Is Islam more intolerant than Christianity

I recall reading on a post here
somewhere about how you couldn’t
take a bible into Saudi Arabia.
Are there any countries that are
officially Christian that are that
are that intolerant of Islam or say the Koran.

Seems to be that Muslims are not able to put up with as much questioning of their religion as Christians or is this just something that is false?

It’s also funny considering that Islamic tradition, if not the Q’ran itself, make it clear that Christians, Jews, and Muslims are brothers. The original intent was that since Allah had revealed himself to the three groups with three messages essentially the same, that they should learn from each other and help each other out. Which makes me wonder…why so much anti-semitism from Islamic nations if they consider the Jews to be the first receipients of Allah’s word through Moses?

I think the answer to your question is that neither “religion,” in and of itself, is more or less intolerant. It is the practitioners of that brand of religion that may be. For example, your own use of a government is perfect. It’s not the religion that’s intolerant, it’s the government supposedly based on that religion.

David, have you ever run into the quote (for which I’m not sure of the source) that

The history of religion is the record of God warring against those who believed they knew the truth about Him.

Kind of a sad commentary, isn’t it, whether or not you happen to believe in him.

“More intolerant”? It depends which Moslems you’re comparing to which Christians, and in which time and place.

On the whole, I’d say that Christians in the modern USA and modern Western EUrope are more tolerant of other religions than current Moslems are. But, to put it mildly, that wasn’t always the case. There have been many periods in history when various Moslem rulers were quite tolerant of other faiths. Many times in history, Jews had to flee for their lives from Christian countries, and found safe havens in Moslem countries.

So, be wary of generalizations.

***LongHrn99: {{It’s also funny considering that Islamic tradition, if not the Q’ran itself, make it clear that
Christians, Jews, and Muslims are brothers.}}

I’ll confess that I know little of Islam, but I had always sort of assumed that it and Christianity were essentially different takes on the same thing–both descendents of Judeaism, in effect. Brothers, if you will, albeit brothers who don’t get along very well. Then a fundy Christian I mentioned this to was appalled that I’d think such a thing. According to this guy, Islam is pagan–he claims that Allah is actually a pagan Moon God.

I have no idea whether this position is held by mainstream Christians or not (the individual I talked to doesn’t qualify), but apparently it’s out there.

Rich Barr
AOL Instant Messenger: Hrttannl

I have NO idea where he got that about the moon god idea from…oh yes I do: likely a Chick track. for the “unenlightened” among us. I don’t understand the whole pagan notion, though, that would be like calling Jews pagans, which they obviously are not. I would guess that the mainstream Christian view of Islam is much like that of Judaism: we worship the same God, but they kinda missed the point. I find it amusing, though, that the Muslims consider Christians pagans because of our belief in the Trinity. Since they misunderstand it, they believe we are claiming that three Gods exist. Funny how few religions actually understand other religions. I have made it a point to try to learn as much about other beliefs as possible so I can understand where they are coming from. Believe this, if your feeble minds are capable: Someone named Adam (me) actually cares what you believe!!

The calumny that Muslims worship a “moon god” has been around for a long time. The truth is that Muslims believe in a single monotheistic God; they happen to call him “Allah” (literally: the God), in the same way that English-speakers call Him “God” or that French-speakers call Him “Dieu.”

The crescent moon as a symbol for Islam was discussed in a recent Mailbag column (link: … and the answer is that the crescent moon was a symbol for the Ottoman Turks, who later came to be the Head of Islam for a good long time. But by no stretch of the imagination was the moon worshipped by Muslims.

You’d make a better case for saying that Christians worship those little statues of Jesus on the Cross that appear everywhere. That’s the kind of calumny that one religion spreads about the others (competitors?)

Yes I was refering to the current status of Islam/Christianity. Knowing all too well how intolerant they were in the past.

But it seems to me that if we took a country like Sweden, which has a state religion, and they said “OK no Koran and no Islam is to be practiced in the country.” they would get flak from every other nation in the world. Even though there are Muslim countries in the world that do this now, with little flak.

I dunno. That’s kinda like asking if Markxxx is more ignorant than Contestant #3

Jason R Remy

“No amount of legislation can solve America’s problems.”
– Jimmy Carter (1980)

LongHrn99 wrote:

Well … why so much anti-semitism from Christians if they consider the Jews to be the first recipients of Yahweh’s word through Moses?
I have a long commute and listen to books-on-tape a lot. A while ago, I listened through an abridged recording of Le Mort D’Arthur, which has been the “standard” telling of the Arthurian legend for many centuries. It was heavily Catholic in its slant (it was written in Medieval England, after all).

Later, it was quite refreshing to listen through an abridged recording of The 1001 Arabian Nights. These were lighthearted tales written by Medieval Islamic peoples. I even giggled a little when one story talked about “a Christian, a Jew, and a Believer.”

