RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE: Respect? Possibly. Dialogue? Not really.
Pope Francis has made it clear that he hopes for “dialogue” with Islam.
The dictionary definition of dialogue is “discussion directed towards exploration of a subject or resolution of a problem”. (Oxford Concise, tenth edition).
OK insofar as each participant can clarify his/her grasp of what the other stands for – thus avoiding enmity based merely on a caricature of his/her position.
But what if the clearer picture confirms that the gulf is un-bridgeable?
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Professor S. L. Jaki tells of a conversation with a Muslim fellow-plane passenger who boasted of the freedoms enjoyed in Arab countries:
“I asked him what happens to a Muslim, say in Saudi Arabia or Iran, who becomes a Christian.
“My travelling companion tried to change the subject, but I kept insisting for an answer . . . .
“During the rest of our flight we read our respective books . . . .”
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One fundamental belief of Islam is that the Prophet Jesus was never crucified. (Sura 4)
Another is that Christians believe in a divine Trinity, one of the three Persons being Mary the mother of Jesus. (Sura 5)
If the first of these assumptions is true, then the whole of Christianity evaporates.
The second assumption is simply an untruth
There can be no dialogue at any depth while such basics remain unchanged.
And they will remain unchanged because those statements are in the Koran.