Christian faith vs. Islamic faithIntroduction Christianity is a translation from the ancient Greek language of the word Christos. This term means the anointed one in the Hebrew language. Most followers loyal to the Christian religion believe that Jesus is the son of God. They believe that he is fully human and fully divine. Christians believe that Jesus is the savior and the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament. The Islam religion on the other hand believe in one God similar to the Christian faith but worship Allah as their God. Muslims follow teachings from the holy book Quran. Followers of the Islam faith believe that it is the most ideal religion in the world. They claim that this religion is a global form of primordial faith. The Christian faith is more structured hence reducing the chances of conflict between its followers. The structure of the Christian faith is more structured than the religion of Islam. Followers of the Christian religion have people who guide them and educate them on the word of God. This is also available to followers of the Christian religion (Ndaluka & Thomas, 69). There are many differences that distinguish these two religions and make one more peaceful that the other. The first difference in the structure and organization of the Christian church in regard to the Muslim religion is the number of beliefs within the Christian faith. A Christian is a person that believes in God and follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Christian religion is divided into many sub religions that fall under Christianity (Ndaluka and Thomas 71). These sub religions include, catholic, protestant, seventh day and many others. This means that if a person has differences with another group they can just change their beliefs. The main meaning of this statement is that Catholics have different religious practices to Protestants, but they are still Christians both believing in God. The Muslim religion is a universal religion with the same rules and rituals all over the world (Ndaluka and Thomas 73). This is the main reason as to why Christianity is better since one can have a variation of the rituals undertaken (Ndaluka and Thomas74 ). The next thing that makes the Christian religion more structured and contain peaceful people than the Islamic religion is the laws. The Christian church and religion do not set down laws and rules to be followed when prosecuting or judging people. Muslims follow a law known as Sharia law. This law does not guide people to peace and understanding but only force people to carry out inhumane practices. Christianity is a religion that talks about forgiveness and love (Ndaluka and Thomas 77). An example from the bible is where Jesus who is the son of God tells a disciple that a person should forgive seventy times multiplied by seventy. On the other hand, the guidelines set under the sharia law are different. The Sharia law indicates that when a thief is caught the hand that carried out the act should be chopped off. This allows no room for forgiveness (Ndaluka and Thomas 79). This aspect increases the number of conflict in this religion. The Muslim religion further indicates that revenge is the way to solve an issue by supporting the phrase an eye for an eye. Laws in the Christian religion are very strict. They promote the idea marriage between religious lines. Muslims believe that they should be married to other Muslims and not to any other religious group. This is different from Christianity since a Christian is free to marry from any religious group (Ndaluka and Thomas 83). The taboo that denies marriage into other religious groups limits interaction by marriage. This interaction can be vital in the promotion of peace between people. The beliefs of the Islamic religion are what create all the tension between them and other people of similar religion or different practices (Ndaluka and Thomas 86). Some of these beliefs include their thought on self sacrifice. The religion calls for people to sacrifice themselves for the purpose of beliefs like Jihad or commonly referred to as the holy war. During this kind of wars, many innocent people are killed in the process. According to media reports these people claiming to be fighting the holy war claim that it is justified. These kinds of beliefs are what spark tensions between nations (Ndaluka and Thomas 89). The other factor that leads to increased violence in Islamic states is their tolerance for terrorist and extremist groups. These groups cushion themselves behind the idea of Jihad that they are trying to carry out. Many people have lost their lives under this ideology (Ndaluka and Thomas 93). Muslim followers claim that the western nations are infidels and criminals. This is what generates conflict between many Islamic states and the rest of the Christian community (Ndaluka and Thomas 95). Instead of promoting peace among their neighbors it propagates war. If the Islamic culture and law portrayed a peaceful religion, it should have already shown this by asking their followers to be peaceful. The fact that Islamic structure is not flexible enough to accept new changes conflicts will still emerge in Islamic states (Ndaluka and Thomas 100). As mentioned earlier, there are many differences between these two religions that define them. For example, today Christians of today believe in the Trinity (Kepel and Gilles 185). This means that Christians believe that God exist in three forms. These are the Father, son and the Holy Spirit. This concept of the trinity was adopted a long time ago. In the Islamic faith, the idea of the Trinity is completely rejected. Muslims believe that Jesus was just but a prophet and not a divine subject as Christians believe. The factor of trinity allows for the division of power from the Supreme Being to His helper (Kepel and Gilles 187). This allows for the better running and organization of the Christian faith which improves the spread of the gospel. One of the main reasons why conflict between religions still exists is teachings that bring confusion with them (Kepel and Gilles 188). One example is where Islamic teachers claim that Christians used to murder and persecute them in the past (Kepel and Gilles 189). This teachings fuel conflicts in today’s world. The reason peace is absent in Islamic nations is encouraged by their policies and beliefs. In a normal household, there are many restrictions the female individual is put across (Kepel and Gilles 191). The laws that guide marriage make husbands turn hostile to their wives (Kepel and Gilles 192). This increases the level of domestic violence and social issues. Many people use the factor of religion to spread hate and terror to local people. This is a result of certain beliefs in the Islamic culture (Kepel and Gilles 195). An example is where western education is considered sacrilege. They use these ideas to carry out attacks against western people and ideas. These kinds of attacks have never been carried out by a Christian person (Kepel and Gilles 198). Extremists are people who follow the Quran to the latter. The follow and enforce the sharia law to the last detail. One factor that promotes conflict and violence in some Islamic states is as a result of tolerance with the extremists. Since the Christian community condones extremism, it has discouraged the idea of terrorism in Christian states (Kepel and Gilles 200). Some of the teachings in the holy book Quran