RISSC Report 28/2/2016
Rabat Hosts a Seminar on the Challenge of Mutual Recognition in Interfaith Relations
The Center for Research and Training in Interfaith Relations will be inaugurated with a launch eventtomorrowat its headquarters in Rabat.
Launched under the auspices of the Mohamedian League of Religious Scholars (al Rabita al Mohammadiyya lil ‘Ulama’) the Center will seek to outline their approach in building partnerships across belief systems nationalities ethnicities age groups and genders through research training and various other activities.
Najib: Strengthen interfaith understanding, tolerance and respect for national harmony
here must be continuous efforts towards strengthening the pillars and fabric of multi-faith to ensure the nation’s harmony remained intact.
In making the call, prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said Malaysia’s complex society has managed to build the nation without any conflicts and this must be maintained.
“After independence, Malaysia has gracefully braced the challenges in bringing the nation up without any conflict that could destroy it.
Hundreds attend BEGIN-sponsored presentation on Islam in Elm Grove
The Sunset Playhouse welcomed another packed house last Thursday night, but this time it wasn’t for a musical or dramatic work.
Thursday’s presentation was intended for only one purpose: To inform.
The Brookfield Elm Grove Interfaith Network (BEGIN) joined forces with the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee in order to put on the event, titled “What Do We Really Know About Islam? Answering the Difficult Questions.”
Unitarian Universalist Church West minister Suzelle Lynch helped to introduce the forum, which included representatives from a number of religious communities.
RISSC Report 23/11/2015
Paris’ Episcopal cathedral hosts interfaith evening for peace and dialogue
Few days after a series of terrorist attacks devastated France and Lebanon, Muslim and Christian leaders gathered in Paris on 17 November for an evening of discussions about peace-making efforts and the role of religion in education, promoting dialogue and bringing an end to violence around the world.
The event was hosted by the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Anglican/Episcopal) in Paris, and led by a panel of Muslim theologians who are members of the World Union of Experts of Islam for Peace and Against Violence. Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders also attended the gathering.
The 2016 WIHW is Coming!
The 2016 United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week is coming and you can be one of the winners of the annual prizes and awards that are worth over $50,000. A prize will be given to each of the three best events or texts organized during the UN WIHW (first week of February) which best promote the goals of the WIHW. Start organizing and promoting your event(s) now to get a heads start on the competition.
Imam, Rabbi and Pastor Join Hands in Powerful Display of Unity
The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris has left the world reeling. Once again, religion is at the crux of a tragedy that has threatened to tear the global community apart.
But in Bethesda, Maryland, Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders stood together over the weekend to share a message of solidarity. Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church hosted an interfaith service on Sunday joined by members of the Bethesda Jewish Congregation and the Islamic Community Center of Potomac.
Interfaith week events are celebrated as a success
This year’s Interfaith Week has attracted people from across the country to Preston to celebrate different faiths.
Organisers say representatives of different beliefs gathered in the city for a series of events, designed to raise understanding and build relationships.
From trails and workshops to debates and concerts, leaders say they are pleased with the week’s success.
The week began with a voice of women in faith event on Sunday, and also included a chaplaincy event and two faith trails.
RISSC Report 8/11/2015
Reviving interfaith and intercultural dialogue
The Council of Ministers recently directed its National Committee to follow up on King Abdullah’s initiatives for dialogue among followers of various religions and cultures. It is heartening to finally hear about a positive contribution to this cause. The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue which was established in Vienna in 2010 needs more support to carry out its ambitious mission.
The interfaith initiative needs to be renewed and given more serious political, financial, academic and media support to dispel misconceptions about the Muslim faith and to end the cycle of suspicion based on distorted information which attempts to demonize Muslims and to create a divide between Islam and the West.
Muslims and Jews twinning program: “We refuse to be enemies
We refuse to be Enemies is the theme of the 8th Annual Season of Twinning. This is a project that brings together people of all faiths – mainly Muslims and Jews – in focused on educating communities about one other, working together on behalf of people in need, and standing together against bigotry.
The organizers say this year’s events are being held “in the face of escalating sectarian violence and increasing expressions of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry across North America, Europe and around the world.”
Faith Matters: Parliament of World’s Religions a challenge to move from prayer to action
That is how it all began for me. When I entered the Salt Lake City convention center to register for the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions (Salt Lake City, Oct. 15-19), I was unprepared for what I saw. Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling monastery were painstakingly creating a sand mandala. Two Catholic priests spoke with a Muslim man in a white cap. A few Sikh men in turbans passed in front of me while a group of fully clad Native Americans passed me on their way outside. Two Indian women in sarees strolled past the large-scale replica Jain Temple as a group of teens with matching T-shirts listened excitedly to their youth group leader.
Mastic Muslims Celebrate `Eid, Diversity
As Muslims around the world gathered at various venues to celebrate the `Eid Al-Adha holiday, Muslim congregants of the Islamic Center of Mastic-Shirley met on Thursday, September 24, to mark the feast, celebrating their diverse community which hails from numerous backgrounds.
Aziz Bhatti, the leader of the Islamic Center of Mastic-Shirley, explained how `Eid prayer united the mosque’s congregants.
At 9/11 site, pope prays with Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus
Pope Francis embraced survivors of 9/11 in the footprints of the Twin Towers, then prayed for peace at an interfaith service beside the last column of steel salvaged from the fallen skyscrapers.
Arriving straight from his speech to the United Nations on Friday (Sept. 25), Francis met with families from the 9/11 community — people who survived the destruction, rescued others from the inferno, or lost loved ones in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, executed by religious zealots.
Overlapping Jewish, Muslim Holidays Prompt Cooperation in Jerusalem
An interfaith group gathered in a private home Monday (Sept. 21) to head off potential tensions over how Jews and Muslims celebrate Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, two holidays that overlap this year.
The meeting of the Abrahamic Reunion took on added significance in Jerusalem, where more than a week of violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians on the Temple Mount have spilled into the streets of East Jerusalem.
RISSC Report 26/7/2015
Turkish Scholar Fatwa Urges Killing ISIL
A popular Turkish televangelist has issued a controversial fatwa in which he urged people to kill militants belonging to the so-called Islamic State (ISIL), describing them as "the dogs of hell."
“If you run across them, slaughter them like you fight with the people of Ad and İrem [two places destroyed by God],” Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü said in his July 23 column for daily Vahdet, adapting a quote by Prophet Muhammad to today’s ISIL militants, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The embrace: Pope Francis and his friends, Omar and Abraham
hen Pope Francis, Omar Abboud and Abraham Skorka embraced in front of the Kotel, or Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem, it might have looked like the photo op of the decade, but for the three Argentinian friends it was an emotional turning point in a relationship with deep roots.
Both Abboud and Skorka are proud Argentineans, a Muslim politician and a rabbi and rector of the Seminario Rabbinico of Latin America, respectively. They both have stories to tell about their friendship with Pope Francis, whom they speak about with a sense of intimacy and love. They all met at Argentina’s annual Te-Deum service at Buenos Aires’ Metropolitan Cathedral, which is held on the Independence Days of May 25 and July 9.
Islamic Center’s interfaith celebration of Ramadan
The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh cordially invited all to its annual Ramadan Interfaith Banquet to enjoy the Ramadan tradition while celebrating the outstanding Pittsburghers who are helping to cultivate compassion and respect in the fields of medicine, interfaith relations, museum programming and business networking.
The Humanity Day Honoree recipients were: Dr. Cristiana Bertocchi, Doctors Without Borders; Karen Hochberg, director, Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee; Kathleen Hower, CEO, Pittsburgh Global Links; Rufus Idris, executive director, Christian Evangelistic Economic Development; Cecile Shellman, diversity catalyst, Carnegie Museum: and Andy Pugh, director of operations, Sierra Leona Ebola clinic, Save the Children. A Middle Eastern buffet in observance of breaking the Ramadan fast followed the program.
RISSC Report 22/6/2015
US Companies Accommodate Muslims’ Ramadan
Accommodating the religious needs of Muslims employees, a growing number of American companies are holding annual events to celebrate the holy fasting month of Ramadan with a spiritual flavour.
“It is an extremely popular event, with the 300 spots being filled within four hours of opening registration,” Todd Alhart, GE Global Research’s director of media relations, told The Washington Post.
Muslims Speak to US Jewish Group in Push for Interfaith Dialogue
A former Islamist radical, a store clerk who hid Jews from a terrorist, and a woman who was taught as a child that Adolf Hitler was "a good man," were among the Muslim speakers at the annual meeting of the AJC, one of America’s most influential Jewish groups.
It was part of an initiative during the annual meeting of the AJC, formerly known as the American Jewish Committee, earlier this month to improve Muslim-Jewish relations.
