A reader sent me the following article.
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 letter itself has much positive to recommend it [PDF]. It is just that my main reaction is – you first. Besides I don’t really see Christianity at being at war with Islam in the first place. Where exactly is the Christian intolerance of Muslims in the world? What Muslims are being sentenced to death for converting from Christianity to Islam. What Christian countries ban passing out of the Koran? If anything Christian countries have gone out of their way be supportive of Muslims in areas where they are not even that supportive of Christian belief.
The Catholic Church is of course open to inter-religious dialogue and will always continue with men of good will. The Holy See has found common cause in the past with Muslims to help defeat anti-life measures in the U.N.
I just think these scholars should first clean up the mess in their own backyards. How about letters to those governments where Christians (and especially converts from Islam) are not free to practice their faith.