Christian and Muslim Religious Tolerance

1775 words 8 pages
FWIS 104
Christian and Muslim Religious Tolerance
It is ironic that while they are based on similar scriptures, and therefore similar ideologies, Christianity and Islam have had divergent attitudes towards the acceptance of religious minorities. By its nature, the Christian faith antagonizes other religions, including Judaism and Islam, because, according to Christian scripture, a lack of belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ results in damnation. The Muslim faith, however, has a much more tolerant view on “People of the Book,” including Christians and Jews, since such tolerance is stipulated by Islamic scripture. Subsequent treatment (as opposed to acceptance) of religious minorities, however, was similar between followers of the two
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Scatter them in thy power” [italics added for emphasis]. From this passage, he concludes that both the physical killing and the religious killing (eliminating their Jewish identities) of Jews are not desired by God. Instead, he finds value in the idea that the Jews were scattered throughout the world for Christian communities to use as reminders of Christ’s sacrifice.
While one’s attitude towards religious minorities may come directly as a mandate from one’s perception2 of the Christian faith, as it did for Saint Augustine, it could also come from political motivations, for example the desire to maintain political superiority. In Las Siete Partidas, Jews are given some religious freedoms but given fewer civil freedoms. The legal code of king Alfonso X states that, “Jews should pass their lives among Christians quietly and without disorder, practicing their own religious rites, and not speaking ill of the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (page 5). According to this passage, Jews are given the freedom to practice their own religion but are prohibited from certain types of speech. In addition to being barred from blasphemous speech, Jews are banned from holding public office in order to keep Christian political superiority.
These conditions, however, were benign compared Bishop Severs’ convert-or-die attitude. It is clear that Bishop Severus of Minorca serves as a good example of a Christian who led a group of Christians into violence towards a minority


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