Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Local Muslim Response to Recent Boston Violence

Many of you are already aware of our church’s commitment to Interfaith dialogue as one way to tangibly demonstrate the love of Jesus to others, even when we don’t necessarily agree with all their beliefs or practices.   After all, loving others is not limited merely to those who worship, believe, or look like us, or who have the same politics or religious practices as us.  Instead, the religion of Jesus Christ builds bridges of peaceful dialogue with others across all kinds of cultural, racial, theological and religious lines.

That’s why, in light of the recent violence and terrorist acts in Boston supposedly motivated by Islam, I’m happy to share the response of the “Atlanta Islamic Speakers Bureau” (from the same speaker who came to our church in 2012 to share about Isalm) to those events as a way of encouraging further dialogue and love with our Muslim neighbors.  (By the way, this response was shared with us today by a leader of the East Cobb Islamic Center just around the corner from our church):

ISB Condemns Terrorist Act in Boston, Commits to Interfaith Dialogue

This has been a difficult last few weeks for us, both as Americans and as Muslims. We were all horrified as our country was again attacked by extremists in Boston. Additionally, and sadly, those same extremists attempted to justify their heinous actions by citing Islam, in direct contravention of everything that we know and believe to be the true nature of our religion. A sentiment that is very well expressed by comedian, writer and producer Dean Obeidallah, “I’m a Muslim, and I hate Terrorism.”

Indeed, these last few weeks have tested us as communities and as a nation. But as so often has happened in the past, we as a nation have begun to pull together to heal and mourn the national loss of lives. Thankfully, this seems to be a strong national characteristic that all Americans share - irrespective of heritage or religion. When challenged, we fall back on the ideals that have come to define and unite us. And so our hearts are with those who lost loved ones and who were negatively impacted by what happened. …

These tragedies serve as a reminder that we need to appreciate and love people around us…. The ISB sends well wishes to the Orthodox and Coptic Christians who celebrated Palm Sunday on Sunday, April 28 and will celebrate Easter on May 5. Finally, I would like to send love and appreciation to all ISB friends and readers.  Sincerely,
            --Soumaya Khalifa, Executive Director, ISB Atlanta (in their March 2013 online newsletter)

Please pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters as they discern how to deal with those who use Islam inappropriately, and pray for ourselves that we may know how to demonstrate true Christian love to and for them. It’s what Jesus would do! Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

1 comment:

  1. Rev Germano, by giving this space to Mrs Khalifa, has shown the love that Jesus taught about. Interfaith dialogue is so important in our pluralistic society. Islam and Christianity show reverence and respect to Jesus and the love of Jesus is above and beyond any theological or other differences.