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Muhammad Was A False Prophet

60

April 21, 2013 by mattfradd


mehar

If this post was entitled: Joseph Smith Was a False Prophet, it would hardly generate controversy.

Why is it then, that claiming Muhammad to be a false prophet will likely be met with accusations of “Intolerance!”?

“Islamophobia”

I suspect that it’s because many Christians feel that, in recent years, Muslims have been unjustly characterized as barbaric terrorists, when in fact they are decent, peaceful people with no intention of causing violence to non-Muslims.

While that may be the case (I hope it is), it is irrelevant when considering whether or not Muhammad a false prophet?

It’s my contention that no Christian who has even a cursory understanding of the teachings of Islam can conclude that The Qu’ran was inspired by God, or that Muhammad was a prophet of God.

I’m aware that some Christians (perhaps even you!) think that to speak poorly of other religions is unchristian and contrary to Vatican II, but as Robert Spencer notes in his new book, “It is a peculiar, albeit common, misconception of our age to think that dispensing with the truth can be an act of charity. It never truly can be.”

So what do Muslims believe about Muhammad and the Qu’ran?

Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last in a series of prophets sent by God – that he began receiving revelations from God in the seventh century. Those revelations make up the contents of the Qu’ran, which Muslims believe to be the inerrant word of God.

If the Qu’ran makes false claims, then it is not the inerrant word of God and Muhammad is a false prophet.

Rather than offering a litany of false claims stated in the Qu’ran, I’ll stick to just one.

Jesus Christ Was Not Crucified

The Qu’ran (written 600 years after the death of Christ) teaches that Jesus Christ was not crucified:

“And because of their (the Jews) saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger- they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise” (Sura 4:156-159).

Simply put, no non-Muslim scholar denies that the historical Jesus was crucified.

Bart Erhman, New Testament scholar and agnostic,  affirms, “One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate.”

Similarly, Paula Fredriksen, a non-Christian historian, writes in her book, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, “The single most solid fact about Jesus’ life is his death: he was executed by the Roman prefect Pilate, on or around Passover, in the manner Rome reserved particularly for political insurrectionists, namely, crucifixion.”

Of course, for the Christian, confirmation on the part of non-Christians to establish the historicity of the crucifixion is unnecessary since we accept the reliability of the New Testament documents.

For this reason, as well as many others, Christians should agree with me that Muhammad was a false prophet.

Prophet, Liar, or Lunatic?

If Muhammad is a not a prophet who received direct revelation from God, then it seems to me—to borrow an illustration from C.S. Lewis—that we have three other options: He was a liar, mentally ill, or influenced by the Demonic.

I’m open to other suggestions.

60 thoughts on “Muhammad Was A False Prophet

  1. What then of Muslims? When their practice mostly overlaps with at least Jewish practices? Well, I guess that means, what then of Jews? And how should that change the way people engage with Muslims?

  2. They do seem to have great respect for Christ.

    See http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/beliefs/isa.shtml “Jesus through Muslim eyes”

    extract …

    “So: I think it can safely be shown that Islamic culture presents us with what in quantity and quality are the richest images of Jesus in any non-Christian culture. No other world religion known to me has devoted so much loving attention to both the Jesus of history and to the Christ of eternity. This tradition is one that we need to highlight in these dangerous, narrow-minded days. The moral of the story seems quite clear: that one religion will often act as the hinterland of another, will lean upon another to complement its own witness. There can be no more salient example of this interdependence than the case of Islam and Jesus Christ. And for the Christian in particular, a love of Jesus may also mean, I think, an interest in how and why he was loved and cherished by another religion.”

    When discussing other religions, other people’s faith, I believe a sense of “Respect” for their beliefs is important.

    While their philosophies are different, I’m not sure implying their prophet as a lunatic, liar or demonically influenced is any better than comments Richard Dawkins says about religion, Christians and Jesus Christ. Do we as Christians, really want to come across as people like Richard Dawkins?

    It’s unnecessary in the debate, and borders on “Hate” speech. From what I’ve read of your works, and based on my perspective this article seems beneath the quality of your other, somewhat, brilliant articles.

    • Orateur says:

      Respect for Christ? Muslims respect a fictional character they happen to call Jesus, but there is no respect for Christ, the Son of God.

      Hate speech? Matt already replied to this kind of nonsense:
      I’m aware that some Christians (perhaps even you!) think that to speak of other religions in anything but complimentary fashion is unchristian and contrary to Vatican II, but as Robert Spencer notes in his new book, “It is a peculiar, albeit common, misconception of our age to think that dispensing with the truth can be an act of charity. It never truly can be.”

      • Thanks for your reply Orateur.

        In a recent address the Pope Francis said this

        “In this work, the role of religion is fundamental. It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God. But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam. At the Mass marking the beginning of my ministry, I greatly appreciated the presence of so many civil and religious leaders from the Islamic world. And it is also important to intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail, but rather the desire to build true links of friendship between all peoples, despite their diversity.”

        http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/speeches/2013/march/documents/papa-francesco_20130322_corpo-diplomatico_en.html

        Focussing on the last sentence in the above of Pope Franc’s address

        “And it is also important to intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail, but rather the desire to build true links of friendship between all peoples, despite their diversity.”

        I can’t see how inferring Muhammad is Lunatic, Liar or Demonically possessed fits in with the Pope Francis’s message. From my perspective I can not see how it will intensify dialog with Muslims in a helpful way, or shows a desire to build true links of friendship.

  3. commodianus says:

    The false prophet of Islam has much in common with Protestant Christianity. Without the authentic Christian Church of Rome, neither could exist, as their existence depends wholly on taking what the wanted from that which already existed, and using their lack of humility to erroneously develop something historically and theologically novel. A redacted, redefined, short sighted copycat version. A version based on humanly biased superficial readings of previous Judeo-Christian precedent. Neither Protestant Christianity nor Islam can exist without it’s attacks on Catholic orthodoxy. Something must rush to fill the gap when men borrow a minute slice of a seemingly limitless faith such as Catholicism, it’s elegant in such a way as you can see the opposition collapsing when they try to steal and distort from us, and God. Often times what rushes to fill the gap is insurmountably idiotic violence, the first indication that someone is mentally incapable of expressing themselves in a civilized world.

    • Michael I. BenYah says:

      Actually, Roman Catholicism and Islam are two sides of the same coin,if truth must be told; They are both traps to mislead humanity and damn the souls of men…

      • carloshelms says:

        This is what’s known as a kamikaze post.

        Usually posted by what’s known as a “troll.”

        That is, coming into a thread, dropping a bomb (no facts, figures, links, references, etc), and disappearing into the night.

        You’re welcome.

        AMDG

  4. Darran says:

    The main difference between this and your Dawkins example Steve is that this is actually true. We’re obligated to call a spade a spade, when it is actually a spade.

    You don’t win converts by keeping your conclusions secret, even Dawkins and every other anti-Catholic or atheistic person knows this (they exclusively deal with apparent ‘conclusions’ – only without any rhyme, reason or logic leading to it). If they are able to convince people with bold “conclusions” without logic, it only follows they are a powerful rhetorical tool and it just so happens that we as Catholics are able to make use of both without contradiction.

    Wanting to shy away from controversy only does damage. The layman is likely to become confused (this is why you do get Catholics who somehow believe Islam to also be a true religion – somehow) the apologists become more and more cowardly, and the opposition uses the rhetorical weakness to their advantage.

