Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept. [I've included more than Melnick quoted.]Does the imam really believe what he signed? Melnick says no:
al-Tayeb is on record for taking a position that is in direct opposition of the document he co-signed. He recently said, “Those learned in Islam [al-fuqaha] and the imams of the four schools of jurisprudence consider apostasy a crime and agree that the apostate must either renounce his apostasy or else be killed.” Additionally, in a 2013 interview on Egyptian TV, he said that Muslims “suffer from global Zionism and Judaism,” and “You shall find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists.” One would think that statements like that would disqualify him from even being considered as a signatory on the “Document on Human Fraternity and World Peace.”I certainly can't disagree with that! Islam teaches that lying to infidels and apostates is morally justified. How can anyone sign an agreement with someone whose core beliefs include that only Muslims have a right to the truth?
"It is clear in this context how the family as the fundamental nucleus of society and humanity is essential in bringing children into the world, raising them, educating them, and providing them with solid moral formation and domestic security. To attack the institution of the family, to regard it with contempt or to doubt its important role, is one of the most threatening evils of our era.
"We affirm also the importance of awakening religious awareness and the need to revive this awareness in the hearts of new generations through sound education and an adherence to moral values and upright religious teachings.....
"The protection of the fundamental rights of children to grow up in a family environment, to receive nutrition, education and support, are duties of the family and society. Such duties must be guaranteed and protected so that they are not overlooked or denied to any child in any part of the world. All those practices that violate the dignity and rights of children must be denounced. It is equally important to be vigilant against the dangers that they are exposed to, particularly in the digital world, and to consider as a crime the trafficking of their innocence and all violations of their youth..."
|Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix|
Reading the statement made me uneasy. If God really does "will" the diversity of faith, why did Jesus come and establish a Church? To be just one among many -- all "dialoguing" together? Can any Christian whose life is centered on Christ believe that he died to bring religious diversity to the world?
I sure can't!
And the end of the document sparked links to the French revolution's motto of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." Our world is coming to resemble more and more the chaotic, violent, murderous Paris of 1789, and a false "dialogue" between Catholicism and Islam is unlikely to help change that. When I finished reading the document my overriding question was, "Does this document advance the reign of Christ the King? Or is it part of the stealth advance the reign of the enemy?"
Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, have mercy on us.