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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 27 December 2009 at 12:08am

Fighting Poverty With Faith and Green Jobs.

I was surprised to see how many Christian and Jewish leaders and organizations  are really embracing the green movement; in fact the church which we held the conference at was in the midst of installing it’s own solar panels.  In total, about 33 national faith-based groups co-sponsored the event, including Islamic Relief.   All of the faiths put their differences aside to call to a common interest;  fighting poverty and saving the environment.

La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 January 2010 at 12:48am

Muslim-Baptist Friendship in US Movie

Showing off commonalities between American Muslims and their non-Muslim compatriots, a US documentary is exploring into the Muslim-Christian friendship in America.

"We hope the documentary provides positive narratives for relationships between Baptists and Muslims, narratives that begin to challenge the negative narratives that dominate American culture," Robert Parham, head of the Baptist Center for Ethics, told the Tennessean Saturday, January 2.

The hour-long documentary, "Different Books, Common Word", features five friendships between Muslims and Baptists across the US.

It showcases how Muslims come to the help of non-Muslims in crises, providing aid and shelters for hurricane victims.

The movie also highlights how Christians rush to help and show solidarity with Muslim neighbors after their mosque were burned by White supremacists in 2008.

The documentary further features American Muslims as compatriot people who also have a sense of humor.

"We’re working together to try to get people to see we have more commonalities than differences,” said Orhan Osman, executive director of Institute of Interfaith Dialogue in Oklahoma City.

"We want to help people to understand both faiths and make new friendships.”

The documentary, produced by EthicsDaily.com, an affiliate to Baptist Center for Ethics, is part of a series of movies meant to reconcile spiritual and political conflict.

The film will be aired by the ABC affiliate TV stations this month and in February ...

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1262371992898&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 11 January 2010 at 11:06am

The Axis of Good: 
Muslims Building Alliances with Other Communities of Faith

By Ingrid Mattson, Ph.D.
Hartford Seminary

This is my story.  It is also the human story.  Muslims believe that the children of Adam do not inherit sin from their ancestors.  But we do inherit the good that our ancestors have bequeathed to us, and we are burdened with repairing what they have damaged.  In our time, in every place that Muslims live, whether the Muslims are the majority or the minority, there are serious societal problems that need to be addressed.  The environment needs to be restored, indigenous and other minority groups need to be relieved of the burden of years of systematic injustice, children and the poor need daily support and meaningful opportunities for advancement .......

http://macdonald.hartsem.edu/mattsonart3.htm

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2010 at 1:51am
Islam at the Parliament of World Religions

The PWR was held in Australia last December

This is one summary by a non-Muslim writer on Muslim contributions:

Islam at the Parliament

I confess I didn't get to much of the Islamic stream of events at the Parliament.  It seemed a little reiterative and there was so much else on offer. But this was in fact the largest single component of the Parliament, under the banner 'Islam in the Global Context', and designed to 'break down stereotypes and misunderstandings,' as the programme put it.  Thus the Islamic stream included six events titled 'Islam 101 Series' and several dozen other lectures, panel discussions, presentations. 

Sure, there was a certain diversity in the topics and speakers, but along with some innovative framing of discussion, in terms of the environment or sustainability for example, they included a quota which were a form of apologetic or going over old ground. 

The major event, Islam and the West: Creating an Accord of Civilizations, turned again to the perennial question, Are Islam and the West hopelessly opposed?, and arrived at perennial answers, including Tariq Ramadan's, that Islam is a Western religion. Download Tariq Ramadan (Size: 2.95 MB; Dur: 6.27) That was in part because the speakers at this session are perennial presences on the post 9/11 circuit.  (I'm referring to Tariq Ramadan, Chandra Muzaffar, Feisal Abdul Rauf).

The session Islam and Politics: Faith, Governance and Society, was in effect an opportunity for Muslims to talk across significant differences amongst themselves about the role of Islam in a Muslim majority society. (Here, Anwar Ibrahim and Malaysian reality were under scrutiny...

As to the Islam 101 series, the first addressed 'Reverence for the Virgin Mary and Jesus in Islam'.  Perhaps it's time for discussion that moves beyond this kind of 'reassuring' purpose (which ends up being an argument against Christian theology) to the more difficult idea that the Virgin Mary and Jesus in Islam are not the Virgin Mary and Jesus of Christianity.  Nor indeed of Judaism.  As the Abraham of Islam is not the Abraham of either Judaism or Christianity.  In other words, even where the story details are similar, profoundly different interpretative moves are being made.  And what are we to make of that?

