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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

It is thus an error for secular philosophers to desire to think and desire to build the ideal society in this world because according to God’s scheme of things, this ideal society will only become a reality in the world of the Hereafter. Human freedom is the most formidable obstacle to the building of the ideal society since humans can choose to commit between good and evil, and many have chosen to commit evil than good. The ideal society will thus remain a distant dream in this world. ….

 

Indonesia upholds secularism in its legislation but at the same time considers the significant role of theistic religion in the public sphere. Under this principle, there should be no priority in religion because the state equally recognizes all religions and no religious labelling such as mainstream religion, heretic or blasphemer, even though heterodoxy is a common feature of religion....

 

The Price I Pay For Respecting Islam
Craig Considine

Muslims were seen as “extremists” and Islam was an “evil” force that had to be crushed by “freedom loving people”. When it came time to choose an academic discipline in college, I chose “Islamic studies” – not because I wanted to learn about a great religion and world civilisation, but rather to work for the CIA and become a spy to nab the “bad guys”....

 

The Power of Muslim-Jewish Musical Bridges
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Over two hundred Jews, Sunni and Shia Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians came together at our event "Qawwali and the Spiritual Alchemy of Music" to celebrate the role of music in spiritual devotion and interfaith dialogue. Our overall message was of Divine love and love of our common humanity. Displaying their highly rhythmic and energetic music and singing in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Punjabi (a language spoken by Sikhs) and other local Indian dialects....

 
Righteousness from a Global Perspective
Iftekhar Hai, New Age Islam

Righteousness from a Global Perspective
Iftekhar Hai, New Age Islam

Hence to be correct, to be fair and to be righteous is not exclusively a Muslim domain.  Righteousness is multifaceted with doing good, i.e., believing in ONE GOD, praying, giving money in charity, helping the poor, homeless and the downtrodden, doing work honestly, not taking advantage or robbing the weak etc. etc.  However, the Quran not only supports all of the above, but also connects it to JUSTICE.  Justice has to be understood in a Global context and across inter-religious lines across all spiritual traditions......

Religious extremists believe in an angry, punishing God and see themselves as the agents of this God. On the other hand, the mainstream followers of the Qur’an and the Bible understand themselves as called to be agents of divine mercy and love (Berry as cited in Trefle, 2013). Religious extremism leads to terrorism, breeds bigotry and hatred, and uses violence as its methodology with the aim of exacting punishment on those who are perceived to be enemies or infidels. The result is the reign of terror, the reign of violence and bloodshed….

 

The Holy Land is valued, revered, and loved by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike because it is the place where their most treasured spiritual and historical sites and shrines are honoured and kept. The fact that the Holy Land, which is located in what is now the state of Israel and the Palestinian lands, is commonly treasured and revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike points out to the common heritage and spiritual unity of these three religions. It is imperative to have peace in the Holy Land for two important reasons: 1) to allow constructive living to flourish between the Israelis and the Arabs; and 2) to make the Holy Land a zone of peace owing to the fact that it is considered sacred by followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and is a site of annual pilgrimages by peoples from different parts of the world. .....

“Allama Iqbal is among those who have included Shri Krishna among the path breaking spiritual and intellectual personalities who criticized the philosophical traditions of his own nation and country in beautiful words and brought out the truth that abandoning deeds does not mean abandoning the whole because deeds are the requirements of nature and strengthen life. But whatever Iqbal has said about Shri Krishna is not in verse but in prose.” However, he has written a poem on Ram in which he has sung praise of this Hindu deity and called him Imam-e-Hind......

As Hardline Buddhism Spreads In Sri Lanka, Some Make a Quiet Stand
Abby Seiff, Quintus Colombage and Niranjani Roland

As Hardline Buddhism Spreads In Sri Lanka, Some Make a Quiet Stand
Fathima Faheema

When Fathima Faheema is nervous, she wrings her headscarf; pulls the edges shyly over her mouth. It is only after some prodding that she admits her reasons for converting from Buddhism to Islam. In some parts of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese woman’s conversion and interfaith marriage might have sparked outrage….

Together We Build Peace
By Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

Together We Build Peace
By Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

Muslims and Christians, young and old, and they all complement to each other. It was also noted in the meeting that plurality in creation as well as in the way of life of individuals and communities need to be acknowledged, cherished, respected and protected. It emerged very clearly that human rights and human dignity are the elements that lay the foundation for a sustained dialogue between Christians and Muslim and their common responsibility to work for peace, reconciliation and justice in the world......

 

Bullies and the Practice of Superficial Islam: If Seeing a Cross on a Building Shakes Your Faith, It Must Be a Very Weak Faith
Hafidz Baharom

Faith in Islam is determined by the personal actions and intent by each individual. It is not determined by how you voraciously attack others or how much you protest against crosses on buildings. Where in the teachings of Islam is the belief that a cross can suddenly inspire someone to leave their faith in Islam....

 

Exploring the Future of Christian Muslim Relations – Jesuits among Muslims Discuss Their Life and Mission
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

Most Muslims in Senegal are members of one of the Sufi brotherhoods. The ‘Sufiness’ has inculcated in the Senegalese population respect for the faith of Christians and traditional African religions. The speakers also noted that the Sufi brotherhood at times holding on to certain privileges and try to emerge as a new form of aristocracy. This not good for Senegal, they said. We should be watchful of Wahhabism, they cautioned. ....

