A never ending conflict among Christians and Muslims: TRUST?
Conflict. Muslims. Christians. Bible. Torah. Islam. World Religions. Jesus Christ. Mohammad. Abraham.
A very sensitive and provocative question.The general impression is that Muslims can not be trusted though not necessarily true. My impression is probably re-enforced by stories told by our parents or neighbors, books and or movies were the villains is a Muslim. I have lived with Muslins in Mindanao during my elementary days. Their community is separate from Christian community and at school, Muslim students keep to themselves, speaking Muslim most of the time and troubles erupt from time to time between Christian and Muslim students for lack of understanding.The conflict is further fueled because the troubled Muslim student brings his father (with the companions) the following day and the Christian guy his father also, so the conflict becomes big. My grandparents were forced to left their homestead lot in one of the fertile valleys of Mindanao when the conflict between Christians and Muslims escalated in the 60's. They will come to the farm any time and harvest banana, papaya or corn, my grandparents cannot do anything because according to them, this is their land. If you have seen the movie "Kingdom of Heaven", the same line of thinking was portrayed by a Muslim character(Mustafa) when he claimed the horse as his, because it is in his land. I guess culture and religion in Muslim World is one. We cannot deny that some of our Muslim brothers hurt innocents and destroy property unnecessarily in the guise of Religion. The "Holy War" was never resolved after centuries of conflict, silently and subtly is still with us today.
The conflict between Christians and Muslims is not new. The two powerful religions has been at odds at each other for centuries, always fighting each other in opposite sides. The Holy war in the 12th century gives us the picture of disagreement between the two great Religions. Rooted probably in the Christian tenets "that render unto Caesar things which belongs to Caesar and render unto God things which belongs to God"(Matthew 22:31). As such, Christians will not have the problem accepting secularism that is the separation of the State or Government from Religion. To the Muslims, it's unacceptable, Allah their God is the most powerful, all knowing, He owns everything accepting separation will be a rejection of Allah's teachings. For the Muslims, that is unacceptable. From that Christian tenet, Muslims suspect that Christians were trying to undermine Islam. Today, Muslims are concerned with secularism because accepting it promotes Atheism (DR.Yusuf al-Quadrane, AL-IHSAN)
World Religion: It's Origin and Belief
Important Dates in the History of Religion
- 2,000 BC: Time of Abraham, the Patriarch of Israel.
- 1.200 BC: Time of Moses, the Hebrew leader of Exodus
- 1,100 BC: Hindus accept the holy texts, the Vedas
- 563 BC: Time of Budda, founder of Buddhism
- 551 BC: Time of Confucius, founder of Confucianism
- 200 BC: The Hindu Book Bhagavad Gita was written
- 2 to 4 BC-32 AD: Time of Jesus, the Messiah, the founder of Christianity
- 32 AD: The Cruxification and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- 40 -90 AD: The New Testament is written by the followers of Jesus Christ
- 570 - 632 AD: Time of Muhammad who received the Qur'an as the basis of Islam
Origin of religion
The origin of religion can be traced in the ancient Near East and classified in three categories: namely, Polytheistic, Pantheistic, and Monotheistic. Moreover, Atheism as a religion is a modern belief that resulted from "Enlightenment" period of 18th century, therefore, does not belong to the ancient ones.
- Polytheism-(a belief in many gods) is thought to have originated with Hinduism in about 2500 BC recorded in Bhagavad Gita which revealed that many gods were subject to the supreme Brahman god. Also the religion of many cultures including Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Followers believed in sacrifice to appease their gods.