This new kind of discussion was alluded to in the session on Interfaith Education for Religious Leaders,  where Abdullah Saeed talked about the transition he made from a training focus 'very much about us - this is what we are' in a religious school in Saudi Arabia.  In the broader context of Australia the question becomes 'how do you engage with people who are not of your faith?'  Download Abdullah Saeed (Size: 2.02 MB; Dur: 4.25)

Finally, a panel of relatively young Muslim men from various countries talked about leadership among Muslim males.  Ahmed Rehab told of his initiatives in Chicago and of his self-understanding not as a Muslim American, but rather as an American citizen. Download Ahmed Rehab

http://blogs.abc.net.au/religion/2009/12/islam-at-the-parliament.html

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2010 at 1:39am

Oldest Christian-Muslim Relations program in the U.S.

The Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations is the country's oldest center for such study.

The Macdonald Center challenges scholars, students, the media and the general public to move beyond stereotypes and develop an accurate awareness and appreciation of Islamic religion, law and culture.

It is committed to the premise that through intensive study and academically guided dialogue, mutual respect and cooperation between Muslims and Christians can and must develop.

The Macdonald Center is an academic unit within Hartford Seminary dedicated to scholarly research, teaching and publication. It is responsible for the Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations Master of Arts program, a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, the Islamic Chaplaincy program, the Ph.D. program in Islamic Studies and numerous global study tours. ........

http://macdonald.hartsem.edu/

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 19 January 2010 at 12:38pm

On respect, thinking and dialogue

Professor Tariq Ramadan is a European Muslim who advocates reform in Islam and promotes interfaith dialogue. Born in Switzerland and the grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood founder, Hassan Al Banna, the European academic has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important innovators of the century.

He told ZAKIAH KOYA during his recent visit to Kuala Lumpur that Muslims must make an effort to move from mere formalism – a fixation on ritual – towards a committed spiritual and social presence.


MUSLIMS say that their religion is perfect and it is because of this many are against interfaith dialogues. What is the point they ask? So why are you promoting interfaith dialogues among religions?

We have a perfect religion, yes, but we are not perfect. Dealing with other religions means that we are challenging the very meaning of ours. When we have a dialogue, sometimes when we meet Jews, Christians, Buddhists, agnostics or atheists, the way they are helps you to better your religion as they may make you see something which you have neglected to see.

For example, when I was in South America, the priests there were talking of love. So, I learnt to also talk of the spiritual dimension of love in Islam and its importance in life. So the experience of others is helping you to have other viewpoints of your religion.

When we talk about values, when we speak about dignity and solidarity and when we talk about racism, dialogue can be very important because at the end of the day when dealing with Christians and Buddhists – why do they have to listen to me? – because together we want to change the world for the better. We want to make our world a better place. ........

http://www.tariqramadan.com/spip.php?article10981
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 22 January 2010 at 2:24am

ISNA Works with the Secretary of Agriculture

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack applauded efforts initiated by Ohio Interfaith and Ligh (OhioIPL) to inform and educate communities on energy conservation as a faith-based moral obligation.

Dr.C.Azeez Haque, in the Advisory Board of OhIPL, also represented the Noor Islamic Cultural Center of  Columbus and  the Islamic Society of North America, Interfaith Division.  One effort at the meeting with a very large group of senior citizens living in an assisted- home apartment complex was to distribute energy saving electric bulbs to replace existing bulbs, to considerably reduce energy consumption, at a much lower cost and, lasting for over 5 years. Secretary Vilsack and others were impressed with Islamic values that emphazise reverance to nature, avoidance of waste and nurturing of God's creation.

http://www.isna.net/articles/Interfaith-News/ISNA-WORKS-WITH-THE-SECRETARY-OF-AGRICULTURE.aspx

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 29 January 2010 at 9:55am

Towards a Better Understanding of Islam and Its Culture

The Qatar Islamic Cultural Center (Fanar), hosted a five-day expo which began at the Doha International Exhibition Center from November 19 to November 24 2009.