    There should be absolutely nothing strange about a Catholic man, nevermind blogger and apologist making the assertion that Muhammad was a false prophet. It should be far stranger if he didn’t!

    • I never inferred we should shy away from apologetics. I do believe however we should keep them respectful.

      • susan says:

        So C. S. Lewis writings are hate speech? Do you not see the absurdity in your assertions, not to mention the danger to countless souls left in the darkness? There is absolutely not one scintilla of hatred to ask of muhammed what Lewis wrote every Christian is obliged to ask about Christ…test the spirits and the fruit. Is he who he claims to be? If not, true Charity demands he be revealed for what he is, otherwise you deny and disrespect Christ, along with disobeying His command to make disciples of all nation. It’s a matter of Truth, and there is no respect for anyone in the denial of Truth.

      • C.S. Lewis was talking about his own faith, his own beliefs. Different context entirely.

      • susan says:

        Not at all a different context. He was explaining how to test ANYONE’s claims. There is really only one question to ask; did muhammed get further revelation from the Father (who muslims deny btw) beyond what Christ revealed, and in direct conflict with what Christ revealed, or did he not? If not, he is a false prophet. That is not disrespectful, it is a truthful descriptor. muhammed was a very, very bad man…of all the truthful things that he could be labeled with, ‘false prophet’ is one of the kindest.

      • I’ll have to respectfully disagree.

        C.S. Lewis was talking about his own faith, own beliefs, and used the statement to validate his own beliefs. I.E. he had to decide for “HIIMSELF” whether Jesus was a lunatic etc

        If you research Lewis’s Trilemma you’ll also see it is in context to Jesus claiming he was God. To my knowledge, Muhammad never made such a claim.

        Hence to claim you are “God” if you are not, would certainly make you a Lunatic or Liar.

        See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis%27s_trilemma

        His statement to the fact from Mere Christianity, his novel.

        “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”

      • susan says:

        So you’re saying that a good teaching technique cannot be extrapolated to other situations?
        In Lewis’ instance he was saying to judge Christ’s claim about Himself against what He did…did His life prove the claim? If I say that I am a Rhodes Scholar but can’t add 2+2, am incapable of using a test of logic in multiple situations, and there is no evidence of my ever setting foot at Oxford, I am probably a liar, possibly a lunatic, but most certainly not what I’ve claimed to be.

        While it’s true that muhammed never claimed to be God, he did claim to be God’s final prophet giving mankind the fullness of revelation. He claimed that God spoke directly to and through him…this takes on even more striking incredulity when he claims he was possessed by satan for some verses that he later wanted to override. Matt is right; there are UNCOUNTABLE proofs throughout the koran that God is not the author and muhammed is no prophet, but the one Matt points out in the article is a slam dunk. And for any Christian to go on and on defending muhammed’s false claim, is a denial of Christ, and Christ had something to say about that in Matt 10:33.

        It is imminently reasonable to take Lewis’ tool and say: by the evidence easily researched and discernible, was muhammed a prophet, liar, or lunatic. For anyone who is able to critically reason, the first is a non-starter; he was clearly a FALSE prophet.

      • Susan,

        Thanks for your feedback.

        I stand by my first comment.

        “When discussing other religions, other people’s faith, I believe a sense of “Respect” for their beliefs is important.

        While their philosophies are different, I’m not sure implying their prophet as a lunatic, liar or demonically influenced is any better than comments Richard Dawkins says about religion, Christians and Jesus Christ. Do we as Christians, really want to come across as people like Richard Dawkins?”

        It is my belief. Others saw the post as disrespectful, and unhelpful in dialogue with the Islamic faith as well. You can see those messages from the posts on Matt’s Facebook page.

        I was expressing the way I interpreted Matt’s post. Matt may never of intended for the post to come across as disrespectful. To me it did.

        In a recent address Pope Francis said this

        “In this work, the role of religion is fundamental. It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God. But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam. At the Mass marking the beginning of my ministry, I greatly appreciated the presence of so many civil and religious leaders from the Islamic world. And it is also important to intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail, but rather the desire to build true links of friendship between all peoples, despite their diversity.”

        I agree with the Pope especially in regards to the last sentence of the above paragraph.

        “And it is also important to intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail, but rather the desire to build true links of friendship between all peoples, despite their diversity”

        Implying the prophet of Islam is a lunatic, liar or demonically possessed, or even a false prophet, to me does not express a desire to build true links of friendship despite our different beliefs. Some may see it differently.

        http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/speeches/2013/march/documents/papa-francesco_20130322_corpo-diplomatico_en.html

        But again, my comments were in relation to how I saw his post, from my perspective. I deal with a very diverse crowd of people from all religions.

        Different people will see things differently. I accept that. And I accept, from your perspective, you didn’t find it disrespectful.

        Matt’s point of the post spanned two posts, and I do get the point he was trying to make. The point is true, it is much difficult for someone to call Muhammad a false prophet instead of Joseph Smith, or state. say, Jesus Christ is myth. From my perspective, I just found the way he went about it to be disrespectful of other people’s faith.

      • carloshelms says:

        The truth isn’t always pretty…and, as Jesus demonstrated, it can get you killed. He didn’t do a lot of dancin’ around with the “Pharisees and experts in religious law.” (Mt 23) He was, however, kind to sinners and tax-collectors, and felt pity for the diseased and the rich. I don’t walk up and tell the obese stranger that he’s “fat” and a “dead man walkin’.” And – me being me – am probably not going to tell the mohammedan with the scimitar in his hand that he’s “full of beans” – though it may be the truth. Does being a possessor of truth give one license to address anyone in any way? Apparently it does if one happens to be confronting a hypocritical “religious leader” – clearly someone who OUGHT to know better and who makes a living out of dragging others into Gehenna.

        Then again, Jesus could read the heart.

      • susan says:

        Steve, I genuinely don’t understand how the honest descriptor (from a Christian apologist) of false prophet is ‘disrespectful’. He didn’t call him a slaughterer of multitudes of innocents, a pedophile, or a thief (all of which he was). Matt called him a false prophet, as does St. John (who actually goes further in calling him and his ilk who deny the divinity of Jesus, antichrist).

        I think you need to ask yourself, what is the goal? If this were about not telling someone they look fat in a particular dress I think you might have a point, but this is all about eternal souls and their salvation at stake. St. Boniface wasn’t concerned about being ‘nice’ to the child-sacrificing Germanic tribe the night he put an ax to their ‘sacred’ thunder-oak and felled it front of them, while saying, ‘you are worshipping a demon, let me tell you about the true God’, and proceeded to preach Christ, fully expecting to be martyred that night. He wasn’t. In fact, the fate of a nation was irrevocably changed, and the souls of an uncountable multitude were, and will be, saved because of his witness to Truth.

        St. Francis, from whom our Pope takes his name, was a fearless preacher of Christ, walking into the muslim sultan’s tent, saying basically what St. Boniface said, also expecting (hoping!) to be martyred for it. Instead, he so impressed the sultan with his courage and message that the sultan let him live, released Francis, and it is said converted and was baptized on his deathbed BECAUSE of what Francis brought to him. What price a soul?

        The great St. Polycarp when face-to-face with Marcion the heretic called him “the first-born of satan and a spawn of hell”. St. Nicholas punched Arias in the face when the he denied the divinity of Christ at Nicea. St. Paul “handed (a heretic) over to satan” in hopes for the repentance and salvation of that soul. These are tough words, tough actions, done by bona fide Saints, and we’re not even talking about anything near that severe.

