Building Relations with Honesty and Trust
Mercy, forgiveness, justice and ihsan are core values of Islam and they should be brought into the dialogue.
By Edwin Rodrigues SJ
In early January, the New Delhi-based Interfaith Coalition for Peace (ICP) organized a lecture by Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui of the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, on the topic “Christian-Muslim Relations: Challenges and Prospects”. In his hour-long lecture, Prof. Siddiqui stressed that Christian-Muslim dialogue is not only possible, but also essential. He touched upon various issues, problems and possibilities in establishing and maintaining such dialogue. He provided a historical overview of Christian-Muslim relations in the West. When Muslim migrants arrived in Europe after the World War II, many different Churches arranged for the education and places for worship for their newly-arrived neighbors. The Churches mediated between the civil authorities and Muslims in their neighborhoods to help them. Prof. Siddiqui also said that issues that emerged from West Asia and local issues between Christians and Muslims in shared neighborhoods often impacted negatively on relations between Christians and Muslims in the West.
Prof. Siddiqui pointed out that at times, well intended approaches for building relations between Christians and Muslims did not yield expected results. He stressed that honesty and trust are two essential features of dialogue. He added that we need to bring our core values to the arena of dialogue. He noted that mercy, forgiveness, justice and ihsan are core values of Islam and that they should be brought into the dialogue.
(Fr Edwin Rodrigues, a Jesuit priest, is a lecturer of Sacred Scriptures at Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi).
(extracted from www.shantisalaamshanti.blogspot.com)