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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

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.....

 

Jesus Was a Refugee
Ryan Gear

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.

 

"After 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 Sunday march.....

 

Ironically, but 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 candidates.....

Why Legal Pluralism Matters: Between Uniformity and Legal Pluralism, the Latter Is a Superior Value
Faizan Mustafa

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?

Similarly, it 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.....

Words Are Bridges: Polymath Philologist Maulvi Muhammad Husain Azad’s Work Shows That Sanskrit and Persian have Much In Common
Khaled Ahmed

Audrey Truschke, 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 Hindi....

Many Coloured Lights: This Week Again Lit Up Memories of My Multicultural Diwalis
Bachi Karkaria

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 fundamentals.....

 

The Jewish Citizens of Pakistan Need Their Recognition and Their Dignity Restored
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 Pakistan......

 

Fifty Years of Interreligious Dialogue--The Way Forward
Ron Kronish

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.

Why Tolerance Won't Be Enough
Taymullah Abdur-Rahman

Why Tolerance Won't Be Enough
Taymullah Abdur-Rahman

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.

 

At the Ground Zero Multi-faith Service With Pope Francis
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?

 

What Can We Learn From Pope Francis as Muslims?
Saud Inam

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),

 

A Tale of Two Leaders: The Contrasting Messages of Pope Francis and King Salman
Ziyad Motala

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.

 

Pope Francis Touches The Soul Of The Qur’an By Seeking An Adequate Interpretation: Muslims, Their Ulema And Scholars Across The World Must Follow His Suggestion To Avoid Growing Confusion In Religion
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

The Classical approach to understanding the message of the Qur’an that dates back to around the third century of Islam is through reading the Tafsir corpus which are drawn on the secondary sources of Islam, namely, the Hadith, the Sira, including the opinion (Rai) of past scholars, and the consensus of scholars (Ijma). The Mufassir (exegete) attempts to explain each verse of the Qur’an in light of these secondary sources or based on his own knowledge, doctrine, speculations and choice of source material. This renders Qur’anic exegesis a highly porous domain as the same verse can be interpreted differently by different Mufassirin engaging a different Hadith, Sira report, and opinion, or consensus of scholars (Rai, Ijma);and holding differing doctrinal orientation and worldview.

This in turn leads to enormous divergence and even contradiction in understanding what the Qur’an has to say on any given theme – the dress code for women, inter-faith relations, business practices, lawfulness of various bounties of God like song and music, governance of society, educational system and choice of profession and business pursuit, marriage, divorce laws….

Related Article:

Pope Francis and Muslims

http://www.newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/pope-francis-and-muslims/d/104553

Bridging the Divides: Muslims in Europe
Raza Rumi

Journey into Europe -- a handiwork of Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University -- is both important and relevant to the current crises brewing across European countries. A Pew Research Centre study tells us Western countries with significant Muslim populations are getting worried. Since 2011, the general population that is 'very concerned' about Islamic extremism has increased. For instance, after the murders of the Charlie Hebdo staffers, two-thirds in France are 'very concerned,' 29% more than the 2011 poll. In Spain, 61% are very worried about the extremist threat; and roughly half in Italy (53%) and UK (52%) and 46% of Germans are apprehensive…..

The Psychology of Projection in Conflict
By Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

The Psychology of Projection in Conflict

So next time you observe a conflict (including a simple one), remind yourself that, fundamentally, the conflict has an (unconscious) emotional basis and the intellectual arguments being tossed back and forth are, at worst irrelevant and, at best secondary, to any resolution of it. Perhaps you could ponder what you might reflect to one or more participants if you were inclined to help them focus on the emotional underlay to what they were saying.......

 

Which Mahabharata Character Are You? A Micro-political Analysis
Gouthama Siddarthan, New Age Islam

Behind the façade of ‘just for fun’, there is a hidden agenda to construct the image of Hindutva. This is the micro-politics. At this juncture, one may post the question whether Mahabharata is a Hindutva text. But that is beside the point. My main concern is about the ongoing subtle technology-driven attempt to cleanse the human mind of its regional, cultural and artistic icons, ideas, folk art and folk literature.....

 

Similarities and Differences Between the Qur’an and Jewish and Christian Scriptures and Sources: What Do They Really Mean?
Louay Fatoohi

The similarities and differences between the Qur’an and other scriptural and non-scriptural Jewish and Christian writings cannot be used to draw any conclusion about the originality, reliability, and credibility of the Qur’an or the other sources. When the issues in question can be examined in the light of historical knowledge, then history has to be the judge. Such issues can be found in the story of the Exodus, for example. When the information is impossible to ascertain historically, such as accounts of miracles, then faith in any version has to be supported by the general credibility and reliability of the source making the claim. In other words, when the Qur’an and Jewish and Christian scriptures disagree on claims that are not possible to verify independently, one has to take into consideration which of sources is more reliable....

Critical-Progressive Muslims: on Islamic hermeneutics, Gender and Interreligious Dialogue
Adis Duderija, Ph.D

Abdul Haqq’s ‘critique’ not only does not have any foundations but demonstrates why classical embedded Manahij, may they be ahl-Hadith or more prevalent Sunni Madhab based, must be critically and unapologetically assessed and their role in religion-based violence (with respect to both other Muslims as well as non-Muslims), strong elements of intolerance and gender based oppression recognized for what they are.....

 

Ramadan's Universalism for Hindus, Christians, Jews and Others
Mike Ghouse

The physical aspect of human journey from the sperm and an egg stage through the death is programmed precisely. The formula is same for all of humanity;    and there is no such thing as a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or other gene. Regardless of what is being said about origins in terms of evolution, creation or the big bang, the undeniable fact is our existence, and we have to figure out how to live with each other......

 

Pakistan CII Should Serve As Forum for Interfaith Harmony
Dr Paul Bhatti

We would like to convey this message that the minorities in Pakistan can only be protected if the true spirit of Islam is manifested. No religion, in its teachings allows killing the innocent people in the name of religion. It has been mentioned clearly in Islam that killing an innocent person means killing the whole humanity. Moreover, Islam has given clear instructions to probe into the matter completely and repeatedly to find out the facts before accusing a person for some undesirable act. .....

 

Why I am Fasting During Ramadan
Jeff Cook

Following Jesus is not an obstacle to such solidarity. In fact, I feel encouraged to celebrate Ramadan because I am a Christian.  It is because I know Jesus is Lord that I can live without fear, that I can challenge myself to love more deeply and creatively. Table-fellowship is always a subversive act for the Christian, and it is because I follow Jesus that I can eat alongside as well as refrain with anyone—no matter who they are, no matter what they believe, no matter what they have done.....

 


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