This isn’t about the former enfant terrible of Dartmouth straying from the path of PC-buster. It’s about the broader thesis that both D’Souza, in his book, and the reviewer, allude to: the notion that those who fear God, and do His will, have much in common. Whether they are Jews, Christians, or Muslims. And that, conversely, the godless sinners and their culture of idolatrous sin are equally the enemies of all three faiths.
There are doubtless more than a few Christian fundamentalists who might agree. Who can forget certain Protestant preachers, who will be nameless, who claimed that 9/11 was caused by our sinfulness? This stupidity hurt us, “us” being the community of believers who don’t quite see God as taking this kind of vengeance. Baptists is Baptists, after all…
By way of example, from the review:
Mr. D’Souza says, for example, that he would rather go to a baseball game or have a drink with Michael Moore than with the grand mufti of Egypt (is this another lame stab at humor?), but that when it comes to “core beliefs,” he feels closer to “the dignified fellow in the long robe and prayer beads than to the slovenly fellow with the baseball cap.”
Core beliefs, indeed. If one focuses solely on the Scriptural requirements for obedience to God and His commandments, then, yes, from outward appearances all three of the faiths do share certain moral prescriptives.
But there is also a “core” difference: Jews and Christians worship a God who has acted in human history, and who has chosen (some) of His people to carry His torch. Our God is both imminent and transcendent. Muslims, on the other hand, worship an always-remote god called Allah. Allah issues commands. Period.
According to Muslims, one of Allah’s commands is to convert everyone to submit to him, Allah. In different words, to become a Muslim. What’s left are arguments between and among “moderate” and “conservative” Muslims as to how best to accomplish the desired end state of Islam. Hence it isn’t a question of objectives; it is a question of means.
Christians, too, are told to “baptize all the nations.” The Great Commission, for which Christians have struggled and died for over the centuries. But which we now know must be done with no coercion. Freedom of conscience, in other words.
And this is the gulf that will always divide Islam from Judaism and Christianity.