And it comes at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, and demographers predict that within a few decades Muslims will outnumber the approximately five million American Jews.
RISSC Report 14/6/2015
Ramadan: Month of Sympathy
What follows is based on a true story…
There was an affluent father who used to keep his family fed and clothed decently, if not splendidly. After a while, things changed and he became in straitened circumstances. Unable to afford food for his family as he used to, the month of Ramadan came. His social standing as well modesty prevented him from stretching his hand to ask others for assistance even if it were in the form of a personal debt. While struggling with life, all he could manage to be feeding his children with was nothing but cheese, oil and beans.
Congress of Religious Leaders: Promoting Dialogue between Civilisations
Since its earliest days of independence, Kazakhstan has introduced numerous substantial legislative reforms focused on national policy and strengthening interethnic and interreligious harmony in society.
Effective domestic transformation and achievements in the international arena have created an image of a Kazakhstan active in global platforms, including international interreligious and interethnic dialogue.
Tolerant Islam should be protected
It might feel a little more convincingly like a Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, commissioned perhaps as a celebration of religious plurality, were it not for the seven tonnes of Russian-made BRDM-2 armoured personnel carrier stationed outside. By contrast, within a preposterous Norman Foster glass pyramid – decorated with the kitschest white doves you have ever seen – the Fifth Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions meets, and the talk is of harmony and concord – even a condemnation of global arms spending by the Zoroastrian representative. Observing this, a Martian could be forgiven for assuming that religion is the number one force for good in the world. Here the Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel sits next to the head of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought next to the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue next to some other terribly important religious dignitary.
RISSC Report 7/6/2015
Canadian Women Festival Builds Bridges
Canada’s premier Muslim women’s festival is set to take place on Sunday, June 7, in the South Western Ontario city of Kitchener, amid hopes of extending new bridges with the larger community.
“Since its inception in 2010, the Coalition of Muslim Women of Kitchener-Waterloo has presented an annual summer event to build bridges of understanding, friendship and mutual respect with the larger community, and to transcend commonly held stereotypes about Muslim women,” Fran Pappert-Shannon, Director of Public Relations of the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW, told OnIslam.net.
How This Clever Imam Has Kept Americans from Joining the Islamic StateImam Mohamed Magid, the chief imam at the third-largest mosque in America, has counseled several teens who sought to join ISIS in its effort to establish a caliphate across Iraq and Syria.
So we traveled to the ADAMS Center in Sterling, Virginia to find out how he talks someone out of joining ISIS.
Northwestern president calls on United to apologize to Muslim chaplain
e president of Northwestern University has called on United Airlines to formally apologize to the school’s Muslim chaplain, whose claim of discrimination on a flight from Chicago has sparked a social media campaign and boycott.
In a letter to United CEO Jeff Smisek, University President Morton Schapiro said he was disappointed at the "outrageous and discriminatory treatment" of Tahera Ahmad, an associate chaplain and the director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern.
RISSC Report 1/6/2015
Terrorists have no religion
National Conference on Interfaith Harmony has announced the Lahore Interfaith Declaration 2015 and termed the suicide bombing and all forms of terrorism as against the teachings of every divine religion including Islam.
The conference, which was presided over by Minister of Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Shahjahan Yousaf, in its declaration reaffirmed that terrorism should not be linked to any religion.
Anti-Hate Protest Counters Arizona Mosque Rally
The anti-Islam rally outside a phoenix mosque on Friday, May 29, was met by counter demonstration in which some protesters shouted “Go home, Nazis,” while others chanted “Love your neighbor.”
Friday’s event is part of “an epidemic of anti-Islamic sentiment” that goes beyond protesting against extremism, Imraan Siddiqi of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) told Reuters on Saturday, May 30.
Muslims and Jews Spent A Day Of Prayer Together And The Result Was Beautiful
On a quiet California morning in May, a group of Jews and Muslims came together on a Los Angeles beach to pray.
The worshippers laid out prayer mats and the sounds of their chanting, in both Hebrew and Arabic, mingled with the crashing of the waves.
"We were just so surprised that we could do this together and it’s very similar," said participant Maryam Saleemi. "It was kind of like an ‘Aha Moment’ that we’re praying to the same God, why aren’t we doing this all the time together?"
RISSC Report 24/5/2015
First Imam for German Army
In a positive reaction to the growing number of German Muslim soldiers, the German army has decided to recruit its first imam to cater for the need of these soldiers, local media reported on Saturday.
"Islam has become the third largest religion in Germany and we are trying to figure out whether it would be possible for our Muslim soldiers to have their own chaplain," a Bundeswehr spokesman told the Bild newspaper, as reported by the Turkish Daily Sabah.
Bihar’s Muslims Donate Land to Help Build World’s Largest Hindu Temple
Muslims in Bihar, in a stellar demonstration of communal harmony, have donated land to help build the world’s largest Hindu temple which will have the capacity to seat a staggering 20,000 people.
"Muslims have not only donated land, they have also provided land at a nominal rate for construction of the world’s largest Hindu temple. Without help of Muslims, it would have been difficult realise this dream project," Acharya Kishore Kunal, secretary of the Patna-based cash-rich Mahavir Mandir Trust that is undertaking the ambitious project, told IANS.
U.S. Islamic leader praises Vatican II tome on religious dialogue
Catholic Church leaders and scholars are not the only ones praising the 50-year-old church document “Nostra Aetate” (“In Our Time”), the Second Vatican Council’s declaration on relations with non-Christian religions.
During the first part of a May 19-21 symposium on the document at The Catholic University of America, it also got high marks from a U.S. Muslim leader who said “Nostra Aetate” helps different faiths “recognize common roots and build a new sense of direction.”
Red Sulphur, by ‘Abd Allah Ibn AbiBakr al-‘Aydarus,is a short treatise on spiritual wayfaring (suluk). It is not an academic work that targets the learned as its audience, nor is it an advanced treatise for the benefit of great saints like its author. It is written for the benefit of those who have just begun treading the spiritual path. Despite its brevity, though, it is extremely beneficial, replete as it is with insightful comments for all spiritual seekers.
RISSC Report 17/5/2015
Muslims Celebrate Israa’ and Mi`raj
As Millions of Muslims across the world mark the night journey of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to Al-Aqsa Mosque and ascension to heaven, Indonesians were urged to peacefully observe the significant religious occasion.
“Muslims should use the Israa’ Mi`raj and the Ascension Day holidays to stress the identity of Islam as the blessing for the universe," Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) secretary Mandarlangi Puaupa said in a statement cited by the Jakarta Post.
InterFaith service for Nepal earthquake victims
eople gathered for an Interfaith Service on Tuesday for victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April. InterFaith Works of CNY and the Bhutanese Community of Syracuse organized a procession and service that began at InterFaith Works, 1010 James St., Syracuse. Those assembled walked approximately 1.5 miles down James Street to the top of Lincoln Park for the service.
Months after Gunman’s Rampage, Some of Chapel Hill’s Muslims Still Live in Fear
its surface, the so-called “Research Triangle Region,” formed by North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, seems an unlikely place to find a minority community living in fear. But news of the February 10 shooting deaths of three young Arab-American Muslims moved like an electric current through North Carolina’s Muslim communities. It was a shock for Chapel Hill, a community best known for its university, basketball team, and progressive politics.
RISSC Report 10/5/2015
Number of UK Muslim MPs Doubles
Making a new record in British parliament, a record of 13 Muslim lawmakers have been elected in one of the most unpredictable and extraordinary general elections in Britain, doubling the number from 8 in 2010.
“It is great news that there are more Muslim MPs elected than ever before. However, the House of Commons still does not reflect the diversity of the population,” said Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi.
Interfaith Group Forms Symbolic ‘Peace Ring’ Around Cincinnati Islamic Center
The Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati witnessed the power of interfaith solidarity on Sunday, when a little over 100 Muslims, Christians and Jews gathered to form a symbolic “peace ring” around the mosque’s entrance.
The group was inspired by a similar peace ring that was formed around a synagogue in Oslo, Norway in February following an attack against the Jewish community in Denmark earlier that month.
Islamic Center event shows ‘same goals’ among faiths
Zahra Chaudhry doesn’t know Sister of St. Joseph Jane Morrissey, but she liked the poem Morrissey recited during a recent interfaith gathering at the Islamic Center here.
Morrissey recited by heart George Herbert’s 17th century poem "Love" that begins, "LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back/Guilty of dust and sin," but ends with the reluctant guest seated at table.
RISSC Report 26/4/2015
King honours winners of World Interfaith Harmony Week award
His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday acted as patron at the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) award ceremony.
During the ceremony, which took place at Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty presented awards to the top three winners, according to a Royal Court statement.
