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Interfaith Dialogue

A Different Perspective on Valentine
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam

A Different Perspective on Valentine
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam

Also in every religious tradition love has been cherished. Islam is no different. The stereotypical image of Muslims as invaders and bloodthirsty warriors have even rendered many Muslims oblivious to the fact that Sufism in Islam is the highest epitome of Love. We also have the tradition of Yusuf-Zulaikha, Shireen-Farhaad, and Laila-Majnoon as the manifestations of true love. We cannot turn a blind eye to these chronicles that are a part of our history. So we need to celebrate Love as it is what makes us the highest creation of God. Love for an opposite gender can be the first stepping stone towards the eternal love for God....

Albanian Muslims Saved Jews
Cnaan Liphshiz

Owing partly to what locals call Besa, a local code of honour and neighbourly conduct, the rescue and survival of approximately 2,000 Jews by Albanians for decades had remained largely unknown. But thanks to recent studies and films, it is taking its place as a rare ray of light during otherwise dark times....

 

Christians and Muslims Must Work Together For Peace

The concluding section of the document insists that "our very eternal souls are all also at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony." "Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works," the authors add. "Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill."...

 

A Jain and A Muslim Family Break Bread And Barriers Together In Meerut
Betwa Sharma

This is how it works: the Khans never cook non-vegetarian food when the Jains come over for a meal, and they eat only vegetarian food when they pay a visit. When hosting a party, the Khans prepare a few dishes without onion and garlic. And when they all go out to a restaurant, the Khans just don't order any meat. And really, if it's that simple, it makes one wonder why has "Muslim food" become a bone of contention? ....

Bhai Mardana Born In a Muslim Family, Was a Life-Long Companion of Guru Nanak
Kulbir Kaur

I reside where you reside O Mardana!” says Guru Nanak. In Sikh history and religion it is impossible and rather unthinkable to remember Guru Nanak without Mardana. The relationship and bond between Guru Nanak and Mardana is very symbolic and significant. It is sacred but reflects upon the everyday mundane life as well.....

Teach More, Not Fewer World Religions in Schools
Aref Assaf

It would be difficult to teach art, music, literature and most social studies without considering the impact of religions. No one would have learned that it was Muslims who invented Algebra!  It is both allowed, if not encouraged, to teach objectively about the role of religion in the history of the United States and other countries

In the case of our town, the “Stop Muslim Lessons” was intended to stir trouble and fester fear mongering. It instead, and thankfully, fostered greater empathy and solidarity with this fellow Muslim. That’s my America.....

 

The London-based Caliph of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has repeatedly condemned extremist ideology and said in the aftermath of the Paris attacks that:“Under no circumstances can murder ever be justified and those who seek to justify their hateful acts in the name of Islam are serving only to defame it...

 

Seamlessness of Spiritual Experience across Religions
Alakananda Ma

As a mystic, all religions are “doorways” and “windows” as Ma said.  None are exclusive truth even if they are any one person’s truth.  This concept seems so hard for many people to handle.  I believe most people are drawn to a single theology (including atheism or agnosticism) to help them make sense of their life.  But then there are those of us that cannot hang our hat on any one theology and who see the Divine Light shining in all paths....

We, retired civil servants belonging to different Services and batches, wish to register our deep concern at the continuing incidents of mindless violence in the country, especially those targeting the minorities, and the lackadaisical response of the law enforcement machinery to these attacks.

We seek now and without delay a clear response from the Hon’ble Prime Minister and his government on these issues, along with immediate and firm action against the perpetrators of such hate crimes against minorities in this country by the respective law enforcement authorities.....

If Mughals Did Not Loot India, What Exactly Was Their Contribution To India?
Rana Salvi

According to him, the Mughals came to India as conquerors but lived in the subcontinent as Indians, not colonisers. They merged their identity as well as that of their group with India and the two became inseparable, giving rise to an enduring culture and history. He goes on to say Mughals being seen as foreigners was never a point of discussion till quite recently, so well had they integrated and assimilated into the country they had made their own...

How Pakistani Sikhs Fleeing the Taliban Made the City Of Nankana Sahib a Cultural Hub
Haroon Khalid

Togetherness brought a sense of empowerment, such as they had perhaps never experienced before. Sikh festivals which had been confined to prayers inside a Gurudwara became major public events. There was a heightened sense of Sikh identity, particularly among the youth who took the lead in reviving religious traditions that had been abandoned for generations....

The Story of the Rabbi Who Died For Muhammad
Rabbi Allen Maller

In the following centuries, Jews from Spain to Mesopotamia lived much freer lives under Muslim rule than previous centuries of Christian and Zoroastrian rule. Rabbi Mukhayriq was right in thinking Muhammad would begin a new era in world history. Perhaps his devotion to a Messianic future of peace and brotherhood can inspire Islamic and Jewish religious leaders today to heal past wounds, and make Jerusalem a city of peace for the future....

 

The Light of Albania: How Thousands of Jews Found Refuge in Europe’s Only Muslim Country
Larry Yudelson

The story of how Ms. Neumann, her parents, and all the other more than 2,000 Jews who made their way to Albania lived out the war unmolested stands in sharp contrast to how Jews fared elsewhere in German-controlled territory. The Albanian interior minister took the two days to distribute the Jewish refugees among Albanian families. “He went back and said to the Germans, we looked for Jews but we didn’t find any.”...

