The difference between instructions to treat non-Christians and non-Muslims

by Matt Slick

I ask Muslims if they would prefer to be treated the way the New Testament says to treat unbelievers or the way the Quran says to treat unbelievers.  I've not had a single Muslim answer the question.  Instead, they attack me or the Bible and promote Islam.  Their avoidance is very revealing. Nevertheless, let's compare what the New Testament says with what the Quran says about how to treat unbelievers.

But some might ask, why only the New Testament and why ignore the Old Testament where God had people killed? We focus on the New Testament because that is the new covenant (testementum is Latin for covenant). The old covenant, the Old Testament, though important, is obsolete.

  •  "When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear," (Hebrews 8:13).
  •  "For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance," (Hebrews 9:15).
New Testament Quran
Love your enemies: “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," (Matt. 5:43-44). Muslims are to battle for Allah: "Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. Lo! the devil's strategy is ever weak," (Quran 4:76).
Love fulfills the Law: "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law," (Romans 13:10). Kill those against Islam: "The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter," (Quran 5:33).
Bless the persecutors:  "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse," (Rom. 12:14). Slay non-Muslims: "Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful," (Quran 9:5).
Love your neighbors: "If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors," (James 2:8-9). Beheading: "When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger. 13 That is because they opposed Allah and His messenger. Whoso opposeth Allah and His messenger, (for him) lo! Allah is severe in punishment," (Quran 8:12).
Jesus did not return evil for evil: "and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously," (1 Peter 2:23). Allah urges war: "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil)," (Quran 9:123).

So again I ask any Muslim who might be reading this which way would he prefer to be treated?  Would he want the Christian to love him and bless him even though he is not a believer as the New Testament commands us?  Or, would you rather be treated as the Quran says to treat unbelievers? If you say you would rather be treated the way the New Testament says, then aren't you saying the New Testament treatment is better?  If, on the other hand, you say that you would prefer to be treated as the Quran tells you to treat unbelievers, then you would be advocating the idea that Christians should kill Muslims (and/or put them under heavy subjection). But this, of course, is against what the New Testament teaches.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.