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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Balancing Act: Faith on Campus
Thomas F. Flynn

Marx’s dismissal of religion as an opiate may seem strangely out of date today, when religion inspires both destructive strife and positive passion. Interfaith dialogue at a university rebuts Marx by helping ensure religious faith is an active force for good. It requires the self-reflection, collegiality, and genuine openness to the beliefs of others we value on our campuses and sorely need in our nation’s capital and throughout our country….

 
Mystics and Beards
Swami Chaitanya Keerti

Mystics and Beards
Swami Chaitanya Keerti

Perhaps my small beard and Kurta-pajama give the impression that I was a Muslim. In India I have never been considered a Muslim — only in the US. This was a bit strange for me, but I loved it….

 

All over the globe, the Muslim community finds itself caught in the middle of strenuous societal debates. With Islamophobia on the rise in the West and extremism in the name of Islam growing in the East –evidenced by sectarian violence in countries like Egypt, Syria and Pakistan – the debate is often presented as a clash between Western values and Islamic fundamentalism…..

 

'Qur'an Burning Scheme of a Pastor In Contrast To the Veneration of Jesus and Mary in the Qur’an'
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

The Qur’an asks Muslims repeatedly to make no distinction between any of the Prophets (4:152, 2:285, 57:19). The Qur’anic allusions to Jesus – the divine nature of his birth, his power to show miracles and the exalted position of his mother, and the Qur’an’s express acknowledgment to the divinity of their faith (5:46) forbids Muslims from maligning Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary and their religious symbols and icons. This leaves the Christian maligners of Islam in a singularly advantageous position in demonising Islam and by extension all Muslims. ...

Religious Leaders and Syrian Refugees Meet In Lebanon
Isabella Eisenberg

In Lebanon, religious dignitaries often give speeches on the inter-relatedness of the three Abrahamic religions, interfaith cooperation, solidarity and peace and love for everyone. Unfortunately such speeches are often just words. One recent event was different. Not just about words, it was about putting theory into practice in the face of a horrendous war raging just a few kilometres away by meeting face-to-face and urging communities to come together….

 

Looking Back- Qur'ans for Peace: What One Person Can Do
Rev Wayne Lavender

Misinformation about Islam and cherry picking Qur’anic verses out of context has become a troubling trend in the United States. The Internet is being used to widely disseminate lies, half-truths and distortions that are insulting, hate-filled messages of anti-Muslim and anti-Islam propaganda. ..

But he paid tribute to members of the Jewish community who welcomed Muslims and helped them settle in the area, even supporting them as they established the first mosque in Hackney in the 1970s. And he said both sides were now reaping the benefits of the willingness of local leaders to put historic animosities aside…

 
Was Swami Vivekananda anti-Islam?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Was Swami Vivekananda anti-Islam?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Unfortunately, some religious zealots and fanatics, from both Hindus and Muslims, have been exacerbating the social, cultural and religious ties of the two largest communities of India to further their nefarious ends. Fanning the communal fire, they go the extent of tarnishing the images of the spiritual legends of India. In their crazy bid to achieve this pernicious goal, the fanatics have been falsely propagating the baseless allegation that Swami Vivekananda was against Islam, while the truth is just the opposite. Swami ji was a great admirer of the core values of Islam that he believed to be the sole reason for its survival on the earth....

In addition to comparable attitudes about good works, Islam and Buddhism both value interactions with other religions. Although Islam does not directly share a common heritage with Buddhism like it does with Judaism and Christianity, there are still theological motivations for Muslims to dialogue with Buddhists....

The medieval ecclesiastics, either through ignorance or bigotry, painted Muhammadanism in the darkest colours. They were in fact trained both to hate the man Muhammad and his religion. To them Muhammad was Anti-Christ. I have studied him — the wonderful man, and in my opinion far from being an Anti-Christ he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much-needed peace and happiness. But to proceed, it was in the 19th century that honest thinkers like Carlyle, Goethe and Gibbon perceived intrinsic worth in the religion of Muhammad, and thus there was some change for the better in the European attitude towards Islam.....

Guided by a French Scholar, Hindu and Muslim Students at New Age Islam Foundation’s Centre for Education and Research Engage in Interfaith Dialogue
Ms Muriel Potherat, French research scholar

The New Age Islam Foundation’ Centre for Education and Research has been successfully running a free computer education centre in New Delhi for more than a year. The centre has students from both Hindu and Muslims communities where boys and girls learn computers in fully furnished and well-equipped air conditioned rooms.

On July 2, 2013, Ms Muriel Potherat, French research scholar in JNU, New Delhi visited the computer centre and interacted with the students. She is also associated with an Indian NGO called Faith Matters. The purpose of her visit was to know about the attitude of students towards other religions and about gender justice in a multicultural and multi-religious society like India....

