“U.S. Muslims and Mormons share deepening ties” states a headline from an April 2, 2008 article in the L.A. Times. The article discusses a bond between Mormons and Muslims that springs from their corresponding history of alienation and shared values. The article focuses on the similarities between the two religious groups and the ways in which Mormons and Muslims support each other.
BYU history professor Arnold Green recounts the unwelcome comparison of Mormonism to Islam in the 19th century, but notes that things have changed over time:
“As the church grew into a global faith,” Green wrote in a 2001 essay, “its posture toward Islam became . . . more positive” until, today, “the two faiths have become associated in several ways, including Mormonism’s being called the Islam of America.”
“A Mormon living in an Islamic society would be very comfortable.”
This is a surprising statement. Last month CBNnews.com ran an article about Mohammed Hijazi and his family. Raised as a Muslim in Egypt, Mr. Hijazi converted to Christianity three years ago. Now he is running for his life. His father told a local newspaper,
“I am going to try to talk to my son and convince him to return to Islam. If he refuses, I am going to kill him with my own hands.”
Furthermore, according to CBN,
An Islamic council issued a Muslim edict called a “fatwa” back in 1978 that still stands today.
It condemns Mohammed and [his wife] Christina to death for becoming believers.
Where does that leave their little daughter Miriam?
“I don’t think that God is asking you to make your granddaughter an orphan by killing her dad,” said Mohammed [in a written response to his parents].
But under the same fatwa, Miriam will be killed anyway at the age of 10 if she does not choose Islam.
Mormons would be “very comfortable living in an Islamic society”? BYU professor Noel Reynolds apparently agrees as evidenced by this comment:
“…there are many important elements of Mormon thought in which we feel closer to the followers of Muhammad than to the contemporary Christian culture in which we have been located since our beginning” (Reynolds quoted by Spencer Palmer, Mormons and Muslims, 8).
To me this is quite puzzling. It’s hard to understand how members of a religion claiming to be focused first and foremost on Jesus Christ feel such a strong bond with members of a religion that denies a cardinal truth about Jesus: that He is the very Son of God.
I found another statement in the LA Times article just as puzzling as those above:
“When I go to a Mormon church I feel at ease,” said Haitham Bundakji, former chairman of the Islamic Society of Orange County. “When I heard the president [of LDS] speak a few years ago, if I’d closed my eyes I’d have thought he was an imam.”
It was likely unintentional, but behind the scenes the LA Times created a fitting appellation for this Mormon/Muslim phenomenon. It ‘s found in the article’s URL: Morlims.