TheReligionofPeace.com

Christianity and Islam:
A Side by Side Comparison*

* It is not the purpose of this site to promote any particular religion, including Christianity. 
However, we do enjoy refuting nonsense, such as the claim that Muhammad 
and Jesus preached a morally equivalent message or that all religion is the same.

"I will cast terror into the hearts of those who
disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads
and strike off every fingertip of them." 

"Allah" (Qur'an 8:12)

"Fight everyone in the way of Allah and
kill those who disbelieve in Allah." 
Muhammad (Ibn Ishaq 992)

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Jesus (Matthew 5:14)

Even though many Muslims regard terrorists who kill in the name of Allah as criminals, they cannot deny that Muhammad also killed in the name of Allah.  What example of Jesus do Christians emulate which has them confused them with terrorists and criminals?

Each year, thousands of Christian homes and churches are torched or bombed by Muslim mobs, and hundreds of Christians, including dozens of priests, pastors, nuns and other church workers are murdered at the hands of Islamic extremists.  The so-called justification varies, from charges of apostasy or evangelism, to purported "blasphemy" or "insulting" Islam.  Innocent people have even been hacked to death by devout Muslims over cartoons.

Yet, there is little if any violent retaliation from religious Christians to the discrimination, kidnapping, rape, torture, mutilation and murder that is routinely reported from nations with Muslim majorities.  Neither is there is any significant deadly terrorism in the name of Jesus, as there is in the stated cause of Allah each and every day.  Muslim clerics in the West do not fear for their safety as do their Christian counterparts. 

The "Christian world" and the Islamic world contrast sharply in other ways as well, from the disparate condition of human rights and civil liberties to economic status.  An astonishing 70% of the world's refugees are Muslims -  usually seeking to live in Christian-based countries. 

While Western societies take seriously "scandals" such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (where no one has actually been killed), Muslims routinely turn a blind eye to their own horrible atrocities, even those committed explicitly in the name of Allah.  The Muslim world has yet to offer a single apology for the tens of millions of lives consumed by centuries of relentless Jihad and slavery.

These sharp differences are almost certainly rooted in the underlying religions, which begin with the disparate teachings and examples set by Jesus and Muhammad...

 

Differences Between Muhammad and Jesus

Muhammad...

Jesus...

Said Allah hates those who don't accept Islam.
(Qur'an 30:45, 3:32, 22:38)
Said God loves everyone. 
(John 3:16)
"I have been commanded to fight
against people till they testify that there
 is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad
 is the messenger of Allah"

(Muslim 1:33)
"He who lives by the sword
will die by the sword."

(Matthew 26:52)
Stoned women for adultery.
(Muslim 4206)
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
(John 8:7)
Permitted stealing from unbelievers.
(Bukhari 44:668, Ibn Ishaq 764)
"Thou shalt not steal."
(Matthew 19:18)
Permitted lying.
(Sahih Muslim 6303, Bukhari 49:857)
"Thou shalt not bear false witness."
(Matthew 19:18)
Owned and traded slaves.
(Sahih Muslim 3901)
Neither owned nor traded slaves.
Beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys.
(Sahih Muslim 4390)
Beheaded no one.
Murdered those who insulted him.
(Bukhari 56:369, 4:241)
Preached forgiveness.
(Matthew 18:21-22, 5:38)
"If then anyone transgresses
the prohibition against you,
Transgress ye likewise against him"
(Qur'an 2:194)
"If someone strikes you on the right
cheek, turn to him the other also."
(Matthew 5:39)
Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one's position in Paradise by a hundred fold.
(Muslim 4645)
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for
they will be called Sons of God"
(Matthew 5:9)
Married 13 wives and kept sex slaves.
(Bukhari 5:268, Qur'an 33:50)
Was celibate.
Slept with a 9-year-old child.
(Sahih Muslim 3309, Bukhari 58:236)
Did not have sex with children.
Ordered the murder of women.
(Ibn Ishaq 819, 995)
Never harmed a woman. 
"O you who believe!  Fight those of the
 unbelievers who are near to you
and let them find in you hardness."

(Qur'an 9:123)
"Blessed are the meek, for
they shall inherit the earth."

(Matthew 5:5)
Ordered 65 military campaigns
and raids in his last 10 years.
(Ibn Ishaq )
Ordered no military campaigns, nor
offered any approval of war or violence. 
 
