From Bill Sutter’s Desk Mar/Apr 2008
We recently received a personal invitation and media advisory from international Muslim leaders calling for a meeting at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This Muslim-Christian event was billed as an “historic olive branch.” Media outlets were urged to cover it for an “important announcement promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation.”
The initiative by 138 Muslim clerics, theologians, and academics was heralded as an opportunity for “highlighting the theological synergies of the two faiths.” It read, “Muslim leaders are calling Christians to finally recognize historical and theological ties between the two faiths to build towards future collaboration.”
Our response was immediate. We at The Friends of Israel will not succumb to the fantasy of supposed “theological synergies” and fabricated “historical and theological ties.” Our commitment can be only to the revealed Word of God.
When I began discussing this invitation with friends of our ministry, their responses were swift and overwhelmingly supportive of The Friends of Israel’s stand. The following comments reflect the letters, e-mails, and phone calls we received:
I’m so happy to see that you not only see it, but expose it for what it is without fear of compromise.
How proud my wife and I are of your unwillingness to compromise your commitments to Israel, to your brothers and sisters in Christ, and surely above all, to Him.
So many are being led by false feelings of what is the Christian thing to do, not realizing the cunning and craftiness of the enemy of our souls.
Following the original meeting in Washington, the same Muslim leaders targeted Christians again, this time with “An Open Letter and Call from Muslim Religious Leaders.” Their letter was issued with great fanfare and another attempt to secure media coverage. Their communication was bathed in platitudes, including “The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians,” and “The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: Love of one God, and love of neighbor.”
Further, “We as Muslims invite Christians to come together on the basis of what is common to us, which is also what is essential to our faith and practice: The Two Commandments of love.”
The propaganda we hear from Islamists is one thing. But more telling is the extreme Muslim violence we see in numerous venues worldwide, which is light-years removed from the platitudes of love proclaimed in the letter.
More recently the Barnabas Fund, a Christian ministry of hope and aid to the persecuted church, has provided a well-reasoned response to the call from Muslim religious leaders. It noted the diversity of Muslim leadership represented by the 138 signatories, some known for their moderation and others known for their extremist inclinations. Disturbingly, signatories included Wahhabists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood who are on record for making radical, aggressive statements against Christians and Jews and in support of global jihad.
Wrote the Barnabas Fund: “On the surface the letter looks like a well intentioned and urgent plea for a better understanding between Muslims and Christians, so as to avert an apocalyptic war between the two largest religious blocks in the world….However, the letter goes on to lay the blame for all wars in which Muslims and Christians are involved on the actions of Christians.” An excerpt from the Muslim letter reads as follows:
As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them—so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes [emphasis added].
Their conclusion is clear: Christianity, not Islam, is the aggressor.
We at The Friends of Israel believe the Muslim letter has another deceptive intent as well: to separate Christians from the all-important Judeo part of their Judeo-Christian heritage. It is an effort to mute Christian support for Israel and the Jewish people. And all of this is part of the ultimate goal, which is the Islamization of the world.
The bottom line of this issue for Christians is represented well by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14:
What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?