Reader Opinion: Religious hostility vs. reconciliation


A Jan. 24 Reader Opinion letter objects to a pastor’s Dec. 27 description of a dream in which all monotheists — Jews, Christians, and Muslims — would link arms in a new unity. The letter claims that Allah isn’t the same God as the other two religions because of differences in their “founders.” Jesus preached peace and laid down his virtuous life; Allah allegedly told Muhammad to use violence to spread Islam. Muhammad also allegedly raped, plundered, and tortured many people, and he allegedly “had sex with children.”

I’d suggest the only historical “founder” of these three religions is Abraham, from whom all Jewish people are descendants. According to Paul, gentile Christians should consider themselves “grafted into” this Jewish lineage, not part of a new religion. (Romans 11: 17–24).

The Quran regards Judaism and Christianity as “earlier revelations” of the same God. It contains references to Adam, Abraham, Ishmael, Moses and covenants. It has multiple references to Mary, Jesus and his disciples. Jews and Christians are referred to as other “people of the book.” A reasonable inference from these facts is Muslims consider Allah as the same biblical God.

I don’t accept the vile and violent allegations against Muhammad until the letter’s source of them is identified as credible. I’ve never seen such claims, except in the history of periodic attempts to falsely smear Islam. Scholar Karen Armstrong’s book “Islam” refers to Muhammad’s first monogamous marriage with six children, and his later other wives, but there is no reference to immoral sexual abuse.

Regarding war, the Quran (2.189) states: “Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not like aggressors.” War should only be defensive.


The letter promotes religious based hostility more than it promotes peace and reconciliation.

Dick Peterson


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