By Mateen Elass, on his personal blog.
Five years ago, I wrote a blog about the PCUSA decision to normalize homosexuality and predicted that one of the fall-outs of this error would be the inability of PCUSA missionaries to reach the Muslim world. Since Muslims are taught within their own Scriptures that homosexual behavior is sinful, they would quite naturally conclude that any group espousing that homosexual practice is fine with God would have nothing trustworthy to say on any other spiritual topic.
I had not imagined five years ago that this homophilial stance of the PCUSA and other mainline denominations could produce further bitter fruit in Christian-Muslim relations. But it has.
In an interview with Ishaq Akintola, an African professor of Muslim Eschatology and Director of Muslim Rights Concern (“Islam has no age barrier for marriage — MURIC Director, Akintola,”Punch, March 6, 2016), the professor is asked to defend the morality of Muslim men marrying young girls. His response is that Islam has no prescribed age barriers, and that those outside Islam have no business judging something happening within Islamic practice — they should, as Jesus told his disciples, judge not lest they be judged. But his second defense is that Christians should look to their own house before they criticize the houses of others. Specifically, he cites the fact that churches are now conducting same-sex weddings. “So, instead of paying attention to marriages conducted among Muslims, Christians should do something about gay marriages inside churches” (emphasis added). In essence, Mr. Akintola is saying to the Western (“Christian”) world, “Who are you to pillory us for something that our religious law allows? At least we still see marriage as between members of the opposite sex. But you allow the perversion of homosexuality in your churches and even celebrate it with a marriage ceremony. You have no moral high ground to stand on — we have no obligation to listen to you. In fact, your practices are reprehensible before God while ours have divine sanction.”
A second helping of bitter fruit was served through remarks made by Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam and Sheikh of Al-Azhar University (the head spokesman of Islamic theology at Sunni Islam’s premier institution of higher learning) while he was at a conference at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta on February 23rd of this year.