I came a fatwa recently issued by Dr. Salah Soltan, the president of the Islamic Center for Research in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Soltan is highly respected as an Islamic scholar in the U.S. and Europe, where he's a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and the International Association of Muslim Scholars. I've blogged about him here. His most recent fatwa was on whether a Muslim can wear an American Red Cross T-shirt:
Q: I have been living in the United States for a period of time and I regularly donate blood to the American Red Cross Organisation.... Sometimes they give me a T-shirt with the Red Cross sign on it... Is it permitted for me to wear a T-shirt with the Red Cross sign on it?
A: The answer is no it is not permitted because it has the sign of a religion which we do not believe in and we believe that the crucifixion of the Prophet Jesus is definitely not true as Allah the Almighty said: "but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them," and whoever imitates people he is like them. Allah is higher and knows more.
Now I wouldn't walk around with a crescent and moon symbol on my clothing, and it doesn't seem that odd that some Muslims would be uncomfortable walking around with a cross on them. What I do find peculiar is a) a fatwa was issued about a T-shirt, b) the fatwa includes the Muslim belief that Jesus wasn't crucified and c) the insistence that a Muslim must beware of imitating a non-Muslim. It's not enough that the cross represents another religion, the cross represents a false religion. These are patterns one comes across when reading Muslim websites. The world is divided up the Muslims and the non-Muslims, and Muslims must be careful not to imitate the "nons." One wonders what a Muslim who works for the American Red Cross would do.