MABDA Report 12.12.10

MABDA Report 12/12/2010

Historical Revival of Interfaith and Coexistence

The periods of time when religious faiths have co-existed fruitfully have always outlasted the times of persecution and wars. This is an important historical lesson to remember when we see examples of the latter. For Muslims the time of the Prophet (PBUH) as well as the golden eras of the Muslim Empire has always promoted acceptance and harmony with peoples of other faith. It is heartwarming then to see this attitude displayed toward Muslims.

Weekend marches: Sikhs show opposition to EDL’s march

A group of people from the Sikh community represented from Peterborough, stood together against the English Defense League (EDL) at a city mosque. Furthermore, representatives from the two Gurdwaras in Peterborough met with Muslims from local mosques last night. Their intention was to show solidarity towards the city’s Muslim community.

“In Peterborough, Sikhs have worked hard to build relationships with other religious communities and have expressed our concern that this demonstration could upset the balance of the wider community.”

For further information kindly refer to the following website:


Temecula: Jewish Community Supports Mosque Project

A group of the Temecula, California Jewish community showed support given to local Muslims in their bid to build a new mosque.

Eric Greene, head of the Jewish community, sees the project and his group’s support of it as “a rededication of religious faith and freedom.”

For further information kindly refer to the following website:


American Baptist Leaders visit the Baptism Site in Jordan

At the invitation of HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal a high ranking group of leaders of the American Baptists visited the Baptism Site in Bethany, Jordan, on 8 December, 2010. The American Baptist delegation consisted of:

  • Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley (& spouse Pat)- General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA
  • Rev. Alan G. Newton- Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region
  • Dr. Marshall E. Peters (& spouse June)- Executive Minister, Mid-American Baptist Churches
  • Dr. James Ratliff, ABCUSA Budget Review Officer
  • Ms. Patricia Stratton (& spouse, Jon) - ABCUSA Vice President
  • Rev. Dr. Leo Thorne (& spouse, Yvonne)- Assoc. General Secretary, Mission Resource Development, Office of the General Secretary
  • Dr. Riley H. Walker (& spouse Joyce)- Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the Dakotas.

This visit was part of the delegation’s Middle East Study Tour 


After being received at the Royal Pavilion the delegation watched a 50 minute documentary about the discovery of the site [watch it here: Baptism Site] . This was followed by a question / answer session with the director of the baptism site, Mr. Dia Al Madani, and the chief archaeologist Dr. Rustam Mkhjian.

HRH Prince Ghazi then invited the delegation for lunch. Then everyone set out for the tour of the site.

One of the main rules guiding the development of the site is preservation of the original surroundings. To this extent, the site will always have a ‘wilderness’ touch to it, and the barren land with loose rocks and shrubs reminded the visitors of the how and where the Prophet John [peace be upon him] lived. Various points of interest were pointed out en route to the main attraction; the place where Jesus [peace be upon him] was baptized.

Usually off limits to visitors [so the site is not damaged], HRH Prince Ghazi invited the delegation to walk down the steps to the point of the Baptism. Following the steps of thousands of pilgrims before them, the delegation reverentially made their way down.  Clearly moved by the spirituality of the site, they joined hands in prayer and wept openly. They were standing at the third holiest site of Christianity – the place where Jesus’ mission began.

After some time, the tour moved on and the delegation saw the new churches which are being built on land donated by King Abdullah II. [SOURCE ]. The delegation stopped at the building of the Anglican Church and had thoughtful discussions with HRH. During this conversation, the sounds of land mines exploding reminded all of why the Baptism Site had remained inaccessible for most of the 20th century [until after the 1994 peace treaty] These controlled detonations on the other side of the border, as well as the scarcity of water in the River Jordan, still show the hard work ahead that is needed for the Holy Land.