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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Topic: Positive Muslim / Non-Muslim Relations
    Posted: 06 September 2009 at 2:50pm

An excellent recent audio interview with Roger Morgan from The Virgin Islands on positive Muslim / Non-Muslim relations

 
This is the link to listen to the full interview:
 

It's very interesting to see how better information about each other removes a lot of misunderstandings, and leads to positive relations

What do you think?
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 06 September 2009 at 4:48pm
You are very right Brother Tarek...This is not only an excellent initiative but a very healthy and positive way to remove misconceptions and wrong perceptions about each other...very interesting and heart warming really to hear this positive dialogue...Thank You for posting it...
 
Like the gentleman said...the change has to begin in the hearts...and the key is honest communication and bringing no fears or judgements to the table...The false sense of intimidation some people feel from Islam is totally unfounded...and the suspicions and fears can only be removed by active participation from both sides...
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 06 September 2009 at 9:22pm

There are a whole lot of religious people in America, including the majority of Democrats. When we abandon the field of religious discourse -- when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations toward one another; when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome -- others will fill the vacuum. And those who do are likely to be those with the most insular views of faith, or who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends.

-Barack Obama

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote keithnurse Replybullet Posted: 06 September 2009 at 9:30pm
Thanks for posting this.  I just listened to the interview.  Very interesting.  At the end the interviewer asked "What can Muslims do to have better relations or understandings with nonMuslims?".  I have been absolutely convinced for a long time that most Muslim individual people are peace loving and decent people.  A question I think needs to be addressed forthrightly is:  To peaceful Muslims:  Are you peaceful BECAUSE of Islam or IN SPITE of Islam?   The reason I ask this is because Muslims on a regular basis say "you have to separate Islam from Muslims.  Muslim people may do bad things but Islam itself is perfect.  The problems are with Muslims, not Islam itself". 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 06 September 2009 at 11:23pm
For the majority of mainstream Muslims, no doubt that it is Islam which tought us the way to inner peace and tranquiity, it is the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad peace be upon him, who tought us good manners and generosity, and it is Allah who guided us through the Qur'an to His love and the love of all what surrounds us .....
 
Better relations between Muslims and non-Muslims start when prejudice, negative stereotypes and misconceptions are put aside, and when understanding based on knowledge of others is properly formed .....
 
And this applies both ways by the way, as also Muslims need to make a better effort to build better bridges with non-Muslims based on fairness and respect
 
And this is what happened with Morgan
 
Once he put aside prejudice and misconceptions, and learned from the Muslims he dealt with the true basics of Islam, his understanding and perceptions of Muslims changed 180 degrees
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 07 September 2009 at 11:50pm
Some examples and cases studies of positive initiatives for bridge building and positive relations:
 
Ramadan-Fasting Pastor

Everyday before sunrise, American pastor Ben Ries wakes up to eat before starting his fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

"It raises your awareness about hunger in the world," Ries told The Bellingham Herald on Monday, August 31.

Ries, 30, the pastor of the Sterling Drive Church of Christ in Bellingham, has decided to join Muslims in fasting Ramadan to get a better knowledge of the Islamic faith.

He says fasting can help him become a better Christian as well as a better pastor, husband, father, and member of a diverse world often fractured along religious lines

"Part of my reflection is, 'Who am I in this world?'" said Ries, who became pastor of his small Bellingham church two years ago.

"I'm not so narcissistic to think I have everything figured out."

As he knows little about Islam, Ries sought to find someone to help him observe the holy Muslim month.

Googling the internet, he found Monem Salam, the president of Saturna Brokerage Services, a subsidiary of Saturna Capital Corp., in Bellingham.

The American pastor immediately e-mailed the Muslim leader, asking him to be his mentor during the dawn-to-dusk fasting month.

"It seemed like it could be a good partnership," Salam said.

"We could both learn from each other." ..........

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1251021326352&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 09 October 2009 at 10:43am
 

Muslim-Christian Common Word Needs Action

WASHINGTON — Religious scholars, politicians and experts agree that a Muslim dialogue initiative for the Christian world needs action to address all the challenges still standing between the followers of the two Abrahamic faiths.

"I think what we are addressing… is how to develop out of A Common Word a common work together and common partnership," John Esposito, professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, told IslamOnline.net.

Esposito was among a galaxy of international religious scholars and experts participating in a two-day conference sponsored by Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and the office of Georgetown University President.

The conference, "A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Agenda for Change", is a follow-up on an October 2007 letter from Muslim scholars to the world's Christian clergy urging dialogue to declare the common ground between Islam and Christianity.

But many believe that it is high time to move forward from ideas and initiatives to action.

"I think what’s missing is that the ideas being discussed need to be brought to the masses," Dalia Mogahed, an advisor on President Barack Obama’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood partnership, told IOL.

"It is something that has been discussed over and over, though it is the difference between success and failure."

