Relationship between Muslims and Non-Muslims Must Be Based on 'Mutual Recognition'
From Will at The Other News:
Al-Azhar, based in, is the most important center of learning and the supreme religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world. In an article published June 23, 2011 in the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, its head, Al-Azhar Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb, expressed remarkably tolerant views towards non-Muslims, especially Christians and Jews. He wrote:
"A Muslim cannot imagine all of mankind sharing a single creed or turning to a single religion – even if this religion is Islam. As long as this remains the case, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims [must be] one of mutual recognition.
The Islamic world has absorbed all the religions of the known world. In its western regions it encountered the Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Christianity, and in its eastern region it encountered Hinduism and Buddhism."
In the article, Al-Tayeb distinguishes between the fundamentals of the faith on the one hand and religious laws (shari'a) on the other.
He states that the three Abrahamic religions – Islam, Judaism, and Christianity – share the fundamentals of faith, ritual, and morality, and differ only in their specific shari'a laws.
He adds that since shari'a depends on circumstances of time and place, the existence of different shari'as is only natural.
In saying this, he not only legitimizes Judaism and Christianity, but also implicitly sanctions the differences in shari'a between the Sunna and Shi'a, and among the various Sunni religious schools.Read the full story here.
An examination of Al-Tayeb's writing reveals that this trend of tolerance towards Christianity and Judaism goes back to his days as president of Al-Azhar University (2004-2010), though this recent article is the most far-reaching expression of this trend to date.
Al-Tayeb emphasized that the dialogue must focus on the commonalities between the monotheistic faiths: belief in God, in His oneness, and in the monotheistic holy scriptures.In this article, and on other occasions, he stressed that a plurality of faiths is desirable according to Islam, and that he does not wish to bring all of humanity under one faith.
He added: "As a Muslim, I am not required to carry a sword to convert members of other faiths in this generation. I am required to know other peoples and to maintain ties with them that are beneficial to both sides..."
It should be noted that despite the tolerance towards Judaism reflected in some of his articles, Al-Tayeb refuses to conduct dialogue with Jewish rabbis or participate in conferences they attend. In one case, he said: "The Children of only expect the dialogue to drag the Arabs toward normalization, without granting the Palestinians anything real.
The Prophet maintained with the Jews relations [characterized by] a high degree of friendship and respect – to the extent that if a Muslim desired to marry a Jewish woman, he asked him not to require her to convert, and to take her to synagogue to pray.
However, despite this, few Jews are inclined toward justice. The Arabs and Palestinians must know that Israel will not grant them their rights on a silver, copper, or paper platter... The Palestinians must unite in order to protect their legitimate rights and exercise their legitimate right to resist occupation, with everything this entails..."
It would appear that anti-Semitism is so deeply embedded in Islam that it is the only thing remaining once all the other evil is washed out.
Here this guy is willing to accept everything and anything we could ever dream of. If this were the end of the war against the Jihad, and this guy was our negotiating emissary from Dar al-Islam , we could ask for a better partner for peace.
But, for Christ sake, dude can't sit down with a Rabbi.
Is Anti-Semitism the essential basic element of Islam?