 

Totally Present to the Other: The Dialogical Legacy of Paul Jackson
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

Jackson discovered this in his pilgrimage into the writings of Sufi Saint Sharafuddin Maneri, and into the lives of many theologically thinking and spiritually vibrant Muslim friends. He endeavoured to create an ambiance for his students to learn something similar to what he has learnt from the context of Muslims of Bihar....

 
A Solemn Easter
Naimat Khan

Hindu leaders share the general fear of terrorist attacks with the Christians, but they are also especially concerned about the recent violence against their temples. There have been six reported attacks on Hindu temples in Sindh in the last six months....

 

Should We Defend the Saudis?
Syed Kamran Hashmi

In Pakistan today, where society is overwhelmingly Muslim, Salafi ideology continues to split the nation into smaller fragments creating animosity between Shias and Sunnis, Sunnis and Wahhabis and Sunnis (Deobandis) and Sunnis (Beralvis)….

 

Catholics and Muslims: Appreciating Diversity and Contributing To Justice Inspired Peace
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

We notice that Muslims' submission to the will of God is specially noted and praised. This is certainly a theological common ground between Christian and Muslims. Finding the will of God and submitting one's will to God's will is at the heart of every Christian's way of life.....

Is Dialogue With Islam Possible?
Thomas Reese

"[Muhammad's] message too was essentially religious, the acknowledgement of the one God as against the prevalent polytheism, but it had a social dimension to it, which was to bring about the formation of a new community bound not by blood ties or tribal loyalty, but by religion: the Umma." The Umma was both a religious and a political community, and it took up arms to survive. Muhammad was both a prophet and a statesman……

 

How Should Non-Muslims Approach Islamic History?
Stephen Schwartz

Radical Islam, particularly in its Wahhabi form, as the state cult in Saudi Arabia which inspires the terrorists of al-Qaeda and its allies, treats the record of Islamic revelation as an unchanging source of authority, which may neither be interpreted nor questioned. In reality, classical Islam, prior to the emergence of Wahhabism, only 250 years ago, viewed all aspects of Islamic revelation, from the holy scripture of Qur'an to the details of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, as subject to debate.....

Mithi is as sweet as the name it has been given. Approximately 80 per cent of the population here is Hindu. It is a town where Muslims, out of respect for Hindus, do not slaughter cows; and where Hindus, out of respect for Muslim rites, have never organised any marriage ceremonies or celebrations during the month of Muharram…..

Folly of Trying to Divide France’s Jews and Muslims
Nabila Ramdani

Though he offered the token qualification, “Of course, it’s a tiny minority of the Muslim community”, Cukierman later used the term “Islamo-fascism”, and stated that Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National (FN) and a white Christian, was “blameless” when it came to anti-Semitism….

 

In a world where religiously-defined communities often see themselves as God’s chosen people, laying claim to knowing the mind of God and even waging war against others on this count, such openness and humility, such eagerness to introspect, and such enthusiasm to invite constructive critique from others is, of course, rare. Yet, it is a pressing necessity in today’s world, characterized by increasing interaction as well as conflict between people who claim to follow different faith traditions....

Interpreting Islam to Muslims
Graham E. Fuller

Bush never did very well as Mufassir-in-Chief (an expert in interpretation of the Qur’an) in trying to convince Muslims that GWOT was really in the best interests of the Muslim world. Indeed, the Iranians first coined a phrase for Washington’s vision of Islam: “American Islam.” In American eyes that means “good Islam”, an Islam that encourages Muslims to be pious, righteous and pray but who would never think about any of Islam’s political or social ideals or about social justice—implications that could lead to political action, rebellion, resistance to autocracy, or opposition to western intervention....

Anjuman-i-Islam Preserves, Restores Century-Old Persian and Urdu Translations of Ramayana, Gita
Zeeshan Shaikh

The institution was recently in the news when a student of one of its colleges joined the Islamic State in Syria. The Persian books restored include a Mahabharata from 1875; Haday-Kul-Marifat, a Persian book written on the Bhakti movement and Bhushan Leela, a book on Lord Ganesha. Most of these books are by Hindu authors highly proficient in Urdu and Persian, said Anjuman-E-Islam officials. Almost all the books bear Islamic motifs, including the usage of the numerical 786.....

The 8 Most Important Interfaith Monuments in the World
Craig Considine

The eight monuments documented here stand on the Asian, African, European, and North American continents in countries such as Israel, Turkey, India, Egypt, and the US. The monuments shed light upon key figures throughout history, as well as important events which have shaped Judaism, Christianity, and Islam over the last 1,000 or so years. My focus here is on events surrounding Jews, Christians, and Muslims, however, that is not to overlook the equally important interfaith monuments pertaining to non-Abrahamic faiths around the world…..

 

Basis historical accounts, Akbar’s curiosity about different religions had caused him to invite priests from Goa. The enthusiasm of the holy fathers was high as they felt Akbar himself would convert, which would open the entire country to conversion. While the priests were received with respect by the emperor, he never converted. The emperor often held debates between the priests and indigenous religious scholars at court.....

 


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