Killed captives taken in battle.
(Ibn Ishaq 451)
Never took captives.
Never killed anyone.
Encouraged his men to rape enslaved women.
(Abu Dawood 2150, Qur'an 4:24)
Never encouraged rape.
Never enslaved women. 
Demanded captured slaves and
a fifth of all other loot taken in war.
(Qur'an 8:41)
"The Son of Man came not
to be served, but to serve.
"
(Matthew 20:28)
Was never tortured, but tortured others.
(Muslim 4131, Ibn Ishaq 436, 595, 734, 764)
Suffered torture, but never tortured anyone.
"And fight them until there is no more persecution and religion is only for Allah"
(Qur'an 8:39)
"Love your enemies and pray
for those who persecute you
"
(Matthew 5:44)
Blessed the brutal murder of a half-blind man
(al-Tabari 1440)
Healed a blind man
(Mark 8:28)
Ordered a slave to build the very pulpit
from which he preached Islam.
(Bukhari 47:743)
Washed his disciples feet.
(John 13:5)
What are the Greatest Commandments?
"Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause"
(Muslim 1:149)
What are the Greatest Commandments?
"Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself."
(Matthew 22:34-40)
Demanded the protection of armed bodyguards, even in a house of worship
(Qur'an 4:102)
Chastised anyone attempting
to defend him with force.
(John 18:10-12)
Died fat and wealthy from what was
taken from others in war or
demanded from others in tribute.
Demanded nothing for himself. 
Died without possessions.
Advocated crucifying others.
(Qur'an 5:33, Muslim 16:4131)
Was crucified himself.
According to his followers:
Had others give their lives for him.
(Sahih Muslim 4413)
According to his followers:
Gave his life for others.
(John 18:11 and elsewhere)
 

Differences Between
Early Muslims and Early Christians

Muhammad's Companions...

Jesus' Disciples...

Lived as warriors. Lived like harmless hippies.
Slew and persecuted religious minorities. Were slain and persecuted
 as a religious minority.
Emphasis on Jihad (the way of Muhammad)

"He who fights that Allah's word should
be superior fights in Allah's cause"

(Bukhari 53:355)
Emphasis on Evangelism (the way of Jesus)

"Go ye into all the world and preach
the gospel to every creature"

(Matthew 15:16)

Attacked and conquered the populations in
parts of 28 modern countries in just the first
three decades following Muhammad's death.

Did not resort to violence of any sort,
despite tremendous persecution.

Declared holy war on the people of five
major world religions in just the first
100 years following Muhammad's death.

Went centuries without declaring 'holy war'.

Plundered and lived off the wealth of others. Gave away their possessions to those in need.
(Acts 2:44-45)
Captured and enslaved non-Muslim people. Considered themselves to be slaves of others.

Waged war to keep members from leaving
 the religion.  Put apostates to death.

No record of aggression toward apostates.

Muhammad's own family members quickly
fell into armed warfare against each other.

Jesus' disciples never resorted to violence
against one another (or anyone else).

First 240 Years:
11 of the first 32 caliphs were
murdered by fellow Muslims.

First 240 Years:
14 of the first 25 popes were martyred by
 pagans (none by fellow Christians).

Caliphs were polygamous and maintained  harems of hundreds of captured sex slaves. Popes were expected to be celibate.
Islamic mosques sustained by taxes forced from subjugated non-Muslims (the jizya). Christian churches sustained
by voluntary tithes from Christians.
 

Differences Between
Islamic Teaching and Christianity

The Qur'an

The Bible

External sources (the Hadith and Sira) necessary for translating the Qur'an Historical context contained
within the text of the Bible
Must know Arabic in order to "fully understand" the Qur'an (according to Muslim apologists) Universal.  Can be translated into other languages without excessive commentary.
Chronological progression of the
Quran is from peace to violence.
Chronological progression of the
 Bible is from violence to peace.
The words 'torture' and 'punishment' appear six
times more often than in the New Testament.
The word 'love' appears five times more often
 in the New Testament than in the Qur'an,
Contains not a single original moral value. The 'Sermon on the Mount' and others.
Suffering is an excuse for violent revenge
and establishment of Islam by force

