Academic journal article International Journal of Communication Research

Communication between Christians and Muslims - Past, Present and Perspectives

Academic journal article International Journal of Communication Research

Communication between Christians and Muslims - Past, Present and Perspectives

Article excerpt

Multiculturality has been and still is an important goal for humankind. In order to reach it there are some steps that have been put forward at a conceptual, organizational and action plan. Secular and religious organizations were established and they promote dialogue between communities belonging to different cults. Although all these initiatives are meant to ease the tensions and to eliminate the violent clashes between different cultural communities, terrorism still poses a threat to the positive outlook on the future of intercultural communication.

1. SHORT HISTORY OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS

The history of the relationships between Christians and Muslims covers a wide and diverse range of manifestations, from tolerance to confrontation.

Many people who study the history of the relationships between Christians and Muslims are tempted to focus much of their attention on the inefficiencies displayed by religion on the way in which the two communities act and on their mutual relationships. This approach is partially true because, in fact, religion was also used as a means to justify the struggle for power and some reprehensible actions. Christian crusades and the Moorish and Turkish conquests started in the name of religion but, in reality, they were actions which helped their secular and religious leaders express their desire for power. Saddam Hussein was presented as a passionate Muslim in TV shows, but in fact he was a tyrannical dictator who intoxicated and bombarded the Kurds, although the Quran forbids the killing of Muslims by Muslims. Besides Saddam, there were also other people who, in their desire for power, used religion as a strong motivation in order to reach their goals (Woodlock et. al 2013).

2. THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS IN THE PRESENT

The latest violent events in which Muslims destroyed Christian churches in Egypt and Syria and killed the Christians who did not convert to Islam and to the so-called Islamic state of Syria, Iraq and Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), killed pupils and students who studied in schools that used an European model in Nigeria, call into question the peaceful cohabitation of Muslims and Christian in the states with a majority of Muslim population.

In the Muslim world one can see an intensification of the anti-Christian attitude, highly promoted by religious extremists, both in Muslim schools and in the speeches of the political leaders, presented in the classical and digital media. This attitude is generated by the desire for power of the anti-American and, in general, anti-European promoters, on the basis of religion (Cervellera 2005).

On a religious plan, the most important allegations of the Muslim extremists to Christians and Christianity refer to the transformation of a prophet - Jesus Christ into God (Small 1997a) and to the inconsistency of the Biblical text which, in their opinion, contradicts the concept of God united through Trinity (Small 1997b).

On a politico-economic plan Muslims accuse imperialists and colonists, whom they consider Christians, of the current economic, technological and scientific downturn of the Islamic states (Samir 2012).

In their opinion, the economic downturn is a result of the colonial domination of the West. Moreover, the 2003 Iraq war had a devastating effect on the Muslims' perception of Christians and of the West. According to Danielle Archibugi, that war showed the world that the West takes further the imperialist politics disguised behind the noble values of freedom and democracy (Archibugi 2008).

From another perspective, the military interventions in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) are part of a plan to reorganize the current world order by creating conditions for as many states as possible (if not all) to move to a democratic government. Hobsbawn called the military actions of the international coalition led by USA in Afghanistan and Iraq "an export of revolution" (Hobsbawn 2005). …

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