Policy on Muslims
On Muslims and the Order
We live in tumultuous times where many people, well intentioned and otherwise, have been misled or misguided in many ways through no fault of their own. Previously trusted channels of information have become biased op ed’s and to make matters worse bad actors work to deliberately obfuscate the truth and drive a wedge between people. Unfortunately, the order is not immune to these situations and as a result we find ourselves being labelled as racists, bigots, and Islamophobe’s, an accusation we take seriously and one that this policy aims to clarify.
Regarding Muslims, the OSMTJ bears no ill will towards the Islamic community. As a matter of policy, the OSMTJ does not tolerate Islamophobic rhetoric within it’s ranks, our position is historical, biblical and legal. Often, people will cite the conflict between Christendom and the Muslims during the crusades as proof that we’re antimuslim. While that conflict was certainly based on religious grounds, the history of the Templar Order and the tradition of Moorish (Islamic) Chivalry are closely linked. The titular Templar expression “Deus Vult” or “God Wills It” for example first found use in 1095 AD long after the Moors began using the equally common expression “In-Sha Allah” or “God Willing”. In fact, many of the ancient foundations of chivalry that form the basis of the Order, and in fact many European orders, were inspired by Moorish knights errant. Saladin himself in fact, the chief enemy of Christendom during the crusades, earned the respect of the Templars for his commitment to honor and virtue and likewise Saladin had great respect for the Order and even King Richard who Saladin once declared “The most honourable Christian Lord”. All this to say that while there has been much blood and treasure spent between Saracen and Templar there has always been an underlying respect. Today, in places where such conflicts are behind us, the tradition of respect continues.
Scripturally we are, simply, forbidden to hate based on any criteria. We acknowledge that there are some in the Christian community that have made it so that seeing that statement will likely cause certain people to balk in disbelief but we are sworn, in part, to be a “Champion and Exemplar of the Christian Faith” and in doing so the following scripture informs our actions:
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”John 13:34-35
Further, while those of Islamic faith are at odds with our own and we are called to defend our faith, the Bible is clear that we are to love our enemies and do good to them. (Luke 6:27-29) so though we have fundamental disagreements with what they believe we could not in good conscience ever advocate for the mistreatment of these people. We would help them as surely as we would help any other person in need. They are, in our view, equally deserving of love and compassion from everyone within or without of this order.
Finally, it is important to note that the OSMTJ is always sworn to uphold the laws of the land, a mandate that is not only common sense but like much of what we do based in scripture:
1 “Every person must be subject to the governing authorities, for no authority exists except by God’s permission. The existing authorities have been established by God,”Romans 13:1
There is simply no room, be it historically, biblically, or legally for the OSMTJ to harbor an antimuslim sentiment. We certainly encourage and allow our members to discuss differences in religion whether differences in Christian Denominations, Islamic Sects, or even humanistic philosophies but outright hatred for people based on their belief cannot and will not be tolerated.
Specific Policy Positions in Regards to Muslims:
- Are Muslims Considered Enemies of the Faith?
Not specifically no, some of them are, what we refer to as salafi-takfiri terrorists so as to separate them from the overly generic “Islamic Terrorists” are certainly enemies of the faith as they specifically seek to eradicate Christians. These people however do not represent the typical Muslim that you would meet in North America.
In the most common sense, any disagreements we have with any non-Christian faith is spiritual and academic and never privy to secular attack or hate. We believe, fervently, that salvation is open to all that accept Christ and we will defend that belief when called to but do not mistake this fervent belief for a dislike of non-believers and certainly not for any one flavour of non-believer over the other.
Finally, the scripture is also clear on the topic that our opponents are not other people, but spiritual in nature. We hold to traditional doctrines of spiritual warfare which call us to fight our enemies in the spirit, for the scripture says:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12
- Who is Knights Templar International?
Unfortunately, there are many organizations that utilize the moniker of the Templars to try and jump start their own agendas and many of those, sadly, have very negative agendas. Knights Templar International (Or KTI for short) is one such organization. KTI is a repugnant organization that attempts to manipulate traditional fears of modern Christians to political ends. They are, in our view, anti-Christian. As the Syria crisis escalated, they have resorted to establishing and supporting militias and allied themselves with fringe political movements for support. This is not what the Knights Templar are about and not what the Lord taught us. Often when you hear of “Bigoted Templars” the KTI is the source. To be completely clear, while OSMTJ recognizes any legitimate claim to the name of “Templar” that can trace it’s origins back to the original Grand Masters we denounce completely and fully the organization known as “Knights Templar International” as not only a fraudulent claimant to the name but a tool of the enemy and proponents of the spirit of Anti-Christ. Active membership in KTI precludes you from consideration for membership in the OSMTJ.
- Can Muslims Join the OSMTJ?
No. The OSMTJ is a strictly Christian order and while it is open to most denominations it does require two concessions of any would be member regardless of their denomination. Firstly, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only path to salvation (i.e. the divinity of Christ) and secondly belief in the Holy Trinity as Co-Divine. As a by-product of this requirement Muslims cannot join our ranks as the Quran lays out their view clearly:
“Indeed, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said to him: ‘Be!’ and he was.’”Quran 3:59
That said the OSMTJ of today, much like the original order, often works alongside volunteers that are not within our own membership and we would not only allow but encourage our Knights to reach out to leaders of other faiths on community projects. It is our stance that only by working alongside people of any belief can the people who may need it the most experience Christ, as the Scriptures say:
34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:34-35
We hold that one of the best ways we can lead non-believers to the Light of the Lord is not in academic debate, but in the demonstration of love towards each other and to them. God loved us before we believed and so must we love our fellow humans before they believe.
For any questions or follow up to these policies please address questions to the Grand Prior through the appropriate chain of command.