And We gave clear arguments to Jesus son of Mary, and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit
Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) June 1, 2008
As widely reported recently, Columbus, Ohio Pastor Rod Parsley has an extremely unfavorable view of Islam. He believes Islam is an "Anti-Christ" religion, the underlying spirit of the faith being "one of hostility". He believes Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, "received revelations from demons and not from the true God". He also believes America "was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed" and that 9/11 "was a generational call to arms". In a sincere effort to educate Pastor Parsley, his congregation, and others holding similar opinions, about the true nature of Islam, the Lahore Ahmadiyya Islamic Society invites Pastor Parsley to debate the merits of his views.
"Far from a hostile religion," Dr. Mohammed Ahmad, President of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Islamic Society, explains, "the word Islam is derived from the Arabic word silm, meaning peace. Moreover," he continues, "Islam is titled after the objective to which it aspires: the attainment of peace -- within the individual, amongst people, and between man and God -- is what Islam prescribes as the very purpose of life".
It appears Pastor Parsley is quite unaware that the Holy Quran, the holy scripture of Islam revealed to Prophet Muhammad over 1400 years ago, explicitly defines the principles required to establish a peaceful, civil, democratic society. For instance, it states:
- All people, regardless of faith, color or creed, are equal: "mankind is but a single nation" (2:213).
- Total and complete religious freedom must be upheld: "There is no compulsion in religion" (2:256).
- State governments must be democratic: "those whose affairs are decided by counsel among themselves" (42:38).
- Equality between the sexes, including financial independence, must be established: "For men is the benefit of what they earn. And for women the benefit of what they earn" (4:32).
- Justice must be administered in all matters: "Be maintainers of justice even though it be against your own selves or your relatives" (4:135).
- A welfare system for the poor and needy must be institutionalized: "Give away wealth out of love for Him (God), to the near of kin and the orphans, and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask and set slaves free" (2:177).
- War must be limited to cases of self-defense only: "Permission to fight is given to those on whom war is made" (22:39); "And fight against those who fight against you, and be not aggressive" (2:190).
Can these principles be reasonably viewed as inherently inconsistent with the values and ideals upon which America was founded?
"Clearly, Pastor Parsley has relied on biased and inaccurate sources in forming his views about Islam," explains Attorney Fazeel S. Khan, Secretary of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Islamic Society. "The erroneousness of his views," he continues, "is plainly manifested by his failure to make the primary distinction between one, Islam as a religion, and two, misguided persons claiming to be followers of Islam. He has aligned himself with the Islamic extremists' distorted interpretations of Islam; these endorsements, whether conscious or not, only legitimate the extremists' cause and thereby impede the global effort to eradicate such extremist ideologies from the world," he concludes.
It appears Pastor Parsley is also unaware that the Holy Quran holds Jesus, his mother Mary, as well as his disciples and followers, in the highest regard. For instance, it recognizes:
- Jesus as the Messiah: "…whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, worthy of regard in this world and in the hereafter …" (3:44);
- Jesus as a "word" of God: "The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only a messenger of God and His word …" (4:171);
- Jesus being inspired by the holy spirit: "And We gave clear arguments to Jesus son of Mary, and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit" (2:253);
- Jesus' mother, Mary, as a remarkably righteousness woman: "O Mary, surely God has chosen thee and purified thee and chosen thee above the women of the world" (3:42);
- Jesus' disciples receiving revelations from God: "And when I (God) revealed to the disciples …" (5:111).
- Jesus' followers as bearing a close spiritual affinity to Muslims: "… and thou wilt find the nearest in friendship to the believers to be those who say, we are Christians" (5:82).
Can these beliefs be reasonably viewed as inherently "Anti-Christ" and the result of "demonic revelations"?
"Inciting hatred towards members of a particular faith and calling for violent acts directed against them is neither Islamic nor Christ-like," explains Dr. Noman Malik, Director of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Islamic Society. "The Holy Quran," he continues, "mandates resolving religious differences in a more civilized manner; it states: 'Call to the path of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and debate with people in the best possible manner'" (16:125).
It is in the spirit of engaging in respectful dialogue, as mandated by the Holy Quran, that the Lahore Ahmadiyya Islamic Society invites Pastor Parsley to a written, public debate on the validity of his views about Islam.
The Lahore Ahmadiyya Islamic Society is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio and is the U.S.A. branch of the international Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. For more information, you may contact Fazeel S. Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 873-1030, and visit http://www.muslim.org.
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