Tuesday, May 4, 2010

An Islamic Paradigm for Peaceful Co-Existence with Other Faiths?

Warrick, thanks for posting Chawkat Moucarry's article on Muslim-Christian dialogue last week.  I am in total agreement - we don't need to shy away from dialogue.  But rather, we should embrace a rigorous dialogue.  True dialogue in the religiously pluralistic world of today is the ability to convince or be convinced.  We must therefore reject the fluffy nonsensical approach to dialogue that just keeps talking in circles, as if there were no real differences between faiths.  But we should also spend time focusing on the similarities between our faiths that lead to a more peaceable co-existence, even if we disagree on important doctrines.  After all, Jesus didn't say, "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Mt. 5:9) for nothing. 

One of the criticisms against Islam is that it has no paradigm to support peaceful co-existence with other religious communities.  If it is to come into the globalized, religiously plural world of the 21st century, Islam will have to develop a theological and practical framework where dhimmitude or full submission into Dar al-Islam are not the only options for other religious communities in their midst!

Along those lines, I want to plug a really neat website.  It is called the Free Muslims Coalition, and it's founder, Kamal Nawash, is quite a man.  I applaud his efforts for peace despite our difference of religious opinion!  Kamal, my prayer is that many more young Muslims will follow your example for the sake of peace in our religiously plural world.  But I also pray that one day you will see that true peace is ultimately only found in a person - and his name is Jesus Christ.

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