Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
If the 33 million Christians and the 3 million Muslims start talking to each other in UK, hell would break loose! Yes indeed. This is my final answer and I am sticking to it. Why? Because most among these believe that those belonging to the other group are going to eternal hell, unless they change their position and religion.
But, there is some silver lining and we will get to it.
The Washington Post reported today:
New figures from the 2011 Census show that the number of people who identify as Christians in England and Wales has fallen by 4 million over the last 10 years.
The data shows that numbers fell from 37.3 million in 2001 to 33 million last year.
Figures from the 2011 Census show the number of people declaring themselves to be atheists rose by more than 6 million, to 14.1 million.
Other polls have detected similar shifts. The 2012 British Social Attitudes Survey showed that only about half of Britons claim a religious affiliation, down sharply from 20 years ago when two out of three Britons did. Barely a quarter of young people identify themselves as religious.
The new figures show that Islam is the U.K.’s second-largest religion, at 2.7 million.
The 14 million agnostics or atheists add an interesting moderation to the debates, between the believers, and peaceful discussion and rationality has a greater chance of prevailing, rather than pulling the 33 and 3 million into Crusades or Spanish style Inquisitions or killing of the apostates as many would suggest in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt of Muslim Brotherhood.
We need three parties to this discussion, as two sparring partners can be a recipe for disaster, as we have too often seen in the history of the last 1400 years of interaction between Islam and Christianity. A trilateral discussion between the Christians, the Muslims and atheists is a guarantor of peace in the country and decorum in any meetings of the parties.
How is a trilateral dialogue likely to play out? Here are my two cents:
Christian apologists want to make a case for Christianity based on laws of nature and science, by showing that there ought to be a Transcendent Creator of our universe. They make this case, in one breath, and in the very next, deny all of science, by insisting on Eucharist, man-God of Jesus, who is not Transcendent, resurrection and miracles that violate laws of nature.
Atheists are right in exposing the irrationality of the Christian dogma. However, the Christians are right in as far as their claim that there needs to be a Creator of this universe, Who employed natural means to do His work. However, both parties in their self-conceit are not listening to how Islam resolves their conflict; Islam as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Incidentally, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community does not believe in eternal hell for anyone, not even for Adolf Hitler. The community believes that everyone will be judged by his or her internal truth and conduct.
In a trilateral discussion between atheists, Christians and Muslims, I believe we can appreciate reality better and come up with better theology, especially if the discussion not only involves the Creator and purpose of the universe, but, also His complete Transcendence, Original Sin and evolution of life on our planet, Trinity, Mother Mary and Eucharist.
So, unless the British want a rowdy mob of 33 Million, 3 million and 14 million in UK and other parts of our global village, they may as well begin to talk candidly, to each other and begin to understand each others position more accurately, as professed by the parties themselves, rather than as attributed to them by others or the National TV and other media.
In this pursuit, my first Exhibit is a two hour debate, between three well known atheists and three theists: Debate: Does the Universe have a purpose?
My second Exhibit is a new website to introduce Islam to the Christian, agnostic and atheist readers, in a user friendly fashion: Islam for the West, click on the picture below:
My third Exhibit: Umar Farooq: Who pioneered religious freedom for the whole of humanity!
My fourth Exhibit: Muhammad: the Light for the Dark Ages of Europe!