Hard Questions

The Church of Ireland held a national in-service training day in Dublin in 2006 at which Chris Hewer spoke and later contributed a paper (see Introduction to
Islam on this website). There were several “Hard Questions” left hanging on this day, which were answered in collaboration with Dr Jabal M Buaben, the
Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations in Birmingham. They were published in the Church of Ireland Journal, June 2006.

Questions such as:

How can Muslims balance believing in God as “The Merciful, The Compassionate” with assenting to the execution of a man or woman for adultery?

Can you explain the use of the fatwa: for instance in the case of Salman Rushdie and The Satanic Verses or the man recently condemned to death for converting to Christianity?

We hear of many conflicting reports about the treatment of Muslim women in different countries; what is from Islam and what is cultural?

Are suicide bombers correct in their understanding that Paradise awaits them as martyrs in the cause of Islam?

What really constitutes jihad in Islamic teaching? Is all the talk of “Holy War” today justifiable according to the Qur’an and are there other ways of reading the text?

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