Vatican to Islamic scholars: So, you wanna talk, huh?

Then let’s talk about why it’s illegal to build churches in most Islamic countries.

The top Vatican official for Islam has praised a novel Muslim call for dialogue but said real theological debate with them was difficult as they saw the Koran as the literal word of God and would not discuss it in depth.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, in an interview on Friday with the French Catholic daily La Croix, also said Christians would have to discuss curbs on building churches in the Islamic world in the dialogue advocated by 138 Muslim scholars in the appeal.

His interview, coming after mostly positive comments by other Catholic Islam experts, signaled the world’s largest Christian church wanted a serious dialogue with Muslims that did not avoid some fundamental issues dividing the religions.

“Muslims do not accept that one can discuss the Koran in depth, because they say it was written by dictation from God,” Tauran said. “With such an absolute interpretation, it is difficult to discuss the contents of faith.”

The fact that Muslims can build mosques in Europe while many Islamic states limit or ban church building cannot be ignored, he said. “In a dialogue among believers, it is fundamental to say what is good for one is good for the other,” he said.

While we’re at it, let’s talk about Saudi Arabia pouring petrodollars into Wahhabist mosques and madrassahs all over the world, and let’s talk about that whole Iran being a world without gays thing. Let’s talk about the Saudis’ ridiculous attempt to mau-mau Europe over Muslims’ freedom of religion there.

Yeah, let’s talk. But prepared to do some listening for a change.

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