Should Islam be beyond criticism?

In regard to the comments at the beginning and ending of the YouTube video, I am not associated with Terror-Free Oil, I am Canadian, but on their website Terror-Free Oil states that the following is their projective objective:

"Terror-Free Oil Initiative is dedicated to encouraging Americans to buy gasoline that originated from countries that do not export or finance terrorism."

I do not claim to be an expert on Islam, I have studied Christian Theology and Biblical Studies for 15 years, in particular the problem of evil, free will and determinism, please see my philosophical theology blog, thekingpin68 under links. I have taken a few courses that deal with Islam,and am aware that there are some key differences between Christianity and Islam.

A brief comparison between the two religions from by Garry K. Brantley.

From a Christian perspective, and from an Islamic one, there is plenty of disagreement on key issues. I would state that clearly that although both religions are monotheistic, the same God is not being worshipped. If God is triune, yet one is substance and nature as in Christianity, then Islam which denies the trinity has a different concept of God, and a different God. Brantley (1996: 1). Matthew 28:19 demonstrates that God is triune in his call to make disciples in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Acts 5:3-4 the Holy Spirit as God is described as being lied to. If Christ is God, then he is more than a prophet as with Islam, and Islam worships a different God. Brantley (1996: 1). In Hebrews 1:3, Christ is explained as the exact representation of God's nature who upholds all things by the word of his power.

Contrary to Islam, if Christ did atone for sins and was resurrected, then to deny this would be to deny God's key work within humanity, and would indicate that within Islam a different God is worshipped. Brantley (1996: 1). Christ is stated to have died for sins in Hebrews 10:12, and is documented as being resurrected in Matthew 28, Luke 24, Mark 16, John 20-21, and Acts 1.

The Pope by quoting Emperor Manuel II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire, was pointing out a difference between Christianity and Islam, at least radical Islam on the matter of promoting their religion by violence. Sadly, Christianity has been promoted through violence in the past, including through the Roman Catholic Church and some Reformers, but this approach was not a New Testament teaching. In John 18:36, Jesus stated that his Kingdom was not of this world, and that was why his servants were not fighting with authorities. As well, Christians in the New Testament era were known for being martyrs by the hands of the Roman Empire and were not attempting to overthrow their rulers. The BBC quoted the Pope as follows:

"Stressing that they were not his own words, he quoted Emperor Manuel II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire, the Orthodox Christian empire which had its capital in what is now the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The emperor's words were, he said: 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"

Since some within Islam believe in exporting their religion by the sword, Christians, adherents of other religions, and secularists alike have the right to criticize people within Islam, or any other philosophical movement that believes in spreading ideals through force and the murder of opponents. I discussed religious tolerance on thekingpin68 in my article here

Tolerance is defined by J.E. Wood Junior, as the indulgence of belief or conduct other than one’s own. This would include respect for the opinions and practices of others when they are in conflict with one’s own. Wood (1996: 1098). This tolerance in no way means that all religious philosophies must be viewed as true, rather people are respected for holding a religious view even if views are considered false by others on several points.

These radical Islamic groups are intolerant of any world-view that opposes their own and for this reason Christians, adherents of other religious, and secularists should unite in criticism, and unfortunately if needed, support military actions by Western governments against Islamic states and terrorist groups that are intolerant of views that oppose their own and wish to bring death to their chosen enemies. The Pope was correct in originally mentioning this criticism of Islam, or at least those within Islam that believe in the use of spreading the faith by the sword, I realize that not all in Islam agree with the concept of using force to spread the faith. As a Christian, I respect the right of Islam to exist in this present age, yet disagree with key central tenants of Islamic theology. I can agree with those of other philosophical views that radical Islam is a danger to tolerance and democracy in our present age and join in criticism of radical Islam and any philosophical movement that believes in murdering opponents. Clearly Islam should not be beyond criticism despite the protests and sometimes violent actions of some of its adherents.

BRANTLEY, GARRY K. (1996) 'Christianity and Islam: Points of Tension', Apologetics Press, Montgomery, Alabama,

WOOD J.E. JUNIOR. (1996) ‘Tolerance’ in Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.

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