Commentary on Shamim Masih: ‘Seeking for Peace Place’
John R. Houk
© February 22, 2015
On February 16 I posted Shamim Masih’s report on the goings on in Pakistan during the UN’s International Week on Interfaith Harmony. I had a lengthy enough intro that I gave the intro its own name “First Thoughts on ‘Strive for Peace and Harmony’”.
Shamim was quite favorable of the UN initiative even to the point of participating in the week’s events. I on the other hand asserted that I was quite distrustful of anything coming from the UN and exposed the whole event was a deceptive initiative in which many of the original sponsors were Radical Muslims pushing an Islamic Supremacist goal pretending to be friendly to Christianity. However, if one reads the entirety of the Islamic document promoting interfaith harmony as long as it is clear the Allah of Islam is supreme and Jesus is a mere prophet rather than the Son of God whose Blood has redeemed all humanity from its fallen nature if only they believe on the Resurrection power of Jesus Christ.
In this report entitled “Seeking for Peace Place,” Shamim is sticking to his guns (so-to-speak) about Islam and Christianity having the same concepts of peace that interfaith harmony will save the world interfaith strife that exists between the proponents of Islam and the proponents of Christianity:
“Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians. The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbor. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbor is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity.” (Bold text mine)
Does peace and understanding truly already exist between Islam and Christianity? Is love of the “One God” and love of neighbor truly the same thing in Islam and Christianity?
And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him." (Quran – Surah 29:46; Sahih International translation)
Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans** [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. (Quran – Surah 2:62; Sahih International translation)
These surahs in the Quran appear to corroborate Shamim’s point, right? Then what about this?
And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. (Quran – Surah 3:85; Sahih International translation)
They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary. Say, "Then who could prevent Allah at all if He had intended to destroy Christ, the son of Mary, or his mother or everyone on the earth?" And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. He creates what He wills, and Allah is over all things competent. (Quran – Surah 5:17; Sahih International translation)
72 They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.
73 They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. (Quran – Surah 5:72-73; Sahih International translation)
The first two surahs affirm that the God of the Bible and the Allah of the Quran are the same as well as the God worshipped by Jews, Christians and Sabeans is the same in Oneness as Allah.
The last three surahs say that “Allah” – meaning God Almighty – is not a triune God because this concept destroys the Oneness of God. AND that since there is no Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit – three persons are ONE God in unity) Jesus is neither God nor the Son of God. AND those that think in the way of the Christian Trinity will be punished severely in Hell.
Hence I can’t agree with Shamim that there can be interfaith harmony between Islam and Christianity. In full disclosure the Bible tells us those who reject Jesus as God and the Son of God will find their part with Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet in Hell’s Lake of Fire.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a]have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (Bible – John 3: 14-21 NKJV)
10 The devil [Satan], who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[aa] the beast [Antichrist] and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Bible – Revelation 20:10 NKJV)
6 And He said to me, “It is done![a] I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things,[b] and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,[c] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Bible – Revelation 21:6-8 NKJV)
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God,[a] and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.[b] 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Bible – Revelation 20: 12-15 NKJV)
Earlier I quoted the Quran on surahs that completely contradict each other on an Islamic sense of brotherly love. You have to know that in Islam, even if two things are contradictory in the Quran, if it is in the Quran it is true even it is contradictory. This is possible via two Islamic concepts: Dualism and Abrogation.
But not all verses in the Qur'an have the same weight in assessment. Unlike the Old or New Testaments, the Qur'an is not organized by chronology but rather by size of chapters. Even within chapters, chronology can be confused. In sura (chapter) 2, for example, God revealed verses 193, 216, and 217 to Muhammad shortly after he arrived in Medina. God only revealed verses 190, 191, and 192 six years later. This complicates interpretation, all the more when some verses appear to contradict.
Abrogation in the Qur'an
The Qur'an is unique among sacred scriptures in accepting a doctrine of abrogation in which later pronouncements of the Prophet declare null and void his earlier pronouncements. Four verses in the Qu'ran acknowledge or justify abrogation: … READ ENTIRETY (Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam; By David Bukay; Middle East Quarterly; Fall 2007, pp. 3-11)
Because of Dualism and Abrogation the only thing close to a Golden Rule in Islam is between fellow Muslims. And ever since the fall of Caliph Ali (4th Rightly Guided Caliph, Son-in-Law and cousin Mo – neutral, favorable and negative). Various Muslim groups claiming legitimacy have been killing each other for centuries. In relation to non-Muslims, Islam has no Golden Rule.
Islam’s treatment of us can be found in one word–kafir. The Koran says that a kafir (unbeliever) can be robbed, killed, tortured, mocked, insulted, beheaded, raped, crucified and on and on. The Hadith and the Sira agree with the Koran. Every single reference to the kafirs is negative, offensive and hateful.
The word “kafir” illustrates both of political Islam’s principles–submission and duality. The Trilogy (Koran, Sira and Hadith) says that every kafir in the world must submit to political Islam.
The Koran also establishes dualism with its ethical system. A Muslim is not to kill another Muslim; a kafir may be killed, or not. A Muslim is not to lie to another Muslim; a kafir may be deceived or not. And so on. Islam has one set of ethics for Muslims and another set of ethics for the kafir–dualistic ethics.