Royal family members and senior officials attended the event.
The WIHW was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by King Abdullah. Just under a month later, on October 20, 2010, it was unanimously adopted by the UN and henceforth the first week of February has been observed annually as World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Islamic Education in Germany Fights Radical Islam
In a bid to fight extremism, Germany has been taking drastic steps to offer state-sponsored Islamic education, placing it on equal footing with Christianity and Judaism.
“A sound knowledge of Islamic theology and philosophy and psychology, and strategies of discourse and discussion,” is the best antidote there is to extremism, Harry Harun Behr of Frankfurt University, told the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday, April 23.
Vatican urges dialogue with Islam
atican City: Dialogue is needed with Islam "now more than ever", the Vatican said on Wednesday, stressing that most Muslims abhor violent acts perpetrated in the name of religion.
"Recent events have caused many to ask if there is still room for dialogue with Muslims," the Vatican’s interfaith dialogue body said in a statement.
"The answer is yes – now more than ever," added the statement.
Recently, a purported Islamic State (IS) video showed 30 Egyptian Christians being beheaded and shot in the head on a beach in Libya.
RISSC Report 19/4/2015
UN to hold high-level interfaith meeting to promote tolerance, fight violent extremism
Top UN officials are scheduled to convene a high-level interfaith meeting next week in order to promote tolerance and fight violent extremism, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced here Thursday.
On April 21-22, President of the 69th session of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser will convene a high-level thematic debate on promoting tolerance and reconciliation, Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.
Queensland Muslims Fight Hate With Love
Fighting hate with love, Queensland Muslim leaders asked Allah to forgive vandals of Toowoomba mosque, sending a message of peace in the Australian community.
"God forgive them for what they’ve done," Islamic Council of Queensland spokesman Ali Kadri told Brisbane Times on Friday, April 17.
"This is a place of worship, a peaceful place of worship."
World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office opens office in Nigeria
Hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office (WARP Office) held its first successful meeting on March 31, 2015 to discuss the need of interfaith dialogue in achieving world peace. Women, youths, and religious leaders representing various faiths such as Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, and a sect of an indigenous religion attended this event.
About 40 religious leaders, women, and youth participated in this interfaith dialogue which was held in the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Laos.
RISSC Report 13/4/2015
Interfaith harmony: ‘Love humanity, love all’
Before representing ourselves as Christians, Hindus or Muslims, we should represent humanity and spread peace in the country, said Kailash Sarhadi or Friday.
Addressing the ‘Interfaith Peace Convention 2015′ at the Karachi Institute of Professional Studies (Kips), Sarhadi said that we should come up with solutions and answers that help establish peace in Pakistan.
Americans show solidarity with Muslims in San Francisco
Showing solidarity with San Francisco Muslims, dozens of residents, religious leaders, Rabbis, pastors, priests and members of different faiths formed an interfaith ring around a mosque after Friday Prayer to support the religious minority amid soaring Islamophobia.
Organized by local interfaith groups, the human chain was attended by more than 200 people who circled San Ramon Valley Islamic Center.
Chanting “circle for the planet, circle for each soul. For the children of our children, keep the circle whole", participants stood shoulder to shoulder with locked arms to protest against the increasing Islamophobia in US.
Muslim Runs in London Marathon Against Cancer
Participating in 2015 London Marathon later in April, a British Muslim runner has only one contestant he intends to beat. It is cancer.
“My mission is to run 26.2 miles at this year’s London Marathon on April 26th, with the aim of raising £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust,” Haroon Mota,the Youth Support Coordinator for University College London Hospitals, told Muslim Matters on Saturday, April 12.
RISSC Report 5/4/2015
2015 World interfaith Harmony Week Prize Announced
The judges received 93 applications for the prize from over 900 events held in total. The judges are highly appreciative of all the efforts of all those who held events and applied for the prize. They wish they could reward all who held an event, but are consoled by the fact that good deeds are their own reward so that everyone who held an event—whether they applied for the prize or not—is a true winner.
In judging, the judges were mindful particularly of those who had the courage to hold events in areas marked by recent interfaith tension or conflicts. They took into consideration efforts made despite scantiness of resources, but also took into consideration the excellence of efforts. They further took into consideration whether events were consistent with the text of the U.N. Resolution establishing the Prize. Accordingly, judges did not reward movements towards religious syncretism but rather rewarded events which respected each religion as it is. Finally, in accordance with the terms of the Prize, judges rewarded events specifically celebrating the World Interfaith Harmony Week rather than good interfaith work in general.
Islamic Books’ Sales Triple in France
Despite the rise of anti-Muslim sentiments across the country, French people curiosity to know more about Islam was reflected in a notable increase in the sales of Islamic books, amid reports of increasing number of reverts in the European country.
“The French are asking more and more questions, and they feel less satisfied than ever by the answers they’re getting from the media,” Fabrice Gerschel, director of Philosophie magazine, told Press TV.
Rabbis Join Solidarity Ring Around Local Mosque
Rabbi Daniel Goldblatt of Beth Chaim Congregation in Danville and Rabbi Judy Shanks of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette were among the 200 people who participated in a show of support for their Muslim neighbors last week by circling an East Bay mosque with a “Ring of Solidarity.”
The interfaith event took place March 27 at the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center.
RISSC Report 22/3/2015
Vatican interfaith expert hails Catholic-Muslim progress
Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, one of the Vatican’s foremost experts on Islam, told an audience in Washington DC that interreligious dialogue between Catholics and Muslims is not only possible but necessary. “Life, action, discourse and spiritual experience, these four levels of dialogue were highlighted at Vatican II,” Archbishop Fitzgerald said, as the way interreligious dialogue should proceed.
The archbishop, who headed the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue before serving as nuncio to Egypt and apostolic representative to the Arab League, noted that Catholics and Muslims have lived side by side in many cities for centuries without overt strife, even though “it takes effort not to live in ghettoes”.
Interfaith exchange builds bridges at Thornhill Jewish, Muslim, Catholic schools
How can you love your neighbour if you don’t know him?
That’s the question behind a new interfaith initiative in York Region that brings students from Jewish, Islamic and Christian schools together.
Grade 7 students at the Leo Baeck Day School’s North Campus and their counterparts at the As-Sadiq Islamic School along with St. Joseph the Worker Catholic School have launched a series of visits to build bridges between their faiths.
UK Muslims & Terror: False Link Rejected
At a time when Europe marches to the tune of far-rightists’ drum, its capitals entranced by the aggressive and often openly racist narrative pouring from groups such as the Pegida movement in Germany, the Front National in France or again the UKip in Britain, Muslims everywhere have grown uneasy.
“Because really the discussion we’re having is about sectarianism. It is not about whether or not Islam is inherently dangerous, but rather if Muslims are desirable in a western society set-up,” Elizabeth Ferguson, a rights activist with the Omega Movement (a London-based not-for-profit organization aiming to denounce Islamophobia and racism) told OnIslam.net in exclusive comments.
RISSC Report 29/3/2015
San Francisco Faith Ring Protects Muslims
Showing solidarity with San Francisco Muslims, dozens of residents and religious leaders formed an interfaith ring around a mosque after Friday Prayer to support the religious minority amid soaring Islamophobia.
“We’re saying right now we’re standing up against Islamophobia in our community," Rabbi Daniel Goldblatt, founder of the Interfaith Council of San Ramon Valley, told the crowd, San Francisco Chronicle reported on Friday, March 27.
Archbishop Fitzgerald: Fethullah Gülen has inspired many Muslims to be engaged in interfaith dialogue
The English-born Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, one of the Catholic Church’s main experts on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, has said that Fethullah Gülen has inspired many Muslims to engage in interfaith dialogue, and that this is a good thing.
“I have seen this commitment bearing fruit, for instance in Australia,” said Archbishop Fitzgerald, adding that another important feature of Gülen’s work is his insistence on education.
Inter-religious dialogue: the way to defeat extremism
“We will defeat radicalism only if we stay united” said Parliament’s First Vice-President Antonio Tajani, opening Tuesday’s high-level conference of MEPs and religious community leaders on the rise of religious radicalism and fundamentalism. EP President Martin Schulz, who closed the debate, said “We have to have the courage to take people on board and encourage dialogue between religions”.
At the start of the meeting, Vice-President Tajani called for one minute’s silence for the victims of the Airbus Germanwings crash on Tuesday.
RISSC Report 15/3/2015
UK Conference to See Muslims and Interfaith Leaders Denounce Extremism and ISIS
The 12th National Peace Symposium organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will be a rallying cry for religious freedom in the face of growing militancy which has developed around the world in the last decade.
