For background information about the meetings, see this Reuters article of 11/06/08.
The statement includes an enumerated list of fifteen points which present a target rich environment In this installment, I'll take on the fifth point of agreement.[Links & emphasis added.]
Genuine love of neighbour implies respect of the person and her or his choices in matters of conscience and religion. It includes the right of individuals and communities to practice their religion in private and public.Taken at face value, the fifth point means that the Muslims participating in the meeting accept the concept of freedom of religion. By so doing, they would sever themselves from Allah and become apostates.
Allah said, "whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.".[3:85] Allah said, "Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam". On his deathbed, Moe said "Expel the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula". [Bukhari 4.52.288] Caliph Umar subsequently expeled the Jews. [Bukhari 3.39.531]
As if that was insufficient proof of intolerance, we have Allah's commands to fight until only Allah is worshiped and Jews & Christians are subjugated and extorted. In three ayat, Allah declares that Islam must be made to dominate other religions: "to make it superior over all religions", "that He may make it (Islam) superior over all religions", "to make it victorious over all (other) religions".
The right to believe and practice as you choose is obviated by Allah's commands to fight disbelievers. Once Jews & Christians are conquered, subjugated & extorted, Islamic law specifies certain regulations. I quote from Reliance of the Traveller, Book O.
- are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);
- are not greeted with "as-Salamu 'alaykum";
- must keep to the side of the street
- may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims' buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
- are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;
- and are forbidden to build new churches
- O8.1 When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.
- O8.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A: or his representive) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.
Either the Muslim participants in the forum are contradicting Allah and his Messenger or their affirmation of freedom of conscience is insincere. Which is it?
Click this link for A Common Word between Us and You, which precipitated the recent meetings. [Note the Events section, a recent addition to the page]. A Common Word's home page includes a summary, the missive, media reports, blog posts and various responses from Christian & Jewish leaders. Click this link: Islamic Extortion Letter for my original dissection of the missive or this link: Go Burn With Muhammad, a blog devoted to dissecting the missive and reactions to it.