As it is, Trinity became official dogma of the Church in 325 AD following the adoption of the Nicene Creed, exactly 245 years before the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad [SAW]. Therefore, the Qur'anic appellation 'People of the Book' referred to the Christians who believed in God the Son, the Father and the Holy Ghost, contrary to the claims of some Muslim groups today who, by limiting its application to pre-Pauline Christians, wished to deny present-day Christians this special status in order to justify hostility to them....

 

Even if one concludes that interfaith dialogue is useful for quite practical reasons, a further question is whether it can contribute constructively to the new movement for “value-oriented education”.  Such education has been basic to every civilization, but most specifically as a basis for classical American and classical Islamic thought.  This, in turn, is essential for successful dialogue.....

Shia-Sunni Joint Friday Prayers in Iraq: A Small Beginning

Recently, the supreme religious leader of Shias Ayatollah Syed Ali Seestani invited the Sunnis to offer Friday prayers together and the Sunnis accepted the invitation. Last Friday, Shias and Sunni got together in the mausoleum of Hadhrat Imam Hussain in Karbala, Iraq and offered the prayer together. In Baghdad too, Shias and Sunnis offered Friday prayer in mosque Umm Al Tubul. The congregation comprised famous personalities apart from common people.....

As the Parisians of 1240 remind us, intellectual examination can actually interfere with the daily realities of religious coexistence. Above all, religious groups need to be respected, and to see that someone is making an active effort to coexist with them. Listening is important, for sure. But some of the details of religious traditions don’t make for easy hearing. To repurpose an old saying about marriage: in interfaith relationships, it’s wise to be a little deaf....

Shared Values among Religions and the Call for Interfaith Dialogue
Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam

Islam encourages peaceful coexistence among all religions. All the oriental faiths have the same prescription. But the misinterpretations and unempirical observations of religions lead to the exasperation of conflicts and wars. We repeatedly see some so-called leaders of religions incite fanaticism, extremism, aggression, hate and xenophobia – even legitimise violent and bloody conflicts. The misuse of religions is often stimulated to actualise power-political dreams. We can witness barbaric acts often made in the name of religion in human history consecutively from past to contemporary. ....

In Saudi Arabia all religious activities outside the permitted Wahhabism, an extremely conservative movement within Islam, are banned. Indeed in Saudi Arabia's apartheid state non-Muslims have to drive on their own side of the road. That apartheid system encompasses all aspects of Saudi life. This is because the Islamic system of Dhimmitude enforces a system of apartheid on all non-Muslims in Islamic/Muslim states....

Holocaust: Muslim Schindlers in Focus
Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

During the Holocaust, it wasn’t Jewish lives that were saved by Muslims. The Sarajevo Haggadah, a 600-year-old manuscript, which was hidden from the Nazis, was given to a Muslim cleric to hide it. Interestingly, he kept it under the floor of a mosque until the war ended. All these events tell us that our creator had created us to help each other not hurt each other. And now, we saw 65 years of attacks and counterattacks and no peace is achieved....

 

'No Religion' Is World's Third-Largest Religious Group after Christians, Muslims According To Pew Study
Tom Heneghan

There are about 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, or 23 percent of the global population. "The overwhelming majority (87-90 percent) are Sunnis, about 10-13 percent are Shia Muslims," the study said. Among the 1.1 billion unaffiliated people around the world, over 700 million, or 62 percent of them, live in China alone, where they make up 52.2 percent of the Chinese population....

 

Striving for Peace and Amity: Asghar Ali Engineer’s Struggle for Preservation of Plural Ethos
Asghar Ali Engineer

His work, to be referred below, shows that he took a serious interest in understanding the  dynamics of communal violence, he must have spent days in and days out, investigating the communal riots, their aftermath and their impact on the social and political affairs. He can easily be credited with being the major scholar-activist who pioneered this area of investigation. He spent enormous energy to investigate and analyze the communal violence in India....

 

In Life and Words, Boston’s Muslim Leader Bridges Cultures
William Suhaib Webb

A dominant theme of Webb’s ministry is that Muslims can live faithful lives in contemporary America, and that they also have an obligation to participate — civically, culturally, and politically.....

 

“We’re becoming so diverse, and that’s not going away,” Damaj said. “We need to have a sense of community. We’re one community. But how can you have that sense of community if you don’t get to know each other?”...

There are of course differences among these ideas of freedom, because conception of truth differs among them. But the similarities far outweigh the differences. All these three views differentiate between lower and higher form of freedom: the higher being freedom from fear and ignorance, a freedom that allows us to see greater truth, greater than just being free to act as one wishes......

 

Terrorism and the other Religions
Juan Cole

It takes a peculiar sort of blindness to see Christians of European heritage as “nice” and Muslims and inherently violent, given the twentieth century death toll I mentioned above. Human beings are human beings and the species is too young and too interconnected to have differentiated much from group to group.....

