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The Washington National Cathedral Hosting a Muslim Prayer Service

This Friday, November 14, the National Cathedral will host a Muslim prayer service. A Muslim spokesperson for the event said, “We want the world to see the Christian community is partnering with us and is supporting our religious freedom in the same way we are calling for religious freedom for all minorities in Muslim countries.” The director of the Cathedral’s liturgy affirmed that “this needs to be a world in which all are free to believe and practice and in which we avoid bigotry, Islamaphobia, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Christianity and to embrace our humanity and to embrace faith.”

Should Christians applaud this move to embrace the faith of Islam?

The National Cathedral was dedicated to be a house of worship for Christians. Although tolerance is a commendable virtue, we might well wonder why this Cathedral will be used to host a prayer service for a religion which opposes the teachings of Christianity. The message it sends to the nation is that Islam and Christianity are fundamentally the same and only superficially different, when in point of fact the opposite is true: Islam and Christianity are only superficially the same but fundamentally different. Not only does the Koran deny that Jesus was crucified, but it also teaches that the greatest blasphemy is to believe that God became man. Thus the very foundation of the Christian faith is vigorously opposed.

We as Americans should not judge Islam by its more tolerant American version. The true nature of Islam is seen in Saudi Arabia, whose laws stipulate the death penalty for those who convert from Islam to another religion. I wonder if there are any mosques in Saudi Arabia that allow Christian prayer services on their premises? Charitable comments by American Muslims do not change Islam’s intolerant teachings, nor do they erase its history of opposing Christianity as a religion and targeting Christians for persecution.

Omar Ahmad, cofounder of CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations, which is co-sponsoring the prayer service in the Cathedral), is reported to have said that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”1 When Christians in this country capitulate to the insistent demands of Muslims it is not time to celebrate.

We can be thankful that we live in America, a country that does allow freedom of religion. In this country, Muslims are permitted to live where they wish and build mosques and worship as they please. But let us not allow our tolerance to blind us to the supremacist agenda of Islam here in America and around the world. As Christians we do believe in a different God and we worship Jesus as divine Savior.

There is a time to celebrate and there is a time to weep. May God help us to know when one or the other is appropriate.

  1. Quoted in Shariah: The Threat to America—an Exercise in Competitive Analysis—Report of Team Bll (Washington DC: the Center for Security Policy, 2010), p.47.  

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