As a way to exonerate Islam of the violence habitually committed in its name, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb—the grand imam of Al Azhar University—recently engaged in some interesting sophistry. According to published statements on Arabic media, Tayeb said that “It is extremely regrettable that some heads of churches in the United States conduct [homosexual] marriages. I wonder how little of the Gospel [Injil] is left to them and how they will face our Lord Isa [Islam’s version of Jesus]?”
One of the grand imam’s points was that Christian normalization of homosexuality is an expression of “radicalization” and a distortion of Christianity no less than when Muslims commit violence in the name of Islam. This clever argument is being picked up by several in the Muslim world.
After a moderate Egyptian talk show host referenced Tayeb’s comments, he was quick to add, “Of course when we speak about Western churches, we don’t attribute them to churches or Christian men.” He then proceeded to gently admonish Egypt’s Christians with Tayeb’s logic: If Muslims are to accept that just because some “Christians” normalize homosexuality, this does not mean that Christianity normalizes it, then Christians must accept that just because some Muslims normalize discrimination and violence against Christians, this does not mean that Islam normalizes it.
Left unsaid in this latest apologia is that the Bible—Old and New Testaments—unequivocally condemns homosexuality, whereas the Koran calls for violence against “infidels.”