MABDA Report 09/11/2010

{jcomments on}MABDA Report 09/11/2010

WIHW Gets London Bishop, OIC Secretary General’s Support

The Official UN World Interfaith Harmony Week has received the support of Bishop Richard Chartes, the Bishop of London, and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

In his letter, Bishop Chartes welcomed the UN Declaration, instituting a week every February for reflection and creative enterprise in the interests of World Harmony by commending how, with this Week, the religious traditions of the world have become more accessible to one another more than ever before.

“Harmony” he said in his letter, “is a stronger concept than tolerance and opens the door to a symphony in which religions can give of their best to one another and transcend the present situation in which so many people of faith live parallel lives. It is a situation which can very easily incubate unjust suspicions of the other.”

The Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu also extended his support to the World Interfaith Harmony Week and called on OIC member-states and the international community to observe it every year to help engender a culture of tolerance and understanding among diverse faiths and civilizations. “Promoting interfaith harmony lies at the heart of the priority accorded to cultural diplomacy of the OIC,” said Ihsanoglu, and the “observance of the World Interfaith Harmony Week will serve peoples of all faiths and beliefs to coexist in peace, harmony and goodwill,” he added.

Islam: Religion of Love

At a time when Islam is often portrayed as a religion of violence and hatred, an authentic theological discovery of the religion’s primary sources – the Qur’an and the Sunnah – will show that the central creed of Tawhid manifests Love for God and man in Islam.

In a recent article on Islam and Love in the Huffington Post, Professor William C. Chittick explains how “love, in short, aims at communion, union, unity. Tawhid is the assertion of oneness and unity, but it is only an assertion, not the reality.”

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“Sharia” Bans in the US

Last week, Oklahoma passed State Question 755, which asked voters whether state courts should be forbidden “from considering or using Sharia Law.” Similar legislation is being considered in Tennessee, and Louisiana recently became the first state to pass several bills banning international law from its courts. Muslim lawyers wonder whether this move is an issue of  “religion-state relationship of any significance to the backers of anti-shariah measures like State Question 755?”  or is it in fact an “effort [towards] a combination of both political advantage-seeking and fear of Muslims — not to mention just pure silliness?”

Asma Uddin writes that “sadly, the notion of shariah, or Islam, “taking over” America in a manner somewhat akin to the Seed Pods from The Return of the Body Snatchers seems to be infecting segments of the national political discourse, despite its inherent absurdity.”

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