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.
"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.
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
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.
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.”
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."
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.....
"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."
History shows that many Muslim artists have produced exquisite paintings of Krishna. Centuries after they were created, connoisseurs delight in these enchanting revelations of skill and artistry. The Mughal influence is visible in the Vaishnava devotional paintings, temple carvings and iconographic expressions. The supremacy of Krishna and the bhakti school was maintained by the Vaishnavas in the midst of an overwhelming Mughal influence during this period.....
For Christians, including many conservative evangelicals, the fact that Jesus himself was a refugee and that we will be judged partially on our hospitality to the stranger, rejecting refugees should be troubling. No matter how many governors claim there is no room in the inn, both the life experience and the teaching of Jesus are simply too relevant to the current refugee crisis for Christians to ignore.
this heinous attack, we may wish for God to come down and wipe out our enemies.
Instead, Christ on the cross, completely powerless at the last, shows us that
it is only love that can overcome hatred, evil and even death," Whalon,
who is based in Paris, said in a statement. A 10-day series of interfaith
events had also been scheduled in Paris from Nov. 12 to Nov. 22, including a
not coincidentally, that is the same message that ISIS is propounding to
Muslims around the world; most of whom, thankfully, are rejecting it. The
reality is that the vast majority of Muslims in America and other Western
countries despise ISIS' hateful ideology. So instead of demonizing Islam and
all Muslims with a broad brush, Americans of diverse backgrounds should
redouble our efforts to reach out to the peaceful Muslim majority and speak out
in opposition every time those prominent demagogues -- including presidential
The Ulema must
come forward and remove the un-Islamic elements from Muslim personal law.
Second, they must develop some consensus on controversial issues such as
polygamy and triple divorce, which the apex court has specifically noted as
discriminatory and arbitrary. In fact, the acceptance of modern Nikahnama in
itself can solve most problems. Why can’t the Ulema settle the issue of
polygamy using the analogy of slavery, which too is permitted by the Quran, but
is no longer acceptable today?
is a myth that Hindus are governed by one law. For instance, marriage among
close relatives is prohibited in north India but is considered auspicious in
the south. This is also true of Muslims and Christians. The Constitution itself
protects the local customs of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram.....
We had to look
around very little in order to find beautiful examples of religious harmony in
India today. Where people from different faiths come together in the spirit of
humanity, celebrating India’s diversity and rich heritage of tolerance. Here
are 10 examples of friendship, love and selflessness by people of different
allegiances towards those from other backgrounds than theirs. They are bound to
restore your faith in humanity and your country.....
Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the department of religious studies at Stanford
University, talking recently to an Indian daily, said, “Sanskrit flourished in
the royal Mughal court primarily under three emperors: Akbar, Jahangir and Shah
Jahan. However, we should not make the error of attributing Aurangzeb’s lack of
interest in Sanskrit to his alleged bigotry.” Aurangzeb’s name is being removed
from public places in India these days, but Truschke thinks he is “a severely
misunderstood historical figure who has suffered perhaps more than any of the
other Mughal rulers from present-day biases”. The decline of Sanskrit towards
the final part of Mughal rule happened because it was then yielding primacy to
In the darkness
of Kali Chaudas times we drag out every instance of the mosaic that is India. I
dare not use that word ‘secular, now as loaded as a gun. As for ‘syncretic’, it
belongs to a world of intellectual discourse, far removed from the emotional
connect of community. We in the media strive to play up a Muslim enclave that
never fails to celebrate Ganeshotsav with Mantra and Modak or Hindus steeped in
the wisdom of the Quran. And, more than army flag marches and Aman committees,
what stops communal riots is the intertwining of Hindu and Muslim threads in
the skein of humdrum commerce. Fundamentalism will always have to bow to
Zeeba T Hashmi
With a general
lack of recognition of religious identities, the minorities here suffer
unchecked verbal and violent onslaught by the puritanical clergy. Such is the
story of the Jews in Pakistan, a majority of whom had to go into exile or
change their names to Muslim nomenclatures so as to protect themselves from
widespread anti-Semitic sentiments here. We cannot ignore the fact that before
the 1970s there generally was no anti-Semitic feelings towards the Jews of
For the sake of peace and justice--and to prevent ongoing wars and bloodshed-- we Jews and Christians need to engage with Muslim leaders and followers sensitively and substantively in the years ahead.
Tolerance simply stated, is the absence of physical violence against someone else. But it doesn't guarantee that laws and edicts won't be issued that undermine the spirit of coexistence. Remember, the Nuremburg Laws were at first a 'tolerance' of Jews. Look where that brand of tolerance led. The Black Codes and Jim Crow were kinds of tolerance that were nothing more than hatred in its most cunning incarnation.
When earth is less than sacred,
we become less than human – a truth I believe both Islam and Buddhism, as I
have listened to their teachings, affirm. When we fully acknowledge the
sacredness of the earth we also become aware of our particularly human task as
khalifa, stewards, or as those beings living in that unique realm where we have
both the teaching of the Buddha and the capacity for taking moral
responsibility for other creatures.
Eric J. Hall
In New York, "Mostafa El Sehamy, a Muslim originally from Egypt who is married to a practicing Catholic of Mexican descent, said of Pope Francis, "He's just one of my favorite people. He's so humble and so into people. I'm a Muslim. But I believe that maybe God sent this guy to unite everybody together."
Imagine a Holy Land where all the major Abrahamic Faiths cooperated with each other respectfully and regularly held joint meetings and celebrations. What would it look like if the faiths honored their storied histories and intertwined prophetic traditions, joining forces to work for the betterment of all in the Holy Land?
Pope Francis, in recent times, has gained the admiration, love and respect of people of all faiths, including Muslims. In many ways Pope Francis embodies the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is in the example of the Pope that we see the example of one who of another faith becoming successful in his or her life in spirituality, character and leadership. And, I believe as Muslims we can learn from the Pope’s successes by seeing how it mirrors the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),
Pope Francis with moral clarity expressed concern about human behavior and it’s implications for human rights, poverty, refugees and a myriad other concerns affecting the powerless. We most certainly did not hear any words of inspiration from Salman on the pressing human rights issues confronting the world or benevolence towards the Syrian refugees.