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Have Muslim-Christian Relations Improved Since 9/11?
Image: Illustration by Amanda Duffy

Yes

Rick Love is president of Peace Catalyst International and consultant for Christian-Muslim relations with the Vineyard USA.

Terrorist attacks. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Guantanamo Bay. Abu Ghraib. Violent Muslim responses to Terry Jones's Qur'an burning. Islamophobic responses to building mosques in the United States.

Have Muslim-Christian relations improved since 9/11? Most people would say, "No!" I disagree. Muslim-Christian relations have improved.

Yes, there is progress, but many can't see it because they confuse Christianity with the West. Relationships between Muslims and the West haven't improved since 9/11. But that isn't the question.

Yes, there is progress, but many can't see it because of the media. Journalists select events, promote images, and emphasize perspectives that shape perception. Sometimes they get it right. Often they don't. And the undiscerning miss what God is doing.

Yes, there is progress, but there is also bad news. There have been violent attacks on minority Christians in Muslim countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, and Nigeria. Churches have been destroyed and Christians killed. Muslims in America have freedom of religion, but they face increasing hostility from fearful populations.

But overall, things are improving.

At the National Prayer Breakfast in 2005, King Abdullah II of Jordan forcefully spoke out against terrorism. The media complain that Muslims don't speak out against terrorism. Abdullah did, loud and clear. Other Muslim countries are building bridges. Qatar hosts the annual Doha Interfaith Conference. King Abdullah al-Saud of Saudi Arabia promotes interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance, which was ...

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In the Magazine

September 2011

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