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MST Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths

A Tour of Discovery through the Contest of Ideas A Review of ‘Islam and Christianity on the Edge’ by Stuart Robinson Rita and Steven* are Christians who were born in Malaysia which is 59% Muslim. Both were brilliant students. They accepted as normal that: • At secondary level Muslim students were redirected to elite schools • At college level Muslim students received better tutorial assistance • While all students sat the same university entrance exams nonMuslims were required to achieve higher grades to gain admission • After graduation government scholarships were provided only for Muslim students who wanted to study overseas • Only from overseas institutions would non-Muslim students learn of their actual exam results beyond the pass/fail information made available back home. Non-Muslim students could not be seen to outperform Muslim students • Only non-Muslim government employees were required to resign thus sacrificing seniority and continuing salary benefits, if they wanted to continue with post graduate studies • Upon completion of all studies, if government employment was granted, only Muslim staff could expect subsequent promotion.

Discrimination was not confined to the educational process. It was also applied across the entire spectrum of life for Malaysian non-Muslims. Only years later, secure in their overseas careers, did Rita and Steven understand why they had been treated as second class citizens in their homeland. They had been subject to the common practice of Islamic Dhimmitude. For those who have not lived as non-Muslims within a Muslim society it’s difficult to understand Muslim mindsets, practices and worldview. For those who have experienced the prevalent realities of Muslim societies, should their voices sound a note different from the prevailing politically correct tone, they are dismissed as being Islamophobic or even silenced with the threat of prosecution in some jurisdictions. Other well informed views are not that easily dismissed. In the volume, Islam and Christianity on the Edge the 14 authors, each qualified at the highest level in their areas of expertise, provide 17 well researched viewpoints. The uninitiated may be as surprised as were Rita and Steven. The lively exchange of ideas within this single volume is a tour of discovery which challenges assumptions, answers questions for the curious and demonstrates the complexity of issues under examination. It encourages, not so much a search for simple answers, but rather provokes interaction with

others in the all-important contest of ideas and dogmas. In the process, the reader who perseveres discovers a treasure trove of archived articles and books by others. To understand Islam is not a casual pastime for the fainthearted. Even less so is the prospect for meaningful engagement in dialogue with Muslims. This book will certainly help all of us to continue that endeavour and reduce surprises along the way. Dr Stuart Robinson is the Founding Pastor of Crossway Church and an Adjunct Research Fellow, Melbourne School of Theology * names changed

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Profile for Melbourne School of Theology

MST ambassador MAGAZINE Spring 2013  

The quarterly magazine of MST with news and stories of our God working in the world using out students, past and present.

MST ambassador MAGAZINE Spring 2013  

The quarterly magazine of MST with news and stories of our God working in the world using out students, past and present.