        You (and others with an unhealthy case political correctness) have a hard time with the simple, truthful proclamation of a false prophet as being a false prophet….heck, that is the beginning of AUTHENTIC dialogue. We can’t continue to dance around the fact that the koran contains numerous commands to ‘slay the infidel and unbeliever wherever you find them’, the beating and subjugation of women, torture, thievery, rape, taquia, dhimmitude, etc., etc., etc. And we haven’t even begun talking about the hadiths. The people following this book and this false prophet are in grave danger spiritually, and to not point out demonic teaching as demonic teaching places our own souls in peril.

        This isn’t a prom, and it’s not a dry run. Souls are at stake. There is no real dialogue outside of Truth, and for a Christian apologist to not call a false prophet a false prophet would be a grave sin of omission. Why is it that a muslim has no difficulty in standing up for, witnessing to, and proclaiming what they believe about our Faith; saying that Jesus isn’t the Son of God, wasn’t crucified, and is only a prophet, subordinate to muhammed…all of which we take as a jumping-off point for evangelization and witness to the Truth (i.e., entering into dialogue(!)). While we, on the other hand, wring our hands, bite our bottom lips and fret over speaking the simplest, most basic of Truths concerning the muslim faith…’muhammed was a false prophet’, because someone might think we’re not ‘nice’. I contend that is a form of idolatry, and the antithesis of true Charity and kindness. Woe to us, when we stand before Christ at our particular judgment and have to answer for that one.

      • Hi Susan,

        Thanks again for your, somewhat, passionate reply.

        I find by inferring, the leader of any faith, a “liar, lunatic, or demonically influenced” is disrespectful.

        The same, even though I’m not a Catholic, as I find it disrespectful when people make character attacks on the current or past Pope.

        I follow Matt Fradd, due to an interest in pursuing the Catholic faith. I respect the Catholic’s zeal to biblical standards, although somewhat unpractised in the mainstream.

        The post, from an non Catholic, point of view, did not encourage me at all, to pursue becoming a Catholic due to the personal attack on Muhammad. That is from position. Maybe devout Catholic’s see it different, and I’m ok with that. I know Mormons that think Catholic’s have it all wrong, and Pentecostals, and Baptists, and on it goes. They make all sorts of claims, sometimes somewhat false, and I research, and follow blogs like Matt’s to find the truth for myself.

        Anyway I’ve found your replies informative, and I do thank you for taking the time to reply. You have given me things to think about.

      • susan says:

        God bless you Steve. And may you be a fervent witness to Jesus Christ in this world….He who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

  5. I agree with Steve, pointing out the discrepancies in their faith without using terms such as “false prophet” might have a little more impact. Because people see the term and don’t listen to the rest. But it’s the rest that is important, not the term.

  6. Mike says:

    Thanks Matt for speaking out about this. I rarely see Catholics stand up to Islam and it’s about time.

  7. […] see? That wasn’t nearly as offensive as my last blog. But […]

  8. carloshelms says:

    1 out of 1 Messiahs agree: 99 out of 100 prophets are false.

    AMDG

  9. Nicholas P. says:

    The Muslim faith is one of my favorites to evangelize to. The passage that you posted from the Qu’ran is interpreted and taught by Muslims that Jesus was replaced with another person by God and this person was a look-alike (“but it appeared so unto them”). Of course this is absurd. Surely, the mother of Jesus would have noticed if her son was replaced. What mother could mistake their son, especially the Blessed Mother?

  10. […] Mum, Saint Etheldreda’s Place Faith and False Prophets – Howard Kainz, Crisis Magazine Muhammad Was A False Prophet – Matt Fradd Egypt’s Copts & Persecution – Mark Movsesian, First Things/Frst […]

  11. Daniel N. says:

    Oddly, the Muslim explanation of the Crucifixion (that Christ was replaced with a look-a-like) is the same as that of the Gnostics, of other heretics active in the Middle East in the time of Muhammad. This is one of the reasons why Islam has historically been seen not as a religion but as a Christian heresy. (For instance, in his Divine Comedy, Dante places Muslims with heretics, rather than followers of false religions.)

  12. josesiem says:

    Many of M’s symptoms correlate to temporal lobe epilepsy. I believe he was sincere but wrong (lunatic). I spent many years studying Islam, almost converting. What stopped me (among many other things) is that the Quran shows almost no understanding of Xianity. Not once does it mention the atonement — key Christian doctrines are completely absent. Allah apparently doesn’t know his own religions. The Christians that are acceptable to M. are almost non-existent. The problem with Islam and Xianity today is that all contemporary Christians are committing shirk, Islam’s worst sin. Simply put, there are really no Christians that do not believe that Jesus is somehow equal to God or is God. The rift between the two religions is actually worse than many seem to understand. Orthodox Muslims certainly understand this, and that’s why there a churches being burnt down around the world today.

  13. windyrdg says:

    I have my own theory about Muhammed. By the 7th Century Christianity was well on its way to taking over the world. Satan, knowing that he had to do something and do it quick, found a dupe to start a new religion with him (Satan) as God. If you read the Koran you notice that in the beginning when Muhammed had no following he was all peace and brotherhood. Once he developed some power, everything changed. I agree with Thomas Jefferson who read the Koran while president and remarked, “It would be easy to convince oneself that Allah is, in fact, the devil of hell.”

  14. Lepanto says:

    Mohammedism is the greatest satanic sickle ever devised. The illiterate nomad-inspired invention/seance has killed 240 million Christians (Belloc, Crocker, Federer), mostly Catholics, the past 1500 years, It advocates slavery or death to non-muslims. It believes in “hudna”, which is a “sacred” practice of lying during any peace treaties till you become strong enough to kill all “infidels”. It has “tequia” (“sacred” lying) where it is permittable to say anything until you’re strong enough to kill all “infidels”. It advocates child brides, pederasty, and is the primary agent of slavery in the world, as it has been from it’s inception. It worships a “sacred” rock (meteorite). It borrows from Nestorians, Arians, and Zoroastrians in a syncretistic stew of rape, torture, and madness.

    In freemasonry, adherents are taught, at the 32nd degree, that the god of islam is the true god. The 33rd degree of freemasonry reveals “the architect of the universe” they have been referring to, throughout the initiate’s time, is the true god, lucifer.

    Sometimes, by way of contrast, you can learn more from your enemies then any ecumenical drivel.

    Viva Christo Rey!!!

  15. mort says:

    Dear Author: you need to learn to “nuance” your remarks because Truth resonates through history, time, and personality. All prophets speak obliquely…is the Apocalypse “false” or the Fatima prophecies “false” because they do not play out in time the way they are on the printed page? In the case of the Prophet of Islam, please remember that our Scriptures foretell that God will always care for ALL the children of Abraham. Hagar’s children experience a pastoral care that is different from the pastoral care of Israel, for example, or those bonded to Jesus through baptism. (Obama really should get baptized.) When you evaluate one tradition by the constraints of another, it is you who are creating the distortion. Am I clear on that? Cardinal Dolan said today that the Boston Bombers operating on religious principles that were a “perversion of Islam.” Most Muslims would agree with that nuanced statement.

    • Lepanto says:

      The Apocalypse will play out exactly as advertised for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Our Lady of Fatima’s warnings of what WILL happen unless the Church Hierarchy consents to her request, requests not buried with JP 2,. despite what Vatican despots might hope, is so close you can taste it.

      Dolan is a disgrace and should consider resigning.