The event provided a panoramic view of Islamic arts and culture. It highlighted the contributions made by Islam to world civilizations.


Mohamed bin Ali Al-Ghamdi, the director of the Fanar Center, said this exhibition was the first of itstype that provides both Muslims and non-Muslims with the opportunity to enter the six meter-high replica of the cubical structure of the Kabah, located at the center of the exhibition.


Al-Ghamdi said, while visiting various Islamic countries, he did not find any exhibitions that dealt with various aspects of the Islamic religion. So, this expo aimed to represent details without losing the message.

 

He added, for example, we can talk about Prophet Muhammad and other prophets, but in an hour's time, the visitor can read the poster boards and learn about all the prophets of the Old and New Testament and their link to Islam and how the Quran introduced them.

 

Numerous questions about the Kabah were simply being answered by allowing the visitors to experience it themselves from the outside and the inside, while they could read and see pictures on the poster boards of the history of the Kabah starting from Prophet Abraham's time.

 

Also, the center tries to show similarities in Abrahamic religions, rather than differences, to bring a closer understanding of Islam compared to these faiths, Al-Ghamdi pointed out.



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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 31 January 2010 at 12:41am

Interfaith Dialogue a Moral Duty to Finding Common Ground

The common ground Muslims are asked to seek with the followers of other religions is a society in which people are free to worship God. In such open society Muslims must display positive attitude and unwavering respect of the followers of other faiths. Dealing with respect and positive engagement does not mean that differences in doctrine and interpretation do not matter. Rather, it means that those differences must be addressed through free and open dialogue.

It is this open, free, and dignified dialogue that allows the followers of various religious traditions to affirm their diversity and discuss their similarities and differences, and it is what Islam requires from its followers. Muslims have a moral and religious obligation to engage in interfaith dialogue with other communities of faith, and they must do that by maintaining ethical standards required by the Qur'an, including the directive to "argue with [the follower of the revealed books] in ways that are best and most gracious."

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 02 February 2010 at 12:35am

Cultural Open Days Introduce Islam to Spain

MADRID – Spanish Muslims are opening mosques and Islamic centers across the European country to non-Muslims to build bridges with the mainstream society and clear misconceptions about their faith.

“The Cultural Open Day is the most important window for many mosques and centers to communicate with the mainstream society,” Dr. Alaa Said, chairman of the Islamic Union of Imams and Preachers in Spain (IUIPS), told IslamOnline.net.

Mosques and Islamic centers hold Open Days to educate the Spanish public about the Muslim culture and traditions.

The Day sees discussions about Islam’s position on different issues such as co-existence and pluralism.

It also witnesses exhibitions featuring traditional Muslim clothes and foods and art activities.

During the Day, Muslims hold outdoor prayers to give the public a glimpse about their rituals.

“It has drawn a successful and positive response from the public,” said Dr. Said.

Outside a mosque in the Catalonia province, a group of curious Spaniards stood watching the muezzin while blaring out the call for prayers.

“Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest),” resonated the Adhan across the open air before stepping into the mosque to visit a book fair held inside.

“Almost every mosque across the country has held or is to hold a Cultural Open Day for the public,” said Daw Al-Treki, media officer at the Islamic League for Dialogue and Co-existence.

Spain has a Muslim minority of about 800,000 people out of a total population of 40 million.

The southern European country has recognized Islam through the law of religious freedom, issued in July 1967.

Outreaching

The Open Day helps enhance dialogue and co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country.

“Meeting non-Muslims in such events helps bolster co-existence,” Dr. Said, the (IUIPS) chairman, said.

"This leads to mutual respect and disperse fears from Islam and Muslims.”

The Muslim leader said that the Open Day has helped change the views of many Spaniards about Muslims.

“We felt major changes in the views of many Spaniards who have attended these events.” ...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 05 February 2010 at 8:05am
Building West-Muslim Bridges
 
Sitting firmly in his seat with a determined look in his eyes, American Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf appears resolved to bridge the gap between the West and the Muslim world.

"My purpose is to spread harmony and peace between the West and the Muslim world," Imam Abdul-Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, told IslamOnline.net in an exclusive interview.

"My role is to see how can my work help improve this relationship."

With that in mind, the American imam founded the Cordoba Initiative in 2003 to clear mutual mistrust.

