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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Pope Francis Tries His Hand At Vlogging To Promote Interfaith Peace
Antonia Blumberg

Francis, like other pope's before him, has long shared monthly prayers with the world, but never before via video. His prayer for January, he said, is "that sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce the fruits of peace and justice." Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths are represented in the video.

 

Faith Is Just One Freedom That Requires Protection
H A Hellyer

The time has come to be more emphatic about ensuring a protection of pluralism in this region. But trying to carve out and prioritise a zone of religious freedom in a political sense leads to some very dubious policies – and, ultimately, it is not effective.

 

Religious Diplomacy In Iraq: In Shia Muslims’ Holiest Site, A New Openness To Other Faiths

Impressive as the new stress on inter-faith diplomacy may be, its practitioners still struggle to spread the message beyond the clerical ivory tower in Najaf, and to reach the religious politicians and militiamen who also claim to be acting in their faith's name. Only when that happens will it be possible to say that Shia Islam in Iraq has "embraced the other".

The spin that oozes out of some goodwill messages given by politicians this time of the year, then to single out the soldiers serving in wars of aggression outside their own boarders; is that our soldiers are fighting the “just wars” on behalf of our client and enlisted friends, even though these friends may or may not have defence treaty with us.....

 

My Mom, Jesus and Fundamentalism
Caroline Roy

I thoroughly believe that the debates we will have to hold will have to include the origins of our beliefs, because they are our cultural coding. But like true compassion can only come when we can forgive ourselves, true understanding of other spiritual cultures can only come when we understand our own spiritual origins. It takes trust and respect for personal and private reflection.

 

Muslims Should Hold Fast To Prophet Muhammad's Exhortation: ‘Do Not Revert To Disbelief After Me By Striking The Neck Of One Another’
By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

Literally it prevents Muslims from becoming disbelievers (Kuffar) and legitimizing the killing of Muslims. Metaphorically this hadith prevents Muslims from becoming like Kuffar in killing Muslims. The reason is that in the era of the prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), it was the sign of the Kuffar to kill Muslims or legitimize the killing of Muslims.

Muslims and Christians: On Worshipping the Same God
Kelly James Clark

Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. Christians worship the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and no other god. We know the Father through the Son, and it is solely through Christ's atonement for sin that salvation has come. Salvation comes to those who confess with their lips that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in their hearts that God has raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). The New Testament leaves no margin for misunderstanding. To deny the Son is to deny the Father.

Christian-Muslim Relations: Some Reflections
Midhun J F Kochukallan SJ, New Age Islam

The Delhi-based Islamic Studies Association, a group of Catholics engaged in the study of Islam and dialogue with Muslims, recently organised a lecture on “Christian Muslim Relations in the US—Some Recent Developments” by Prof. Irfan A. Omar, Associate Professor of Theology at Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA. "Dialogue among religions is not only possible and important but also an essential part of faith formation in the Global village" was at the heart of Prof. Irfan’s presentation.

 

Muslims in Kenya Offer a Christmas Present to the World
Elizabeth Cole

Indeed, the Muslim-Christian commitment to mutual respect is rooted in 7th-century East Africa, to which early Muslims fled as refugees and were granted protection in the ancient Christian kingdom of Axum, in an event known as the "First Hijra".

 

The bishop of Jerusalem, Rt. Rev. Riah Abu Assal nailed it: “Peace is an act. Blessed are the peacemakers, not the peace talkers. Peace is possible in the Holy Land. The root cause for the lack of peace since 1967 [1948!] is the occupation. For peace to make progress in the Middle East, we need to deal with the root cause. Religion was not meant to bring death. All those involved in searching for peace should commit themselves to work for justice and truth.”

Thus we are interested in the core of the Qur’anic message to humanity, as stated generally in the text, independent of the circumstances and backgrounds of the people Muhammad addressed at that time. Each age has its own circumstances, and each community has its own background and so anyone trying to point out the core principles of the Qur’anic discourse, must take into account the background and circumstances of the audience addressed and do the necessary accommodations, as Muhammad did at his time and determine how far the direction of life as practiced deviates, if any, from the basic direction recommended by the Qur’an. ...

I have always admired Buddhist monks, besides Catholic nuns, Muslim sufis and Hindu gurus who remain detached from worldly temptations and distractions and at the same time are socially engaged.  Their love for the Truth triggers them to take the path of piety and loving service.

Muslims And Christians: Time To Reinforce Both Common Ground And Self-Criticism
Azis Anwar Fachrudin

In Indonesia, both commemorations have officially been declared national holidays. Indonesia is among most Muslim-majority countries in which Maulid constitutes a national public holiday. It is only in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, out of all Muslim majority countries, where Maulid is not a holiday, probably because of the views of clerics there who regard Maulid celebration as Islamically illegitimate and bid’ah (heretical). Besides, Indonesia is among several Muslim-majority countries that recognize Christmas as a national holiday.