      One other question..

      What other illiterate, mass-murdering, pedophile, misogynist, inhumanly cruel rapist/torturer do you get your prophecy from?

      May the millions of martyrs to Mohammedism, including that Catholic little boy from Boston, pray for you..

      VIVA CHRISTO REY!!!

  16. susan says:

    OUTSTANDING essay Matt….concise, clear and laser beam pinpoint to the truth. Excellently done!

  17. kinana says:

    Mattfrad, thanks for your essay. People like Steve Goodwin confuse respecting people with the need to respect their belief system. Christians are obliged to respect (and love) the sinner but not the sin, or the error in thinking. Your essay does not disrespect Muslims. If Mohammed is not a true prophey then he was a false one. What other choice is there?!

    Lepanto, you saved me a longer comment…and you rock!:)

    Church leaders like Dolan who preach about Islam should educate us all but they never ever do. They just come out with assertions and we are supposed to believe them. How does he know ‘the Boston Bombers operating on religious principles that were a “perversion of Islam.”

    I prefer Pope Benedict’s comment in 2006 at the University of Regensburg. In that lecture he quotes the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus who had a series of conversations with an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402. ‘In the seventh conversation the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war… Without descending to details…he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: ‘”Show me just what Mohammed 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”.

    • Hi Kinana,

      You said

      – “People like Steve Goodwin confuse respecting people with the need to respect their belief system.”

      Well, maybe it should be the “Apologists” job to ensure we don’t get confused and they stay on topic and don’t bring the “People” into the debate, and stick to the “Beliefs”

      The thing I found disrespectful was the character attack on their prophet by inferring he was a “liar, lunatic or demonically influenced.”

      I’m all for seeing open debate between what a Muslim believes as opposed to a Catholic. I just don’t find attacking the leaders of the different faiths necessary. The same as, even as a non Catholic, I never find when people make personal attacks on the “Pope” helpful.

      I follow Matt’s blog as a non Catholic, looking at pursuing the Catholic Faith, to ensure I get a full picture about Catholics other than from what I here in Christian circles. There are plenty of Christian denominations and affiliations that say all sorts of things about the Catholic faith, being a Cult, Devil led, and so on. I ignore those, and find those just as disrespectful. I prefer, and this is my preference, to see debates about the “Beliefs” not the people.

      So I don’t believe it is me that is confusing the two. I object when the two are mixed in together as they are often irrelevant.

      That said, I’ve found, in the main stream, many of Matt Fradd’s posts to be quite informative. But as someone on the outside, I hope Matt Fradd, and others, maybe can see it from my perspective and appreciate the open feedback I give, which may in turn help others who are not as outspoken, who may simply walk away.

      All I’m offering is my viewpoint. It’s a viewpoint on the way I saw the post. That’s it. It’s not an statement saying everyone should do and read it as I say.

      To infer, “I’m confusing respecting people with the need to respect their belief” is a personal attack on me, insulting my intelligence. I certainly know the difference.

      • kinana says:

        Well Steve,
        I accept that you are an intelligent man. My post was based on the messages from you in this thread which, you seem to say, merge the two strands of the belief system of Islam and Muslims together.

        e.g. you said:
        ‘When discussing other religions, other people’s faith, I believe a sense of “Respect” for their beliefs is important.
        ‘It’s unnecessary in the debate, and borders on “Hate” speech.
        ‘I just found the way he went about it to be disrespectful of other people’s faith.
        ‘The post, from an non Catholic, point of view, did not encourage me at all, to pursue becoming a Catholic due to the personal attack on Muhammad.’

        These few points indicated to me that you believe that the article criticised not only the belief system called Islam itself, but also the believers of that system, i.e. Muslims. In order to convey respect to Muslims as people, you want the author to show (some/more?) respect to Islam and Mohammed. If I did not understand your comments correctly then I apologise, but that is how I read them.

        To criticise what people believe and to draw different conclusions than believers do is simple debate and discussion. Was he disrespectful to believers by inferring that Mohammed was either a ‘was a liar, mentally ill, or influenced by the Demonic’? You think he was but he did ask for other suggestions and it was a question. You did not offer anything. The author is clear that he believes Mohammed was a false prophet and was more speculative as to whether he ‘was a liar, mentally ill, or influenced by the Demonic’.

        Do you even accept the author’s main point: that Mohammed was a false prophet?
        The only Muslim Mattfradd brought into this debate was Mohammed himself. He did not mention or refer to any other Muslim or to Muslims in general. Mattfradd and many others have a view of Mohammed that is in sharp contrast with what Islam teaches about Mohammed. Mohammed is central to Islam and therefore a legitimate focus for discussion and debate.

        Regards

      • Hi Kinana,

        To put things in perspective I draw another example.

        Some Christians and were not talking a handful, were talking quite a lot, including Baptists, Pentecostals, Anglican and many others will say the “Pope is unholy”, “Pope is a fraud”, “Pope is the Anti-Christ” and many other things. They will also refer to the Catholic faith as a cult. They will site all sorts of evidence, and conclusions to backup their personal attacks on the Catholic faith.

        As a non affiliated Christian with any denomination or section, I find those just as disrespectful. At this point, I can’t prove or deny their claims. I follow Matt Fradd, to learn more about the Catholic faith to make up my own mind.

        I see it from all sides, Catholics attacking, other non Catholic Christians. Christians from all denominations attacking and affiliations attacking Catholics. It’s quite a shamble, and to be honest, quite saddening.

        In these debates, they are quite often very uncivil, and disrespectful of other people’s beliefs.

        When you base an accusation on a belief, about a persons character, and it’s negative, I find it disrespectful. Especially when it’s foundation helps support their own belief system.

        And as far as Muhammad being a false prophet, I’m honest to say I don’t know. I haven’t studied Islam. Now from reading Matt’s facebook posts one gentleman their raised a different viewpoint and the presentation Matt put forward has since been put in question.

        In a post by another person he breaks the very premise of Matt’s argument because it basically says Muslims do believe Christ was crucified, but it was a body double, but anyone viewing it, i.e. all Christians would believe it was Christ.

        He simplified it with,

        “To make it simple, a Muslim would say that for all intents and purposes, to those who watched the crucifixion and what we know from history, Jesus Christ was crucified.”

        If he is correct, it breaks the premise of the argument somewhat.

        Matt said he would reply at a later date.

        But you know what, I’m not hear to learn about, or debate, Islam. If I wanted to learn about Islam, I would read the Quran, or follow some Islamic apologists. That said I did find Matt McKinley’s debate, and others on the subject, with Matt interesting from a 3rd party perspective. And in it all, I’ve seen some diverse viewpoints on the subject from 15 year olds, to a lady working in Islamic countries as a Christian.

        The lady said, (extract)

        “People in this thread speak as if evangelization/discipleship does not entail restraint. I urge you to look at it from a different perspective: a Catholic living and working in the Middle East.”

        Different people, had different reactions, experience it different, and interpret it different based on their situations in life.

        My post was in regards to how I felt about it, and that I found it disrespectful. You don’t have to agree with that, it is simply my viewpoint, on how I saw, and interpreted Matt’s post. My reply was to Matt, on how I felt about the post. Just an open response. It wasn’t set out to prove Matt incorrect in his statement, just, how, from my viewpoint, it came across as disrespectful.

        I supply the feedback, so Matt, can gauge how some people interpret his posts. He can accept it, disregard it, or take it on board. I’m not saying “EVERYONE” needs to believe Matt is being disrespectful. In general, from what I’ve seen, Matt’s posts have been of a very high, intelligent, standard.