I’m not flying fast, just orbiting low.

Tracer: You’re right, but anti-semitism seems to be almost universal in Islam. Anti-semitism in Christianity is, for the most part, rare (excluding pseudo-Christian groups like the KKK or the Aryan Nation). I know many Christians, and a few Muslims, and the differnce in attitudes toward Jews is incredible.

I would guess that the current apparent antipathy of Muslims toward Jews would be an outgrowth of the situation regarding Israel. The majority of Muslims that most folks in the U.S. encounter (either in person or in the news) are from the Mid-East. We rarely encounter Muslims from the Philipines or Indonesia, for example.

In addition to whatever problems would naturally arise from the creation of a “Jewish” state in an area of a mixed Jewish/Muslim population (surrounded by exclusively Muslim states), there is the additional problem that in the early part of this century there was a determined effort on the part of one group in that area to demonize Jews, in general. (This began before WWI, but picked up a lot of energy after the Balfour agreement and contemporaeous with the rise of similar efforts in NAZI Germany.) When the state of Israel was established, this demonization had become very prevalent among a number of Mid-East Islamic groups and it spread to all the Mid-East countries as official policy.

Furthering the anger (if not hatred) in the U.S. would be the perception among Arab groups that the U.S. has supported Israel blindly throughout the last 50 years. (Regardless whether the perception is reality, the perception is real.)


(I would also point out that the current “tolerance” of Jews by Christians in the U.S. is a rather recent historical event.)


Longhrn said:

As Tom noted, this is a relatively recent occurrence. The Holocaust didn’t happen because all the Christians in Europe loved Jews, ya know.

Oh, I won’t argue that Christians haven’t wronged Jews in the past, I know they have. But it seems that Christians have seen the light on that subject. We can only hope that Muslims will as well. Is there any record of past anti-Semitism on the part of the masses? We know that Catholic leadership was highly anti-Semitic in the Middle Ages, and few people dared question the position of the church, including the aristocracy. But what did the masses think?

During the Middle Ages it was customary, whenever a village suffered an outbreak of the Plague or something like that, to raid the nearest Jewish settlement and kill as many Jews as could be caught. It was widely believed among the common people that the Jews spread the Plague, usually by poisoning wells.
Antisemitism has a long and inglorious history among the Christians of Europe. If the leaders of the Church were hostile to the Jews it was because the common people demanded it.

Oh, and I firmly believe that if Hitler had gone after the Gypsies first, antisemitism would still be as popular in the US now as it was before the war.

The (bastardized) Cliff’s Notes view of the subject in question…

I think most Muslims follow the aspects of moderation and the self-enlightenment of the soul that is taught in the Koran. Muhammed wrote in the holy text that he recognized Moses and Jesus as prophets, but only he was the true messenger of God. In that respect, like Longhrn said, he wrote to treat Jews and Christians in some form of a brother who didn’t understand God the way he intended them to be. However, his message, the Koran, was the ultimate version.
Through wars to relay the message of the faith,Islam that swept through Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. Foreigners could either choose Islam and be Muslim (which means ‘to submit’) or pay a steep yet reasonable religion tax and freely practice your religion. The trouble began over Jerusalem and when the Pope called for the Crusades. Christians and Jews weren’t cut off nor where they living in Jerusalem in harm’s way but I guess the thought of Muslim’s livin in the ‘house that Jesus built’ was too much for his old heart. So the Muslims were plunged into a war over a land they too was deemed sacred.
Here you have two instances, the rise of Islam and the victory over the Christians, where it was guaranteed that if you died while fighting for your religion then you would get the golden ticket to heaven.
The modern era Ottoman Empire, which controlled most of the Middle East, is a different story itself. Slowly deteriorating over centuries of bad rulers, they sided with the Germans in World War I to fight Russia. You know what happens, and they were carved up like a Turkey and the bulk of the empire was handed to the imperial powers. After gaining their sovereignity after World War II, they find out that more of their land will be taken away and be given to ‘outcasts’ who haven’t lived there for almost a thousand years. Tired of occupation, tired of exploitation, and most of all tired of Western wars, they take up arms and begin another jihad to take back the land that they were living in.
The Bible to them symbolizes the West whom they have fought over the centuries.

I agree with Dave:

Less to do, at any given time, with the religion, than with the sense of Nationalism - or violation of it. That’s to say, anti-Semitic French in 1500 were not anti-Semitic for religious reasons, but because this other group, with different, extra-territorial loyalities became a target for irrational hatreds and fears.

Much like Serbs don’t like the Kosovar Albanians, who aren’t really “from here, and whose sympathies lie more with Turks and Arabs than with Slavs”. (Not my words, but ones I can see a Serb saying…

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

  • T.Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.