- Pantheism-(a belief that all is God) prevailed in numerous ancient culture. Typified in Animism, Beliefs of African and American Indian cultures, Egyptian culture under the Pharaoh, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism in the culture of Far East. Exalt the principle that "god is everything and everything is god"
- Monotheism-(as belief in one God) is the foundation of Judeo-Christian-Muslim line of Religion, which begun with a man named Abraham in about 2,000 BC. From this point in History, God began revealing Himself to the World through the nation of Israel. Later Moses lead the people of Israel out of Egyptian bondage in Exodus. During the period of the Roman Empire, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem as the long awaited Messiah. The Ministry of Jesus ended in about 32 AD with his cruxification and resurrection. After Christ ascension, the Christian Church grew in His name and the New Testament was written.
- About 600 years later Muhammad began preaching in Mecca. Muhammad believes that he was the ultimate prophet of God, and his teachings become the precepts of Islam as recorded in Qur'an- the holy book of Muslims. It would appear that Islam is the youngest among the major World religions.
- To become a Muslim, one has to follow the Five Pillars of Islam, namely; 1) Recite the Shahadah at least once, 2) Perform the Sarat (prayer) 5 times a day while facing the Kaaba in Makkah(Mecca), 3) Donate regularly to Charity via the zakat and additional donation to the needy, 4) Fast during the month of Ramadan, the month that Muhammad received the Qur'an from Allah, and 5) Make pilgrimage to Makkah, if economically and Physically possible. Muslims believed that giving up once's life for Allah is the sure way of entering paradise.
Probable cause of Islamic indifference towards other Religions
Conflicts are usually rooted in human ignorance. Often inter-religious and international conflicts happen through ignorance of cultures and traditions of the other and the inability to find a common solution. Muslims aberrance towards other Religions stems from a) superiority of Islam over other religion. b) martyrdom forAllah, and c) disagreement with secularism, nationalism and democracy.
a) The Superiority of Islam over other Religion- the Ancient Prophecy.
- A certain prophecy was ascribed to Muhammad, the founder of Islam, that the "Jews has been divided into 71 communities, the Christians have been divided into 72 communities, Umma (Muslims) will be divided into 73 communities" Later it was suggested that of all the communities, only one will be saved in Judgement Day. There, the superiority of Islam is apparent over other Religion, moreover. it is important to remember that until that dreadful day when God pronounced the verdict, people will not be able to identify which community will be saved (Resvan, 2011).
- As opposed to Islam, Christianity stance is rooted in the New Testament -Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. The Truth, without union with Christ, there is no salvation for man. on this ground Muslim strongly against Christian for in the first place they consider Jesus Christ only as a prophet, not God.
- Muslim would like to show to Christians that Islam is the oldest religion because it started with Abraham, the Patriarch of Israel, but, they are also constraint because Ismael (first born), the founder of Muslim Nation, is the son of a lesser woman (servant), God made a covenant with Abraham, that his son Isaac (half brother) will become the leader of the 12 tribes of Israel and not to Ismael (Christian Bible)
b) Martyrdom for Allah
- Many Muslim lives were lost in the era of colonial expansion of Medieval Europe and so goes with the expansion of Christianity across the globe. The methods were sometimes harsh and brutal, but it was the norm of conquerors "cuius regio, cuius religio" established in the Treaty of Augsburg in 1555, in Latin means, "Whose land, His religion" (Rezvan, 2011). The early methods created a lasting impression to the memory of our forebears, how Christianity was ramrod to the natives in the guise of salvation. Naturally, Muslims and non-Muslims resisted the process of conversion, those who resisted and crossed-over to Islam, the feeling of hatred was passed down to later generations who abhor the same.Hate fuels dissension and suspicion even if the purpose of the other is noble.