        That said, I appreciate other people taking the time to reply to my posts. I take on board what they say at the same time.

        But I don’t believe people should resort to personal attacks, or generalised accusations about a person’s interpretation based on a summarised reply to an internet article. Hence why I took offence at your comment directly referencing my name / character to make your own point to Matt. Was that really necessary? why even bring my name into your argument? You could of simply stated your reasoning, and the quote from the Pope, which I admired by the way because it was informative, without dragging me into your argument.

        Anyway thanks for your reply.

      • kinana says:

        Steve

        Two points

        Comment protocols

        My understanding is that a comment thread contains comments on the main article and comments on comments. I thought that was not out of line. If your position is illustrative of a certain line of argument then I saw nothing wrong in pointing out the person who is making certain points which I am responding to. It is no secret after all. And if I misunderstand the person (i.e. you in this case) clarification can come from you or others because they then could more easily reference the source of my comment, to aid in the discussion.

        Why you take offense with the mention of your name is a mystery. I did not attack you! I mentioned your name as someone who is promoting a certain line of argument. That is all. I did not show disrespect or disregard to you. I took to task what I thought you were saying. If I misunderstood what you were saying then I am open to correction from you and others. Mentioning your name is not calling you names. If I have stepped out of line in this regard I will submit to the judgement of Mattfradd.

        Respect for Religion?

        I will try not to repeat what I have already said.

        Your examples of Christians debating the merits or otherwise of the Catholic faith resonate with me. I understand what you are saying. Assertions without evidence is not helpful in getting to the root of the matter. And if someone has a position on the Catholic church which is inaccurate and cannot be substantiated with evidence then the assertion is hollow and there for all to see. But the truth of the matter (or any statement of religion, philosophy or idea) is not determined by respect for that religion or idea, even my own.

        As to the substance of your thread (as far as I understand it!) in contrast what you were saying I thought it important to affirm Mattfradd in his essay — in what he said and how he said it.
        I am now curious about something else you can help me with. If I understand you correctly, am I right in thinking that you would not have had an issue with his essay with regards to ‘respect’ if he had simply not added the last sentence? i.e. If he had just ended his essay with: ‘For this reason, as well as many others, Christians should agree with me that Muhammad was a false prophet.’?

        Regards

      • Hi Kinana,

        When you said, ““People like Steve Goodwin confuse respecting people with the need to respect their belief system.”

        It made an implication about my personal character. Who are “People like me?” You’ve named me, who are the others? It’s a very open generic statement, created in a negative tone, to lessen the worth of the original posters comments.

        It comes across as, when read with the rest of your first paragraph the statement is bundled with, “Don’t worry about what Steve Goodwin and people like him say, dismiss them, Matt, they are just confused.”

        Maybe you didn’t mean it that way. Like I mentioned previously though, did my name really have to be dragged into your first paragraph anyway? If you hadn’t off, we wouldn’t be having a discussion about it, nor would I of taken offence. What good did it actually do? other than try to dismiss a position of someone that took a viewpoint different than your own by saying “Those People are confused” so that makes me right.

        Back to why I found the post disrespectful

        When reading the post, did I find it respectful of the Islamic Faith or Muhammad. – No

        Therefore, if I didn’t find it respectful, then it must show a lack of respect, or be disrespectful. To me it first showed a lack of respect, and then sunk into being disrespectful with the liar/lunatic/demonically possessed inference. He may of been none of those three. People adopt beliefs for all sorts of reasons. For example, can we say that Catholics who step outside of what Catholicism teaches, say in regards to same sex marriage are liars, lunatics or demonically possessed. Those that agree with that are likely to teach their children what they believe, not different than a prophet teachers his or her flock. This may be a poor example as there are extremes. I can see we could draw a line, but who draws the line, where does the line stop or end for using character attacks based on beliefs? Because someone is wrong, doesn’t necessarily make them a liar, lunatic or demonically possessed.

        That doesn’t mean Matt Fradd’s article is incorrect, or Matt intended to be disrespectful, or for that matter Matt has to be respectful in his posting.

        Here are some other thoughts I’ve had about the issue, since it has raised a bit of debate.

        I didn’t come to believe in Christianity because someone else is wrong. I came to Christianity due to studying the Christian faith and finding it to be correct. Trying to get someone to believe in Catholicism because someone else is “wrong” seems kind of pointless, from my viewpoint.

        To me, if what Catholicism offers is good, and correct, there should be no need to try to prove someone else is wrong, just prove, and show, why you are right.

        But again, this is my viewpoint, and Matt has every right to present information any way he wants. I provide the feedback so Matt can see how I gauge, or appreciate what he is saying. Some people would just unfollow and walk away when they didn’t like something. I try to offer feedback.

        Then again, sometimes, it all seems very hard, and I become extremely reluctant in future to post any kind of objections, or state how I feel, out of concern for being attacked for simply stating an open opinion.

        It seems much easier to only post when you do “Agree” but is that really helping the apologist? if that is all you ever do?

        I guess though if the blog is designed mainly for a “Catholic” audience, I can understand that. And maybe this really isn’t the best forum for a non Catholic, but Christian, looking into Catholicism to be following.

      • People usually come into the Catholic Church for one of two reasons, one, they are already Christians and a search for the authentic Church and the Truth lead them there or, God brings them in through a powerful conversion. If one believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God, whether or not they are Catholic or protestant, they would have to believe that Muhammed was a false prophet. There are no two ways about it. You either believe Jesus Christ is the Truth, the Way and the Life or he was a liar, a lunatic or possessed. If you believe in Jesus Christ, what does that make Muhammed? There is no more to back up the claims of Muhammed then there are the claims of Joseph Smith and again, if you believe in Jesus Christ, there is no reason to try and pretend that Muhammed was anything than what he was. Now, forgetting the Qu’ran, read about his life.Muhammed spread his religion via torture and death, follow him or die. He had sexual relations with a child and built that into his “relgion.” He taught hatred for Jews and Christians and his legacy to demand their deaths continues to this day. Would these be the actions of someone who was a truthful, pious, sane, adherent of God? No, this is truly someone who was a liar, a sinner, a murderer, a pedophile and following the path of the father of lies. The truth is the truth and watering it down to not loving those who have taken the wrong path. If only 10% of the followers of Islam act upon the beliefs of killing Jews and Christians, that is over 100 million people. With most all religious persecution and violence in the world today being committed by Muslims, pretending otherwise is naive and foolish. There is tolerance and there is stupidity and it has nothing at all to do with being Catholic. It has to do with knowing and believing in Jesus Christ. I know Muhammed was wrong, therefore he was a false prophet. There truly is right and wrong.

      • Hi Debra,

        I’m not sure if your post was directed at me or not, or a general statement.

        Anyway you said,

        “People usually come into the Catholic Church for one of two reasons, one, they are already Christians and a search for the authentic Church and the Truth lead them there or, God brings them in through a powerful conversion.”

        How do you explain those that leave the Catholic church, for other religions such as Islam, or other denominations, affiliations of Christianity, Atheism or become Agnostic.

        Powerful conversion stories are not exclusive to Catholicism, nor is people seeking the truth, then claiming they have found it.

        In regards to Muhammad not agreeing with Christian beliefs, I think that is obvious otherwise people of the Islamic faith would be Christians, and or vice versa. I never argued whether Muhammad was right or wrong in his beliefs, or the way he lived his life. I offered an opinion that I found the way the article was presented disrespectful to people of the Islamic faith, and their prophet.

