Monday, February 20, 2006

Can Christianity and Islam Co-exist?

It's a difficult question to answer. I think the more significant question is whether or not Islam and democracy can coexist. In their current states, I doubt they can.

Can Islam and Christianity coexist? Vatican expert hopeful, but wary

Denver, Feb. 17, 2006 (CNA) - Sandro Magister, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Vatican and religious relations, told a crowd gathered in Denver last night that while there is some hope for the future, he thinks that deep self-reform is necessary for Islam to assimilate to the modern world and be able to truly coexist with Christianity.

Here's another interesting passage:

Answering a question from the audience, he said that one of the major reasons for the breakdown was that the major interpretation for Islam in recent decades has become the Sunni one--which insists that the Koran is final and closed for interpretation and debate.

Magister likewise cited a failure in the thought structure of Islam which, he thinks, prevents adaptation, growth and true creativity, adding that he has reached this conclusion through the influence of many Muslim authors themselves.

“The extreme difficulty of establishing dialogue is the intellectual deserting in Islam,” he said, “there are really no intellectuals in the Islamic world up to the challenge.”

On this, he pointed to the startlingly small number of books that are published Muslim countries.

This, he said, not only stems from the widespread opinion that everything has already been said in the Koran, but the stress, put by many political and social leaders on “the imaginary moment that the book was given to the world as well as the paradise promised” therein.

During his talk, Magister said that for many Muslims, the Koran is not the equivalent of the Christian Scriptures; it is the equivalent of Christ.

Here's a link to Sandro Magister's article.


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