Against a backdrop of conflict in the Middle East and the brutal killings by ISIS, including the recent murder of innocent Christians in Libya, leaders will gather at the National Peace Symposium to pray for peace, commit to countering extremism in all its forms and vow to defend religious freedoms for all.
Women share their journeys of faith as part of Interfaith Season
Six women of different religions shared their journeys of faith as part of the 2015 Interfaith Season.
The event, organized by Unificationist co-pastor Wendy Stovall, was held March 10 at the Family Federation for World Peace & Unification Church in Salt Lake City.
Carmela Javellana-Hirano shared her journey to the Buddhist faith. She was born in the Philippines and raised Catholic, but it was only after she had moved to America, experienced the death of her mother and felt extremely alone that she began to search for religion. She discovered the Buddhist faith and began her training.
"Trust Muslims" Project Reaches Europe, NY
Spreading peace and religious tolerance in the US and Europe, the social experiment in which a blindfolded Muslim asks passersby to give him a hug has reached New York, Sweden and Norway.
“It is a first step in helping educate people that not all Muslims are ‘bad people’ and a reminder for radical Muslims as well that if we want to defend Islam, we should do so in a way Islam teaches, not with acts of violence [which are] forbidden in Islam,” creator of the project told CBC.
World Council of Churches head tells UN body, faiths united on climate change call
Those living in rich countries need to change their lifestyle patterns and those in vulnerable countries should have the means to build resilience and adapt, the head of the World Council of Churches has told the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches spoke at a high level panel during the March 2015 hearing of the HRC in Geneva.
RISSC Report 9/3/2015
Islamic Human Rights Commission holds 2015 Islamophobia Awards in London
Billed as a not to be missed event. Anti Muslim sentiment has continued to rise making this year’s Islamophobia awards organized by the Islamic Human rights Commission more popular than ever. Centered around a gala dinner the event was filled with entertainment ranging from spoken word to comedy by international comedian Aamer Rahman.
First Female Muslim Pilot Inspires Indians
Breaking stereotypes about Muslim women, a young Indian Muslim is taking pride in working as India’s only woman Muslim pilot, achieving the dream of many girls worldwide.
“People initially think I’m Christian and then gawk when I tell them my full name,” Saarah Hameed Ahmed told Hindustan Times on Sunday, March 8.
Human shield protects Holi revellers in Pakistan temple
human shield was formed at the Holi celebrations at the Swami Narayan Temple in Karachi to show solidarity with and protect Hindus in attendance.
The human shield organised by the National Student’s Federation (NSF) on Friday was an attempt to promote interfaith coexistence and cooperation among different religious and ethnic groups in Pakistan, Dawn reported.
The NSF leveraged social media to spread information about the event, extending e-vitiations to others who share their outlook on religious tolerance and wish to participate in the demonstration.
RISSC Report 2/3/2015
Muslims Rebuild Belgium’s Oldest Synagogue
Moved by the situation of the small Belgian Jewish community in southern town of Arlon, Brussels Muslims launched a fundraising campaign to restore the oldest synagogue in the West European country.
“We have decided to organize a fundraising to provide help and testify publicly our solidarity,” Mohamed Bouezmarni, general secretary of the Association of Muslims of Arlon, told European Jewish Press (EJP) on Sunday, March 2.
Hundreds of Norwegians form human chain outside Oslo mosque
A week after hundreds of Muslims had formed a human-linked chain outside a Synagogue in Oslo to show solidarity with the Jewish community in the aftermath of attacks, hundreds of formed a circle of protection outside a mosque in the city on Saturday to demonstrate unity and peace, the Huffington Post reported.
Hundreds of people gathered around the Central Jamaat-e-Ahl-E Sunnat mosque in Oslo to show solidarity and respect for their Muslim compatriots.
The event was held to offer a symbolic “thank you” to Muslims and to express solidarity for forming a “peace circle” around an Oslo synagogue last weekend.
Buddhists, Muslims in Myanmar Seek Reintegration Following Riots
Buddhists and Muslims in the central city of Meiktila were separated along faith lines after interreligious violence destroyed roughly 800 homes in 2013. Now residents have petitioned the government to allow them to reintegrate, but some remain skeptical about the neighbors’ prospects for peace.
Affected residents submitted letters to President Thein Sein, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and Parliament Speaker Thura Shwe Mann outlining their request but say they are still awaiting a response.
RISSC Report 26/1/2015
King Abdullah’s Plea for Interfaith Dialogue
Saudi King Abdullah, who passed away on Thursday, had the aim to modernize the kingdom to face the future. He was also a committed supporter of dialogue to solve conflicts.
In 2008, Abdullah made an impassioned plea for dialogue among Muslims, Christians and Jews — the first such proposal from a nation with no diplomatic ties to Israel and a ban on non-Muslim religious services and symbols.
Pope: Interfaith Dialogue Bridge Gaps
Amid growing tensions worldwide, Pope Francis has praised dialogue between Muslims and Christians as an effective antidote to violence, in a bid to bid to bridge gaps between followers of the two Abrahamic faiths.
“Perhaps now more than ever such a need is felt, because the most effective antidote against all forms of violence is education towards the discovery and acceptance of differences,” the Pope told the members of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies on Saturday, January 24, Vatican Radio reported.
Say no to violence against religion: A R Rahman
ouble Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman has urged people to stop violence against religion.
The 48-year-old took to his official Twitter page to promote the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) to be held in the first week of February. “SAY NO TO VIOLENCE IN THE NAME OF RELIGION! Stand up for World Interfaith Harmony during 1st week of Feb #WIHW2015 ,” Rahman tweeted.
RISSC Report 17/11/2014
Catholic-Muslim dialogue: "It is never acceptable to use religion to justify" violence
The Catholic-Muslim Forum releases a final statement following its meeting in Rome on ‘Working together to serve others’. Young people should be educated to build "respect for others". Inter-religious dialogue is important "to overcome prejudice, distortions, suspicions, and inappropriate generalisations." Pope Francis encouraged participants in their efforts.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – "It is never acceptable to use religion to justify" acts "of terrorism, oppression, violence against innocent persons, persecution, desecration of sacred places, and the destruction of cultural heritage," said the final statement released by the delegates to third seminar organised by Catholic-Muslim Forum.
Former Canadian ambassador on Catholic-Muslim meeting
Catholic and Muslim leaders, meeting in the Vatican, have issued a unanimous condemnation of terrorism, violence, persecution and the destruction of places sacred to religious communities. The joint statement came as part of a final communique from a meeting of the Catholic-Muslim Forum which held its third Seminar in Rome from 11th to 13th November. The theme of the meeting was "Working Together to Serve Others," with a particular focus on education of young people, enhancing interreligious dialogue and service to society.
CAIR Responds to UAE ‘Bizarre’ Terror List
America’s largest Islamic advocacy group responded on Sunday, November 16, to reports that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has added it to its list of “terrorist” groups, describing the decision as “bizarre”.
“We are seeking clarification from the government of the United Arab Emirates about this shocking and bizarre report. There is absolutely no factual basis for the inclusion CAIR and other American and European civil rights and advocacy groups on this list,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
Washington National Cathedral Hosts First Muslim Prayer Service
On Friday, the the Washington National Cathedral was filled with the sounds of Muslim prayers.
Muslims and people of other religious traditions have participated in Christian or Interfaith services at the Cathedral in the past. However, the November 14 event marks the first time American Muslims have been invited to lead their own traditional Jummah prayer inside the same sacred space that has hosted presidential funerals and other national religious services.
The service was briefly interrupted by a lone protester who, according to the NBC4, shouted, "Why can’t you worship in your mosque, and leave our churches alone?" The woman was quickly escorted from the sacred space.
RISSC Report 3/11/2014
‘Prayer for Ottawa’ service held after deadly week in capital
A booming organ thundered through Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Ottawa on Sunday as those at an interfaith memorial service sang a heartfelt O Canada following the past week’s deadly shooting attack in the heart of the capital.
Leaders of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths all spoke at the service, dubbed A Prayer for Ottawa. Observers of all ages, some in military uniforms, filled the pews.
Extremist Israeli Jews Storm Al-Aqsa
Fueling tensions in the world Muslims’ third holiest site, a rightist Knesset member accompanied by several Jewish extremists stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, November 2.
"The very fact that I’m here under guard and the Muslims are free to walk around shows who’s a visitor here and who’s not," deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset Moshe Feiglin was quoted by I24 News on Sunday, November 2.
Interfaith Intercessions For Peace In Adamawa, North-East Zone
Thousands of Muslim and Christian faithful on Sunday converged on Yola, Adamawa capital, to offer special prayers for lasting peace and an end to insurgency in the country.
A Muslim cleric, Abubakar Hussaini, who led the prayer session, urged Muslims to remain calm and be prayerful.