        Others, as I have said previous in this thread, may not see it that way.

        One of the things I admired the most when I was agnostic were the Christians that respected my beliefs I had at the time before becoming Christian. They didn’t attack my beliefs, or what I believed in, they showed me what they believed in, and what it offered. I would share my beliefs with them as well. Over time however I came to realise through that sharing my beliefs were not as well founded. However if they had of told me, the beliefs I had are all nonsense, inferred the people I followed were lunatics, liars or demonically influenced, like Deepak Chopra, Eckert Tolle, and so on, I would of turned off and walked away from them.

        While I can clearly see, now looking back, at those teachers of new age faiths, were incorrect in some of their philosophy, I would switch off to people attacking them, or the beliefs they represented. And it is still how I view them, incorrect in their teachings. I don’t consider them liars, lunatics of demonically influenced.

        It was the Christians, that put our differences aside, and showed me what they believed in, how it helped them, and how they represented themselves that helped me in my conversion to Christianity.

        It’s one of the reasons I admire the Pope’s recent address

        “And it is also important to intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail, but rather the desire to build true links of friendship between all peoples, despite their diversity.”

        source http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/speeches/2013/march/documents/papa-francesco_20130322_corpo-diplomatico_en.html

        Because I experienced that first hand, a desire from Christians to build true links of friendships regardless of our different beliefs. It worked.

        Hey, but they may not be for everyone.

      • Everything that happens to each one of us, is God’s will. He either causes it or he allows it. There are many people who are in the Catholic Church who do not know their faith nor have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Many leave because they prefer to be their own Gods and other churches allow that. Most complaints about the Catholic Church from Catholics have to do with not wanting to follow God’s will, which usually results in sin and the Church does not embrace that. I do not believe that a single one of them understand the Eucharist. Most protestant churches and non-Christian faiths, barring Islam, have no problem with contraception, fornication, gay marriage, abortion, etc. People will gravitate to those who affirm how they want to live. Some go elsewhere because they want to be entertained with Christian rock music every Sunday and listen to pump them up preaching, which is only surface, but it makes them feel good. I don’t hear a lot of powerful conversion stories that lead people to other faiths. Some may be baptized in the Spirit and then hang where that happened. We know that the Holy Spirit goes where he wishes. However, once, again, when a person starts to look for the Truth……. it leads them to the Catholic Church.

        Now, we could have all kinds of conversations on how we want to bring people into the Church, or to belief in God, but no one intellectualizes anyone into faith. Faith is a gift. God is in control of that gift. It has to be sought or at least desired and those who intellectualize themselves into Catholicism will never remain unless they are open to surrendering to God. Every one of us was made in his likeness so we will desire him until our dying day. How we get to him or how we even recognize this desire determines where we go in life. Christianity is based on a person and that person is Jesus Christ. Our religion is based upon a relationship with Jesus Christ. We should approach each person with love and we should live every part of our life as a Catholic as that is what attracts people,

        Now, the focus of this article was Muhammed being a false prophet. That’s it. He was. Yes. Jesus Christ told his disciples to go out and preach the good news to all the world. He did not say, oh, but if you find someone who is totally lying about me and my Father and the Holy Spirit, please don’t mention that because they might be offended. Jesus told us to beware of false prophets who will lead away even the elect. No one is immune to lies. We can tell the truth with love, but calling someone who is truthfully a liar and a murderer and evil something good, cannot be done, should not be done. That is the whole point I was trying to make.

      • Kinana says:

        Steve

        (I am responding only to your comment of http://mattfradd.com/2013/04/21/muhammed-was-a-false-prophet/comment-page-1/#comment-4066 , not to your comments to Debra Brunsberg)

        Your position is ‘like’ the position held by many people. Hence the word ‘like’ in my original comment. The ‘like’ is not sinister or negative in anyway, it is descriptive to mean ‘one of many.’ That is reality. You will not find a comment from me about your personal character. I do not confuse you with the ideas you propose or defend.

        As for others who have a similar position as yours, go to any website that debates these issues and show even any slight displeasure with Islam, and you will find posters who say authors should show more respect to Islam.

        Ironically, it is a position that is very Islamic. Many Muslims I have spoken to cannot distinguish between their belief system and themselves as individuals. ‘What does it mean for you to say that you respect me as a human being but not my religion? That does not make any sense. Animals eat and walk and defecate too. You are not making any sense.’ (Anjem Choudary) This is because Islam categorises people according to what they believe. Sort of the ‘you are what you eat’ position for religion.

        Again you imply that I attacked you along with other questions that I have already responded to. When you write on a public blog an unfavourable comment (or two or three!) then it is normal to get some feedback. That is all.

        Thank you for clarifying what you think about the whole of the article. ‘To me it first showed a lack of respect, and then sunk into being disrespectful with the liar/lunatic/demonically possessed inference.’

        You have written about the very last part (the ‘disrespectful’ part) but it boggles me to find where you feel that it showed ‘a lack of respect’ prior to the last two sentences. What words or phrases did he use that showed ‘a lack of respect’? Or do you think he should have added a few sentences or words to show his respect for the religion of Islam?

        But even in the ‘disrespectful’ part, the author asked a question. How is asking a question disrespectful? Ironically (again!), when he started to have his visions and visits from the angel Gabriel, Mohammed himself thought that he was mentally ill until his first wife (and uncle?) convinced him otherwise. And the rest is (a sad) history.

        Regards

      • I wasn’t the only one who found the post disrespectful.

        It’s a viewpoint, you have yours, I have mine and others have theirs. If it boggles you, so be it 🙂

        I respect you didn’t find it disrespectful and understand your viewpoint.

        Thanks for the conversation, I’ll leave this thread here.

      • Hi Debra,

        Thanks for your reply.

        You said,

        “I don’t hear a lot of powerful conversion stories that lead people to other faiths”

        Their are tons, just Google it. Cat Stevens comes to mind if were talking about Islam.

        Cat Stevens – Yusaf Islam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b169OlD12kM ( text testimony http://www.islamtomorrow.com/converts/yusuf_islam.asp )

        His testimony, just a brief one linked above, is quite interesting. And not much different than what people say who have had similar coming to Christianity.

        Cat Stevens was always interesting to me personally as I grew up listening to his somewhat brilliant songs, music.

        He appears to be a descent man.

        extract from Wikipedia

        “Following his conversion, Yusuf abandoned his music career. When he became a Muslim in 1977, he said, the Imam at the mosque was told that he was a pop star, and he told Yusuf that it was fine to continue as a musician, so long as the songs were morally acceptable. But Yusuf says he knew there were aspects of the music business, such as vanity and temptations, that did go against the teachings of the Qur’an,[60] and this was the primary reason he gave for retreating from the spotlight. But in his first performance on the television show Later… with Jools Holland, 27 years after leaving the music business, and in other interviews, he gave different reasons for leaving: “A lot of people would have loved me to keep singing,” he said. “You come to a point where you have sung, more or less … your whole repertoire and you want to get down to the job of living. You know, up until that point, I hadn’t had a life. I’d been searching, been on the road.”[16]

        Estimating in January 2007 that he continues to earn approximately $1.5 million USD a year from his Cat Stevens music,[61] he decided to use his accumulated wealth and ongoing earnings from his music career on philanthropic and educational causes in the Muslim community of London and elsewhere. In 1981, he founded the Islamia Primary School in Salusbury Road in the north London area of Kilburn[4] and, soon after, founded several Muslim secondary schools; in 1992, Yusuf set up The Association of Muslim Schools (AMS-UK), a charity that brought together all the Muslim schools in the UK. He is also the founder and chairman of the Small Kindness charity, which initially assisted famine victims in Africa and now supports thousands of orphans and families in the Balkans, Indonesia, and Iraq.[62] He served as chairman of the charity Muslim Aid from 1985 to 1993.[63]

        In 1985, Yusuf decided to return to the public spotlight for the first time since his religious conversion, at the historic Live Aid concert, concerned with the famine threatening Ethiopia. Though he had written a song especially for the occasion, his appearance was skipped when Elton John’s set ran too long.[64]”

        There are many descent Muslims. You do have some radical ones, but they are a minority if you look at the total numbers. Our western news, tends to distort things quite a lot, to paint unrealistic pictures, and classify everyone under one banner.

