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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Why Tolerance Won't Be Enough
Taymullah Abdur-Rahman

Why Tolerance Won't Be Enough
Taymullah Abdur-Rahman

Tolerance simply stated, is the absence of physical violence against someone else. But it doesn't guarantee that laws and edicts won't be issued that undermine the spirit of coexistence. Remember, the Nuremburg Laws were at first a 'tolerance' of Jews. Look where that brand of tolerance led. The Black Codes and Jim Crow were kinds of tolerance that were nothing more than hatred in its most cunning incarnation.

 

When earth is less than sacred, we become less than human – a truth I believe both Islam and Buddhism, as I have listened to their teachings, affirm. When we fully acknowledge the sacredness of the earth we also become aware of our particularly human task as khalifa, stewards, or as those beings living in that unique realm where we have both the teaching of the Buddha and the capacity for taking moral responsibility for other creatures.

 

At the Ground Zero Multi-faith Service With Pope Francis
Eric J. Hall

In New York, "Mostafa El Sehamy, a Muslim originally from Egypt who is married to a practicing Catholic of Mexican descent, said of Pope Francis, "He's just one of my favorite people. He's so humble and so into people. I'm a Muslim. But I believe that maybe God sent this guy to unite everybody together."

 

Imagine a Holy Land where all the major Abrahamic Faiths cooperated with each other respectfully and regularly held joint meetings and celebrations. What would it look like if the faiths honored their storied histories and intertwined prophetic traditions, joining forces to work for the betterment of all in the Holy Land?

 

What Can We Learn From Pope Francis as Muslims?
Saud Inam

Pope Francis, in recent times, has gained the admiration, love and respect of people of all faiths, including Muslims. In many ways Pope Francis embodies the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is in the example of the Pope that we see the example of one who of another faith becoming successful in his or her life in spirituality, character and leadership. And, I believe as Muslims we can learn from the Pope’s successes by seeing how it mirrors the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),

 

A Tale of Two Leaders: The Contrasting Messages of Pope Francis and King Salman
Ziyad Motala

Pope Francis with moral clarity expressed concern about human behavior and it’s implications for human rights, poverty, refugees and a myriad other concerns affecting the powerless. We most certainly did not hear any words of inspiration from Salman on the pressing human rights issues confronting the world or benevolence towards the Syrian refugees.

 

Pope Francis Touches The Soul Of The Qur’an By Seeking An Adequate Interpretation: Muslims, Their Ulema And Scholars Across The World Must Follow His Suggestion To Avoid Growing Confusion In Religion
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

The Classical approach to understanding the message of the Qur’an that dates back to around the third century of Islam is through reading the Tafsir corpus which are drawn on the secondary sources of Islam, namely, the Hadith, the Sira, including the opinion (Rai) of past scholars, and the consensus of scholars (Ijma). The Mufassir (exegete) attempts to explain each verse of the Qur’an in light of these secondary sources or based on his own knowledge, doctrine, speculations and choice of source material. This renders Qur’anic exegesis a highly porous domain as the same verse can be interpreted differently by different Mufassirin engaging a different Hadith, Sira report, and opinion, or consensus of scholars (Rai, Ijma);and holding differing doctrinal orientation and worldview.

This in turn leads to enormous divergence and even contradiction in understanding what the Qur’an has to say on any given theme – the dress code for women, inter-faith relations, business practices, lawfulness of various bounties of God like song and music, governance of society, educational system and choice of profession and business pursuit, marriage, divorce laws….

Related Article:

Pope Francis and Muslims

http://www.newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/pope-francis-and-muslims/d/104553

Bridging the Divides: Muslims in Europe
Raza Rumi

Journey into Europe -- a handiwork of Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University -- is both important and relevant to the current crises brewing across European countries. A Pew Research Centre study tells us Western countries with significant Muslim populations are getting worried. Since 2011, the general population that is 'very concerned' about Islamic extremism has increased. For instance, after the murders of the Charlie Hebdo staffers, two-thirds in France are 'very concerned,' 29% more than the 2011 poll. In Spain, 61% are very worried about the extremist threat; and roughly half in Italy (53%) and UK (52%) and 46% of Germans are apprehensive…..

The Psychology of Projection in Conflict
By Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

The Psychology of Projection in Conflict

So next time you observe a conflict (including a simple one), remind yourself that, fundamentally, the conflict has an (unconscious) emotional basis and the intellectual arguments being tossed back and forth are, at worst irrelevant and, at best secondary, to any resolution of it. Perhaps you could ponder what you might reflect to one or more participants if you were inclined to help them focus on the emotional underlay to what they were saying.......

 

Which Mahabharata Character Are You? A Micro-political Analysis
Gouthama Siddarthan, New Age Islam

Behind the façade of ‘just for fun’, there is a hidden agenda to construct the image of Hindutva. This is the micro-politics. At this juncture, one may post the question whether Mahabharata is a Hindutva text. But that is beside the point. My main concern is about the ongoing subtle technology-driven attempt to cleanse the human mind of its regional, cultural and artistic icons, ideas, folk art and folk literature.....

 

Similarities and Differences Between the Qur’an and Jewish and Christian Scriptures and Sources: What Do They Really Mean?
Louay Fatoohi

The similarities and differences between the Qur’an and other scriptural and non-scriptural Jewish and Christian writings cannot be used to draw any conclusion about the originality, reliability, and credibility of the Qur’an or the other sources. When the issues in question can be examined in the light of historical knowledge, then history has to be the judge. Such issues can be found in the story of the Exodus, for example. When the information is impossible to ascertain historically, such as accounts of miracles, then faith in any version has to be supported by the general credibility and reliability of the source making the claim. In other words, when the Qur’an and Jewish and Christian scriptures disagree on claims that are not possible to verify independently, one has to take into consideration which of sources is more reliable....

