Christians and Muslims must show respect
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