The later political Koran written in Medina frequently contradicts the early religious Koran written in Mecca. The Koran gives a rule for removing the contradiction by saying that the later Koran “abrogates” the early Koran. … READ ENTIRITY (Golden Rule Islam; Bill Warner; Political Islam; 1/10/08)
Other religions all something similar to the Christian Golden Rule, but it is Christian theology taken from the Holy Bible that defines the Golden Rule and how to treat your neighbor of any faith.
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Bible – Matthew 7:11-12 NKJV)
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’[a] This is the first commandment.[b] 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Bible – Mark 12:29-31 NKJV)
Take note that the Lord Jesus Christ quotes the classic Jewish Shema from Mark 12:29 and yet He also asserts that He is the Son of God which is a person of the ONE God Trinity. I believe I can that Islam’s is NOT the same as Christianity’s God Almighty.
Seeking for Peace Place
By Shamim Masih
Sent: 2/21/2015 12:55 AM
ISLAMABAD: According to PCP reports, Pakistani Christian refugees [Snapshot of Pakistani Christians in Bangkok] gathered in Ayana Hotel, Bangkok and appealed UNHCR to provide them humanitarian aid according to UN Charter. The gathering was organized by the Urdu Church in Hands of God, headed by Pastor Papa Thongchai. They demanded US and EU to open their doors for persecuted Pakistani Christian refugees as they provide human rights to Muslims refugees in other countries. The PCP chief urged UNHCR and IRC to provide humanitarian aid to Pakistani Christian refugees in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong and expedite hearing of their asylum cases according to the timeframe of refugee commission charter. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan’s Christians see themselves as victims of religious persecution. Some speak dramatically of Christian genocide. Shia Hazaras are fleeing Balochistan, and [the] same [for] Ahmadis. This is very unfortunate that Christian countries like Australia, EU and others [are] welcoming Hazaras and Ahmadis but they have closed their doors for Pakistani Christians. Australia has reportedly granted resident visas to 10, 000 Hazara families in 2014 [alone] but they are not ready to grant visa to any Pakistani Christian.
Pakistan has around 180 million people and there are around 20 million Christians. Though there [has been] no census for many years, but local churches and other organizations estimated this figure. The percentage of the Pakistan population is a bit difficult to pin down. The BBC claims 1.6 % in 2013, Gatestone Institute lists 3% in 2014 and PCP quotes more than 10% of the total. A majority of them are poor and living in the slum areas and [the] outskirts of the cities. Christians are the minority in Pakistan in which overwhelmingly the Muslims majority treats the minority as barely tolerable pariah. Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians. The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbor. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbor is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity. Unfortunately Muslims not only in Pakistan but all around the world do not tolerate or accept other faiths. The problem is Muslims want equal rights where they are in minority and they have it in [the] EU and USA but they are not ready to deliver where they are in power.
There is another issue within [the] Christian community in Pakistan. Mostly living below poverty line and there are a few running non-profit organizations and earning handsome funds through different channels. But it is seen during the last decade that most of them are wasting those funds to achieve their personal goals. Like in politics, many of them are depositing heavy funds in political parties, like Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League, PML - N, PML-Q, APML, MQM, JUI and JI. Most recently human rights activists from the capital reportedly has spent heavy funds to gain Senator-Ship from his parent party, getting his vote registration from the capital to KPK but couldn't manage to even reach to the interview. He has reportedly dropped huge funds to [the] party for his personal gain. Earlier many others have wasted money for Provisional and National Assembly seats. Now many are planning to sit in with Muslim political parties. This action must be discouraged.
Basharat Khokhar worked hard to save the lives of 18 Christians’ blasphemy accused in the capital including two pastors. Before the Christmas celebrations last year, Pastor Arif Peera and 6 other Christian and 11 other Christians were accused of blasphemy under FIR – 596/14 under section 295-B, 6/7ATA and FIR – 888/14 under section 295-B, 354, 452, 148 and 149 were registered respectively. With the cooperation of the local administration, Basharat Khokhar has been able to set free the blasphemy accused. One thing is to remember, this man of God, does not run any NGO and [is] not asking for donations from [any] national and international donors but [is] doing his work to save the skin of Christians of this country. On the other hand there are many, collecting millions of dollars but on [the] ground [their] work is zero. But they are so much active on facebook and other social media. Let’s think seriously and stop welcoming these hypocrites.
Since President Musharaf’s regime, [the] electoral system for minorities is turned to selection instead [of] election. The electoral system for minorities is proportional while for majority it is democratic. This is another kind of discrimination towards minorities of this country. Many minority representatives have requested the Supreme Court of Pakistan to restore the separate election and duel vote rights. This is already been adapted to Kashmiris living in this country. These kinds of actions from time to time by the government have created insecurity among [the] minorities of the country. Recently on Jan 30, Feb 13 and Feb 18, three suicide bombers have targeted three Shia mosques, where many Shias were killed and injured. The government said it will issue gun licenses for worshiper defenders. Razor wire, security guards, and gun licenses cannot assure the safety of the Shia, Christian, Hindu and Ahmadi. Most important is to educate the upcoming generations of the country. All faiths are entitled to equal respect, legal rights and privileges otherwise the things will remain same.
Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel - 5 (A project of Khabrian Group of papers)
For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560
Islam’s Allah is NOT the same as Christianity’s GOD Almighty
Commentary on Shamim Masih: ‘Seeking for Peace Place’
John R. Houk
© February 22, 2015
Seeking for Peace Place
Edited by John R. Houk
Links in Shamim’s report and text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.
© Shamim Masih