacement of Christianity with Islam, which was one of Muhammad's goals. For Christians to accept the Islamic Jesus is for them to believe in a Jesus who negates himself on the cross of Islam. It is to believe in a Jesus who also negates Christianity itself and much of what it both believes and holds dear.
Jesus, in Islam, is a tool of InterFaith Muslims. A tool to get Christians to convert (or "revert"!) to Islam, the religion 'into which they were born" (see later).
This is not a mad interpretation of Islam's Jesus. Muslims often make their position explicit. As in the following:
"According to the sayings of the Prophet Muhammed, Jesus will speak to the Christians and Jews of the world and convert them to Islam. He will succeed in breaking the worship of the cross and will stop them easting pork."
What an insult to Christians! Christians do not worship the cross; unless the metaphorical nature of that statement is made clear and accepted. They either worship the cross as a symbol or the man who was crucified on the cross. The idea of worshipping a cross is clearly a devious hint at either Christian animism or the Islamic sin of worshipping idols.
The Islamic Jesus the InterFaith Jesus! departs further and further away from the Christian Jesus and in so doing becomes the Muslim that other Muslims want him to be. Again, Muslims say that Jesus "will visit Mecca and Medina". He will also "marry and have children".
However, it is not the case that Muslims have Jesus all wrong. It is Christians who have him all wrong. And one of the main reasons for this, according to Muslims, is that the
"so-called Gospels in the New Testament are really biographies of Jesus written by spectators and not the Gospel of Jesus."
That is, it is not the Gospel of Jesus in the way that the Koran is of Allah. The Gospels are the words of Jesus, whereas the Koran certainly are the words of Allah (according to Muslims). That is a massive difference to Muslims, right or wrong.
It is because of this 'fact' that the Gospels were written merely by 'spectators" that Muslims think that
"it is precisely because the Holy Book [not Books] of Jews and Christians is faulty [and that they therefore] deviated from God's universal way as enshrined in the Qur'an."
Again, Muslims will back this anti-Christian thesis by quoting from the Koran itsself. They may well quote this passage:
"The Jews say, 'The Christians are not on the right track,' [certainly a modern translation], and the Christians will say: 'It is the Jews who are not on the right track,' yet both read the same books!... Allah will judge between them in their dispute on the Day of Judgement." - Koran, 2:113
This is where InterFaith Muslims get extremely patronising towards Christians. They hint at empathy and mutual understanding with one breath, and then swiftly take them away with the next one. They talk about Christians being a 'People of the Book', and then slyly, if an InterFaith Muslim, have a deep dig at aspects of Christianity. In other words, they become taqiyya personified.
The basic message is that Christians can't help but be in the wrong on many perhaps all issues. This is simply the case because Christianity and its 'Book' came before Islam and the Koran. Islam, therefore, supersedes Christianity. Simple as.
More specifically, Muslims say that
"the premise [we Muslims] live by is that those who follow the Bible cannot help but make errors in doctrine."
So why is that? Simple:
"The original teachings of their prophets have been lost."
Is that either historically or theologically correct, according to Christians? I doubt it. No matter. The inevitable result of all this patronising and dismissive talk of Christianity is that the "Qur'an was revealed to appeal to [Christians' and Jews'] sense of logic and faith". Of course it was. Thus it is only logical and natural for Christians, having discovered Islam and the Koran, say at an InterFaith meeting, should embrace Islam.
InterFaith Muslims may go into more detail on this. They may argue, or say, that
"the Qur'an is merely correcting what has been falsely or erroneously written and [their prophets] and their teachings."
More to the point. Apparently
"[m]any Christians and Jews do not know the history of the Bible and how many times it has been lost, rewritten, and edited."
At the heart of the InterFaith Muslim position, and indeed of all Muslims, is the ostensible fact that the Christian 'Book' grew over hundreds of years (which Christians won't deny), whereas Islam was delivered to one man, Mohammed, directly over a "span of 23 years". As this Muslim puts it:
"Islam, unlike all other religions, did not develop its doctrines over many centuries through the efforts of many men. Every aspect of Islamic beliefs and practices came within a span of 23 years, from 610 to 632c.e."
Apart from the fact that virtually every Western historian, as well as many theologians, will deny this thesis of Muhammad being the sole culprit for the Koran and Islamic doctrines generally, the question remains as to whether or not it is necessarily a good thing that Islam came all at once and a bad thing that Christianity was developed over the centuries.
