Billboards promoting that Jesus is a Muslim and the Muslims love Jesus too has been causing uproar around Columbus, Ohio, as a number of Christians planned protests on March 29, at the location of the billboards.
“Although we support the Islamic community’s right to free speech, as well as their right to post messages on billboards, we do not support the hi-jacking of the name of Jesus Christ in their attempt to lure uninformed Christians into their religion,” Coach Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries told Christian Today on Friday.
“Although Islam honors Jesus [AS] as a prophet, they do not believe that He is the risen Son of God. During this most Holy Lenten season we find the messages on the billboards to be insensitive, dishonest and deserving of a response from concerned Christians.
“We will be on the streets to proclaim Jesus is not Muslim but Jesus is Lord.”
Daubenmire is one of the local Christian leaders who planned a prayer vigil in protest on Saturday.
The Reverend Rusty Thomas of Operation Save America, and Pastor Bill Dunfee of New Beginnings Church in Warsaw, Ohio were also among the names participating in the vigil.
Uproar started when a collection of billboards were erected in Ohio.
The billboards have sentences like “Jesus is Muslim”, “Mohammed is in the bible” and “Muslims love Jesus too”.
The messages, placed by the Ask a Muslim organization, also list the group’s website.
Along with Ask a Muslim, the billboards are a joint effort with the New Jersey-based Why Islam.
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to an estimated Muslim minority of six to eight million.
The Jersey-based group, according to its spokesman Ashfaq Parkar, also operates an information line seeking to “promote peaceful coexistence through dispelling misunderstanding about the faith.”
“There’s nothing wrong with having differences in terms of what to believe, and there’s nothing wrong with talking about them and getting know each other,” he said.
Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.
In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called “Isa”. He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).
As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.