Yet, increasingly, American Jews have fallen victim to Zionism, a
nationalistic movement that passes for many as a religion. While the ethical
instructions of all great religions -- including the teachings of Moses,
Muhammad and Christ -- stress that all human beings are equal, militant
Zionists take the position that the killing of a non-Jew does not count....
Nadeem F. Paracha
In 1987 three well-known genealogists (Cann, Stoneking and Wilson)
published a stunning report of a worldwide human mtDNA survey. The survey had
collected DNA samples of numerous men and women from around the world to see
who originated where. As they dug deeper and looked further back, they found
that mtDNA in every living person on the planet today stems from a woman who
lived in Africa some 200,000 years ago!
The idea that medieval Muslim rulers wreaked havoc on Indian culture
and society – deliberately and due to religious bigotry – is a ubiquitous
notion in 21st century India. Few people seem to realise that the historical
basis for such claims is shaky to non-existent. Fewer openly recognise the
threat that such a misreading of the past poses for modern India....
Rabbi Allen S. Maller, New Age Islam
It doesn’t make sense that God sends Messengers like Abraham. Moses,
and David to tell people to believe in only one God, and then suddenly sends to
Jesus a radically different message (the Trinity) which contradicts the
monotheistic teachings God's previous Messengers. Those early sects of Christianity that
believed Jesus was a human Prophet and nothing more were following the original
teachings of Jesus, because their concept of Monotheism was the same as that
taught by all the Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, called by Christians the Old
Much like folk Islam that used the geography of the region to evoke
spirituality, folk Christianity too, represented by this shrine, found an
actual geographical legitimisation, as a counter to Christianity or Islam being
foreign to this land. A statue of Mary was raised on a small mound here and a
shrine was constructed around it....
The gentle piano music starts as the doorbell chimes. A white-haired
Christian pastor greets his friend, a Muslim imam, and the two converse and
laugh over a cup of tea, wincing about their creaky knees as they prepare to
part ways. Later, it spurs the same idea in each for a gift: kneepads sent via
Amazon Prime. (It is a commercial, after all.) The piano notes accelerate as
the men open their deliveries with smiles, and then each uses the item to kneel
in prayer: one at a church, the other at a mosque. The final chords fade.....
Being at places of worship of different faiths helped me to reflect on
my own devotion to God or the lack of it.
As I laid out my prayer mat to complete my night Namaz, I was filled
with immense gratitude to the people at the Gurudwara, the Bhajan singers at
the ashram, the gentle Buddhist monks at the Vihar and my kind Christian
friends for teaching me the values of service, devotion and generosity. I am hopeful
these values will help me become strong in my connection to Almighty Allah!...
.... Islam and Christianity hold many similarities. Of them, and one
that is particularly important here is the return of an awaited saviour who
will rid the world of turmoil, and will reinstall peace across the world. For
the Christians, this will come in the form of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and for the
Muslims, this it will come in the form of The Mahdi, who according to
narrations will be a descendent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)....
Aijaz Zaka Syed
was not an isolated example. The
Prophet offered the same protection to the Christians of Najran in Yemen. When
a 60-member delegation of Najran Christians – 45 of them scholars and priests –
arrived in Medina in 631AD to meet the Prophet, he not only hosted them and
asked Muslims to pitch their tents, he invited them to pray inside Masjid
Nabawi – the Prophet’s mosque, one of the three holiest mosques in the world….
bridge burnt by the flames of violence and aggression, we’ll build ten more,
and be stronger for it. We are peaceful people: if you don’t want to take it
from me, visit one of these projects for yourself. I leave you with the words
of Prophet Mohammed, the ones with which he greeted even those who wanted him
dead, the ones he taught me to embrace the world with: Peace be upon you….
In the United
States, Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently called a spike in anti-Muslim
hate crimes a “stain on our nation’s very soul.” I agree — and the same must be
said about anti-Christian hate crimes in Egypt. But a bomb in a church is worse
than a stain....
problem lies with the concept of ‘otherness’. Every social, including
religious, group has its own concept of the ‘other’, and this ‘other’ can
number one or more other groups. Again, common to all social groups are notions
of external and internal ‘others’. The hadith “All creatures are [like] a
family of God, and He loves the most those who are kindest to His family”,
cited earlier is against any demeaning concept of otherness.
followed the rest of the class as they chanted a strange “Ooomaammm” mantra. At
the end of the class, I went up to the trainer and asked if this concoction of
sounds meant anything. She laughed and said, “We used to say Om, which is the
correct way of practicing the mantra. It is a spiritually relaxing sound I love
to end the class with but too many students complained. They said it sounded
too Hindu. Many of them left the class. I had to break the sound up to satisfy
From Turkey to
Iran, the Buddhist thought had been woven into poetry. Take Rumi or Adam Sanai
in the 12th century, Buddha’s presence is inescapable. “Someone who keeps aloof
from suffering is not a lover,” says Sanai in a translation by Coleman Barks.