Muslims may go into more detail here. They may say, like this Muslim scholar, that
"Christians have their Bible and the works of countless theologians."
And clearly this is a bad thing to Muslims. However,
"Islam, on the other hand, is derived from only two sources, both of which passed through one man and were completed in less than 25 years."
The underlying point here is not only that the works were written in only 25 years, but also that this shows Muslims that Allah alone was responsible for every single word. Indeed every single word is supposed to be directly from Allah at least those words in the Koran.
There is another Islamic consequence to all this. It has already been said, by Muslims, that Christian theologians are just as much responsible for Christianity than Jesus Christ himself. This means that these theologians, and others, add and embellish the original Christian messages and detail (which Catholics, at the least, won't deny). Muslim scholars, on the other hand, "are not charged with formulating new doctrines". Instead, "they organise and interpret the data given in the Qur'an and the hadiths".
The problem with this claim is that most Christians, perhaps not all, will claim exactly the same thing. They will say that they too, or their theologians and priests, simply "organise and interpret the data given in" the New and Old Testaments (also other "data").
You can almost guess the gist and ultimate consequences of this dismissive, even if said in sweet tones, remarks about Christians from InterFaith Muslims.
If Christianity is substandard, defective, 'erroneous', 'false', etc., then it is incumbent on all Christians to embrace Islam, whether within an interfaith meeting or elsewhere. But this is clearly not going to happen in most cases. Christians, on the whole, have not embraced Islam have not "reverted" to this faith. Or, as this InterFaith Muslim puts it, Christianity
"has not yet accepted the validity of Muhammad's message and consequently Christians know little of this rival faith."
I don't understand. Does this accusation also include the Christians who indulge (or overindulge) in interfaith with these very same Muslims? Have they, too, not "accepted the validity of Muhammad's message"? More to the point. Do InterFaith Christians, despite interfaithing with InterFaith Muslims, "know little of this rival faith"? That's the universal claim about Christians from this InterFaith Muslim. He seems to assume that all Christians, including InterFaith Christians, "know little" of Islam. This must simply mean that true and complete knowledge of Islam can only come when the Christian converts to that faith. Until then, no matter how much he studies Islam, how many interfaith meetings he attends with Muslims, only true conversion to Islam will guarantee complete, genuine and true knowledge of Islam. This is what InterFaith sceptics thought all along about InterFaith Muslims and InterFaith Islam.
(Some) Christians ask Muslims if Christians and Jews will go to Paradise. With lovely and sweet tones, InterFaith Muslims say, "Yes. Of course they will." However, there is a Big But which qualifies this sweetness. The only Christians and Jews who will go to heaven or Paradise will be the ones who have never even heard of Islam, the Koran or the prophet Muhammad. Thus, they can't be held guilty for not embracing Islam. This also means that InterFaith Christians, more than any other Christians, will certainly not go to Paradise.
What a sick payoff for all that sucking up to Muslims!
This Interfaithing Muslim then goes into detail on this deflationary subject:
"If a person only knew about Christianity or Judaism or whatever and never heard of Islam, then God will take that into account on Judgement Day and judge the person fairly by it."
There's more. On the other hand, if
"a person finds out about Islam, then it becomes incumbent upon him or her to accept it and leave behind the former religion."
This raises the questions of how much a Christian needs to know about Islam for him to be sentenced to hell. It appears that any knowledge of Islam should lead the Christian to convert to Islam. And, as I said earlier, this certainly and unequivocally means that InterFaith Christians are destined for eternal torment in hell.
There's more to this culpability of Christians especially InterFaith Christians! for not embracing Islam. It is, after all, the case that the
"Prophet Muhammad once said that every child is born with the natural inclination to surrender to Allah, that is, to be a Muslim..."
It gets worse and far more unInterFaith.
Christian parents are now castigated by InterFaith Muslims:
"[T]he child's parents make it a Jew, a Christian, or a Zoroastrian."
The very idea of a newborn baby "surrendering to Allah" I find obscene. The very idea that "every child is born with a natural inclination" to do so, I find absurd and stupid. Most of all. The outright criticism of all non-Muslim parents for not allowing their children to become Muslims is arrogant beyond belief and must surely be disturbing to all Christians even to InterFaith Christians!
Paul Austin Murphy lives in Birmingham, England. He writes
extensively about Islam. Many of his articles have appeared in
Think-Israel. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and
visit his website at
article was published September 19, 2012 and is archived at