The 2007 letter, signed by 138 Muslim scholars and dignitaries from 43 countries, called for the two faiths to reach a better understanding based on two common principles: love of God and love of one’s neighbor .........

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1254573469016&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 09 October 2009 at 4:35pm
The official web site of (The Common Word Between Us and You)

The Common Word initiative was launched in 2007 by 138 Muslim scholars and intellectuals from around the world, including the US, with the patronage of the King of Jordan, to find more common grounds between Muslims and Christians for better understanding and peace

http://www.acommonword.com/

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 11 October 2009 at 2:00am
 

US Food Festival Unites Religions

CAIRO – US Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders are coming together this week in the south-central state of Oklahoma to break bread at an interfaith festival.

"We celebrate the differences between us, and all that we hold in common as well", Rev. Wendy Lambert, an associate pastor at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church told NewsOK paper Saturday, October 10.

The church will host the “Food and Festival of Faith” on Wednesday, October 14, to showcase joint traditions between followers of the three faiths.

Participants will feature samples of different foods consumed by followers of the three faiths.

They will also learn about various Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions.

The participants will also come together at a workshop service combining the three faiths.

"We really believe that God calls us to live as people of peace," said Lambert.

Common Ground

The planned food festival is greeted as an engine for promoting integration.

"In order for us all to get to know each other and to get to know our traditions,” said Marjan Seirafi-Pour, a member of the Oklahoma City-area Muslim community.

“I think it’s very important to have events like this."

Seirafi-Pour reiterated her pleasure to be part of the festival bringing the three Abrahamic faiths together.

She believes such festivals help in bringing ideas and traditions closer to share a common ground .......

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1254573482262&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 11 October 2009 at 5:28pm
A paper on Muslim-Catholic relations:
 
Muslims, Catholics and the Common Purpose of Justice and Peace

It is the argument of this paper that Muslims and Catholics are natural partners in the work of justice and peace. This partnership comes from their mutual respect for each other's religions, that allows them to identify commonalities in beliefs and values. It also comes from the common ground of the belief they share in the unity of God, and in his attributes of mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Finally it comes from the example of Muhammad and Jesus themselves, who advocated and practised peace, and from the Holy Books that guide the lives of Muslims and Christians. This paper identifies a common platform of belief which puts Muslims and Catholics together in a world where the work for justice and peace is paramount. Then it identifies four particular areas-human dignity, freedom of religion and conscience, the drive to eradicate poverty and the search for peace- in which Muslims and Catholics are natural collaborators. In doing this it draws on the words of Fetullah Gulen as he speaks of these four areas of social justice

http://en.fgulen.com/conference-papers/gulen-conference-in-melbourne/3446-muslims-catholics-and-the-common-purpose-of-justice-and-peace.html

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 14 October 2009 at 3:47pm
Leaders and Scholars Discuss Interfaith Challenges
By Lauren Burgoon, Georgetown University News   
Thursday, 08 October 2009
 
World political and religious leaders -- including former British prime minister Tony Blair -- called for believers to seize upon interfaith commonalities to address global issues of peace and security at a two-day conference on Muslim-Christian relations this week.

“The best hope for faith in the 21st century is that we confront all of this together,” Blair said during the opening panel of the conference on Oct. 7. The conference, sponsored by Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and the office of Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, will run through Oct. 8.

“This is not because we intend to have the same faith -- we don’t. Our separate beliefs will remain. But our coming together will allow us to speak in friendship to one another about our own faith,” added Blair, whose Tony Blair Faith Foundation promotes interfaith respect and understanding.

The conference, “A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Agenda for Change,” stems from an October 2007 letter from Muslim leaders to Christian churches and communities. The letter called for the two faiths to reach a better understanding based on two common principles: love of God and love of one’s neighbor.

This year’s conference, the fourth such gathering of the Common Word initiative, seeks to move the conversation forward from words to action, said John Esposito, director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

“It’s great to have conferences, but the question is, ‘So what?’ The question is what happens after it,” Esposito said. “How do you get a trickle-down effect? How do you implement? That’s part of what we’re challenged to deal with today.”

The opening panel in Gaston Hall set out to chart the progress and challenges within Muslim-Christian relations. Blair and Esposito were joined by Kjell Magne Bondevik, former Norwegian prime minister; Sheikh Mustafa Efendi Ceric, grand mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina; and Dato’Seri Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia.

Religious and world leaders face an uphill battle in bringing faiths together so long as people’s minds are not in tune with their souls, Ceric said.

“Today’s world has a great amount of knowledge. It possesses a surplus of information, but lacks the insightful sense of wisdom,” he said. “There is a deep discrepancy between the mind’s perception and the human soul’s insight. … The soul is almost choked by the knowledge of the human senses.”

Ceric noted that 70 percent of world refugees are Muslim, most of the current wars are in Muslim lands and Muslims believe their rights are not secure, he said.

