“We want to send a message to the world,” said Tad Stahnke, director of policy and programs for Human Rights First, “that Americans do respect religious differences and reject religious bigotry and the demonization of Islam or any other religion.”
Do the Qur’an readings below constitute demonization of Christianity? Would Tad Stahnke care to explain why not?
Here are some readings that the congregants in the various churches might enjoy:
Christians have forgotten part of the divine revelations they received: “From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.” — Qur’an 5:14
Jesus is not the Son of God: “O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three” – Cease! (it is) better for you! – Allah is only One Allah. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender.” — Qur’an 4:171
“It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” — Qur’an 19:35
Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed: “The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! ” — Qur’an 9:30
Jesus was not crucified: “And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger – they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.” — Qur’an 4:157
Religious and human rights activists are asking U.S. churches to invite Jewish and Muslim clergy to their sanctuaries to read from sacred texts next month in an initiative designed to counter anti-Muslim bigotry.
The June 26 initiative, called “Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding,” is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First. Leaders of the two Washington-based groups said the event hopes to demonstrate respect for Islam in the wake of Quran burnings in recent months.
“As a Christian minister who is a pastor in a local congregation, it is important to me for our nation and our world to know that not all Christians promote hate, attack religions different from their own and seek to desecrate the scripture of others,” the Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, said Tuesday.
More than 50 churches in 26 states already have committed to the initiative, including the Washington National Cathedral.
Tad Stahnke, director of policy and programs for Human Rights First, said he hopes the initiative will draw attention to religious freedom and counter negative stereotypes of Christian leaders making anti-Muslim statements.
“We want to send a message to the world,” he said, “that Americans do respect religious differences and reject religious bigotry and the demonization of Islam or any other religion.”