"And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]...and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah."
(Qur'an 2:191)

Suffering builds character

"We also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering
produces perseverance; perseverance,
 character; and character, hope"

(Romans 5:4)

Emphasis on this World

"And Allah has made you heirs to their land
and their dwellings and their property"

(Qur'an 33:27)

Emphasis on the Next

"Mine is not a kingdom of this world"
(John 18:36, see also Luke 14:33)

Kill, convert or subjugate Christians and Jews.
(Qur'an 9:29)
Share one's faith with gentleness and respect.
(1 Peter 3:15)
Martyrs as Killers

"Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain"
(Qur'an 9:111)
Martyrs as Martyrs

"As it is written, For thy sake we are
killed all the day long; we are
counted as sheep for the slaughter"
(Romans 8:36)
Killing Apostates

"They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them"
(Qur'an 4:89, also Bukhari 52:260, 83:37...)
Letting God Judge Apostates

"For we know Him that has said,
'Vengeance belongs unto me, I will
 recompense,' says the Lord.  And again,
'The Lord shall judge his people'"
(Hebrews 10:25-30)
Punishment

"Let not compassion move you
 from carrying out God's law..."
(Qur'an 24:2)

Mercy

"Love is patient.  Love is kind...
It keeps no record of wrongs"
(1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

Charity and Non-Believers

Mercy toward fellow Muslims - ruthlessness toward unbelievers.  Muslims are warned not to befriend those outside the faith.  They must even ensure that their charity tithe (zakat)
stays within their own identity group.
(Qur'an 48:29, 3:28, Sharia)

Charity and Non-Believers

Christians are specifically told that even
 those who hate them are entitled to
kindness and charity.  They should be loved
and cared for as surely as any fellow believer.
(Mark 10:25-37)

The Qur'an explicitly instructs
men to beat disobedient wives.
(Qur'an 4:34, Sahih Muslim 2127)

"Husbands, love your wives and
do not be harsh with them."

(No permission to beat women)

(Colossians 3:19)

Explicitly allows Muslim men to rape their female slaves, even those already married.
(Qur'an 4:24, 70:29-30, 23:5-6...)
Tells masters and slaves to serve
each other as if serving God.
(Ephesians 6:7-9)
Muhammad is the messenger
 of Allah. And those who are with him
are ruthless to the unbelievers"
(Qur'an 48:29)
"Do good to them that hate you"
(Luke 6:27)
Allah wills those that stray and are lost
(Qur'an 16:93)
God wants all people saved
(1 Timothy 2:4)
Warns Against Questioning Faith. 
(Qur'an 5:101-102)
Welcomes Intellectual Challenge. 
(1 Peter 3:15)
Violence as Virtue

"Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye
dislike it.  But it is possible that ye
dislike a thing which is good for you, and
that ye love a thing which is bad for you.
  But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."
(Qur'an 2:216)

Violence as Sin

"Do not take revenge, my friends, but
leave room for God's wrath, for it is written:
 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord. On the contrary: 'If your enemy
 is hungry,  feed him... '"
(Romans 12:19-20)

Hell for unbelief. 
Good deeds count for naught

(Qur'an 18:102-107)
Hell for bad deeds and the
failure to do what is right
(Romans 2:6-8, Matthew 16:27, Matthew 25:41-45)
Judging

"Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites!  Be harsh with them..."
(Qur'an 9:73)

Judge Not

"For when you pass judgment on another person, you condemn yourself..."
(Romans 2:1)

Taking wealth from others

"Allah promiseth you much
booty that ye will capture..."
(Qur'an 48:20)

Working for and giving wealth to others

"The thief must no longer steal but must
work hard and do what is good with his
own hands, so that he might have
something to give to the needy."

