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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

According to local and British historians, Dara Shikoh had given orders to build the mausoleum of Mian Mir Shikoh. He was a Mughal prince with Sufi and mystical inclinations. He strongly believed in social harmony and a peaceful co-existence....

This requires us to take it upon ourselves to research and learn about traditions and viewpoints which are practiced and yet foreign to us. It asks that we see the world in others’ eyes, from time to time. And, like travel, perhaps experiencing Ramadan as a non-Muslim can be just as rewarding.....

 

This Ramadan, Curious George Teaches Kids about Islam and Muslims
Engy Abdelkader

To help overcome Islamophobia and foster mutual respect, acceptance and understanding, teachers, parents, community leaders and librarians can use books like these to educate children about Muslims while enhancing religious literacy....

 

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 building....

 

The Power of Jewish-Muslim Dialogue
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.”...

 

Interfaith Iftars Aim to Bring Communities Together This Ramadan
Antonia Blumberg

“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. ..

 

Passover in the Quran: A Shared Islamic-Jewish View
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...

 

Muhammad (SAW) As Spirit of Truth: A Christian Testimony against Islamophobia - Part Two
Ian Mevorach

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)...

 

Pakistan's Sufi Dervishes, Digambar Jain Monks and Udasi Sadhus
Haroon Khalid

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.....

 

Even After Death, People Fear Muslims
Craig Considine

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....

How a Muslim and a Hindu Became 'Blood Brothers'
Gani Ansari

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 Hindu Brahmin.....

 

We Need to Bridge the Divide between Jews and Muslims Now More Than Ever
Akbar Ahmed

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.....

 

Muhammad as Spirit of Truth: A Christian Testimony against Islamophobia - Part One
Ian Mevorach

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.....

Did Jesus Predict Muhammad? A Biblical Portal between Christianity and Islam
Ian Mevorach

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 Ahmad”....

 

Learning From Our Muslim Neighbours to Build Understanding
John Elford

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...

 

Seven Principles of Interfaith Engagement
Jim Burklo

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.....

 

They Hate Us – Really? – II
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.....

 

They Hate Us – Really? - I
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......

 


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