From Catholic to Christian to Muslim to Jewish, a dozen speakers
representing a variety of religions and organizations from the city spoke
before a packed house. Every seat was filled and people lined the walls of the
Akbar S Ahmed
Most notably, Lord Sacks told of how Rabbi Moses Maimonides, “the
greatest rabbi of the Middle Ages”, was inspired by Islam. He explained, “Not
only his philosophy, but almost every aspect of his work was influenced by and
stimulated by Islam. His creation of this magnificent legal code was inspired
by Shariah codes.”...
“The people I
meet in Taking Heart programs are all very committed to their communities, the
greater good and interfaith encounters,” she said. “I loved learning more about
what makes Islam and Muslim practice unique, but also really appreciate how
‘ordinary’ they are...
Devraj was Hindu, and my grandfather was Muslim, but they both spoke
Sindhi and shared familial roots. Theirs was not a unique story. Unlike in
Punjab, where partition brought bloodshed on an unprecedented scale, the Sindh
province to the south saw little or no communal violence. The Hindus of Sindh
largely stayed behind. Muslim and Hindu families shared bonds that reached back
generations; a sense of respect for community prevailed. ..
Rabbi Allen S. Maller
And if Jews and Muslims throughout the world became closer, then maybe
Palestinians and Israelis could overcome and pass over the terrible plagues
that have afflicted them in our generation. Then the world would have another
miraculous event to celebrate...
Jesus, in the Gospel of John, predicts the coming of a future prophet he
calls “the spirit of truth”: “I still
have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit
of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on
his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the
things that are to come.” (John 16:12-15, NRSV)...
This is a unique feature of Islamic spirituality, where Sufi men present
themselves as females to their deity, who is imagined to be a male figure.
Using references from the iconic Punjabi love legend they refer to themselves
as Heer while God is referred to as Ranjha. This is similar to the Bhakti
tradition of Krishan-devotion, where the devotee presents himself as Radha, the
perfect lover, to Krishna, the deity.....
Muslims in Dudley and elsewhere must be given the right to bury their
dead with peaceful dignity. This is called showing basic human decency. It is
called loving our neighbors, for you Christians out there. ....
Living together with people of different faiths can teach you many
things, including the art of cordial interfaith coexistence, which is something
that reading about other faiths or brief encounters with people from other
religious traditions at interfaith meetings simply cannot....
Miteri relationships seem to be disappearing as times change. I feel as
if Nepalese society is turning more self-centric, religion-centric and caste-
and ethnicity-centric, one sign of which is the hate speech you can find on
social media. But there is still a reason for me to be happy. My 10-year-old
niece has also been in a "Miteri relationship" for the last four
years. My niece, like me, is a Muslim, but her "blood sister" is a
As we watch the rise of both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism across the
U.S. and around the globe, we must all bear in mind the foreboding poetry of
German pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.....
Now, in the 21st century, it is high time for Christians to acknowledge
how wrong we have been. Islam is the second-largest religion on the planet and is
an integral part of human civilization as we know it. Islam is a beautiful,
complex religion that supports human dignity, arts and sciences, spirituality,
economic, environmental and racial justice, and so much more. As Christians
today we are called to acknowledge the integrity of Islam and embrace Muslims
as brothers and sisters in faith. And the key, I believe, to making this
paradigm shift is choosing to see Muhammad differently, in light of our faith.....
In Jesus’ farewell discourse in the Gospel of John (chapters 14 to 16),
Jesus speaks about the coming of the “Spirit of Truth” or “Advocate” (in Greek,
Parakletos). For centuries Muslim interpreters have seen Muhammad as
this “Advocate,” based on Qur’an 61:6, a verse in which Jesus predicts the
coming of a future prophet named Ahmad: “O Children of Israel! Truly I am the
Messenger of God unto you, confirming that which came before me in the Torah
and bearing glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me whose name is
During the last two decades, our perceptions of other faiths and of
folks who are different from us have been shaped by hateful rhetoric, prejudice
and misinformation. I wonder how different the world might be if our view of
Islam was formed by genuine encounters with our Muslim neighbours. How might
our world be transformed if our world-views were shaped by learning from other
religions how to be better practitioners of our own faith?.....
We propose that the Catholic Church develop and consider shifting to a
Just Peace approach based on Gospel nonviolence. A Just Peace approach offers a
vision and an ethic to build peace as well as to prevent, defuse, and to heal
the damage of violent conflict. This ethic includes a commitment to human
dignity and thriving relationships, with specific criteria, virtues, and
practices to guide our actions......
