Many observers were stunned when a Christian making a basic statement of faith – that Jesus is the Son of God – was considered an insult to Muslims.
The dispute was in Uganda, but now the same issue has erupted in the United States’ neighbor to the north, Canada.
There, a Muslim leader declared Muslims must take offense when people declare Jesus is the Son of God.
Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch wrote that, apparently, “Christians who are anxious to avoid offending Muslims should convert to Islam now, because the simple expression of the Christian faith offends Muslims.”
It was Sheikh Younus Kathrada who said he stands by his statement that Muslims should be offended, though not necessarily become violent, when people worship Jesus or refer to him as the Son of God.
The Middle East Media Research Institute said he “further criticized the media for wanting to make Muslims look like savages and said that since a proper Islamic state – which he said does not exist today – would punish murder, adultery, and other severe crimes by things such as death and amputation, his remarks cannot be taken to mean that he encourages these behaviors.”
He also stated: “Because it seems that some reporters and media outlets have nothing better to do than spread lies and inaccurate reports, I feel that it is important to clarify things, but on our terms.”
“I have never and I still do not, and I never will, tell people to just go out and kill people willy nilly and so on and so forth,” Kathrada said. “… Do you know why I said that? I said that because after I made the comments that I did, I anticipated that there may be some unintelligent people out there, not my audience, but unintelligent people who may come across this sermon and they may accuse me of saying certain things that I did not say.”
He noted his comment that “you and I must be offended when people say that they worship Jesus or when they say that Jesus is the son of God.”
“Guess what, I stand 100 percent behind these words. I said those words and I stand behind them, 100 percent.”
He said the Christmas holiday is Christian “and it is based on what Islam deems to be blasphemy.”
“Don’t tell me that we can be okay with saying ‘Merry Christmas’ you prove to me how it can be okay. Out of politeness, okay, so go and congratulate the fornicators then. You won’t do it unless you are one of them or you happen to have that mentality where you think it is okay, there is nothing wrong with it. Or a rapist. … Extreme examples? Well, they are not extreme, they are real examples.”
He said it is wrong for Muslims to want to be polite.
In that case, “You are not a principled individual.”
In a “proper” Islamic state, he said, there will be “severe punishments” for those crimes.
In Uganda, Muslims believe they can “justifiably exact revenge” if they are subjected to such thoughts.
Spencer wrote that Muslims “now consider any public statement of the Christian faith to be a calculated insult to Muslims, for which they can justifiably exact revenge.”
“This is, or should be, sobering news for the comfortable Christians of the West who have made an idol out of ‘interfaith dialogue’ and fastidiously avoid saying anything remotely critical about Islam, even as the Muslim persecution of Christians continues worldwide.”
The Washington Times reported that in June a group of Muslims attacked Christian preachers in eastern Uganda during a “crusade” in which Christians publicly professed their faith and invited others to join.
Muslims in the town accused the Christians of mocking Islam by publicly saying Jesus was the Son of God.
Christian pastor Moses Saku said the accusation provoked violence by local Muslims.
“They became very angry and began throwing rocks at Christians, chanting ‘Allah akbar.’ Many Christians were injured during the incident,” he said.
Spencer wrote with tongue in cheek: “Christians, stop saying Jesus is the Son of God. It provokes Muslims.”
WND has reported on a movement among Muslim nations to create a worldwide ban on any criticism of Islam.
Leaders in Pakistan now say they are “spearheading efforts to get countries to sign onto the “International Convention on Preventing the Defamation of Religions,” which would provide Islam with that special protection.
The document states “freedom of speech is an insufficient pretext for hurting the world’s Muslims.”