Britons Recognize Muslims WWI Hero
Acknowledging the heroism of Muslims during the First World War, British former army chiefs have called for recognizing the first Muslim soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross, in a bid to show the true face of Muslims whose image has been tarnished by the so-called Islamic State.
“The quiet dignity of our commemoration of Khudadad Khan’s bravery and service is perhaps the most powerful riposte we could possibly send to the sickening extremism of ISIL," Dilwar Hussain, a Muslim academic and one of the signatories of the letter wrote to the Telegraph on Friday, October 31.
RISSC Report 21/9/2014
Christians and Muslims mourn Hani Fahs, an iconic figure for interreligious dialogue
At a time when spiritual darkness is spreading over parts of the Middle East, the death of Sheikh Hani Fahs, 68, has elicited an emotional response among political and religious leaders that is far greater than one might expect from his media exposure. It is as if in death, one of Lebanon’s truest voices for interfaith dialogue, a man of great openness, finally found his true stature, one that he embodied by virtue of his own character as well as his knowledge and faith.
Fr Fadi Daou, founder of the Adyan Foundation, was one of the last friends to visit the great thinker in the intensive care unit where he was hospitalised. Standing by the bed, next to intubated body of the dying scholar, F Daou prayed "that God may never deprive Lebanon and the Arab world of fatherly figures of his clarity, i.e. people who live in accordance with their faith and practice what they say."
UK Imams Appeal for Release of ISIL Hostage
British Muslim scholars have made a video appeal to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants to release Alan Henning, warning killing hostage would break Islamic laws.
In the YouTube video, two Muslim scholars, Shakeel Begg and Haitham al-Haddad, appealed to ISIL to release 47-year-old British hostage Alan Henning.
"For the same reasons today I stand with Alan Henning," Begg, imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre in south London, said while referring to his campaigns for the release of Muslims from Belmarsh and Guantanamo Bay prisons, BBC reported on Saturday, September 20.
Week of multi-faith events sparks interfaith dialogue and intercultural awareness
“Religious Life” is the kind of topic one would expect Eastern Mennonite University to pick as its 2014 theme for International Education Week. It may surprise some, though, that this Christian university used the words “religious life” to refer to more faith perspectives than Christianity exclusively.
The week was intended to encourage both interfaith dialogue and intercultural awareness, said Susannah Lepley, EMU’s director of multicultural and international student services.
RISSC Report 14/9/2014
Thirteen Years of Interfaith Aithreconciliation: 9/11then and now
In the days following September 11th, in the midst of a cacophony of voices shouting for revenge in the wake of terrorist attacks, I discerned a call to interfaith reconciliation between two faiths competing within myself. Thirteen years later, I feel compelled by the same Spirit to continue to work for interfaith healing, this time in a nation and world that bears scars of more than a decade of distrust sewn by violence and abuse of religious rhetoric.
Interfaith clergy group leads Sept. 11 prayer service on Heights Promenade
Father Joseph Hugo, parochial vicar at St. Charles Borromeo and Assumption Roman Catholic parishes, reads a prayer by the recently-canonized St. Pope John Paul II at the Brooklyn Heights Interfaith September 11 memorial service on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. With him, left to right, are Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons of First Unitarian Church (in background, wearing green dress); and Monsignor James Root, rector of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral (wearing black and magenta clericals). At foreground-right are Dr. Ahmad Jaber, and Imam Abdallah Allam, both representing the Dawood Mosque on State Street.
Parliament of The World’s Religions To Host 2015 Conference In Salt Lake City
The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions has news it hopes will excite interfaith advocates and religious activists around the world. The Parliament will host its 2015 conference in Salt Lake City, the first time the Parliament has met in the United States for 22 years.
"America is the home base of the interfaith movement and it’s about time the Parliament come back home," Parliament Chair Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid said in an announcement.
On Tuesday Mujahid was joined by Executive Director Dr. Mary Nelson, Dr. Arun Gandhi, Andrew Himes of the Charter for Compassion International and Sande Hart of United Religions Initiative for a press conference at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center — where the conference will be held on October 15 – 19, 2015.
Faith Leaders in Morgantown Meet to Talk Tolerance
Continued news about conflicts between faith groups around the globe inspired interfaith discussions this week in Morgantown. A Forum on Religious Diversity explored what different faiths teach about social justice, tolerance, and compassion.
Faith leaders met inside the Greater Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church to share their faiths’ teachings on social justice, tolerance, and compassion with members of the community. The turnout was a postcard of diversity. 100 people of different ages, races, and religions filled the Methodist pews to listen to the interfaith dialogue.
RISSC Report 31/8/2014
UN officials hail role of cultural, religious dialogue in advancing peace, development
United Nations officials today highlighted the important role played by the initiative known as the Alliance of Civilizations in building bridges to peace, especially amid the current instability in many parts of the world, as they kicked off a global forum in Bali, Indonesia.
“The Alliance is here for you to serve as a soft power tool for conflict prevention, reconciliation, and to advance sustainable development,” said the High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser.
Detroit Welcomes US Muslim Convention
Attracting Muslims from around the world to the Motor City, the Islamic Society of North America has brought its 51st annual convention to Detroit for the first time, in an event expected to attract more than 20,000 attendants.
"Welcome to Detroit, the Comeback City. We are proud to have one of the nation’s largest Muslim communities," Michigan’s own Governor Rick Snyder said in the inaugural session, welcoming all attendants, OnIslam.net correspondent reported.
Cardinal Dolan makes first visit to NYC mosque, meets with Staten Island Muslim leaders
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, made his first visit to a mosque in New York City and it was the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in Tompkinsville where he met with Muslim and other faith leaders.
The cardinal spent more than two hours touring the mosque and the Miraj Islamic School and having lunch with about 40 clergy and laity.
Jordan’s Muslims, Christians unite against extremism
Organised by the Jordan Interfaith Co-existence Research Centre (JICRC), Lebanon’s Noursat satellite channel and the Global Forum for Moderation, the rally brought together diverse participants to condemn bloodshed in the region, organisers told Al-Shorfa.
Christians and Muslims reject violence, extremism and terrorism, said Islamic thinker Hamdi Mourad.
"We in Jordan are a model of co-existence and cohesion and reject all the forms of terrorism and extremism," he said in a speech at the end of the march.
RISSC Report 24/8/2014
Saudi grand mufti denounces ISIS
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in the country, said Tuesday that the militant groups Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda were "enemy number one of Islam" and not in any way part of the faith.
Although the mufti and other senior Saudi preachers have condemned ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other groups before, the timing of Sheikh’s statement is significant given the gains by militants in Iraq.
US Muslim, Rights Groups Push End to Profiling
With the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown still casting its shadows on Saint Louis suburb of Ferguson, Muslim and civil rights groups have urged the American authorities to address ‘racial profiling’ by law enforcement.
Michael Brown’s slaying in Ferguson, allegations of racially biased law enforcement as well as “the military-style response by the local police to demonstrators” during recent protests “are the result of longstanding and corrosive limitations on our nation’s law enforcement policies that allow unlawful profiling to persist across the country,” the Leadership Conference and Civil and Human Rights said in a statement cited by the Detroit News on Thursday, August 21.
Egypt’s Top Muslim Leader Condemns Islamic State: Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam Denounces ‘Bloody Group’
Egypt’s top religious authority condemned the armed group Islamic State which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria, describing it on Tuesday as a corrupt, extremist organization that is damaging Islam.
"An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption," said Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt’s most influential Muslim cleric, the state news agency MENA reported.
The comments came as the Vatican called on Muslim religious leaders to take a "clear and courageous stance" and condemn "unspeakable criminal acts" by Islamic State.
Dutch Mosque Leaders Call for Tolerance Towards Jewish ‘Brothers’ As Gaza Tension Continues
As tensions rise in the Middle East, mosque groups in the Netherlands are calling for tolerance from their congregations, specifically for Jewish "brothers of the holy book," according to Dutch weekly magazine Elsevier. The Council of Mosques and the Union of Moroccan Mosques Netherlands expressed their concern about recent incidents of anti-Semitism most likely connected to emotions running high about the current Gaza conflict.
Interfaith and Secular Activists Gather in Santa Cruz for Gaza
On August 1, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian prayers were given and activists, including children, read poetry at the Santa Cruz Town Clock to honor those who have passed or been injured in Israel/Palestine since the fighting began on July 8. The names of those killed were displayed on poster boards which required several people to hold. The names of 1270 Palestinians and 49 Israelis were on the list.
Interfaith group gathers in silence for peace
Amanda Maloney of Brighton Heights was riding her bike past Point State Park shortly after noon Wednesday when she saw a large circle of people, standing in silence and holding bright carnations. When she learned it was a peace vigil, she joined the circle.