Critical-Progressive Muslims: on Islamic hermeneutics, Gender and Interreligious Dialogue
Adis Duderija, Ph.D

Abdul Haqq’s ‘critique’ not only does not have any foundations but demonstrates why classical embedded Manahij, may they be ahl-Hadith or more prevalent Sunni Madhab based, must be critically and unapologetically assessed and their role in religion-based violence (with respect to both other Muslims as well as non-Muslims), strong elements of intolerance and gender based oppression recognized for what they are.....

 

Ramadan's Universalism for Hindus, Christians, Jews and Others
Mike Ghouse

The physical aspect of human journey from the sperm and an egg stage through the death is programmed precisely. The formula is same for all of humanity;    and there is no such thing as a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or other gene. Regardless of what is being said about origins in terms of evolution, creation or the big bang, the undeniable fact is our existence, and we have to figure out how to live with each other......

 

Pakistan CII Should Serve As Forum for Interfaith Harmony
Dr Paul Bhatti

We would like to convey this message that the minorities in Pakistan can only be protected if the true spirit of Islam is manifested. No religion, in its teachings allows killing the innocent people in the name of religion. It has been mentioned clearly in Islam that killing an innocent person means killing the whole humanity. Moreover, Islam has given clear instructions to probe into the matter completely and repeatedly to find out the facts before accusing a person for some undesirable act. .....

 

Why I am Fasting During Ramadan
Jeff Cook

Following Jesus is not an obstacle to such solidarity. In fact, I feel encouraged to celebrate Ramadan because I am a Christian.  It is because I know Jesus is Lord that I can live without fear, that I can challenge myself to love more deeply and creatively. Table-fellowship is always a subversive act for the Christian, and it is because I follow Jesus that I can eat alongside as well as refrain with anyone—no matter who they are, no matter what they believe, no matter what they have done.....

 

Jerusalem: Model of Coexistence for Diverse Religions and Beliefs
Ali Bulaç

Today, Jerusalem is far from being an abode of peace. It is not impossible, but very difficult to turn this city into a place where practitioners of three religions can worship God in veneration for each other……

 

And by the way, Muslim soldiers stationed at Wazirabad Cantonment in British times used to help their Hindu colleagues in staging Ramlila every year. Lakshman, Vibhishan and Ravana’s roles were sometimes played by them. And once, hold your breath; Sita’s part was enacted by a handsome Muslim sepoy. Ramzan is the right occasion to savour such revelations in Haji Mian’s company when the feasting begins after sundown around the illuminated Jama Masjid.....

 

A religious authority will not add to the rational or the moral discussion of our concerns as humans. But there is something more about us. We are also spiritual beings. At least many of us believe that. Here it is where a religious authority matters. It adds a spiritual dimension to the discussions on humans and humanity's wellbeing. While rational and moral logic is enough for many there are those who would benefit from having a spiritual dimension….

 

Ramadan Soap Rediscovers Egypt's Jews
Khaled Diab

In a contemporary Egypt where intolerance towards Christians, not to mention anyone who is different, is on the rise, many Egyptians feel their country seriously lost its way in the second half of the 20th century, when it was supposed to have been liberated. Haret al-Yahoud is not a missive to Israel but an ode to pluralism. By coming to terms with the injustice it committed against its Jewish minority, Egypt may be able to save its soul.....

 

How Promoting Diversity can Stop Spatial Segregation
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

It is therefore imperative to create conditions within society for the acceptance of diversity as a positive value. This means that we should relook at what our educational system does in terms of inculcating diversity and pluralism. We could also think in terms of fostering and showcasing the value of diversity within the civic spaces which we inhabit. What this means is that I need not have to travel to Jama Masjid to experience the life world of Muslims; this experience should be available to me in my own locality. And this can only be possible if my locality was religiously diverse.....

Christianity, Islam And Yoga: How Far Can You Stretch?

Malaysia and Iran stand out as Muslim countries where yoga is both quite popular and controversial. In 2008, when Malaysia's supreme Islamic authority told Muslims to eschew the practice, this was widely greeted with dismay as a symptom of a hardening theological line in a country where many faiths have to rub along…..

How Surya Namaskar Helped Me Come Closer To Islam
Firdous Majeed

Pranayama every morning taught me to stay grateful to my breath. Every inhale and exhale is a moment to be conscious of. Every waking moment requires you to stay present. That's training the mind. And I learnt it through yoga. I am now more aware during my Namaz. More present in my Dua. .....

Over the past few years, the Supreme Council of Antiquities funded the restoration of most significant Jewish landmarks in Cairo. One thought that the council’s attempt was to enrich Egypt’s heritage. However, the quarter seems to have remained the same. If the Jewish buildings have been restored, they are empty of the people who once filled them. ....

 

You should practice the good and tell people that Islam is not the religion of venting out anger; Islam is not the religion of fighting; Islam is not the religion of compulsion; Islam is not the religion of revenge; Islam is the religion of peace; Islam is the religion of kindness; Islam is the religion of pardon; Islam is the religion of winning hearts; The reply of mischief is not mischief in Islam but Islam is religion of compassion because Islam is the religion of the Quran…..


 

Where Do Ram And Allah Live?
Ram Puniyani

Lord Ram and Allah are almighty and the mortals like us, including the breast beaters from communal formations, should prefer to see that the housing is provided to all the mortals, ordinary people so that they don’t have to live on the pavements-slums and suffer the ignominy. Can one hope that rather than presenting the past in a one sided; divisive manner we look at the story from all the angles, and put forth the rational one....

 


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