 

Religious Leaders Stand Up For Peace Amid Anti-Muslim Attacks
Jaweed Kaleem

Muslims "understand the magnitude of the challenge facing our nation and our community and will not allow either Islamophobes or un-Islamic extremist groups like ISIS to define American Muslims or to decide our fate," said USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal. "American Muslims will define themselves and will chart their own destiny by securing both our faith and the security of America."

 
Experiencing the Love of Jesus
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Jesus taught unconditional love, and I’ve experienced reflections of that love in numerous Christians who’ve played a crucial role in my life. There was Ms. Martin, my favourite teacher in primary school, and Ms. Noreen, a school matron who doted on me. There were the nuns at a home in Delhi for abandoned people in the last stages of their lives, whom I was blessed to meet, and the Catholic brothers at a home for leprosy-affected people that I had the good fortune to visit. ...

Terrorism Has No Religion:  Muslims, Like Christians and Jews, Believe In and Follow the Ten Commandments, One of Which Is Thou Shalt Not Murder
Leslie Marshall

There are Muslims fighting in our armed forces, willing to take a bullet for our freedoms. They're our teachers, engineers, lawyers, doctors and two are our Congressmen. My in-laws, both retired physicians, came to the United States 60 years ago. My mother-in-law, a devout Muslim who wears a hijab (head scarf), has delivered over 3,000 children into the world - here in the United States. My father-in-law was a general surgeon who saved hundreds of lives over the span of his career. ...

This year, the relation between Jews, Christians, and Muslims during the holiday season is enhanced by Islamic commemoration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The Islamic hijri calendar, which is lunar, does not correspond to the Jewish and Christian reckonings. Islamic dating lacks the extra days, known as "intercalations," that extend the 360 days of the lunar years to stabilize them as solar years, in parallel with the seasons.

 

These People Are Fighting Anti-Muslim Hate After San Bernardino

"ISIS wants to create a division between Christians and Muslims where what I want to do is to create a unity, a solidarity, where we can all voice the same concerns and stand up to these inhumane acts," co-founder Shinwar Mayi, a Muslim who immigrated to the U.S. from Kurdistan 24 years ago, told WDAY.

Pope Francis Fights ISIS by Fostering Interreligious Dialogue
Sebastien Maillard

This is precisely why Francis fosters interreligious collaboration: to prevent religious fundamentalism. "All too often, young people are being radicalized in the name of religion to sow discord and fear and to tear at the very fabric of our societies," he warned in Nairobi, Kenya, at the beginning of his African tour.

 
Healing, the Interfaith Way
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Healing, the Interfaith Way
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Another form of ‘interfaith healing’ that I’ve witnessed—and there have been so many instances of it I just can’t keep count—is of people, inspired by their faith, helping others from religious backgrounds other than their own with monetary and other such help for medical treatment. There is, for instance, the head of a Hindu ashram I know who sent a generous donation for a Muslim who desperately needed money for dialysis treatment. There is this Muslim friend of mine who gave a good part of her zakat this year to a Catholic woman who works as a maid in someone else’s house to help her meet her son’s hospital expenses. And there’s that Catholic priest in Kerala I’ve read about and would love to meet some day who donated his own kidney to a Muslim man who was in urgent need of one whom he happened to meet while travelling on a bus.

Three Religions under One Roof
Jannis Hagmann

Berlin is set to host Germany's first ever house of worship to unite synagogue, church and mosque. With the "House of One" project, Jews, Christians and Muslims aim to send out a signal of tolerance from Berlin's historic centre. Jannis Hagmann on the ambitious and refreshingly pragmatic project

Among the Believers, a documentary by an Indian Hindu and a Pakistani Muslim, explores the roots of jihadi terror through five years spent at Islamabad’s controversial Red Mosque.

“I seek Allah’s refuge from Satan,” the boy intones. “We will destroy you if you attack us. You cannot enter here. You cannot conquer us. You cannot! And if you dare to enter here, we will destroy you in the name of jihad.”

 

Invite a Muslim to Thanksgiving Dinner
Rev. Al Sharpton

Today, when so many children, elderly, women and families are fleeing the devastation and horror in Syria and elsewhere, we cannot turn our backs on them, nor can we succumb to fear and panic. Let us remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Hatred begins in the mind, and the only way negative images can replaced with positive ones is by changing our mindsets. If we allow ourselves to recognize at least one good thing in religions and communities other than the ones we may identify with, it could go a long way in promoting more accepting and positive images of others. And that is the only way to nurture interfaith harmony.....

How the UK Is Strengthening Interfaith Bonds after Paris Attacks
Carol Kuruvilla

"Interfaith is valuable not just for bringing faiths together, but also for community cohesion," Wineman told the Huffington Post. "It's about having the infrastructure in place where the faiths are already in dialogue with each other. Because when you've got a crisis like Paris, you don't have time at that stage to build those links."

 


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