- Islamic fundamentalism. A new wave of Islamic fundamentalism was noted before the turn of 21st century.This fundamentalism is distinguished by an aggressive interference in politics and rejection of the separation of the Islam and State. It is also characterized by the idealization of early Islam, by non-conciliatory with other's viewpoint, new information and reforms, by intolerance and antagonistic toward non-Muslims and by the use of violence, even armed methods to accomplished its goals (Ibid.) The 9/11 incident and Muslim leader Osama bin Laden still reverberated in the Christian Nations and to the minds of the victims and their families, attest to the antagonistic position of Muslims towards non-Muslims. To a Muslim mind, its joy for to die in the name of Allah is a sure way to enter Paradise.
c) Disagreement with Secularism, Nationalism, and Democracy
- Muslims abhor animosity towards Christian since Biblical time, the passage " Render unto Caesar which belongs to Caesar and render unto God things which belong to God" (Matthew 22: 31) is unacceptable to Muslims. Why should a Muslim have two Master? when Allah is most powerful, He owns everything, having two masters is a rejection of Allah. to the Muslim it's sacrilege and blasphemy of their Religion. Muslims strongly disagree with secularization, they believe it promotes Atheism which is against the teachings of Islam. "There is only one God, Allah, the most powerful and all knowing God". therefore, separation of state and Islam is not possible to the Muslims.
- Conversely, Muslim Brotherhood stand is, "Islam rejects the idea of conflict between spiritual and secular that is the characteristics of the West" The Christian idea of "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar and unto God the things that are God" is absent among Muslims because everything belongs to all powerful Allah.Prophet Muhammad proclaimed that "man who turns to asabiyya does not belong to our community" A very important principle of Islam.
- Muslim Leaders believed that Nationalism as a cause of wars in which nations would attempt to enslave another. They regarded it as ego5trestical, immoral, and materialistic philosophy giving rise to colonialism. Both spirit and in general "Islam and Nationalism opposed each other according to Islamic Fundamentalist Organization.
- The national goal of Islam is "a world Government in which racial and national prejudice will be eliminated, all humanity will join into one political system" (Stepanyants, 2011)
Conflicts between Christians and Muslim cannot be avoided as long as mistrust pervades between the two great Religions. This underscores the need for a sincere religious dialogue between the two camps. In this modern times, Muslims must be able to adjust to situations like Secularism, Nationalism, Globalization are the trends of time, though may be difficult to Muslims in general considering that Muslim and Islam is one. the fundamental application of Torah in this modern time has to be adjusted to real life situations rather than being dogmatic
Adamson, M.a. Connecting wit5h the Divine: The major world religion and their belief about God, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and New Age. ( www.everythingabout.com)
el-Qaradawi, Yusup. Secularism, Islam, and Democracy. (www.AL ISHAN.com)
Hexham, I and K. Poewe.1987.Understanding cults and new religions.William B. ErdmansPublishing Co. 170pp.
Islam and secularism.Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Major religious groups. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Major religion of the world. (www.Infoplease.com)
Rants within the undead God-Philosophy and religion for outsiders.
- Islam and the secret of monotheism.February 4, 2013.
- The man-made Gods of monotheism. March 17, 2014.
Spivak, D and S. Shankman (eds.) 2011. World religion in the context of the contemporary culture: the new perspective of dialogue and mutual understanding. ST. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research, UNESCO. 208pp.
- Igor Yu, K. Islam in Russia and perspective of Christian-Muslim interfaith Dialogue. pp. 44-62.
- Resvan, E. Live together while remaining diverse. pp.11-14.
- Sergei, E. Christianity in the contemporary world; In search of a new perspective of a dialogue of religions. pp15-24.
- Shankman, s. Preface. p.10.
- Stepanyants, M, T. Islamic factors in Post- Soviet Russia's processes of identification. pp. 35-42.
World Religion and ethical system. (www.classzone.com)
- Bible archaeology
- Church history
- Five pillars of Islam
- Is the Bible true?
- Muslim God and Christian God the same?
- Origin of Islam
WWW. All about religion. com:
- Genesis 15-God's Covenant with Abram
- Genesis 16-Sarai and Hagar
- Genesis 17- Abraham and the covenant of circumcision
- Genesis 18- Isaac Birth was Promised
The author would like to acknowledge and thanks, the owner(s) of the photo(s)/ images used in this article and Hub Pages for the .opportunity