Pope of Non-Violence
consists in living together. For this reason we are called to free ourselves
from the heavy burdens of distrust, fundamentalism and hate. Believers should
be artisans of peace in their prayers to God and in their actions for
“All major religious traditions carry the same
message: a message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment,
self-discipline - all religious traditions,” he said. “These are the common
ground, and common practice. “On that level, we can build a genuine harmony, on
the basis of mutual respect, mutual learning, and mutual admiration.”..
“We feel as if
our founder has been kidnapped and held hostage by extremists. His captors
parade him in front of cameras to say, under duress, things he obviously
doesn’t believe. As their blank-faced puppet, he often comes across as
anti-poor, anti-environment, anti-gay, anti-intellectual, anti-immigrant and
anti-science. That’s not the Jesus we met in the Gospels!”...
written by Gopal Sharman has been hailed as the Ramayana for our times. This
has sprung from noted Tamil author, a Naa Subramaniam’s comment in a review:
“The Ramayana awaited only a poet who could see in Rama the qualities,
characteristics and hankerings of the human personality today. Sharman has
turned out to be that poet.”...
call to prayer blends seamlessly with the Aarti at a nearby temple late
afternoon at the bustling Jarg Chowk in Malerkotla. Women in Burqas and saris
bustle about, chatting in Punjabi and breaking into giggles now and again. A
young girl in a Hijab helps her friend pick a Rakhi. It is another ordinary
day, as different faiths attest, in Malerkotla — Punjab’s lone Muslim-majority
city. Locals here treat arson and stone-pelting, fallout of an alleged
desecration of the Quran on June 28, as an aberration. A blot brought about,
they say, by outsiders.....
matter was not so simple and over the last century we have seen three distinct
categories of Muslims emerge in response to the challenges of modernity:
mystics, literalists and modernists. ...
individuals to embrace Islam provided clear defined channels between the
Prophet (saws) and their respective sections of society. Take Khadeeja (as) and
Abu-Bakr (ra), both of who helped spread Islam to the Meccan elite or Imam Ali
(as) who represented the youth in Islam.
It was these intersectional links that were a key driving force in the
spread of the religion. ...
Both Islam and
Christianity claim to be revealed religions, holding that their teachings are
truths that God himself has conveyed to us and wants everyone to accept. They
were, from the start, missionary religions. A religion charged with bringing
God’s truth to the world faces the question of how to deal with people who
refuse to accept it....
important bond that Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad share is their love for
humanity. Both of them cared for other people and groups as much as their own
followers. Jesus taught his followers to "Honour all people, love the
brotherhood" (1 Peter 2:17). Christ's love for humanity is also seen in
Philippians (2:1-2), which calls on human beings to comfort and love one
another and to be of "one accord, of one mind." The Prophet Muhammad
reiterated Jesus's love for humanity in stating "All God's creatures are
His family" (Al-Bukhari). ....
"Muslims don't rent out their houses to us easily, and often we lie
and pretend to have Muslim names to avoid unnecessary attention." I almost
fell off my chair laughing. "It's the same with Indian Muslims! Just
Google and see reports of housing discrimination," I told him. I also told
him how sad I felt when the air-conditioning repair mechanic who came to my
house the other day lied when I asked him his name. He claimed to be Satya when
his name was Nadeem. ....
The Lebanese grocer was unperturbed. “We want Israel to become like
America, inclusive, where a black man can become president, where Muslims,
Christians, Jews live in amity as they did before the advent of Adolf Hitler
and Arthur James Balfour. Israel wants all Arabs to become like Saudi Arabia.”
Dr. Craig Considine
Islamic apologetics is a necessary aspect of the experience of being a
human being. No matter what religion you come from, we are all commanded by the
prophets before us to spread goodwill to our neighbors and strangers. That is
the essence of being Muslim, that is the essence of being Christian, and that
is most definitely the essence of being human. To that I say: Peace...
Between a Pope such as this one and the current we-couldn’t-care-less
Saudi monarchs – the self-proclaimed ‘Khâdim ül Haramain ish Sharifain’
(Servant of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina) – for the Muslim refugees in
Europe it could be a difficult choice to make....
In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric,
appeared on a live interview on Al-Jazeera satellite television to confirm
that, sure enough, Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers. “In every
hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity,” Al Qataani warned. “Every day,
16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert
What pains me, and other liberal Muslims around the world, to see is the
unending all-weather friendship between the proponents of this extreme ideology
and the pluralistic western governments, the self-proclaimed ‘guardians of
freedom’, to the detriment of the entire moderate Muslim world. How do you
square that circle?...
As we grew up underneath the layers of systemically taught hate, my
Muslim friends and I began to find common ground, and developed a better
understanding of each other. I would sneak them into our temples so they could
get a glimpse of my world, and accompany them to Mughal era mosques to get a
sense of theirs...
At a time such as ours, when hate in the name of religion is having such
horrific consequences, knowing, understanding and befriending the “other” is
the only way for peace. Only then can the harmony of hearts happen. And in this
quest, every single one of us has a very important and unique role to play.
Making just one friend, or even just one good acquaintance, from another faith
community can be our way of making a great difference to our badly-fractured
A theological argument has also been advanced, that these existing laws
are God-given and, therefore, cannot be tampered with. The rationality of such
an argument, and of the persons who advance them, does not deserve any serious
attention in this day and age. This is the same logic that wants us to suspend
reason and believe that a particular god was born at a particular spot just
because it is commonly believed to be so?...
If people were to understand that God is One, they would seek to please
Him by praying to Him and serving His creatures. By fighting in His name, you
are definitely not going to please Him. God is pleased when you accept others,
including people of other faiths, with a pure and loving heart. We are meant to
love each other. ...
In a globalised world, the pace and intensity of intermixing of
cultures, languages, traditions, attire, cuisine just cannot be stopped. These
can only be rationalised. It indicates how necessary it is to learn from the
past and let everyone realise that in these times of ever-increasing mobility
and inter-cultural interactivity, how important it is to respect ‘otherness’;
be it of region, language, religion or socio-cultural practices....
Among his admirers were both Hindus and Muslims. His association with
two cultural personalities, scholar Kangal Harinath and writer Mir Mosharraf
Hossain, helped him reach out to a larger world....
The history of Nablus’ mosques is a microcosm of the history of the
city, which has been associated with many religious faiths. Many of the places
have been linked also to the names of different prophets, which binds the
communities of the city to preserve them in honour of those prophets....
"A lot of people think Islamophobia is simply another phase of
discrimination," he said. "But is it merely another rite of passage
of immigrants from other lands who take their lumps for awhile and then find
acceptance through social integration? Are we simply another version of Irish
in early 20th century, or Jews in late 19th century, or even Catholics of 75-80
Tragically, in the past, and certainly today extremists can be found in
any faith. These are those who have lost their way and believe they are little
gods — belittling, exploiting and harming others. For William and me, the
essence of our faith is worshiping the one true God wholeheartedly and loving
But my faith transcends the religions I was taught. Without Islam, I may
never have known God, and without Catholicism, I may have never grown to love
Him. One can never know nor love God completely—and so I shall continue to