Muslim Hate for the Cross is Muslim Hate for the Gospel

By Raymond Ibrahim Published on August 13, 2023

Islam’s ancient hate for — and paranoia against — the Christian cross is making news again.

Mohammad Hashim Shaheed Wror, head of Afghanistan’s “Invitation and Guidance Directorate,” which is charged with promoting proper Islamic behavior among Afghans, recently complained in a televised interview about how angry he gets when he sees Afghans wearing neckties:

[Even] when I go to the hospitals and other areas, Afghan Muslim engineers and doctors wear neckties. The history of the necktie is well known to Islam. What is a tie? It is the cross! The cross looks like this. But sharia orders and obligates you to break and eliminate the cross! The cross is an infidel symbol. The cross is the symbol of Jesus’s martyrdom. They say Jesus was hung like this.

Because this Mohammad is a representative of the Taliban — a “radical” organization that the U.S., nonetheless, agrees to make deals with — some may think that his animosity for the cross is a reflection of just that, radical, not “mainstream,” Islam.

Islam’s Only View of the Christian Cross

Au contraire. Mohammad merely delineated the only view Islam has on the Christian cross (imaginary moderate/radical dichotomies aside).

For starters, not only does sharia obligate Muslims to “break the cross,” but that very phrase was first uttered by none other than Muhammad, the prophet of Allah. He reportedly “had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with its figure upon it,” to quote historian William Muir.

Christian ecumenists take note: Muslim hatred for the cross is a reflection of Islam’s animosity to the Gospel — specifically, that Christ was crucified, killed, and resurrected, three doctrines absolutely central to Christianity that Islam categorically rejects.

As such, Past and present, Muslims have destroyed and continue to destroy the crucifix — in cemeteries, on churches, on Christians. Indeed, the June, 2015 cover of the Islamic State’s magazine, Dabiq, featured a Muslim breaking a cross off a church steeple, with the words “Break the Cross” underneath.

Still, surely the head of Afghanistan’s “Invitation and Guidance Directorate” is going too far in complaining about ties? Actually, this too is a product of Islamic teaching, sharia.

For example, a few years ago in Turkey, authorities “ruled that architectural elements of houses which resemble crosses will not be tolerated.” This ruling came “following complaints that the balconies of certain villas in the village resembled crosses. Photos show that houses had two levels and a cross shape divided the houses into four quadrants. Multiple complaints … led the houses to be destroyed on the basis of their architecture incorporating the cross.”

Eliminate the Cross

Such fanaticism traces back to sharia, which maintains that anything that resembles a cross must be eliminated. Thus, after saying that “Under no circumstances is a human permitted to wear the cross … Because the prophet — peace and blessings on him — commanded the breaking of it [the cross],” Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Tarifi, a Saudi expert on sharia, explained that if it is too difficult to break a cross — for example, a large concrete statue — Muslims should at least try to disfigure one of its four arms “so that it no longer resembles a cross.”

Historic and numismatic evidence further confirms that, after the Umayyad caliphate seized the Byzantine treasury in the late seventh century, the caliph ordered that one or two arms of the cross on the stolen Christian coins be effaced so that the image no longer resemble a crucifix.

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.

Due to such vehemently anti-cross sentiment Muslims in Pakistan recently painted yellow crosses inside blue toilet bowls — right where human waste falls. While the official reason they did this was to mock Sweden, where a Koran was recently burned — the Swedish flag is blue with yellow cross — Muslims have never needed a pretext to attack the cross, as when another Pakistani shoe-seller placed the image of the cross on the soles of his shoes, so that the crucifix might be trodden with every Muslim footstep. Likewise, in Kuwait, a leading cleric, Othman al-Khamis, issued a fatwa comparing the Christian crucifix to Satan, adding that crosses can only be publicly displayed in order to mock them, for example by depicting them “in an insulting place such as socks.”

Similarly, after referring to the crucifix as “an element of the devil,” Indonesian cleric Sheikh Abdul Somad continued his response to the question as to why Muslims “felt a chill whenever they saw a crucifix” by saying, “Because of Satan!”

Islam Vehemently Denies the Central Elements of the Gospel

Christian ecumenists take note: Muslim hatred for the cross is a reflection of Islam’s animosity to the Gospel — specifically, that Christ was crucified, killed, and resurrected — three doctrines absolutely central to Christianity that Islam categorically rejects.

As the Afghan representative complained, “The cross is the symbol of Jesus’s martyrdom. They say Jesus was hung like this.” Mohammad Hashim is referring to the fact that Islam teaches that Jesus was never crucified, that Allah, at the last minute, miraculously removed Jesus from off the cross and brought some other hapless individual to pay the ultimate price.

Indeed, if anything, the true Jesus (the Muslim “Isa”) is, according to Muhammad, going to appear in the End Times specifically to “break the cross” — which those blasphemous Christians claim he was crucified on.

The next time you hear some naïve Christian preaching about how Muslims “love and honor” Jesus — that Islam and the Koran go so far as to teach that Jesus was born of a virgin, was sinless, and performed miracles — remember that, while this is all well and good, the fact is, Islam vehemently denies those very points that are much more central to the Gospel — the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Hence the ubiquitous and perennial hate for the cross — which symbolizes all three points — so that even a mere tie is enough to set off paroxysms.


Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West and Sword and Scimitar is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Like the article? Share it with your friends! And use our social media pages to join or start the conversation! Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MeWe and Gab.

Miracles in the Making
Susie Larson
More from The Stream
Connect with Us