A poster on Archbishop Cranmer's blogspot has reminded bloggers of previous attempts by Muslims to encourage Christians to come around to their way of thinking:
Whilst some may think that this was a long time ago
and that things have moved on since then, two facts would appear to contradict this assumption:
a) Islam does not appear to have any theology of diaspora - in other words, wherever there are Muslims, Muslim law (sharia) must be put into effect
b) The wording of the two letters is so similar as to imply that the later document was copied from the earlier, or that that at least the former acted as an incentive for the latter.
I recently spoke to one of the main rabbis involved in interfaith matters in Israel, who was describing his encounters with the leader of the Muslim communities in Israel.
'He always embraces me warmly', he said.
'But what do you really think of him?'
'I would not like to be at his mercy: not one little bit'
Can we honestly say this of the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chief Rabbis of Israel or the UK, the Dalai Lama or various Hindu, Sikh or Bahai leaders, to name but a few?
No, I thought not.