God, Love, Mercy, and Islam
"Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you." This is what Attorney General John Ashcroft told syndicated columnist Cal Thomas in an interview published on the internet siteCrosswalk.
He later distanced himself from those remarks, stating that he was speaking of the terrorists who hijacked the faith.
Despite the clarification of his remarks, I remained disappointed that our chief law enforcement officer would make such a hurtful statement about the faith of millions of his fellow Americans. It reveals the still prevalent notion among many Americans that Islam is a violent, hateful religion whose God is distant, warmongering, and intolerant.
Many Christians have even gone as far as saying that the God of Islam is not the same God of Christians and Jews. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The God of Islam is Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. He is the God of all humanity, regardless of faith or creed. In Arabic, His name is "Allah," which is roughly translated to mean "The God." Arab Jews and Christians call God "Allah." In an Arabic translation of the Bible, God is also translated as "Allah." To posit that the "Muslim" God is not the Judeo-Christian God is inaccurate and absurd.
In Islam, Muslims have a direct, personal relationship with God Almighty. In the Qur'an, God says, "We have indeed created humanity and know what is whispered in his own self, and We are closer to him than his jugular vein." (50:16)
In another verse the Prophet Mohammed is told: "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close: I answer the prayer of the one who prays to Me." (2:186)