High-level Christian and Muslim leaders meeting in Geneva to build a “common future” together issued a joint statement Wednesday condemning the deadly attack against the Catholic church in downtown Baghdad.
The leaders attending the consultation on “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslim Building a Common Future” said they “condemn this inhumane act that contradicts all religious teachings, and Middle Eastern culture that enabled people to coexist peacefully for many centuries.”
While the World Council of Churches, which is hosting the consultation, Pope Benedict XVI, and Muslims in Egypt have separately denounced the attack, the joint statement represents the collective voice of all participants at the consultation, including: His Royal Highness, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan; Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Al-Sharif, general secretary of the World Islamic Call Society; the World Council of Churches; and representatives of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions. more >>
Christian and Muslim leaders are gathered in Geneva for a high-level interfaith dialogue on how to build strong and sustainable relationships between the two groups and how the religious communities can use their resources to transform their communities.
The four-day event titled, “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future,” is inspired by the historic 2007 letter by 138 Muslim scholars called, “A Common Word.” Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Al-Sharif, general secretary of the World Islamic Call Society, and His Royal Highness, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, the initiator of the letter, are attending the event that is being hosted at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Center.
“The central theme of our conference affirms that dialogue is important but that we also need to address issues of common concern and act together – putting the common good at the heart of our joint initiative so as to promote ‘dialogue in action,” said the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, in his welcome address on Monday. more >>
A former Muslim who is now a pastor is telling Christians to stop fearing Muslims and to discern what they really should be fighting against.
Thabiti Anyabwile, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman on the Cayman Islands, says Christians need to think first rather than let their emotions dictate how they react to Muslims and Islam.
“We live in a world where failing to understand real and significant differences that matter to people not like us can result in things like hijacking, bombings, and bullets flying,” said Anyabwile during the recent “Think: The Life of the Mind & the Love of God” conference organized by Desiring God ministry. more >>
The Texas State Board of Education is scheduled to consider a resolution Friday that would ban “pro-Islamic, anti-Christian” textbooks.
Randy Rives, who authored the resolution, contends some past Texas social studies textbooks were favorably biased toward Islam – devoting more text lines to the religion than Christianity and praising Muslims as “empire builders” while criticizing Crusaders as “violent attackers.”
Other critical allegations include one against the “sanitized” wording that some textbooks use in defining jihad, which reportedly exclude religious intolerance and aggression against non-Muslims, and “whitewashes” Islamic culture. more >>
Muslim leaders, including some representing large organizations, issued a statement Monday calling for a week of dialogue next month on the divisive Park51 project.
The hope for the interfaith dialogue is to help end growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in the nation over the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero. The Week of Dialogue is scheduled for Oct. 22 to 24, during which mosques across the nation are encouraged to open their doors to non-Muslims.
“And that’s why we’re opening this to a true and open conversation among Americans on how to shape this project to reflect what America is,” said Nihad Awad, head of the Council on American Islamic Relations, while standing in front of the proposed site for Park51 on Monday. more >>
The proposed site for the Islamic center and mosque near the former World Trade Center is not sacred, says the Muslim cleric who envisioned the project.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, said Monday it is an “absolutely disingenuous” argument to call the planned site for the Park51 project “hallowed ground.”
“[W]ith a strip joint around the corner, with betting parlors, to claim it is hallowed ground is … it doesn’t make sense – it doesn’t add,” said Rauf at the office of the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank. “So let’s clarify that misperception.” more >>