Moreover, the topics they do discuss — Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan — are more catered to Muslim concerns. “Christian, Muslim leaders offer no new remedies against extremists,” from AFP, August 1:
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (AFP) “” A conference of Muslim and Christian leaders aimed at promoting interfaith dialogue ended here sidestepping the thorny issue of religious fundamentalism.
“The practical issues included world poverty, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the situation in Palestine and Israel, the danger of further wars, and the freedom of religion,” said Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, describing the closed-door meetings.
Now I ask you, what do any of the above topics — important as they are — have to do with inter-faith dialogue? Aren’t “inter-faith dialogues” supposed to be about exploring, understanding, and debating other faiths?
The final declaration, approved by consensus, states that Muslims and Christians “affirm the unity and absoluteness of God.
Nice to see Christians submit to that peculiar definition of Allah: tawhid. Not that Christians aren’t monotheists, of course. But it’s very telling, as it was very expected, that the definition agreed to by both Christians and Muslims just so happens to be the one that totally comports with Islam: the two English terms “absoluteness” and “unity” are often the best translations of the Arabic concept of tawhid. Incidentally, it is the concept of tawhid that Muslims most rely on to discredit the Christian concept of the trinity.
The final text of the meeting avoids mentioning Christian or Muslim fundamentalist ideologies, though the final declaration does “denounce and deplore threats made against those who engage in interfaith dialogue.”
To all participants: you have to actually first engage in “inter-faith dialogue” before you defend it; and as this report makes clear, there was no real inter-faith dialogue present.