(Ephesians 4:28)

Calls down Allah's curse on Christians
and those of other religions.
(Qur'an 9:30)
Calls down God's blessing on
those who curse Christians.
(Matthew 5:44)

Arrogance & Privilege

"Ye are the best of peoples,
evolved for mankind"

(Qur'an 3:110)

Humility & Servitude

"If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all."
(Mark 9:35)

"O you who believe! do not take My
enemy and your enemy for friends:
Would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth?
(Qur'an 60:1)
"Love your enemies..."
(Luke 6:27)
 

Differences Between the Islamic
and Christian-Based Worlds

Muslim Legacy

Christian Legacy

Countries that Muslims want to escape from. Countries that Muslims want to escape to.
Madrassahs that indoctrinate Muslim
children with bigotry and terror.
Mission schools that teach reading and
writing to Christians and Muslims alike.
Suicide bombings for Allah No suicide bombings for Jesus
International terror organizations. International charities.
No formal charities for non-Muslims. Leading provider of disaster relief to Muslims.
Murder of aid workers. Supply of aid workers.
Christians in jail for apostasy or blasphemy. Religious freedom.
Modern-day slavery in the name of Islam. Abolition in the name of Christianity.
Muslim clerics who engage
in or condone terrorism.
Christian clerics murdered each year by
terror groups rife with Muslim clerics.
Daily religious violence against Hindus. None.
Daily religious violence against Jews. None.
Daily religious violence against Buddhists. None.
Daily religious violence against Muslims. None.
Ritual slitting of animals' throats Ending of animal sacrifice
Religion Technology & Medicine
Censorship Freedom of speech
Intolerance for criticism of Islam. Tolerance for religious dissent.
Restricting other religions from preaching faith. Allowing all religions the
same right to evangelize.
Conversions allowed to Islam only. Freedom of conscience.
Converts to Christianity beheaded. No dead converts to Islam.
Most famous Muslim: Osama bin Laden. Most famous Christian: The Pope.
 
Whether true or not, everything that secular critics say they don't like about Christianity, from women's issues to slavery, is not only a tangible part of Islam, but usually magnified.

While the Catholic church is demonized for not allowing female priests, the fundamentalists of Islam force women into burqas and blow up schools that educate girls.  Even activists known for championing women's rights in the Muslim world still rationalize keeping captured women as sex slaves, since it is explicitly permitted in the Qur'an.  And, while Christians might object to extra-marital sex, only Islamic purists plant consenting adults in the ground and stone them to death. 

Theocracy (in the form of Sharia) really is the the explicit goal of Islamic teaching, whereas Christianity leaves room for the separation of religion and government (Mark 12:17, John 18:36).  Terrorism really is an expression of devotion to Allah (here's an example) - and not just criminal activity or warfare by disinterested parties with a nominal religious identification (ie. "born a Catholic"). 

If threatening people with eternal damnation is considered distasteful, then Christianity has far less to be ashamed of than Islam, which not only mentions the terrible fate awaiting unbelievers in nearly every other chapter of the Quran, but also includes vivid descriptions of torture at the hands of a sociopath known as Allah.

The two religions contrast sharply even in their positive aspects.  The morality of the Qur'an is amateurish and frustratingly obscure for those who try to compare it to what is contained in the Bible.  Most of Islam's holiest book is devoted toward distinguishing and heaping abuse on unbelievers.  There are no verses that promote universal love and brotherhood.  The few verses that are sometimes held up as examples of tolerance and peace generally require separation from textual and historical context.

The difference between Christianity and Islam starts at the top:

Muslims are told that Muhammad - a slave-owner, sexual glutton, thief and killer - is the most "beautiful pattern of conduct" and "example" for mankind to follow (Qur'an 33:21), as well as the "exalted standard of character" (Qur'an 68:4). 

Christians are told to emulate Jesus - a pacifist and servant - and "walk, even as he walked" (1 John 2:6).  Unlike Muhammad, who ordered military assaults against Christians, for example, Jesus told his followers not to resort to violence and to pray for one's enemies.

These two men could hardly have been more different in how they lived or in what they taught others.  Why should we not then expect starkly contrasting legacies - from the conduct of their closest companions to the livability of modern-day countries influenced by the predominance of one founder's teachings over the other?

As Wafa Sultan (who describes herself as a Muslim who does not adhere to Islam) puts it: "The problem with Christians is they aren't as good as Jesus.  But thank God most Muslims are better than Muhammad."


To no one's surprise, the 24-inch "beheading" knife with which this
devout Muslim is posing is inscribed with a verse from the "Holy" Qur'an.

 

* Once again, this is a pluralistic site.  We aren't trying to promote any
particular religion, including Christianity.  We're just trying be truthful.

 

TheReligionofPeace.com Home Page

© 2007 - 2015 TheReligionofPeace.com. All rights reserved.