Now that a Christian church has opened in Qatar, is it only a matter of time until a church is opened in Saudi Arabia? There are only a few million Christians there (officially, only the expatriates working there), so having a church (or churches) for them makes sense. But then again, maybe not:
Anwar Ashiqi, president of the Saudi centre for Middle East strategic studies, endorsed this view in an interview on the site of Arab satellite TV network, al-Arabiya on Thursday.
“I haven taken part in several meetings related to Islamic-Christian dialogue and there have been negotiations on this issue,” he said.
“It would be possible to launch official negotiations to construct a church in Saudi Arabia only after the Pope and all the Christian churches recognise the prophet Mohammed.”
“If they don’t recognise him as a prophet, how can we have a church in the Saudi kingdom?”
Some Christians have no trouble saying something like, “Sure, Mohammed was a prophet,” thinking that’s the way to be open-minded and tolerant. But how does one become a Muslim? My understanding is that becoming a Muslim is very easy. All you have to do is profess the basic confession of Islam, “There is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet.” But if Christians say of Mohammed what Anwar Ashiqi wants them to say of him, won’t that make them into Muslims? As Christians, it’s already likely that they’re monotheists (“No God but God”), so that’s not a problem. But now they’re adding the rest, “And Mohammed is his prophet.” They won’t need to build any churches at all if all the Christians will just “recognize Mohammed,” i.e., become Muslims.
Am I missing something here? If I am, would Christians, Muslims, and modern Western liberals explain what I’m missing the same way? If you have a different take, let me know.