“We are serious about Common Word. We are serious about dialogue,” Ceric said. “For us, it’s not a political game -- it’s a question of existence. And we believe we have the right to exist in this world.”

The Common Word conference continues Wednesday and Thursday with panels on religious pluralism in the 21st century; religion, violence and peace-building; and the role of international nongovernmental organizations in a pluralistic world.

“I think the single most important thing is the translation of words into action,” Blair said of the conference. “If we show by our actions that we are committed to understanding and respect and justice, that is how we will succeed. That is how we will overcome not just the extremism within religion but the cynicism outside of it.”

< = =text/>  

(October 7, 2009)
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote keithnurse Replybullet Posted: 14 October 2009 at 4:13pm
Originally posted by Al-Cordoby

 

US Food Festival Unites Religions

CAIRO – US Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders are coming together this week in the south-central state of Oklahoma to break bread at an interfaith festival.

"We celebrate the differences between us, and all that we hold in common as well", Rev. Wendy Lambert, an associate pastor at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church told NewsOK paper Saturday, October 10.

The church will host the “Food and Festival of Faith” on Wednesday, October 14, to showcase joint traditions between followers of the three faiths.

Participants will feature samples of different foods consumed by followers of the three faiths.

They will also learn about various Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions.

The participants will also come together at a workshop service combining the three faiths.

"We really believe that God calls us to live as people of peace," said Lambert.

Common Ground

The planned food festival is greeted as an engine for promoting integration.

"In order for us all to get to know each other and to get to know our traditions,” said Marjan Seirafi-Pour, a member of the Oklahoma City-area Muslim community.

“I think it’s very important to have events like this."

Seirafi-Pour reiterated her pleasure to be part of the festival bringing the three Abrahamic faiths together.

She believes such festivals help in bringing ideas and traditions closer to share a common ground .......

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1254573482262&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

I would be very interested to see what is involved in the interfaith worship service.  The Muslims and Jews will certainly offer prayers in the tradition of their religion.  Will the Christians also pray in the way THEY believe in? i.e. in the name of Jesus  or in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit?  I hope all 3 religions are presented accurately.  My experience with Muslims is that they want everyone to bend so as not to offend them but the Muslims won't bend at all so as not to offend nonMuslims. 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 15 October 2009 at 4:33pm
The followers of each faith should of course pray in the way they normally pray
 
This is another Jewish/Muslim initiative taking place next month
 

2nd Annual Weekend of Twinning of Mosques and Synagogues

 


On November 13-15, 2009, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), will sponsor the the 2nd Annual Weekend of Twinningsm. On that weekend, mosques and synagogues across North America will link up with each other to hold one-on-one programs dedicated to exploring commonalities in our religious practices, customs and traditions, and to building ongoing ties of friendship and trust between Jews and Muslims across the continent. 

Last November, during our inaugural Weekend of Twinningsm, 50 Jewish and 50 Muslim congregations and organizations across the United States and Canada held one-on-one programs in cities across the continent, making the event the largest-ever gathering of Jews and Muslims anywhere in the world. This year, we expect an even larger number of participating mosques and synagogues, including members of those congregations which took part last year and many new people who may not have known about the last year's event. 

The Weekend of Twinningsm of Mosques and Synagogues Across North America has the endorsement of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), as well as other organizations like the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims (CAJM).

The theme for the 2nd Annual Weekend of Twinningsm will be "Building a Common Agenda." In addition to getting to know each other better and discussing commonalities, the twinned mosques and synagogues will devote time during the upcoming Weekend of Twinningsm to a discussion of issues on which they can work together fruitfully in the coming months and years. Among the societal issues which may be discussed include combating Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, saving the environment, fighting poverty, immigration reform, expanding health care coverage, and improving education in our communities.  In addition, we urge synagogues and mosques participating in the 2nd Annual Weekend of Twinningsm to involve their young people in the proceedings .....

http://www.lastprophet.info/en/flash-news/2nd-annual-weekend-of-twinning-of-mosques-and-synagogues.html



Edited by Al-Cordoby - 15 October 2009 at 4:34pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote The_Seeker Replybullet Posted: 15 October 2009 at 7:52pm
Asalaam Alaikum!

Great post, I wish we had more like this.

A recent national poll taken (I'm trying to find, but no luck so far) suggests that people view Islam in a more positive light when they actually meet and interact with Muslims on the basis of mutual respect. This seems to agree with everything Al-Cordoby has posted.

Keithnurse: As far as an interfaith prayer goes. I would not expect Christians to take part in an Islamic prayer, just as I wouldn't take part in a Christian prayer. I don't think it is so much the actual act of praying together, rather, it's gaining a mutual understanding of another belief system. At least, that is my own opinion.

The only potential risk I can see is Muslims/Christians/Jews getting into a heated debate about which religion is the 'true path.' Nothing good comes from that.

Peace!


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The strong person is not the one who knocks others down, but the one who controls himself when angry."
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