Buddha would be smiling with joy, not the half smile of Firaq....
impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet
of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but
reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme.
And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar
to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a
new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.”...
One can have as
many “partners” as one wish and at the State’s expense and no questions asked!
Because legislating against the practice would violate some form of freedoms,
yet the politically and some might say racially motivated clamour behind the
moral disgust is deafening. As far as imposing burden on the taxpayer is
concerned, on daily basis it is reported in the media as to how the welfare
system is cheated by all sorts of people and in millions of dollars! Muslims
‘single mothers’ of polygamous marriage are not the only experts in this
The Nawabs of
Oudh gave several grants to the temples of Ayodhya and provided them protection
in other ways. The Diwan of Nawab Safdarjung built several temples in Ayodhya
and arranged for the repair of other temples. Nawab Safdarjung gave land for
the construction of a temple at Hanumangarhi. Asafadullah’s Diwan gave further
help for the construction of a temple......
As the monk in
the above-mentioned story would say, if a distinctive ‘religious’ dress helps
one to stay on the right path each time one may be tempted to stray, it is
useful or skilful means. But if turns into a fetish, made into an end in itself
and simply a marker of identity to distinguish oneself from others, then it has
completely lost its purpose....
The study of
terrorists’ history suggests there is a relationship between these two forms of
radical discourse. Distant authorities talking in a deniably cryptic way
contribute to the rationalization for violence. This shift toward violence can
have an effect at just about every level — from the lone-wolf killer, to
couples, to hidden cells..... radicalization of an entire nation is possible,
too — typically after reckless innuendo from political leaders becomes
acceptable and then routine....
should register as Muslims because we know the horrors of religious
registration all too well.” ....“Targeting all Muslims is a horror movie that
we Jews are all too familiar with. It can easily lead to heightened
discrimination, persecution and scapegoating. In the United States, there is no
place — no place, whatsoever — for this kind of divisive, hateful
In the ranks of
Hindus and later Sikhs, the spiritual Bhakti movement in India was a blessing
for the Sufi saints. The Bhakti phenomenon took inspiration from the Bhagavad
Gita and Upanishads. The Sufi saints placed those texts on a firmer ground of
acceptance. The Bhakti movement gained momentum in the 11th and 12th centuries
with the rise of Sufi culture in the country. Hindu scholars were explicitly
influenced by aspects of Sufism, like its concentration on 'one god', which
resulted in the emergence of many religious reformers in the country....
concluded that it wasn’t Muslim anti-Semitism leading the trend; rather, it was
the far larger populations of Christians. As he noted, the number of Spanish
citizens who express unfavourable views of Jews is almost 50 per cent; Muslims
make up less than 3 per cent of Spain’s population and aren’t growing fast. So
“a European anti-Semite remains far more likely to be Christian than Muslim.”
The larger problem, he concluded, is “the tendency of wily politicians to play
Jews and Muslims against each other for purposes of their own.”...
In my work as
the director of an interfaith-youth movement, I have had the privilege of
visiting numerous mosques in Seattle and forming close friendships and
professional relationships with many Muslims. Through these contacts, I have
come to see Islam as a religion that espouses peace, compassion and tolerance.
I have been humbled to see the work done by mosques…
If the question
is: How do you have a healthy religiously diverse democracy. I think the answer
is that we have to recognize that people can disagree on some fundamental or
ultimate concerns, and work together on others. An interfaith leader creates
the spaces, curates the conversations and forms the activities for these kinds
of relationships to emerge...
bring people together and strengthen us as a society. When Christian, Jewish,
Sikh and agnostic friends marked Eid festivities at home with me earlier this
year, it didn’t mean they were confused, but that they wanted to acknowledge
its importance to me, as well as dive into some Eid grub. Sharing in the
Shabbat rituals with Jewish friends or wishing Hindu friends a happy Diwali
won’t make me lose a sense of who I am, but enriches my own sense of faith....