Can I give a Muslim directions to a mosque?


#1

Suppose I’m walking down the street and a Muslim approaches me and tells me that he would like me to direct him to the nearest mosque so that he may attend Friday services. If I know where the nearest mosque is, is it okay for me to give him directions? On one hand, that could be seen as encouraging him in his religion. On the other hand, if the situation were reversed, I would certainly want him to tell me where the nearest church is.

Does the nature of the non-Christian faith matter? Would the answer be different if he were in a faith the Church is friendly toward, like a Jew, for example, in contrast to something directly opposed to the Church, like a Satanist?


#2

[quote=Jeremy]Suppose I’m walking down the street and a Muslim approaches me and tells me that he would like me to direct him to the nearest mosque so that he may attend Friday services. If I know where the nearest mosque is, is it okay for me to give him directions? On one hand, that could be seen as encouraging him in his religion. On the other hand, if the situation were reversed, I would certainly want him to tell me where the nearest church is.
[/quote]

If you have no reason not to believe that the person who has approached you is a member of that religion, it is not wrong to assist him in finding his place of worship. Encouraging someone to believe what you know to be incorrect (which would be morally problematic) is not the same thing as assisting someone looking for his own religion’s meeting place. Indeed, it can be an act of charity to prevent someone who is lost in a strange city from wandering aimlessly through unfamiliar surroundings.

[quote=Jeremy]Does the nature of the non-Christian faith matter? Would the answer be different if he were in a faith the Church is friendly toward, like a Jew, for example, in contrast to something directly opposed to the Church, like a Satanist?
[/quote]

If someone approached you and asked for directions to the local Satanists’ gathering, it would be perfectly legitimate to brush him off with “I’m sorry but I cannot help you” and to walk away. But that is because Satanism is not an incomplete religion (e.g., Judaism, Islam) or even a non-monotheistic religion (e.g., Buddhism, Hinduism); Satanism is a religion that worships the Evil One himself, Satan. We should not equate the quite proper refusal to cooperate with evil with a problematic refusal to assist non-Christians insofar as it is possible for us to do so without compromising our own Christian beliefs.


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