About 45 people gathered for the interfaith vigil, which deliberately avoided partisan remarks or sectarian prayers. The Rev. Liddy Barlow, executive minister of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, opened the gathering with brief remarks before ringing a bell to mark the beginning of a 15-minute vigil.
Nigeria: Muslim, Christian Leaders Meet in Abuja
The Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja on Thursday said the second conference of the Interfaith Initiative for Peace would hold between Aug. 11 and Aug. 12, in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement issued by Rev. Fr. Patrick Alumuku, the diocese’s Director of Communications, in Abuja.It said President Goodluck Jonathan was expected to declare the conference open.
It also said that state governors, national and state legislators, the judiciary, religious and traditional leaders, professionals, academics and leaders of thought were expected at the conference.
RISSC Report 20/7/2014
World Shows Outrage At Israel War on Gaza
Tens of thousands of angry protests marched against Gaza ground invasion of Gaza strip on Saturday, July 19, demanding "justice and freedom" for Palestine and an end to Israeli war in the tiny besieged strip.
"London has already shown its outrage at Israel’s attacks on the mostly refugee population of Gaza, with people turning out in their thousands last week,” Sarah Colborne, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, told London Evening Standard.
Interfaith Event Marks Ramadan
For Muslims here and around the globe who celebrate this holy month of Ramadan, it’s a time for reflection and celebration.The Islamic Center of Rochester and the Women’s International Network brought the community together Sunday for its iftar. Devoted fasting takes place from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, which started June 29th and will conclude on July 27th. The iftar represents the breaking of the fast at sunset. Non-Muslim community members were invited to share a meal and learn more about fasting and the Muslim culture.
Interfaith Iftars Bring Muslims and Jews Together During Ramadan
Muslim tradition calls for breaking the Ramadan fast in the evening with a date and a sip of water, and increasingly these days, the company of Jews.
Muslim-Jewish iftars are popping up across the nation, bringing together dozens and sometimes hundreds of people for a celebratory Ramadan meal and to forge interfaith friendships.
RISSC Report 7/7/2014
Ramadan App Tops Google Store Downloads
Creating a Ramadan-themed environment, the app offers various graphics that presents the soul of the holy fasting month.
DUBAI – A new android application for the Muslims’ holy fasting month Ramadan has been ranked at the top of downloads by Google play store during the holy month after it was installed by thousands of users.
“The feedback has just been overwhelming,” Carib Pulishing CEO Andreas Roell announced in statement cited by Presswire.
Interfaith Prayer Can Strengthen Unity, Diversity In Faith-Based Organizations: Study
Prayer is a powerful practice, as many who do it regularly can attest to. But in addition to being a powerful personal practice, prayer can play a role in strengthening even the most diverse communities, according to a new study led by a University of Connecticut sociologist Ruth Braunstein, Richard L. Wood from the University of New Mexico and Brad R. Fulton from Duke University.
Scheduled to appear in the August edition of the American Sociological Review, the study found that interfaith prayer practices played a key role in bridging cultural differences within diverse faith-based community organizing groups in the United States.
Sharjah Ramadan Majlis addresses interfaith dialogue
The importance of interfaith dialogue and peaceful coexistence, particularly among those who share the same land, nation, and identity, was the topic of discussion during the first session of the Sharjah Media Centre’s (SMC) Ramadan Majlis at the Expo Centre Sharjah on Monday night.
Under the slogan ‘In the Culture of Dialogue’, the session was attended by Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of SMC, who said that enhancing the culture of dialogue and accepting others is a part of the emirate’s approach to promote coexistence and peace among its residents.
RISSC Report 22/6/2014
Woman Chairs US Largest Muslim Group
America’s largest Muslim advocacy group has picked Ohioan female Muslim lawyer Roula Allouch as its new acting national board chair replacing previous chair Omar Zaki who stepped down after two years in his post.
"I would like to thank Omar Zaki for his service to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and to the defense of civil rights for all Americans," Allouch said in a CAIR statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
Jews, Muslims Pray For Missing Teens At Reported Kidnapping Site South Of Jerusalem
A group of Jews and Muslims convened on Tuesday near the site where three Israeli teenagers were reportedly kidnapped on June 12, The Times of Israel reported.
The Tag Meir forum, a grassroots organization that fights Jewish vandalism targeting Palestinians, organized the interfaith gathering that hosted several prominent rabbis including Rabbi Michael Melchior and Rabbi Yoel Bin Nun, as well as Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Hawa.
Bosnia WC Players Visit Cuiaba Mosque
Three Muslim players from Bosnia-Herzegovina World Cup team have paid a visit to the local mosque in Cuiaba, performing Friday prayer at the mosque and mingling with the local community.
The visit, reported by Goal.com website, comes ahead of their awaited Group G match against Nigeria on Saturday, June 21, in the Mato Grosso capital.
RISSC Report 15/6/2014
Muslim Players in Brazil World Cup
The Brazil 2014 World Cup kicked off earlier this week with an abundance of Muslim players dotting the football landscape. Being an integral part of football, Muslim players starring in their different teams from across the globe in the month-long tournament are expected to draw much attention of spectators with special performance.
Berlin Plans ‘House Of One,’ A Place Where Jews, Muslims, And Christians Will Pray Under The Same Roof
A rabbi, an imam, and a pastor are planning to pull off an interfaith miracle in the heart of Berlin, Germany by creating a sacred space for three religions under one roof.
The House of One will be a shared place of prayer and learning for the city’s Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities that celebrates the commonalities of the religions longest associated with Berlin. On Tuesday, it came one step closer to becoming a reality with the kickoff of a crowdfunding campaign, reports The Local.
Pope Hosts Interfaith ‘Peace Gathering’ Featuring Christian, Jewish, Muslim Prayers
In an effort to encourage peace in the Middle East, Pope Francis hosted the leaders of the Israeli and Palestinian worlds at the Vatican on Sunday, presenting an ecumenical gathering that joined professing Christians and Catholics together with Muslims, Jews and Druze.
Pope Francis, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas planted an olive tree together as a symbol of peace, and each took turns speaking about their desire for “co-existence.”
RISSC Report 8/6/2014
Different faiths, same witness: How Vatican explains prayers for peace
Popes pray for peace; it is part of their ministry. And when war is raging or peace negotiations seem hopelessly bogged down, recent popes have invited leaders of other Christian traditions and other faiths to join them in prayer.
Pope Francis has put a twist on the interreligious prayer gathering by inviting political leaders, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, "to come to the Vatican to pray together with me for peace." The event was scheduled for June 8, the day many Christians celebrate Pentecost.
Muslim Prayer, Adhan Enter Vatican
For the first time in history, Muslim prayer and adhan would be heard in the Vatican city after Pope Frances invited Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Shimon Perez for a peace prayer.
"This is a moment to invoke God for the gift of peace. This is a pause in politics," Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, a Church official in charge of Catholic sites in the Holy Land and a key organizer of Sunday’s encounter, told Reuters on Friday, June 6.
Saudi-UNESCO agreement promotes dialogue
Saudi Arabia on Monday (June 2nd) ratified an agreement to promote interfaith dialogue and a culture of moderation and to support initiatives promoting such concepts, Al-Watan daily reported.
In its Monday meeting, the cabinet approved an agreement signed between the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Centre for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue and UNESCO to confirm adherence to the principle of promoting dialogue and moderation, a government statement said.
RISSC Report 1/6/2014
Heads, representatives of Orthodox churches make pilgrimage to Baptism Site
Deputizing for His Majesty King Abdullah II, HRH Prince Ghazi bin Mohammed, the King’s Chief Adviser for Religious and Cultural Affairs Rights and Personal Envoy, accompanied heads and representatives of Orthodox Churches from around the world in their historic pilgrimage to the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ and to pray for peace in the region and the world , Petra News Agency.
Patriarch of the Holy City, Theophilos III, paid tribute to the "Umar’s Assurance" between Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab and Patriarch Sophronius, stressing that this relationship is still ongoing and is reflected on the ground in Jordan.
Turks Pray for Aya Sofia Mosque Reopening
Tens of thousands of Turkish Muslims have gathered on Saturday dawn to pray outside historic Aya Sofia mosque, urging Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to reopen the museum to serve as a Muslim worshipping house.
“This is a serious push to break Ayasofya’s chains,” Salih Turan, head of the Anatolia Youth Association, which has collected 15 million signatures to petition for it to be turned back into a mosque, told Reuters.
Prince Hassan meets head of Chaldean Catholic Church
His Royal Highness Prince Al Hassan Bin Talal, the president of the Arab Thought Forum and the Royal Institute for Inter-faith Studies received on Wednesday Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and the Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church and the accompanying delegation.
