Recently Robert Spencer interviewed former Pentagon Sharia expert Stephen Coughlin, who spoke at our inaugural AFDI event at CPAC in 2010, on his ABN show. They discussed the pitfalls of "interfaith dialogue," a trap that Jews and Christians frequently fall into. Spencer explains about Muslim/Christian dialogue:
I am all for dialogue between Muslims and Christians when it is
honest and not based on false pretenses. There doesn't seem to be any
use to dialogue that ignores difficulties and points of disagreement
rather than confronting them. They won't go away if ignored. I discuss
the genuine prospects for dialogue and its pitfalls at length in my book
Not Peace But A Sword, which will be published next week by Catholic Answers.
One thing that must be recognized is that for many Muslim spokesmen
and leaders, dialogue with adherents of other religions is simply a
proselytizing mechanism designed to convert the "dialogue" partner to
Islam, as the Muslim Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb explained: "The
chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is
great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on
the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of
Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam."
In line with this, 138 Muslim scholars wrote to Pope Benedict XVI,
inviting him to dialogue. The title of the document they sent to him was
A Common Word Between Us and You. Reading the entire Qur’anic
verse from which the phrase “a common word between us and you” was taken
makes the Common Word initiative’s agenda clear: “Say: ‘People of the
Book! Come now to a word common between us and you, that we serve none
but God, and that we associate not aught with Him, and do not some of us
take others as Lords, apart from God.’ And if they turn their backs,
say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims’” (3:64). Since Muslims consider
the Christian confession of the divinity of Christ to be an unacceptable
association of a partner with God, this verse is saying that the
“common word” that Muslims and the People of the Book should agree on is
that Christians should discard one of the central tenets of their faith
and essentially become Muslims. Not a promising basis for an honest and
mutually respectful dialogue of equals.
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