Cardinal sees difficulties in talks with Islam

by Steve Ray on October 23, 2007

Rome, Oct. 23, 2007 ( – Responding to an initiative by 138 Islamic officials, the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue has welcomed a bid for talks between Christian and Muslim leaders, but warned about inevitable difficulties in that dialogue.

tauran.jpgIn an interview with the French newspaper La Croix, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran pointed out that Muslims do not accept the sort of inter-religious dialogue that Christians have come to expect. For example, he said, Muslims "will not allow in-depth discussion of the Qu'ran," since they believe that the words were literally dictated by Allah, and any questioning of the text borders on blasphemy.

Because Islamic leaders refuse to discuss the fundamental basis of their beliefs, the French cardinal said, "it is difficult to discuss the content of their faith."

Cardinal Tauran said that insofar as talks with Muslims can be pursued, Christian leaders should insist that Islamic societies respect religious freedom, in the same way that the western world respects the rights of Muslims. Specifically, he said, "if they can have mosques in Europe, it is reasonable to expect them to allow churches built in their countries."

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave October 27, 2007 at 2:44 PM

Peace invite is Islamic charade

This may sound like a peace offering from the world of Islam but such an invitation needs to be seen in the context of Islamic theology. In a Hadith, regarded by Muslims as sacred writings about Muhammad, the Islamic prophet says a series of offers should be made to “enemies” to embrace Islam, or at least accept Islamic rule, and if they are rejected, “seek Allah’s help and fight them.”

Islamic theology documents that no attack can be carried out in jihad without first offering the ‘unbelievers’ the opportunity to ‘repent’ and accept Islam. Only when that overture is rejected can an attack occur.


This has precedents in recent years, in May 2006, Iranian President Ahmadinejad sent a letter to George Bush in which he claimed only Islam can “overcome the present problems of the world” and asks Bush, “Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets? Mr. President, History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive.”

dave October 28, 2007 at 1:48 PM

(19:4294) – “When you meet your enemies who are polytheists [Christians…], invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them … If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them”

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