 

Interfaith Disappointments
Mike Ghouse

The biggest disappointment in the interfaith world comes when your friends, who are usually rational in their approach to say this with ease, “These acts of terrorism are done in the name of Islam. I do not think the others were done in the name of Christianity etc. With the exception of Islam, other Religions variable accepts responsibility for the actions of their followers.” or this from an immigrant who has carried the baggage from overseas to this land,...

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Gulam Mohiyuddin is right, unless Pakistan does not declare India as friend, Indian Muslims cannot like India with full heart ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • We have Holy Books which, if properly used, can be useful guides. But Islam, Christianity and Judaism are not really "religions...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sad state of affairs.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This will continue as long as Pakistan and India remain enemies.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Your well-argued article situates Muslims as a community within the contemporary social and political context. How long will such discrimination and...
    ( By Meera )
  • authenticity' is not a function of being 'shaped by history.
    ( By hats off! )
  • The subject of the article is reform using the historical approach. Can the ahadith be revised/reformed using the....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • i am afraid, as is usual with you, you will never ever answer in a direct and forthright manner. you are just rambling as you ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • गाय, बकरे, भेड़, उँट, को जन्नत पोहचाने के लीये सूक्रीया. बाकी रही, ईनसानो की चालू कर दो, बजाय काफ़िर, हीन्दू के ध्धीमी केहके मारने की बजाय, ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Salam. Any subject like animal sacrifice can be open to discussion. However, when someone writes: "It is nothing but a Church/Clergy instituted con-job."...
    ( By Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq )
  • Dear hats off! You raised the following two questions to Rashid Samnasky (shown in red ink). I have seen his reply, which....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Remarkable similarities between Pakistan's Jamaat ud Dawa and India's RSS.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • a good exposition of the "no true scotsman" fallacy. no true religion etc.,
    ( By hats off! )
  • self reference belongs in a category of paradoxes. one who would depend upon self ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear Mubashir, Ghamidi is completely mistaken. The punishment was only to those who fought against the Muslims and broke their treaties ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Quran says explicitly that it is produced by Allah....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Jammu and Ladak is predominantly occupied by Hindus.There is peace .However in Muslims majority area ie Kashmir unrest....
    ( By DR.A.ANBURAJ )
  • Dear Naseer, Ghamidi says that the punishment would be from...
    ( By Mubashir )
  • A picture/idol of Lord Buddha sitting in Padmasanam is always a source....
    ( By DR.A.ANBURAJ )
  • Animal slaughter is a historical custom aimed at pleasing a deity/ God or a heightened gesture of hospitality in entertaining a guest over meal. ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • I've signed an eye-donation pledge and a body-donation pledge, too. I have...
    ( By Haan )
  • Respected Rabbi, May God bless you immensely!
    ( By ji )
  • My dear hats off, if there is no detail given for say, church services, worship/puja and their associated rituals then....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • As far as I know, the Quran itself does not make any claim of being uncreated.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Welfare of mankind and protection of our home planet would and should figure prominently in any intelligent Muslim...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What does historicism mean? It does not mean that the Quran is not a historical document.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • There isn't even the minutest flaw in the understanding of the Quran by Rabbi Allen Maller'
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • dear mr. samnakay i am well aware of the trend of Qur'an-only-muslims. but at the risk of sounding tiresome and persistent, what ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • If I may, dear hats off, you say @8/13/2017 7:38:49 PM--“how can the sunnah be gleaned from the Qur'an.” Quran is THE habit/practice/Sunnah as seen ....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • I guess the taboos against organ donation exist and are very strong and these are not easily overcome. It would require concerted effort and education ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Any work of science is also by a historical person and published in a journal at a place and point in time and therefore is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • even if it is agreed (for the sake of argument) that Qur'an need not be subjected to a historical analysis or context, this does tell ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Pragmatic approach by Maulana Kalbe Sadiq. I fully endorse and support him.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • First of all the meaning of Sunnah is not the ahadith. It is the practice of the Prophet. As far as prayer is concerned, it ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The universality of the Quran's message is beyond doubt. Please read....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Learn Surah qiyama and Kumba mela. Do not give any statement according to your wish'
    ( By Ibrahim Muhammed Sulaiman )
  • Actually, it takes a particularly warped mind not to get the straight simple meaning and the clearly enunciated principles especially once the same is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Sir syed ahmad khan was a well educated man. He knows How to defeat enemy's. He created the new way of fight that is ...
    ( By Kumar Rameez )
  • Dear hats off! If your motive is to pick and chose the example of all criminals, evil persons, rulings, maverick individuals, outlandish ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • the meaning of historicity of any document is a simple straight forward thing. it is not rocket science. the question mr. naseer ahmed avoids answering is ...
    ( By hats off! )