Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Christmas (2 of 2)

Here is a suitably seasonal essay on the unity of faiths from William Dalrymple on New Statesman (you get one look a day).
Moreover, in the year that Islamist terrorism finally reached London, it is important to emphasise that Christianity and Islam are not nearly so far apart as both Bin Laden and the neo-cons would like us to believe. As the British Museum miniature of the Nativity under the tree shows, there are certainly big differences between the two faiths - not least the central fact, in mainstream Christianity, of Jesus's divinity. But Christmas - the ultimate celebration of Christ's humanity - is a feast which Muslims and Christians can share without reservation. At this moment, when the Christian west and Islamic east are engaged in another major confrontation, there has never been a greater need for both sides to realise what they have in common and, as in this miniature, to gather around the Christ child to pray for peace


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