Mess of Pottage Blog

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Atheist Recommends Christians Convert Muslims?

on June 12, 2010

MacLeans has an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali woman who was raised as a Muslim but who has become an atheist. In the article, she said Christians should proselytize Muslims, at least in the West:

When I was in Holland … I heard about a Christian mission that had been proselytizing in Morocco. The government kicked them out and sent them back to Holland. I thought, “You don’t have to stop proselytizing — just go to the Muslim community in Amsterdam west and carry on there.” But of course there, they’re not only going to face the radical Muslims as opponents, they’re also going to face the multicultural opponents, saying they’re not supposed to be telling people to leave their religion.

I suppose it’s a sort of affirmation, when an atheist sees Christian proselytizing of Muslims as relatively benign. But perhaps she assumes too much. How many Christians are able to effectively proselytize these days? How many can articulate their faith in a positive way at all, much less in a way to attract the adherents of another faith?

I think she’s right, though, that Christians would come under fire from multiculturalists. I wonder how Christians would respond to attacks from secular people arguing that religions should leave each other alone.

It’s interesting, too, that Ayaan Hirsi Ali sees Christianity as a “culture.” My reading of Paul is that Christianity should transcend (not replace) culture: “There is no longer Jew or Greek,” etc. (Galatians 3:28, and see Colossians 3:11 also.)

It was an interesting article, but before Christians start doing cartwheels, they should ponder this:

I would, if I had the power, abolish Muslim schools. Children born to Muslim parents in North America or anywhere else in the West would get Islamic teachings at home, which is fine. But when they go to school, they would get the regular education that’s going to enable them to be absorbed into our society and become law-abiding, well-established citizens.

Even assuming you think that’s a good idea, could you do it in a way that would permit Christians to have Christian schools?


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