Church Militant | Jules Gomes | May 27, 2020
A network of Muslim converts, who face the death penalty for apostasy from Islam, are denouncing the Abu Dhabi declaration as a “deception” for “subtle but significant differences” in the Arabic text of the document.
The ex-Muslims from the Arab world are also lamenting Cdl. Gerhard Müller’s naïveté after the orthodox prelate defended the covenant on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together in the May-June issue of Communio.
Müller insists that the text focuses on “fundamental human rights” with “God as their originator and guarantor,” because “all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and “human rights are based on the dignity that God himself bestowed on every human being.”
In a preliminary analysis of the declaration shown to Church Militant on condition of anonymity, the Arab-speaking converts say that Cdl. Müller’s reading is not based on the “Islamic theological implications of the Arabic text,” and this reflects his inability to see through the “deception” and fall for the “fake human rights rhetoric.”
Deception in the Details
The ex-Muslims note that the “linguistic/theological dissimulation” begins in the very first sentence of the covenant: “Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved (emphasis added).”
In the Arabic version, the “believer” is the “mu’min” — an Islamic term referring only to a believer in the rigid oneness of God with a rejection of the Trinity (Tawheed) and in Muhammad. Surah 24:62 states, “The believers (mu’min) are only those who believe in Allah and His Messenger … .”
Also, in the Arabic version, there is no mention of “sister” as the reference here is to the Muslim community (ummah) and not to the universal fraternity of all who believe in a generic God.
Again, while the declaration states: “In the name of God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters, to fill the earth,” the converts maintain that in the Arabic version “equality” is not attributed to “human beings” but refers instead to other “beings,” termed “creatures.” In Christian anthropology, humans are created in God’s image and called to share God’s life. Both of these notions are anathema to Islam, which considers them blasphemous.
“This is a critical distinction since in Islam there is no equality among human beings. Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims, nor are women equal to men,” a convert who practiced Islamic jurisprudence in an Arab country told Church Militant.
“‘Creation’ in the Koran is different from creation in the Bible,” he said. “The term ‘God’ in English is generic, but in the Arabic version, the focus is on the Islamic God who created (a) human beings, (b) the universe and (c) other beings, termed ‘creatures’ — which, in Islam, also includes all non-human beings, i.e., animals, the jinn (supernatural spirits below the level of angels and demons), and satanic beings.”
The Sharia scholar further observes that in the Arabic version the term for “God” in the opening sentence of the declaration is Bismillah ( باسمِ الله), which excludes all other understandings of God. It also imposes the Islamic concept of Tawheed and the rule of Allah.
“The rest of the text of this quotation is based on Surah 49:13, ‘O mankind, indeed we have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you … .’ Implicitly, this applies to Muslims only,” he explains.
When referring to fraternity among all human beings, the English version states: “In the name of freedom that God has given to all human beings creating them free (emphasis added) … .” But the Arabic translation of “creating them free” ( وفطَرَهُم عليها ) states that God has created them according to the fitrah.
“This fitrah is an Islamic doctrine that states that all humans are created ‘Muslims,’ i.e., the DNA of every human is Islam, as per Surah 30:30, ‘So direct your face toward the religion (Islam), inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] mankind … .” the expert underscores.