First of all, you select your target more carefully.
If the conversation you presented is indicative of their mentality, then it is very clear that this person is not open to the Spirit and no ecumenical dialogue could possibly ensue.
Second of all, you have to realize that not all Muslims would engage an ecumenical dialogue in the way you’ve presented-- and I think that this is something on our side that we have to work at understanding better.
Among the North African nations, Tunisia is the most secular in its approach to religion-- and yet I never hear anything about them in the news. More often than not, we see things from the perspective of Libya for example, a largely Muslim nation which has attempted to configure itself with 8th century Koranic law.
The example dialogue you’ve given is a gross misrepresentation of Islam here in the West that, quite frankly, feeds off of the most extreme examples of violence that Islam has perpetuated in the name of Allah.
The Koran does criticize Christians in some ways, but even its complaints are mild. Muhammad finds faults with Christians for our tendency to disagree among ourselves. The Koran also views the emrging Christian practice of monasticism with suspicion as well.
However, by the standards of religious rhetoric (especially those of the era), the Koran’s attitude toward Christians (and also Jewish people) is remarkably generous.
In contrast to this, however, Muhammad’s feircest religious fight was with the grossly idolatrous Arab culture that surrounded him. Much like Joshua and the Israelites entering into the promised land, the ‘prophet’ most especially attacked the militant paganism of its leaders. And, in this context, he actually looked to the other two ‘biblical religions’ with a mixture of alliance and cobelligerance in his struggle against ido-worshipping superstition.
[quote=StCsDavid]So, how do we reach out to this fellow?
Obviously not with clear reason. In this instance this fellows only hope to be reached is through our actions.
In other words, do not resist this person.
If he strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if he wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. Or if he forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Regardless of what they do, no matter how hard it might seem, we must not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath.
I know it’s easier said than done, but it is nonetheless written:
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
So, on the contrary, as far as our human actions are concerned…
If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
We must not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
[quote=StCsDavid]He doesn’t want to listen to reason as he is fully convinced of his position and that it is willed by God. Holding hands and singing Kumbaya isn’t going to work.
But I’m not talking about holding hands and singing Kumbaya. I’m talking about being willing to lay down one’s life for the sake of the Gospel so that by one’s death you reach the person after they’ve murdered you.
Sadly, unless some miraculous gifts of the Spirit brings about a remarkable transformation in their soul, it seems as though this is the only way these extremists can be reached.
Tertullian might have been wrong on some things. But he got it completely correct when he said the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.
[quote=StCsDavid]The reaction to the Pope’s speech and the way the Muslims have ginned up the hostility shines a huge spotlight on the reality that is Islam. They don’t want to be left alone. They are on the offensive.
Well, first of all, I don’t think the Pope has to apologize for anything. But, at the same time, it is clear that those who have reacted against the Pope’s words with such violence are clearly unstable to begin with.
I’ll just stress that their reaction to the Pope’s words does not speak for all of Islam.