On Interfaith Dialogue By Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman
In a supposed interfaith dialogue in the south-eastern part of Nigeria, the topic for that day was, “The Bible or Qur’an, which is the word of God?”. I went on stage then started to talk about the errors, contradictions and anachronisms in the bible as well as the supremacy of the Qur’an. When it was the pastor’s turn, he started to talk about how we worship same God, peace, no violence, no judging, pacifism, no extremism nor fanaticism. I did not understand why the pastor chose not to address the topic till I checked the meaning of interfaith dialogue,
“Interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e., “faiths”) and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels. It is distinct from syncretism or alternative religion, in that dialogue often involves promoting understanding between different religions or beliefs to increase acceptance of others, rather than to synthesize new beliefs.(wikipedia)”
With this definition, when people ask me to come for interfaith dialogue which is most likely debates, I tell them to call it debate not interfaith dialogue. The likes of Dr. Zakir Naik, Mallam Yusuf Adepoju and Sheikh Muhammad Awwal are into religious debates not interfaith dialogue as the definition suggests in a world where the peace and tolerance are selective and most times misplaced.
‘Umar Ibrahim Vadillo said in his book, the end of economics;
“The fallacy of of the ‘Islamic Bank’ is an absurd attempt to resolve, as was done in the case of Christianity, the unswerving opposition of Islam to usury for fourteen centuries”
He (‘Umar) described the ‘Islamic Bank’ as a Trojan Horse in Dar al-Islam. Just like the Islamic Bank, the interfaith dialogue concept is another Trojan Horse. While they go on with selling Islamophobia, persecution of Muslims, politics in Muslim Lands, false headlines against Islam using the media, interfaith dialogue is an attempt to resolve,as was done with Christianity, some theological and cultural differences which Islam opposes.
Recently, Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb signed a document on fighting extremism, during an inter-religious meeting at the Founder’s Memorial in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 4, 2019. On tolerance, I have always said that our tolerance defines their tolerance. From my observation on the so called peace meeting, I think the meeting was more of muslims-allow-christians-come-worship meeting than that of general peace and tolerance. These are the highlights of the meeting,
- Grand imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb called on the Muslims in the Middle East to “embrace” local Christian communities
- Pope Francis also called for full religious freedom in the majority Muslim region.
- Pope Francis’ 40-hour visit to Abu Dhabi culminates on Tuesday with the first-ever papal Mass on the Arabian Peninsula
It also appears to me that the so called peace meeting accuses Muslims or Islam of intolerance as the highlights were centred on Muslims embracing Christians.
To further support the theory of interfaith dialogue being a Trojan Horse, indiatoday says,
“Pope Francis’ 40-hour visit to Abu Dhabi culminates on Tuesday with the first-ever papal mass on the Arabian peninsula — a gathering in which 135,000 people are expected to participate in a never-before-seen display of public Christian worship in the region.”
I think it is not extreme but a reality if we say, interfaith dialogue is a Trojan Horse for other religions and cultures to influence Muslims and take away from them the fundamental aspects of Islam that was not achieved with war and the media.
These types of peace, unity and tolerance, I don’t like. With these types of developments, usury, porn, alcohol and other vices would be welcomed where they used to be met with hostility. By then, people would be ‘peaceful’ and ‘tolerant’. Now, the speakers of truth are seen as Lunatics, then, they would be aliens.
When people are drunk with the opium of falsehood mixed with elixir of lies served in a golden cup, the roughly dressed bitter nutritious truth becomes preposterous and the speaker of the truth, a Lunatic.
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman
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