 
Respecting All Religions
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Respecting All Religions
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The proposal that all religions be considered equally true defies the inner conviction of human beings, since everyone has a particular belief and faith that is the only thing they can be confident of in this world. In this world, which is full of trials and tribulations, strife and suffering, the Truth is the only thing that we can hold on to. The suggestion that we accept all religions as being true is not practical, and certainly not the solution to bring about unity…..

Abraham Davis had his mouth open, but no words were coming out. We were sitting together on his mother’s couch near her Christmas tree earlier this month and I had just played him a short recording of the president of Fort Smith’s Al Salam mosque. Abraham had vandalized the mosque with two friends more than a year before. It was an act of bigotry that he deeply regretted. His expression of remorse — written in a letter from jail — and the mosque’s forgiveness....

 

A Holiday Message: The Citizens of the State Are Of Two Categories, either Your Brethren in Religion or Your Brethren in Humanity
Raheel Raza

When the Muslims reached the court of the Negus, he asked them who they were and what they knew of Christianity and Jesus. Jafar read from the Quran the chapter on the birth of Jesus and said that Muslims are told to revere Jesus. He said that Christians are referred to as “people of the book” in the Quran. It is recorded in tradition that Negus stepped down from his throne, and with tears in his eyes, he drew a line in the sand with his staff. Then he addressed the court and said, “The difference between us is as fine as this line in the sand and we are the light of the same candle.”...

A Jerusalem Christmas
Samia Khoury

This year, as we were getting ready for Christmas and looking forward to the older grandchildren coming home for the occasion, while the younger ones take their exams, we were "blessed" by a unique Christmas gift from Mr Donald Trump.  Defying the UN resolution deeming the annexation of Jerusalem illegal, which the US itself has never recognised, Mr Trump saw it fit to stand in front of his Christmas tree at the White House and declare Jerusalem the capital of the State of Israel.....

 

“It disregarded the feelings of more than 1.5 billion Muslims and millions of Arab Christians who are deeply attached to Jerusalem's churches and monasteries.” The second reaction came on Dec. 9, when Sheikh Abbas Shoman, the deputy sheikh of Egypt's Al-Azhar Institute called for a boycott of American products in Cairo....

 

A Very Merry Muslim Christmas: The Slogan for ‘Good’ Muslims
Shaista Aziz

It makes a change from the “Muslims are cancelling Christmas” headlines. But “A very merry Muslim Christmas” – the social media slogan for the first report by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims – still feels reductive: as we approach 2018, humanising Muslims is a trend that isn’t going out of fashion any time soon....

 

Could Buying Christmas Jewellery Be Funding Genocide?
Hannah Lownsbrough

As Christmas approaches, luxury jewellery brands will be preparing themselves for the annual windfall of cash that it brings. But shoppers this year will want to consider their role in propping up the genocide of Rohingya people, and join the tens of thousands of people calling on high-end jewellery retailers to end their relationships with the Burmese military.....

 

Peace Is a Cherished Hope of Mankind and a Crying Need of All Ages

In this effort, the contribution of Islamic thought and belief can best be illustrated through the teachings of the Sufi Orders which found a welcome place in this great country, conveying the message of Peace and Love through the ages. The Sufis achieved results which go beyond description. Notwithstanding this basic truth, the results have yet flowed, at times, in our country in the opposite direction, presenting us with the challenge that all Faiths and Religions flourishing in this country should combine their efforts to save the country from being consumed by the flames of mutual hatred and intolerance.....

 

In Pakistan, Yoga Rises Above Its Indian Origins
Bina Shah

As I practice yoga in the crisp air of a mild Karachi winter, gazing out to the Arabian Sea, I can’t help wondering whether some of this reconnection might come from yoga. We move in unison as our teacher calls out the Sanskrit names of the poses called Asanas. Then the call to prayer begins to ring out from a nearby mosque and we fall silent, listening to the sound of our own breaths and the time-old Arabic words of the Azaan. As soon as the practice is over, I’ll roll up my yoga mat and go find my prayer mat. I’ve never felt so integrated, so connected to my Islamic heritage and my South Asian roots....

 

The other caveat to remember is that Akbar may not always have been inspired by noble impulses. There is no doubt that his liberal, secular credentials have been embellished down the centuries – his interest in the Sanskritic literary traditions may have partially stemmed from the idea that this would help him in enlisting the support of the political elite who were key to expanding as well as maintaining his empire. The same political instinct may have convinced him to appoint Hindu Brahmans to key positions in his administration....

Words Are Emptied Of Meaning, When Hindus Say Hinduism Is Inclusive and Tolerant and Muslims Say Islam Is a Religion of Peace
Tabish Khair

The statements “Hinduism is an inclusive, tolerant religion” and “Islam is a religion of peace” contain much truth — but this truth has to be regularly vindicated by action. There seems to be an increasing failure to do so on the part of many Hindus and Muslims. Each one of us has to face up to this failure. Every time we use such words, we need to ask ourselves: do we really mean it, and does the evidence around us sustain such claims? We have to ask ourselves: are we using these words as ideals or as excuses?....

For example, non-Muslims may relate Islam with terrorism especially in the midst of terror attacks by radicalised groups like Daesh or ISIS; while Muslims may associate Buddhism with the persecution against Myanmar’s ethnic minority, Rohingya. Such stereotypical views occur when there is lack of knowledge and understanding, and without any effort to sought new information. As a result, some individuals tend to blindly believe what is published by the media without having any real understanding of the actual situation....

 


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