The discussion being conducted by my friend and mentor, the HP, with our dear reader, Maria, has ssen so many important issues raised, and so many good points made on all sides of them, that I am almost embarrassed when I attempt to enter the discussion.
There are two points that bear further consideration, to be sure:
The first is the question whether there can be a permanent relationship between Islam and Christianity that is not essentially that of war.
I answer this question with the learning of my Medieval masters, who tell me that the proper answer to complex questions is usually: sic et non, "yes and no".
Maria's close ties to a Muslim family are more than a powerful argument: their existence constitutes that absolute and tyrannical bane of all argument, however powerful, however eloquently couched; those ties are a fact, against which no mere argument may resist.
The fact, however, proves only that people who profess and practice Islam and people who profess and practice Christianity are capable of friendship.
What is at stake in the question, however, is something different: the question is, in essence, whether there exist the intellectual prequisites for dia-logos among Christians and Muslims.
In an earlier post, I dealt with a similar question, from the side of peace: I asked whether Islam is a religion of peace, and answered that the question is unanswerable, insofar as the question is so poorly formulated, with such naivete, as to be useless for the purposes of critical discourse.
Without re-hashing that issue, I can say that peace and war are technical terms in the juridical lexicon, they refer to states of affairs obtaining among human societies, or within a given human society.
When there is the tendency toward violence, and the general absence of faith (again, in the Roman juridical sense of fides - though Christianity has introduced a measure of faith among civilized peoples, which not even war may suspend or abrogate), then there is war. Among different peoples, the Greeks called this condition polemos. When the condition obtained within a given political society, they called it stasis.
Now, on these bases, we may proceed to consider whether any other condition than polemos is possible among Muslims and Christians.
I purpose to offer considerations in this regard at my earliest convenience.
Now, to air.