Chris­tians and Mus­lims must show re­spect

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

IN RE­SPONSE to F Haf­fe­jee, “Must we ban be­liefs con­trary to our own?” (Week­end Ar­gus, Jan­uary 3), I wish to bring to the at­ten­tion of both Mus­lims and Chris­tians a prom­ise that the Prophet Muham­mad made to Chris­tians in 628 AD, when a del­e­ga­tion from St Cather­ine’s Monastery came and re­quested his pro­tec­tion.

The Prophet Muham­mad said: “This is a mes­sage from Muham­mad ibn Ab­dul­lah, as a covenant to those who adopt Chris­tian­ity, near and far, we are with them. Ver­ily I, the ser­vants, the helpers, and my fol­low­ers de­fend them, be­cause Chris­tians are my cit­i­zens; and by Al­lah! I hold out against any­thing that dis­pleases them. No com­pul­sion is to be on them. Nei­ther are their judges to be re­moved from their jobs nor their monks from their monas­ter­ies.

“No one is to de­stroy a house of their re­li­gion, to dam­age it, or to carry any­thing from it to the Mus­lims’ houses. Should any­one take any of th­ese, he would spoil God’s covenant and dis­obey His Prophet. Ver­ily, they are my al­lies and have my se­cure char­ter against all that they hate.

“No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Mus­lims are to fight for them. If a fe­male Chris­tian is mar­ried to a Mus­lim, it is not to take place without her ap­proval. She is not to be pre­vented from vis­it­ing her church to pray.

“Their churches are to be re­spected. They are nei­ther to be pre­vented from re­pair­ing them nor the sa­cred­ness of their covenants. No one of the na­tion (Mus­lims) is to dis­obey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”

Mus­lims and Chris­tians should take note of the re­spect shown to Chris­tians in the Prophet’s words and strive to show this kind of mu­tual re­spect to one an­other. Grant Geduldt

Ron­de­bosch WHAT a pre­sump­tu­ous state­ment by F Haf­fe­jee, “an­i­mals are put on this Earth by God for hu­mans to use, for labour, for their skins or for con­sump­tion”.

No one and no re­li­gion has the au­dac­ity to as­cribe any ac­tions to any de­ity. It sim­ply suits us to po­si­tion our­selves at the top of the food chain and ex­ploit mil­lions of de­fence­less an­i­mals.

Haf­fe­jee is also a mine of mis­in­for­ma­tion. He or she states that “the fos­ter­ing and forc­ing of one’s be­lief on to an­other… is the crux of the prob­lem that Mus­lims face all over the world”.

Yet it’s pre­cisely the other way round: Is­lam is the most in­tol­er­ant of all re­li­gions with its zero tol­er­ance to­ward “in­fi­dels”. It is rad­i­cal Is­lam’s tar­get­ing of in­no­cent per­sons in nonMus­lim coun­tries – and un­be­liev­ably, even in their own coun­tries – that has led to such an out­pour­ing of anti-Mus­lim feel­ing in West­ern coun­tries.

Is­lam, like Ju­daism, must live and let live. And of the state­ment that “Chris­tians and Jews have been al­lowed to flour­ish in Mus­lim coun­tries for cen­turies”, quite the op­po­site is true, with per­se­cu­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion com­mon against all non-Mus­lims.

Fi­nally, let’s keep his­tory fac­tual: Pales­tine was pop­u­lated by Jews and Chris­tians for many cen­turies be­fore Is­lam, which only ar­rived there in 670. David Lazarus

Sea Point

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