Prince Hassan and the patriarch reviewed the importance of interfaith dialogue as well as of rejecting violence through enhancing the concept of citizenship.
RISSC Report 26/5/2014
Pope Francis arrives in Amman
Pope Francis arrived in Amman at the start of a papal visit to Jordan, in response to an invitation from His Majesty King Abdullah II.
Upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport, the pontiff was received by HRH Prince Ghazi bin Mohammed, King’s Special Envoy and Senior Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs beside other officials.
Pope Francis Concludes His Visit to Jordan, Calls for a Peaceful Resolution to Syria’s Crisis
Pope Francis concluded the first part of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His next stop will be at Bethlehem where He is scheduled to hold the Sunday Mass at the Manger Square. The 20-hour visit to Jordan left no doubt of His Holiness call for Peace, Love and Forgiveness.
The Pope arrived to the Latin Church at the Baptism site in a silver Toyota Camry . King Abdullah II, Queen Rania and HRH Crown Prince Hussein welcomed the Pope at the Baptism site, and accompanied Him to Bethany beyond the Jordan where Jesus was baptized. His Holiness made another stop at the River Jordan and prayed in silence.
Christian and Muslim leaders condemn Jos bombings
After bombings on 21 May in the northern Nigerian city of Jos, in which more than one-hundred people have been killed, “heart-felt sorrow and condolences” have been expressed in a joint statement by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, chairman of the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought (RABIIT).
“We strongly condemn the recent bombings in Jos, Nigeria. The location and timing of the bombings clearly were designed to cause indiscriminate and widespread casualties among passers-by, and among rescue workers who were coming to their aid,” read the statement.
Nigeria Muslims Pray for Peace
Bewildered with the recent Boko Haram and bombing attacks, Nigeria’s Sultan of Sokoto has invited prominent Muslims leaders from across the country to a national day of prayer for peace and to overcome security challenges.
The "National Muslims Prayers for Peace and Security in Nigeria" aims to help the country in "overcoming the current security challenges facing the country" a statement printed in several national newspapers said.
RISSC Report 11/5/2014
Boko Haram Smears Islam: Saudi Mufti
Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti has condemned the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Nigeria’s Boko Haram, saying the group was formed to “smear the image of Islam”.
"This is a group that has been set up to smear the image of Islam and must be offered advice, shown their wrong path and be made to reject it," Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, the top religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, told the Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat in an interview published on Friday, Reuters reported.
Malala: Save My Nigerian Sisters
Boko Haram’s extremism and brutal activities are against the teachings of Allah. Islam is a religion of peace, where women are respected and education is valued above all.
It makes me sad to think that almost a month has gone by since more than 200 girls were kidnapped by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram. These are innocent young schoolgirls with their whole lives ahead of them. They have families who are going through unimaginable pain. Their only crime was no different than my own: all they wanted was to get an education.
Anonymous Saudi Man Has A Beautifully Simple Idea To Feed The Poor With ‘Charity Fridge’
Sometimes, making a difference can be shockingly simple.
A man living in the city of Hail, Saudi Arabia, came up with a brilliant idea to feed needy people in his neighborhood while sparing them the "shame" of begging, according to Gulf News.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, installed a refrigerator on the street in front of his house and invited neighbors to donate their extra food, so that hungry people could come and eat.
RISSC Report 4/5/2014
Ceremony of World Interfaith Harmony Week held in Jordan
Jordanian King Abdullah II gives award to one of the winners at the ceremony of King Abdullah II Ibn al Hussein prize for the World Interfaith Harmony Week in Amman, Jordan on April 27, 2014. The World Interfaith Harmony Week is a time set by the UN for promotion of interfaith harmony and understanding amongst religions. The idea for the week was proposed to the General Assembly by Jordan in Sept. 2010 and officially adopted by the assembly the following month.
US Muslims Walk Against Hunger
Muslim community leaders in the Greater Boston area are putting final touches on their planned “Walk Against Hunger” on Sunday, May 4, teaming up with Project Bread to raise awareness of the reality of hunger in the state and apply Islamic ethics of helping the poor and needy.
“On Sunday, May 4th, Muslims Against Hunger is proud to be joining in Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger,” a statement published at Project Bread website reads.
King patronizes world interfaith harmony week prize
His Majesty King Abdullah II, on Sunday, patronized a ceremony in honor of the winners of the King Abdullah Prize for the World Interfaith Harmony Week.
In attendance were a number of royal family members as well as religious leaders and scholars from across the world.
The prize was launched last year to recognize three outstanding activities marking the world interfaith harmony week, which takes place during the first week of February each year.
Proposed by King Abdullah II during the 65 United Nations General Assembly session in 2010, the World Interfaith Harmony Week was unanimously adopted by the UN, and is now being observed by countries worldwide through a variety of events.
RISSC Report 20/4/2014
Good Friday Bonds UK Muslims, Christians
For Nottingham Muslims and Christians, a 16-year-old annual walk for members of both faiths in their city is still bearing interfaith fruits of unity and cohesion.
"We have been doing this every Good Friday for 16 years,” Dr Musharraf Hussain, chief executive and chief imam at the Karimia Institute, told Nottingham Post on Saturday, April 19.
Good Friday Celebration Showing Interfaith Bridges Christians And Muslims Are Building In Ethnically Split Cyprus
An unexpected moment during the Good Friday service in a long-abandoned church in Cyprus’ breakaway north illustrated how religion is helping to bring together Christian Greek Cypriots and Muslim Turkish Cypriots on this ethnically divided island.
It came when Turkish Cypriot Umit Inatci handed the key of the church of Agios Georgios Exorinos in the medieval center of Famagusta to the city’s Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Vasilios, saying: "This is not gift, it’s something that is surrendered to its owner."
‘Inter-faith dialogue must for fostering peace’
A prominent American Muslim leader has urged for a sustained inter-faith dialogue effort towards fostering mutual understanding, peace and socio-economic development in the post-9/11 world, riddled with wars and violent extremism.
Frank Islam, a leading entrepreneur and philanthropist, was speaking at premiere screening of acclaimed Pakistani scholar Akbar S Ahmed’s play Noor, which focuses on implications of conflict between forces of moderation and extremism within the Muslim societies and the United States’ strained relationship with some Muslim countries.
RISSC Report 13/4/2014
Nigeria Faiths Want United, Just Homeland
Muslims and Christians are calling for deeper understanding among members of the two communities attending Nigeria’s stormy national conference, warning of the dangers of polarizing the nation along ethno-religious lines and expressing hopes that the country would emerge more united and stronger.
Muslims arrange Iftar Party for Christian delegation
“It is a joyful and historical evening when representatives of two revealed religions; Muslims and Christians are gathered for a good purpose to share each one’s faith and understanding on the topic of fast in their respective religions.” Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM was talking to some 40 Muslims and Christians gathered at Bilal Markis Jallo, Lahore under the invitation of Pir Shafat Rasool , chairman of Council for Interfaith Dialogue(CIFD).
Archbishop said that Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew that where two or three are gathered in my name I am present in their midst. So we believe that God is very much present among us since we are gathered in his name to make one another about the concept of Fast in the Season of Lent.
Silsilah Dialogue Movement: Promoting peace in the Philippines across religious lines
A landmark peace agreement finalized late last month in the Philippines established a new autonomous region in part of the south where Muslims are a majority in a mainly Catholic nation. The pact closes a chapter on decades of tension and hostilities between Christians and Muslims in the region. The fighting cost an estimated 120,000 lives over more than 40 years. One of the lesser-known actors in the peace process is an interfaith organization known as the Silsilah Dialogue Movement. Madonna Virola visited the group in Mindanao Island and files this report.
Metro Detroit Interfaith Conference for Clergy & Community Leaders Hosted at Islamic House of Wisdom
The 2014 Restoring Marriage & Family Life Conference was hosted at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights. Action News Anchor Vic Faust was the emcee for this event. Religious leaders from all over the area, specifically Detroit, came together to put a five-year plan in place to help build strong families in the City of Detroit. They are starting a "grass-roots" campaign aimed at helping families, which studies show, help kids and improve community, which in turn provides a safer community.
Muslims, Jews and Christians participated in groups with one another, all focused on the same goals. All agree that divorce is tearing apart families and people need to learn how to be good husbands and wives before they get married and have children.
RISSC Report 6/4/2014
Faiths unite in support of child rights
Leaders of Myanmar’s four main religions met this week to make a joint ‘Myanmar Interfaith Declaration’ on the rights of the child.
The declaration expressed their commitment to the notion that every child can enjoy his or her rights according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The commitment was given at an event organised by a partnership between the Ratana Metta Organisation and UNICEF and held at the Chatrium Hotel on April 2-3.