To that end, allowing Islamic prayer at Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral would
be highly symbolic, something extremists across the political spectrum would
fear. At this critical juncture in our collective history, it would be an
important victory for peace. This is because when faiths display tolerance of
each other in symbolic acts, it is the polar opposite of what Daesh want. It
also damages the cause of the terrorists’ best friends: the Far Right in Europe
and North America...
One reason to get involved in interfaith work is to look more critically
at your own faith, take it more seriously, and become more curious about it.
This has been my own experience. Learning and practicing Buddhist meditation
methods led me to explore the rich meditative and contemplative mystical
traditions of my Christian heritage. Learning about other faiths from their
practitioners has heightened my interest in their similarities and differences
with my faith...
Keen to share in their happiness, we began to search for venues and
ended up celebrating Holi at a church! Stepping inside the Holy Trinity
Cathedral in Karachi, I saw bright beautiful hues of pink, yellow and green in
the air around me. Under this vibrant sky, Muslims, Hindus and Christians
doused each other's smiling faces with colour. It filled me with an unqualified
joy, the kind you feel upon returning home from a long, tiring trip...
Some may say this tolerance is no surprise, given the long histories of
both Christians and Muslims in Kerala. But one need only look at Eastern Europe
or the Middle East, where long-standing bonds within a once diverse community
were ruptured within a single generation...
To push interfaith dialogue forward there must be a certain level of
commitment to education and understanding. The Bible and The Qur’an share many
of the same stories and names while giving these people different duties and
roles. Understanding these differences while staying committed to ones religion
is key. Mary/Maryam as Jesus/Isa does not have one narrative but many
narratives that hold special places in people’s lives.....
Dr Habib Siddiqui
The violence and Takfir associated with these neo-Khariji movements of
our time bear more than a coincidental resemblance to the policies and mindset
of the Khawarij of the Prophet Muhammad’s (S) and Ali’s (RA) time. It is no
accident that these neo-Kharijis of our time blow up Muslim worshippers even
inside mosques as if those targeted are worse than non-Muslims. They are a
renegade movement and should not be taken as an Islamic movement.....
Dr Habib Siddiqui
The anti-Muslim zealots cite the chastisement of the Jews, especially of
Banu Qurayza, in Madinah to show how intolerant Prophet Muhammad (S) was and
how horrible Islamic Shariah is for a non-believer to live under. Again, they
won’t tell the kind of conspiracy and treason, let alone the assassination
attempt against the Prophet (S), that those Medinite Jews had committed to
deserve the punishment. (RVC Bodley, The Messenger – the Life of Mohammed; see
also: Rafiq Zakaria, Muhammad and the Quran) If they were to compare between
the treatment meted out by Muhammad (S) and Musa (Moses) (AS) against the pagan
Jews, they would find that Muhammad (S) was indeed a Rahmat ul-Lil-Alameen
(‘Mercy to the entire universe’): much kinder and gentler to the Jews and Christians
than their own prophets......
Dr Ilmana Fasih
Sufi poets too eulogised Radha and Krishna’s romance in Holi, while
expressing their love for their revered Sufi saints or even God. It is Shah
Niyaz’s Hori Ho Rahi hai that is immortalised by Abida Parveen.
Hori hoye rahi hai Ahmad Jiya ke dwaar
Hazrat Ali ka rang bano hai Hassan Hussain khilaar
Aiso holi ki dhoom machi hai chahoon or pari hai pukaar
Aiso anokho chatur khiladi rang deeyon sansaar
“Niyaz” pyaara bhar bhar chidke ek hi raang sahas pichkaar.
(Holi is happening at beloved, Ahmed’s (PBUH) doorsteps. Colour has
become of Hazrat Ali (AS) and Hasan (AS), Hussain (AS) are playing. It has
become such a bustling scene of Holi that it has become talk of the town,
People are calling others from all over, What unique and clever players (Hasan
and Hussain) that they coloured the entire world. Niyaz (the poet) sprinkles
bowlfuls of colour all around, The same colour that comes out of thousands of
Pichkaaris (spray guns)).....
It is at the crossroads of a church, temple and mosque where humanity
can find breathing space. The true pride of being an Islamic majority lies in understanding
that Yusufs of our society may be free to attend mass with their families on
Easter. The prestige of Islam as a universal religion lies in the happiness
that little Poojas and Radhaas may feel when they illuminate their houses with
candles on Diwali and spread the many colours of Holi in their
The 2014 report of the Institute for Economics and Peace might help explain the situation better. The report showed that religion was not the main cause in any of the 35-armed conflicts in 2013. According to the report, they were mostly related to anti-government sentiments, separatist movements, ideological divides and the distribution of natural resources.