FL religious leaders asked to repudiate anti-Muslim church sign
Florida’s office of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today called on religious leaders in that state to repudiate a Jacksonville Baptist church road-side display that says, “Jesus Forbade Murder, Matthew 26 52, Muhammad Approved Murder, Surah 8 65.”
“All Americans must band together to condemn hate speech designed to divide our nation along religious and ethnic lines. Any attempt to marginalize or vilify one religious community is an attack on all people of faith,” said CAIR-FL Executive Director Altaf Ali. Ali added that CAIR-FL sought dialogue with the church about the display, but that attempt at outreach was rebuffed with belligerent language.
Imam Zaid Malik, spiritual leader of Jacksonville’s Islamic Center of Northeast Florida added, “Misinformation must be rejected by all people of conscience.” Imam Malik further added that the offensive sign was brought to his attention by a group of Christian friends. “This shows that the vast majority of Americans reject hate and seek a society where good overcomes the evil,” said Imam Malik.
The verse in the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, referred to in the church display states: “O Prophet [Muhammad]! Inspire the believers to conquer all fear of death when fighting, [so that] if there be twenty of you who are patient in adversity, they might overcome two hundred; and if there be one hundred of you, they might overcome one thousand of those who are bent on denying the truth, because they are people who cannot grasp it.”
The verse indicates that those who believe and are steadfast in battle will overcome much larger armies. It is not an endorsement of murder.
The Prophet Muhammad condemned murder, saying: “The greatest sins are to join others as partners in worship with God [idolatry], to murder a human being, to be undutiful to one’s parents, and to bear false witness.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadith 10)
The Quran itself states: “…whoever murders a person…it will be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoever will save a life, shall be regarded as if he saved all mankind.” (Chapter 5, Verse 32)