        I quite often hear, especially in Australia, the Catholic Church is bad because of the child molestation that went on. Currently the Australia government is launching an investigation into child abuse. As soon as someone comments about Catholic’s they ALWAYS bring up the Catholic abuse of children by priests, and attempts to paint all Catholic’s with the same brush.

        I’m sure we could argue all Islamic people are brainwashed, conned by the devil and so on. But some people who don’t believe in Christianity, or Catholicism will make the same allegations about them. I certainly have friends that believe I am deluded for believing in Christianity, Jesus Christ. I accept their position. At one time, I did to.

        I agree, some Muslims do bad things.
        but I also acknowledge, some Catholics and Christians do bad things.

        I respect we have differences of opinion on the subject.

        Even God doesn’t force us to all believe, or for that matter wants to, make us view things the same. I’m sure if he did, he would of done. It would be naïve to think he couldn’t.

        Anyway, thanks for your comments.

        Amazing world 🙂

      • Muhammed was a false prophet. No matter how many wonderful Muslim people there are (and I know many personally) the religion is based upon a false prophet. A very, evil man. This is a fact. Please, do not try to compare a very tiny number of perverse, mainly, homosexual priests and their terrible abuse of children, with the wanton murdering of innocent human beings that takes place non stop around the world and in our country by followers of Islam. Take a good look at every predominately Muslim country in the middle east and then try to pretend that there isn’t a serious problem with their beliefs. So, I will reiterate…. again……..Muhammed was a false prophet. That is the point here. The only point. You seem to want to turn this into something else. If you have doubts about Christianity, I suggest you pray on it. When you are convinced of Jesus Christ being the son of God, then you might be able to see the truth about Muhammed.

      • Kinana says:

        Steve

        I am glad the issue of me using your name is cleared up.

        But there is the other, more substantive matter, about ‘respect’ worthy of clarification. We all want to be more effective in our communication skills. To state something clearly without causing offence, if possible, is the ideal. But you are offended by the whole tenor of the article, not just the last two sentences, because it showed a lack of respect to ‘the Islamic Faith or Muhammad’.

        In common understanding, respect is good and disrespect is bad. And we all want to be good!

        So I ask you again:

        Could you suggest to the author (and to the rest of us) how he/we could avoid showing a ‘lack of respect’ to ‘the Islamic Faith or Muhammad’. What words or phrases did he use that showed ‘a lack of respect’? Or do you think he should have added a few sentences or words to show his respect for the religion of Islam and Mohammed? If so, can you suggest a form of words or phrase that can be used? (Of course, as I said before, I am referring only to the first part of the essay – excluding the two sentences at the end which you have already responded to.)

        Since you indicate you may want to leave all this aside and move on, I will reply to my own questions. It is not possible to respect a belief system and its founder, AND, at the same time, disagree with the fundamental tenants of same. To take your approach would be to close down all discussion which points to the errors of other belief systems. As you said: ‘there should be no need to try to prove someone else is wrong, just prove, and show, why you are right.’ You are encouraging an approach of non-confrontation with error, and the ignoring falsehood.

        I believe such an approach is disastrous to the pursuit of truth and the freeing of millions enslaved to falsehood. I think here of a quote from Ernest Renan, French historian: “To liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service that one can render him.”

        To point out error in the service of truth is what Mattfradd’s article does.

        Regards

      • DECLARATION ON
        THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS
        NOSTRA AETATE
        PROCLAIMED BY HIS HOLINESS
        POPE PAUL VI
        ON OCTOBER 28, 1965

        “3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

        Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom. ”

        http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html

        I find what the Pope wrote very respectful, and paints a different picture of Moslems (Islam) than what some posters have suggested in the comments in this thread.

        If this article was written along those lines, I would have no problem with it.

        I admire the Pope, even as a non Catholic, their is great wisdom in his articles.

        “5. We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way ANY man, created as he is in the image of God. Man’s relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: “He who does not love does not know God” (1 John 4:8).

        “The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion. On the contrary, following in the footsteps of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this sacred synod ardently implores the Christian faithful to “maintain good fellowship among the nations” (1 Peter 2:12), and, if possible, to live for their part in peace with all men,(14) so that they may truly be sons of the Father who is in heaven.(15) “

      • Kinana says:

        Steve,

        I am disappointed. I asked several specific questions based on your previous comments and you reply with a copy and paste job from Church and Papal documents.

        You criticise Mattfradd (and other commentators) and refuse to say how he could have improved his article to show how he/we could avoid showing a ‘lack of respect’ to ‘the Islamic Faith or Muhammad’. Nothing in those documents contradict the article or anything I (or anyone (?) else here) have said about Islam.

        You say: ‘If this article was written along those lines, I would have no problem with it.’ But you refuse to say specifically how you could improve on the article (excluding the last two sentences). The Church and Papal documents you quote do not criticise Islam or Mohammed at all and neither in fact does Mattfradd. He simply points out what the documents do not do. He points out a major difference between Islam and Christianity.

        So it seems you only want articles on Islam that talk about similarities and ignore differences. That is what you must mean by how he/we could avoid showing a ‘lack of respect’ to ‘the Islamic Faith or Muhammad’. I do not know what other conclusion I can draw from your response.

        Regards

      • Quote from the start of the article

        “Why is it then, that claiming Muhammad to be a false prophet will likely be met with accusations of “Intolerance!”?

        It is evident from that statement Matt knew, to some extent, his claim would generate a level of intolerance.

        I gave him my viewpoint, I found it disrespectful. From that you could determine maybe from an Islamic point of view it can be perceived as “Intolerant” and or bordering on Hate Speech. I said as much in my first post. Which became evident from other people’s comments after mine. Not everyone will see it that way, I fully acknowledge that. But to answer Matt’s question I gave my opinion including that I didn’t find this type of dialogue constructive. However it maybe is constructive to Matt, it is my viewpoint. I’m not saying Matt needs to adopt my viewpoint or event accept it.

        Now, to me, it makes no difference if you say it about Muhammad or Joseph Smith, to me, both were disrespectful, and I made that clear on the second article about Joseph Smith.

        It’s not my job, or my position, re-write Matt’s article. He is quite welcome to express his opinion, thoughts, and beliefs, and as a result, I may express the way I interpreted the article.

        And one other thing, I’m not about to do what you ask. I don’t know you, I read your opinion, but I’m not about to start doing tasks to satisfy your curiosity to why I find the article disrespectful. If your still struggling with that, then fine, it doesn’t matter to me that you have an issue with that.