promote violence. This book was created as a guide for a better community and society (Kepel and Gilles 203). The idea of people fighting a holy war which Muslims term as jihad promotes violence. Muslim extremist adhering to the sharia law are taught that if they kill themselves in the name of jihad they will go directly to heaven. These people do not care if they injure or kill innocent women and children during their undertakings (Kepel and Gilles 205). The fact that they are brainwashed and told that upon their death, they will receive virgin women in heaven fuels the conflict. This motivation makes other people not caring what harm or pain they are inflicting in the community. Many Christian individuals that live in Islamic nations face discrimination. These factors are also evident in some Christian states where Christians discriminate Muslims. One major factor that fuels discrimination of Christians by Muslims and Muslims by Christians is due to the following reasons. The main point behind this hate is a result of history (Kepel and Gilles 207). This was experienced during the dark ages where England undertook crusades. These crusades were meant to an expedition to the holy land in Jerusalem. During this period, many conflicts took place, and countless Muslims and Christians were killed. The reason for hate between the two religions is from the events of the dark ages (Kepel and Gilles 211).Islam and conflict Islamic states in the Middle Eastern part continuously find themselves in conflict within themselves. These conflicts are also evident with their non Muslim neighbors. Muslims usually find themselves conflicting with their neighbors that are Jewish, Christians and Hindu. Other countries are not at the same level of conflict with the Muslims neighbors which may escalate to the military levels. This is not a coincidence since there was a point in time where Muslim nations were on the verge of scientific prowess and religious tolerances (Kepel and Gilles 214). In the world, today things are very different. In today's world, Islamic nations produce little scientific advancements if there are any. In Islamic nations, today cultural products like music and poetry has lost its appeal to the rest of the world. For one to understand what problem is causing all these problems, one has to analyze the culture and religion of Islamic nations. Islamic religion teaches Muslims that they are the people meant to receive revelation from God that is perfect (Kepel and Gilles 217). History of the Muslims teaches them that there once was a time when they contained the ability to out produce and out fight all of their enemies. This is a factor in the Muslim culture that makes them think they are the best and superior religion in the world. These thoughts make Muslim extremists think they alone have the favor of God. The fact that the Muslims are now, not on top is causing discord and anger. The practical result from this anger is jihad. This is a teaching in the Quran. The ideology of jihad calls for the purification of their associate believers by claiming that their issues are having been generated by their deviation from the true path. Jihad is also thought to be a tool and method of dealing with enemies of the Muslims and their Islamic culture (Kepel and Gilles 218). Although many people think of jihad to be a religious doctrine, it has a much more role and meaning than that. Jihad is considered as a religious reaction to social, political, and issues that are cultural (Kepel and Gilles 220). Therefore, the structure of jihad cannot be diluted to simplistic notions of a raging war on infidels. Muslims believe that declaration of jihad is a fight against temptation (Kepel and Gilles 222). One of the things that make peace prevail in nations practicing Christianity is the organization of its structures. Christians are led and guided by churches. When believers of Christ congregate together to do the work, the Lord commissioned they form a church. The church is segmented from the top to bottom (Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden 34). According to Christians the head of the church is Jesus. Jesus is considered as the one who conjoins and maintains the unity of the church intact. After Jesus Christ, the next level in the organization of the church of the Christian religion is pastors and elders (Durward, Rosemary & Lee Marsden, 36). These people are needed to convey and interpret the message of God to the general population. These pastors and elders simply carry out the spiritual rituals and obligations of the church. In Christian teachings, there is no mention of the use of violence to solve any conflict. This is the reason as to why the Christian community is at peace as compared to the Muslim nations. Another supporting factor that can support the argument that the structure of the Christian religion is well organized is time (Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden 38). According to different kinds of experts, the Christian religion was founded in 30 AD while the Islam religion was discovered in 622 CE this means there has been a lot of time to organize the religion and its structures to avoid conflict (Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden 40). Once a person or group of people thinks that something they believe in or poses is the only true, and just thing, they will try to make it universal. The fact that some Muslims think their religion is perfect and ideal to all they create conflict while enforcing it. This can be seen in history when the Spaniard tried to enforce Christianity to the Muslim population (Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden 43). This led to conflict and a lot of bloodshed. The thought that one’s religion is superior to others is the main cause of conflict in the Middle East (Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden 44). Due to the radical ideas of extremist Muslims that are taught to them by their imams, conflict in these areas will continue. In many Islamic countries, suicide bombers are killing even their own people In the name of religion (Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden 46). This generates hate between tribes sharing the same religion. As a result of these actions, people retaliate by conducting the same attacks leading to loss of more lives. The other reason Islamic nations will never have peace is with their continued attack on non Muslim countries (Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden 49). Attacking a country that has no issues with another country will lead to retaliatory attacks. These attacks always lead to the loss of innocent men women and children (Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden 51).Conclusion On the other hand, Islamic law has its advantages. The laws are strict and give no leniency to wrongdoing in their states. Their laws promote fidelity among married couples and deny sex before marriage. These factors play a major role in prevention of disease transmitted through sexual intercourse.
Durward, Rosemary, and Lee Marsden. Religion, Conflict and Military Intervention. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2009. Print.
Kepel, Gilles. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. London: I. B. Tauris, 2008. Print.
Ndaluka, Thomas J. Religious Discourse, Social Cohesion and Conflict: Muslim - Christian Relations in Tanzania. Berlin: Lit, 2012. Print.