“The conference is the first time in Myanmar’s history that religious leaders from different faiths have come together to maximise the use of the spiritual, moral and social assets of religious communities in support of child protection, survival and education”, said a press release jointly issued by RMO and UNICEF.
Scottish Independence: Role of religion ‘should be recognised’
Churches and faith groups are calling for the role of religion to be recognised in any written constitution for Scotland.
They plan to hold an interfaith conference on the subject in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, in July.
The Scottish government has said it will publish a draft constitution before then to inform the independence debate.
The call follows an interfaith meeting convened by the Church of Scotland.
Pakistan Religious Parties Support Hindus
Amid successive attacks on Hindu temples in southern Sindh province last month, Pakistan’s mainstream religious parties have come together to stand alongside the Hindu community assuring them of their support.
“This (attacks) is an orchestrated campaign aimed at sabotaging the inter-religion harmony in the country,” Asadullah Bhutto, a former parliamentarian and deputy chief of Jamat-e-Islami, country’s one of the two mainstream religious parties, told OnIslam.net.
RISSC Report 30/3/2014
HCEF Signs Agreement with the Arab Cultural Foundation in Jordan to Promote Coexistence and Inter-Religious Dialogue
Sir Rateb Rabie, President of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), and Eng. Wajeeh Azzaizeh, President of the Arab Cultural Foundation (Shamel) in Jordan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
HCEF said that the aim of this agreement is to develop and strengthen mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims and to emphasize the Church’s role, both locally and internationally, in improving the welfare of Arab Christians in the Middle East.
11th Doha Interfaith Conference March 25th – 27th, 2014 Doha-Qatar"- "Youth and enhancing the value of dialogue"
Young people are the life blood of nations and our collective futures depend on them. Unlike speculation circulating in the last century about the decline of the role of religion, there has been a fresh wave of young people taking a keen interest in religions in the new millennium.
At the same time they are curious about the diversity in the world among followers of religions. They are active in religious institutions and are therefore welcome to participate in an open and honest discussion into the activities of interfaith dialogue globally. In this way they will benefit from the experiences of the older generations and hear their visions, needs and creative works.
Given the cross-generational challenge of our times, the conference will attempt to nurture the dialogue between youth and their parents’ generation.
Filipino Muslims Celebrate Autonomy
Ending a four-decade conflict, joyous Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) celebrated the signature of a deal that would create a new, autonomous Muslim homeland in the southern Philippines.
"The comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro is the crowning glory of our struggle," Muslim rebel leader Al Haj Ebrahim Murad was quoted by Reuters, in a reference to the new region, which takes for itself the name used for Muslim and non-Christian natives of southern Mindanao island.
Sharjah Museum hosts educational workshops during Vatican exhibition
series of educational workshops celebrating the Vatican artifacts being displayed at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation are being held for families, community groups and students to support the goal of promoting intercultural and interfaith understanding and dialogue in the region.
The Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) is hosting the series of workshops, which started with a two-day workshop on ‘The Art of Islamic Tiles’ on March 26.
It will continue throughout April and May in celebration of the unique, unprecedented exhibition from the Vatican Ethnological Museum currently being held at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, featuring traditional artefacts and material culture of Muslim communities the world over.
إعلان جوائز أسبوع الوئام العالمي بين الأديان 2014
حصلت لجنة التحكيم على 63 تقريراً لفعاليات أسبوع الوئام العالمي بين الأديان تسعى للحصول على جائزة أسبوع الوئام وذلك من مجموع 409 فعالية والتي لاقت تقديراً للجهود الضخمة التي بُذلت في إقامة الفعاليات من جهة، وفي إرسال التقارير من جهة أخرى.وقد اعترت لجنة التحكيم الرغبة الشديدة في تقديم الجوائز لكل من قام بإقامة فعالية ولكن عزائها الوحيد كان أن حقيقة فعل الخير يعد بمثابة جائزة بحد ذاته – سواء قام أصحاب الفعاليات بتقديم تقارير ترشحهم للجائزة أم لا- وأن المشاركين جميعا هم الفائزون حقاً.
وفي عملية التحكيم وضعت اللجنة في عين الاعتبار وعلى وجه الخصوص أولئك المشاركين الذين تحلّوا بالجرأة وقاموا بالاحتفال بأسبوع الوئام العالمي بين الأديان في مناطق باتت تشهد مؤخراً توترات أو صراعات بين الأديان. كما وضعوا في اعتبارهم تلك الجهود المبذولة في مناطق تشهد شُحا في الموارد كما نالت الجهود المتفوقة تقديرا من قبل لجنة التحكيم. وإضافة إلى ذلك وضعت لجنة التحكيم في اعتبارها مدى اتساق والتزام المشاركين بنصّ وبنود قرار الأمم المتحدة الذي يتعلق بالجائزة. وبناء عليه لَم تقم لجنة التحكيم بمكافأة الجهود التي سعت للتلفيق بين الأديان بل قاموا بمكافئة الجهود التي احترمت كل ديانة على حقيقتها. وأخيراً – ووفقاً لشروط الجائزة – فقد قام المحكّمون بمكافئة الجهود التي احتفلت بأسبوع الوئام العالمي بين الأديان بشكل خاص وليس الفعاليات أو النصوص التي احتفلت بحوار الأديان بشكل عام.
وبناء على ما تقدم يسّر لجنة التحكيم الإعلان عن أسماء الفائزين أدناه:
شركاء الأمم المتحدة للوئام بين الأديان – زامبوانغا – حركة السلسة للحوار
سيتم منح الجائزة الأولى بقيمة 25.000$ وميدالية ذهبية لشركاء الأمم المتحدة للوئام بين الأديان – زامبوانغا – حركة السلسة للحوار وذلك تقديرا للفعاليات التي قاموا بها للسنة الثالثة ولمدة أسبوع كامل احتفالا بأسبوع الوئام العالمي بين الأديان في مدينة زامبوانغا- الفلبين. وفي أعلاه صورة التقطت لأحد المتطوعين أثناء عملية التبرع بالدم على حرم جامعة ولاية مندناو الغربية.
مركز السلام وحقوق الإنسان، موهالا مهمند – جانغلا – شاهجانبور، ولاية أُتّربرديش، الهند: سيتم منح 15.000$ بالإضافة إلى ميدالية فضية إلى مركز السلام وحقوق الإنسان وذلك تقديرا للفعالية التي قاموا بها تحت عنوان: "مبادرة مألوفة لضمان سلام غير مألوف" في ولاية أُتّر برديش- الهند. وفي الصورة أعلاه تجسدا للأطفال الذين كانوا من بين الحضور لتلك الفاعلية.
الجائزة الثالثة – الجائزة الثالثة تنقسم إلى قسمين:
مدرسة جمال فرغلي سلطان الثانوية للبنين بأسيوط، مصر: سيتم منح 5000$ بالإضافة إلى ميدالية برونزية إلى مدرسة جمال فرغلي سلطان الثانوية للبنين للفعالية التي قاموا بها تحت عنوان: "في سبيل سلام خال من التحيّز" في مصر.
مجمع الأديان أوغندا: سيتم منح 5000$ بالإضافة إلى ميدالية برونزية إلى مجمع الأديان أوغندا للفعالية التي قاموا بها في مركز غوما الصحي الثالث في أوغندا.
سيقام حفل توزيع الجوائز في شهر أبريل/ نيسان من عام 2014 في المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية.
كما سيتم إرسال شهادَتَي "تكريم مُشَرِّف" لتكريم الوصيفَين الأول والثاني.
1. التكريم المشرف الأول: سيتم منح شهادة لحوار الأديان، القوة المحركة، قيادة جديدة لأوجه التآزر والوئام، بلجيكا.
.2 التكريم المشرف الثاني: سيتم منح شهادة للمبادرة المتحدة للأديان – أسبوع الوئام العالمي بين الأديان.
والحمد لله وحده
أسماء لجنة التحكيم السبعة:
- صاحبة السمو الأميرة أريج الغازي
- صاحب الغبطة البطريرك ثيوفيلوس الثالث – بطريرك المدينة المقدسة وفلسطين والأردن
- سعادة الشيخ الدكتور علي جمعة – المفتي السابق لجمهورية مصر العربية
- سيادة المطران منيب يونان – مطران الكنيسة اللوثرية في الأردن والأراضي المقدسة، رئيس الاتحاد العالمي للكنائس اللوثرية الإنجيلية
- الأب نبيل حداد – المؤسس والمدير التنفيذي لمركز البحوث لتعايش الأديان في الأردن
- الدكتور منور المهيد – مدير مؤسسة آل البيت الملكية للفكر الإسلامي
- السيد أفتاب أحمد – مدير المركز الملكي للبحوث والدراسات الإسلامية