A DVD by Hatikvah Films
“Get understanding, forget it not” is the scripture which came to mind after viewing this revealing new film.
Sister Religions? is a series of interviews exploring the relationship between Judeo-Christianity and Islam.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, formerly Bishop of Rochester, gives an introductory interview, followed by three interviews with Rev Dr Mark Durie, an Anglican pastor and acknowledged researcher and author on Islam and other faiths, and finally there is an interview with international religious liberty analyst and advocate Elizabeth Kendal.
I watched the DVD comfortably in one evening, but it would also be ideal to watch in a home group over two evenings to allow time for discussion.
I found the views contained in the DVD considered and factual, but rendered all the more explosive by the calm, academic delivery of the experts.
Bishop Nazir-Ali urges us never to allow Sharia law to have legal status in this country, because its values are so at odds with our own. We must instead, he says, encourage integration and the acceptance of the rule of law in our land.
Mark Durie clearly explains why inter-faith dialogue with Muslims can be an unexploded bomb of misunderstanding unless Christians take the time to inform themselves fully of the Muslim understanding of Abraham, their version of our prophets and Issa (the Muslim name for Jesus).
It seems that the Qu’ran cannot be understood without a scholarly grip of what was happening in the prophet Mohammed’s life. It cannot therefore be taken at face value, and interpreters like Mark Durie are helpful in explaining that this faith is radically different in outlook and ‘Weltanschauung’ both from Christianity and from what Westerners might like to believe. Jesus is seen as a sword wielding, violent man who did not die on the Cross but who is coming back to destroy Christianity and restore Islam.
The historic subjugation and humiliation of the dhimmi, (those who are not Muslims living under Muslim rule), has led, (one example among many) to the Copts in Egypt being denied recourse to the law or to testify about the torment and abuse they have suffered at the hands of Muslims. Aid given by non-Muslim countries to an Islamic country is seen as a rightful tribute. There is no need to thank or give place to the giver. Further, the Muslim may lie with impunity to a non-Muslim (called ‘Taqqiya’) if it serves the cause of Islam. Mark explains how this impacts international relations.
The territorial imperative of Islam is explained. Under it if Islam has at any time occupied land it remains Islamic forever (Birmingham?). A similar view of history allows archaeological artefacts (for example from the Temple Mount) to be destroyed, and history to be, in our terms, rewritten in order to enforce the claims of Islam.
This is a serious and very timely look at Islam and our faith. Please take this opportunity to learn from people with deep understanding. It will be crucial to any interfaith dialogue or witnessing you may attempt.
Sister Religions? Is available from Hatikvah Films for £9.99. Tel 0845 2308788 or via www.hatikvah.co.uk