Patrick Goodenough | Pacific Rim Bureau Chief | Tuesday, March 2, 2004
Pastor Daniel Scot, a scholar in Islam who fled his native Pakistan 17 years ago amid threats of retribution for "blasphemy," said that his studying of the Bible and the Quran led him to the conclusion that the God of the Bible and Allah of the Quran were different in practice, behavior and other attributes.
Scot and another pastor, Danny Nalliah, have been appearing before an administrative tribunal in the state of Victoria, after Muslims brought a complaint against them under controversial new hate laws.
Nalliah's organization, Catch the Fire Ministries, organized a seminar on Islam for Christians in March 2002, and Scot was the guest speaker. Three Muslim converts who attended the meeting at the request of the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) said the seminar had incited fear of, and hatred for, Muslims.
Catch the Fire denied the charge, saying the seminar had merely informed Christians about Islam and its teachings, as set out in the Quran, Hadiths (sayings of Mohammed) and other religious texts.
Mediation attempts failed, and the case eventually landed before the tribunal, which operates like a court, with a presiding judge and lawyers representing the complainants and respondents.
If the judge upholds the complaint, he may order Scot and Nalliah to apologize, pay compensation or take other steps. The specific complaint faced by the two does not carry criminal penalties.
Re-examined by his legal representative, David Perkins, Scot said he had read the Bible more than 50 times and the Quran even more than that.
He said the Bible made it clear that Jesus Christ came to earth because of God's love, to save all humanity. God did not want anyone to perish, whereas Allah said he had created many jinn (spirits), and mankind for hell.
Comparing the two faiths in other instances, Scot said the Bible taught that there is no marriage in heaven, whereas in Islam's holy book Muslims could expect many wives, as well as young men, in paradise.
Mohammed said in a Hadith that a man would enjoy the sexual prowess of 100 men, he added.
("The believer will be given such and such strength in Paradise for sexual intercourse. It was questioned: O prophet of Allah! Can he do that? He said: 'He will be given the strength of one hundred persons.' " - Mishkat Al-Masabih)
Scot said the Quran also refers, in sura 5:60, to Allah turning "people of the Book" (Jews and Christians) into monkeys and pigs.
By contrast, the Bible teaches that God made mankind in his own image, and only because of sin is that image marred.
The question of Allah and God was initially brought up in an earlier hearing, by a legal representative for the ICV, Brind Woinarski.
Woinarski asked Scot for a yes or no answer to the question of whether he believed Allah in Islam is the same as the God of the Bible.
Scot instead asked for permission to answer in more detail, then asked for a copy of the Quran and read two portions (sura 5:72 and sura 19:88-91) which say in essence that Allah has no son.
Then he read from the Bible (1 John 2:23), which says: "Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also."
Scot told the tribunal that it was considered the greatest sin in Islam to say that Allah has a son.
By reading those verses from the Quran and the Bible, it was evident Allah and God were not the same, he said.
At a different point in the questioning, Scot said that Jesus forgave his enemies, whereas Mohammed did not.
He said one needed to look at how Mohammed - the perfect example for Muslims - acted, and how Jesus lived and taught his followers to live.
The case continues.
See earlier story:
Vilifying Islam Case Drags on in Australia (Feb. 26, 2004)
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