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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Interfaith Dialogue — Only Way to Fight Extremism
Nawar Fakhri Ezzy

All religions have commonalities, which should be acknowledged and differences that should be appreciated. More importantly, our humanity unites all of us and religion constitutes only one aspect of our human lives, which should help us live in peace instead of being an obstacle…..

On Inter-Communal Harmony
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

On Inter-Communal Harmony
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Islam’s approach to the entire problem is much more realistic, in that it accepts ideological differences. Once having accepted these differences, it then advocates the policy of tolerance and respect for one another in everyday dealings. This is on a parallel with the principle expressed in the English saying ‘Let’s agree to disagree.’....

What A Church Taught A Muslim…
Muhammad Younas

As I listened to her quietly, my thoughts took me to the streets of Pakistan where we have hundreds of mosques and Imambargahs that have shut their doors to such activities, social gatherings and charitable causes. And then I just wished…

Hinduism Is Intrinsically Secular
Ram Jethmalani

The Hinduism of India, unlike Judaism, Christianity or Islam, is not a religion, but a somewhat complex culture and civilisation of ancient origin. No one knows when it was born, but it certainly predates the birth of the western Abrahamic religions by several centuries....

Islam did not enter India by jihad or by violent invasion, but through trade and peace. The first mosque, Cheraman Juma Masjid, in Kodungallur taluk, Kerala was established by the Arabs in 612 AD, while the Prophet was still alive, on land gifted by the Hindus. Even before Islam had been established in Arabia, trade with the Malabar region flourished. After the advent of Islam, Arab merchants became propagators of the new religion, and numerous people living in the coastal areas of Kerala accepted the principles of the new religion and converted to Islam. Islam was welcomed, as was Judaism and Christianity before it, and so was the construction of the mosque.

Five Things Changing the Way Religions Interact
Bud Heckman

When KAICIID opened, some naysayers said it was nothing but a stark attempt by the Saudis to distract from their own repressions and failures at home. Others did not look the gift horse in the mouth. As one Israeli rabbi shared with me, how can one really argue with Saudi support for bringing a Jewish Israeli, Palestinian Muslims, and other key conversation partners together without putting any real strictures on the frame of the dialogue?

 

They gave to each thing they encountered its rightful due, drawing out from each its unique truth - the nature with which it was created - since it is by standing on truth, by being true to one's profound metaphysical nature that one acquires substance, and gains a firm foothold in reality. And it is from this acting on truth, from "...bearing witness to the truth." (John, 18:37) that the felicitous bond with the ultimate Truth, Al-Haqq, emerges. "God is the Truth (the Real - Al-Haqq)" (Qur'an 22:6)…

 

Like Europeans, Americans express fear over Muslim integration and Islamic fundamentalism, although very little is known about beliefs among Muslims living in the U.S.  A recent nationwide survey of U.S. Muslims, which I designed, provides some insight — the Muslim-American National Opinion Survey (MANOS) reveals that levels of religious fundamentalism among Muslims and Christians in the U.S. are nearly identical……

 

Abrahamic religions have a patrimony of persecution. Over millennia, Judaism has been persecuted by history, Christianity by the Romans and its own sects, and Islam by its Samuel Huntingtons. Victimisation has been not simply the cost of difference. It has been the price exacted for faith. The 20th century has seen a change that would have been unthinkable a hundred years ago. Religionists have moved away from defending their beliefs or reinforcing their religious conviction with revivalist movements......

 

Would Quebec be Able to Deliver True Multiculturalism?
Tahir Gora

Our multicultural model shakes when we try to introduce religious ethnicity into it. That's the point where we don't understand why things don't go smoothly. Instead of blending different religions, the mixing up of cultures could be the right path to multiculturalism. When someone proposes Shariah law for the sake of multiculturalism or one-sided organizations start talking about the obligations or rights of women to wear veils on their faces, our multiculturalism advocates become confused….

Breaking Down Negative Muslim and Jewish Stereotypes
Tahir Gora

Muslims need to disassociate themselves from the conspiracy theories associated to Israel based on their own self-created and self-inflicted miseries. For instance, I can't understand why Muslims from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Somalia, Turkey, Iran, Malaysia and Indonesia etc., have to be against Israel and Jews over Israel's conflicts with Hamas, Al-Fatah and Hizbullah…..

 

History Months for Everyone!
Tarek Fatah

Yes, all Octobers in Canada shall be an opportunity for you infidels to learn from my people. Learn about our often bloody history of conquest and enlightenment, including how we Muslims slaughtered our own Prophet Mohammed's family, right up to modern times when we committed genocides in Bangladesh and Darfur and tried to kill innocent school girls like Malala Yousafzai……

Among the actions they agreed to support, Connolly and Walsh committed to pushing to limit handgun sales to one per person per month, to increasing city support for women- and minority-owned businesses, and to turning Roxbury’s Dearborn School into a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics academy. In front of a diverse audience of more than 200 people, each candidate said yes to each of the organizations’ “asks,” receiving hearty applause…….

 

He said he enjoyed the tour and was surprised at the structure of the Sikh temple, with its open space and central room to hold Holy Scriptures. "It didn't look like what I stereotypically thought of as a temple. It's very similar to a mosque," he said. Organisers hope there are more young people like Mr Azzam who will spread the message that Malaysians have more common with each other than they think....

 

Interfaith Initiatives Are Transforming Religious Conflicts
Samar Fatany

The religion of God values life and does not coerce people into believing. The extremist ideology uses religion as a political justification for committing terrorist acts. It is a religion of a people with grievances who use religion as a tool to publicize their cause. The religion of God teaches us to celebrate humanity and avoid enmity, so that communities can collaborate to find solutions for critical problems…..

Salam and Salutation to Pope Francis
Akbar Ahmed

The iconic spiritual leaders of our time took decades of struggle and growth before they were formed into the universally recognized symbols that we know and love. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela are universally recognised examples. Pope Francis is an exception. He comes to us, as it were, fully formed....

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.....

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