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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Oct 07, 2019
Years ago, at an inter-religious conference, I was befriended by a Muslim cleric who, when he learned that I had never met my father-in-law, promised to do his best to bring us together. (He fulfilled that promise, to no avail.) However, he also felt obliged to give me a warning.
“My friend,” the imam said, “since your wife’s father is a Muslim, she is also a Muslim, and unless she returns to the practice of Islam she will go to hell. And because you are married to a Muslim, you also must convert to Islam, or you too will go to hell.”
How should I have responded? At the time, I was floored by the urgent sincerity of my new friend. He had spoken as politely as possible, and he stressed that he did not want to offend me. And how could I take offense? If this was what he truly believed, then it was not merely his religious duty to speak out; it was an act of charity. He cared enough to endanger a budding friendship, for the sake of what he believed to be my ultimate welfare. …..