It’s not only the Pope they addressed their letter to. They wrote to all most prominent Christian leaders. They open by saying: “Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians”. Well, we can all agree on that, we should think. So this is a very serious opening for a meaningful dialogue.
The Christian world should accept this invitation without any preconditions. Let’s talk seriously to each other with peace in mind. What a wonderful new beginning! Finally some people are making sense. Let’s talk. Why we always have to kill each other first before we talk, we cannot understand. But at least, here it is, half a million deaths later: Let’s talk. Let’s talk peace. Better late than never! Click here to read the letter.
The basis for peace
The 138 Muslim clerics then continue with an amazing statement. They say that the basis of our peace is love of the One God, and love of the neighbor. Now this statement is amazing, because it is so obvious. There was never any valid reason for the crusades and jihads. They were all based on wrong understanding of religion and lust for power basically. So, although the Muslim clerics are really just opening a door that was never closed, it’s a good thing they decided to pass through this open doorway.
We welcome their initiative wholeheartedly, even though the truisms in the letter make you wonder how on earth it was ever possible that we – both Christians and Muslims, as well as Jews actually – did not see that this door was open all the time? It is true that we (Christians) were taught in school that the Muslims also worship ‘a god’, whom they call ‘Allah’. By stating it this way the implication was that Allah was a false god (and thus Islam a false religion), whereas our God was a true god. But the Muslims were right all along in saying: ‘There is no god but God’.
Muhammed and Christ represent the same principle
The letter does not address the difference between Christians and Muslims as to the status of Jesus Christ and of the Prophet Muhammed. They do not yet see that both basically represent the same principle. Or maybe they left that out, because it is too controversial and thus might blur the objective of this initiative, i,e, of trying to find common ground.
The same goes for the Christian doctrine of the trinity. Many Muslims contend that Christians really worship 3 gods, i.e. God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost. They cannot see these three as three different aspects of One God, like the three letters of the word ‘God’ form only one word, namely ‘God’. Muslims don’t see it this way. And, of course, there are other differences, more perceived than real, but nevertheless they are there.
So what to do?
The 138 Muslim clerics recognize there are differences, but they stress the common ground and they make the following very practical and very noteworthy remarks. We really appreciate this. They say: “If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants. Thus our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake”.
They finalize by saying: “And to those who nevertheless relish conflict and destruction for their own sake or reckon that ultimately they stand to gain through them, we say that our very eternal souls are all also at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony. God says in the Holy Qur’an: Lo! God enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed (Al Nahl, 16:90). Jesus Christ said: Blessed are the peacemakers ….(Matthew 5:9), and also: For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? (Matthew 16:26)”.
So, they conclude, “let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill”.
We sincerely applaud this initiative and will support it wherever we can. Please go to www.acommonword.com and sign the endorsement of this letter. We personally have already done so.
The video we have selected is an interfaith rock-song. A good one at that. ‘Believe it and be Free’ by Brent and Anita Law. Enjoy!