"First (we seek) to identify the sources of conflict between the Muslim world and the West," he said.

"We have developed under this initiative a number of projects which we believe are effective in creating this discourse about these particular arenas," he said, citing projects in political, religious and cultural arenas.

"(They aim) to help reduce the conflict inshaAllah and solve it as well."

According to its website, the Cordoba Initiative aims to achieve a tipping point in Muslim-West relations within the next decade, steering the world back to the course of mutual recognition and respect and away from heightened tension.

Born in 1948, Imam Abdul-Rauf is a well-known figure in the field of West-Muslim relations.

In 1997, he founded the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), reportedly the first Muslim organization committed to bringing US Muslims and non-Muslims through programs in academia, policy, current affairs and culture.

An imam of Masjid al-Farah in New York, Abdul-Rauf also sits on the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of New York and serves as an adviser to the Interfaith Center of New York.

He authored three books on Islam and its place on contemporary Western society.

Support

Imam Abdul-Rauf is currently on a State Department-sponsored tour to build bridges.

"This is part of it as the work is huge and can't be done by one person or one organization," he said. ...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 07 February 2010 at 12:55am

Welsh Faiths Unite Against Extremism

Welsh Muslim and Christian leaders are coming together this weekend to coordinate efforts on fighting extremism and improving social cohesion.

"(We want to) prevent intolerance, isolation and marginalization created by extremist parties, such as the BNP [far-right British National Party] and Welsh Defense League (WDL)," Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales Saleem Kidwai told the BBC News Online Saturday, February 6.

The two-day meeting in the northern village of Hawarden, Flintshire, will focus on extremism and its impact on the society.

Leading speakers at the event are Bishop of St Asaph Gregory Cameron, Muslim scholar Abdalla Yassin Mohammed and Chairman of the WAG Community Cohesion Unit Joanne Glenn.

The meeting is a part of an ambitious initiative, the Finding A Common Voice, co-launched in 2007 by the Muslim Council of Wales and the Church of Wales.

Previous events have addressed a number of hot issues such as the role of women in religion; religious stereotypes, citizenship; and global challenges ...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 18 February 2010 at 12:19am

Gülen's Contribution to a Middle Way Islam in Southeast Asia

TCC organized another trip to Turkey in June 2007 for Christian community leaders in Singapore. Participants were taken to visit several institutions linked to the Gülen movement. They also met and had dinner with supporters of the Gülen movement. During such events, they developed an understanding of the Middle Way Islam that Gülen is advocating and gained an insight into why many people devoted their time and effort for the movement (Yap, 2007).

One of the participants, Reverend Yap Khiam Hoe, former Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore and Malaysia said that Gülen is indeed a gifted Muslim renewer who will change the world's impression of Islam through his enlightened ideals (Yap, 2007).

After the trip, Reverend Yap has become an even stauncher supporter of TCC. He has promoted the ideas of Gülen to his Muslim friends and has requested the author to address members of the Contemporary Centre for Islamic Studies on Gülen's ideas and on the movement ...
 
http://www.fethullahgulen.org/conference-papers/302-contributions-of-the-gulen-movement/2465-gulens-contribution-to-a-middle-way-islam-in-southeast-asia.html

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 20 February 2010 at 1:39am

Inter-Cultural Dialogue

Last year one of the formations that was realized within the foundation was the Intercultural Dialogue Platform. As its first activity, the Platform organized an international symposium on April 13-16, 2000 in Şanlıurfa and Istanbul entitled "Abraham: A Symbol of hope and a Bond of Unity in Dialogue for Jews, Christians and Muslims," the purpose of which was to introduce to other nations the Anatolian tradition of tolerance that has sprung from the heritage of culture and belief and from the depths of our history.

We believe that such meetings have a distinct importance in relation to spreading our country's and state's message of love and tolerance. Starting from the point of the life and prophetic experience of Abraham, the common "symbolic personality" of three great world religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the Symposium aimed to contribute to the spread of peace and trust among nations in the 3rd millennium. Holding the symposium in Istanbul, Turkey, a crossroads of belief, culture and civilization, and Sanliurfa/Harran, the place accepted as the area where Abraham was born and lived, makes it even more meaningful. Distinguished social scientists from the international academic community, theologians and spiritual leaders attended the symposium

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