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Religion and Society

Muslim Ask, Christians Answer

As of 1 May, 'Muslims ask, Christians answer,' a multilingual website created by Jesuit Fr Christian Troll, is available in Italian at www.risposteaimusulmani.com. The other languages are English, French, German and Turkish.

 

 

Unlike other, more contentious and belligerent Christian websites or paper publications, Father Troll's site tends to reach out to Muslims with accurate information, a non-controversial edge and an unruffled tone. In so doing it provides real facts and knowledge about Christianity to people from a Muslim background who would like to know more about it.

 

 

The site is organised in a number of sections, which range from the Holy Scriptures and Jesus' divinity to celibacy and religious pluralism.

 

 

On a number of issues, the site presents the main Muslim point of view, followed by those of Christianity, Catholic and non-Catholic, noting both common ground and differences.

 

 

The question-and-answer sections is interesting and ever expanding, which the author has organised according to subject matter.

 

 

Questions in Turkish are often polemical and tending towards the slanderous but in many cases they reveal a sincere desire to understand Christianity, showing some thoughtfulness about Christianity's mysteries and their challenge to human reason.

 

 

In 1975 in response to a questionnaire sent to him by the Secretariat for Non-Christians, Louis Gardet wrote to Mgr Rossano saying that "an important step towards a fruitful dialogue" with Muslims "can begin when a Christian Islamology develops with the assistance of Muslims in which Muslims will be able to recognise themselves and when a Muslim 'Christology' develops with the assistance of Christians in which the latter can recognise themselves."

 

 

More than 30 years after Gardet expressed such hopes ignorance about other religions is still widespread, not only among Christians (because of Islamophobia and distorted views about Islam, and more) but also among Muslims, as evinced by the great number of texts by pro-Islam apologists that are published every year.

 

 

Oftentimes Muslims fail to distinguish their understanding of Christianity as believers in Islam from the understanding Christians have had of their religion throughout the centuries.

 

 

However, experience has taught us that when the Catholic Church was able to make such a distinction in relation to the Jews, it benefited interfaith dialogue tremendously and this without slipping into syncretism.

 

 

In this context, Father Troll's website can legitimately help anyone interested in learning more about Christianity "from within."

 

 

 

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