        I have no issue with you not finding the article as likely to cause “Intolerance”, or that it shouldn’t, or should, or that it is not disrespectful to other people’s belief, their prophets, or otherwise.

        But anyway, I really must leave this thread here. Time is precious, and it is clear you will not take heed to understand my position.

        I really feel no need to change your beliefs, or defend mine any more. I’m am ok we take opposing views on the subject.

        I bid you good day. I do appreciate the discussion we have had.

      • carloshelms says:

        Well then, I feel even more comfortable in re-quoting Spencer:

        “It is a peculiar, albeit common, misconception of our age to think that dispensing with the truth can be an act of charity. It never truly can be.”

        The truth does not always appear to be “kind.” Yet it will, ultimately, set one free if one listens to its lessons. And, at times, they are hard lessons. As GK Chesterton once said, “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”

        As an “infidel” poly-theist, I find it particularly disturbing that I’m on some fanatic’s hit-list. I find it disingenuous to “tolerate” such a religion – one that itself tolerates genocide…especially if I – and/or my family – are on the menu.

        But I have had Muslim friends. They were (presumably) “bad” Muslims – at least in the eyes of the more conservative elements of the religion. From that perspective, I am quite happy that they weren’t “good” Muslims.

  18. Great Essay Matt! Too many people have fallen prey to the “tolerance” ploy and they mistake that with allowing any farce, lie or delusion to go along without pointing out that it is indeed a farce a lie or a delusion. Muhammad was, is and always will have been a false prophet. One clue is that those who follow him proclaim that you must die if you say that. Why, because if it is said enough, those who have been forced into this “religion” may actually start to examine Islam.
    Muhammad had no choice but to put Jesus in his writings because he could not deny his existence. As he was already going to borrow heavily from the Old and New Testaments to create his fake religion, he had to at least try to not leave out the most obviously proven things. His creative way of removing Jesus as the true Son of God was actually quite silly, but then again, when you give your members an option of believing and following you or dying, they are probably going to accept your delusions.
    When the Muslim led countries in the middle east allow the free and open worship for Christians, allow them to be a part of the public voice and allow adherents to Islam the right to read the bible and convert, then I might actually give them some credence of following the same God that I do. Islam is not a religion, it is a way of forcing human beings to live in slavery in a political prison. If Muhammad had any visit by any angel, we know exactly which angel that was and it wasn’t one who came down from heaven to impart a message to him. No other group who claim to follow God are as inhuman and as evil in their actions as followers of Islam. I don’t care if it is only a minority, a minority of a billion people is huge.

  19. There are just some “religions” that do not deserve respect, and to disagree with them is not intolerance, but sanity. Take, for example, the Westboro “Baptist” Church. I do not believe them to be Baptist, nor do I think they should be accepted as sane people who simply believe differently than most of us. Disagreeing with a religion is not intolerance, it’s the recognition that truth is revealed from God, not through a democratic process of voting on who’s acceptable and who is not.

  20. nathalie says:

    How can it be more offensive to claim that Mohammed was a false prophet when muslims happily and openly tell christians that Jesus isn’t “God”, that he was only a prophet himself and that we are actually polytheists (mystery of the Trinity) and idolators (artwork in churches)? Why can criticism only go one way? Half of my family is muslim and the other catholic. Muslim relatives (out of the goodness of their hearts) do not hesistate tell us we are going to hell (pork eaters!) but we could NEVER dare to speak any ill of Mohammed. I know this from personal experience.

  21. Ezra Johanes says:

    Have you read the Qur’an and study the sirah ( life of the Prophet ) and many other scholar texts. If you haven’t then there is no point making a statement you yourself don;t know and just blasting blasphemous words for your own satisfaction? Please if you are not sure , ask . If you just want to provoke hatredness , the Devil is with you and he shall be with anybody who wants to create trouble . Keep what ever you believe to yourself . Muslims believe in their own way , you have your own . Go to http://www.answering-christianity.com for more info – learn and read . Still faith is something given by grace of God AlMighty , you cannot change one’s believe . Even Prophet Muhammad cannot convert his uncle who eventhough not a Muslim but protected him from the Pagan Arabs . When you quote or read the Qur’an read truthfully . There are so many books talking about comparative religion . Do you know that Trinity was created by Emperor Constantine and through the Council of Niceae in 325 AD and later affirmed by Council of Trent [ to rationalise against Protestants] . There are no Jesus teachings included in both the Councils , so how are you going to say that Christianity is based on Jesus teachings . Read Pauline theology and you will understand what I mean .

    • Matt Fradd says:

      Thank you, Ezra. I am currently making my way through the Qu’ran, yes. I do not claim to have a deep understanding of Islam, only enough to believe him to a be false prophet. And I offered an argument for that belief.

      If it is true that Muhammad taught that Christ was not crucified unto death, and if the Qu’ran faithfully records this teaching of his, and if that teaching is false, then I would submit that he is a false prophet.

      You write, “the Devil is with you.” Why don’t you spend your energy on attacking my argument, instead of me.

      The council of Nicea defied the Trinity, they did not invent it. And this trite about Constantine inventing the Trinity is spurious and ahistorical.

      Though the Bible does not use the term “trinity” (the Bible doesn’t use the word “Bible!”), it certainly teaches that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are God.

      The doctrine of the Trinity was understood to be true by the early Church. I could give you many examples, let me stick to one:

      The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit. – St. Irenaeus

      I look forward to your rebuttal of my argument against Muhammad based on his erroneous view of Jesus Christ.

    • carloshelms says:

      Interesting name, “Ezra.”

      Perhaps you could read the book recorded by your namesake. It deals with “interfaith” and incompatibility and the power of the one true God, Yaweh.

      I’m a firm believer in live and let live; but I expect I’d have something to say about some radical religious fanatics who threaten my family as a matter of their religious dogma. Today, it’s from a distance. Tomorrow, who knows? Every day it seems to get a bit closer.

  22. Lepanto says:

    Ezra..please read Bill Federer, Andrew Toynby, or even Teddy Roosevelt’s books on Muhammadism.. I know why you won’t. Followers of the prophet might kill you for questioning. There would be no muslims today if not for the sickle that butchers and threatens. The crescent is a pagan symbol Muhammad borrowed from earlier Persian paganism. Paganism is the adoration of the devil. The Jewish People were the Chosen People from whom came THE WORD THAT WAS MADE FLESH and dwelt among us, so that those who believe in Him may have Eternal Life. If I become a muslim, none of my family of friends would feel compelled to kill me. If you considered Christianity, your wife, children, parents, and community would feel the prophet’s compulsion to torture and kill you horribly.

    You show courage coming here. That’s a grace.

    If it’s possible find some place safe to study. Christ called you hear today and loves you. There are no coincidences with THE MOST HIGH–HOLY, MERCIFUL, and LOVING TRINITY!!!

    There is no blasphemy against a man, but only who you would call “Allah”. So why are muslims so protective of a man, Muhammad (who they really adore) and not “Allah” who made a man an instrument of His, or so you say.

    Hilairre Belloc said that Muhammed on his death-bed, asked for a Catholic priest, but was killed by his own who liked the spoils of war and “booty” and were not at all interested in the demands of the ONE,TRUE FAITH.

    Like he called to that poor sinner in his last moments, God calls to you now.

    I look forward to your response.

    GOD BLESS YOU!!!

    VIVA CHRISTO REY!!!

  23. […] And the winner of this year’s most controversial post goes to (drum roll . . . ) this one (or this one?)! […]

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