The interfaith dialogue initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to build bridges of understanding between Islam and the West has been well received by religious leaders worldwide. This was evident at the community outreach program that was organized by the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry's Committee of International Trade (CIT) on the sidelines of the US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum April 28-29 in Chicago.Let's be clear about what's really going on here. The Wahhabis are using the lingo of "interfaith" and "human rights" to bamboozle the infidels into further accommodating Islam. It's the soft jihad in action--the jihad of hugs 'n' kisses, not bullets and bombs. But don't be fooled. It's every bit as insidious as the hard jihad, since, ultimately, the purpose is the same: to establish the primacy of sharia, Islam's "universal" law, everywhere, for all time.
US President Barack Obama's vision of interfaith harmony as expounded in historic June 2009 address to the Muslim world from Cairo is now beginning to unfold, and I could notice the positive developments that are taking place in the United States.
Five members of the delegation accompanying Commerce and Industry Minister Abdullah Zainal Alireza to the Windy City participated in the Interfaith Breakfast Dialogue, which took place at the University of Chicago's Gleacher Center. They got the opportunity to discover the efforts of religious leaders dedicated to building a peaceful coexistence between the Abrahamic faiths in the Chicago community.
In a moderated panel discussion, five religious leaders of different faiths addressed the backlash after 9/11 and stressed the need for interfaith programs to dispel misunderstanding and media misconceptions that spread hatred and false information about different faiths. The panel included an imam, a reverend, a rabbi and other religious leaders who outlined their missions toward finding common grounds and building trust and respect among all religions.
They also shared their experiences and activities involving the Chicago community in interfaith dialogue and interfaith learning. One of the most interesting institutions represented was The Chicago Coalition for Inter-Religious Learning, a group of Catholics, Jews and Muslims working together with an approach based on a spirit of respectful inquiry, neither attempting to "convert" nor claiming that there is no difference between the three Abrahamic religions.
Indeed, this new approach of accepting and respecting the differences between Muslims, Christians and Jews could put an end to hostilities and eliminate the tension and conflict that mars relations between the Muslim world and the West. The coalition includes educators, writers and book publishers who came together after 9/11 to confront teachings of hatred, contempt and damaging stereotypes that can be found in religious school classrooms.
It is truly heartening to know that there are efforts to stop the spread of Islamophobia and the discrimination against people of different faiths...
Monday, May 10, 2010
Beware of Wahhabis Bearing 'Interfaith' Gifts
This editorial, which gives a nod of approval to a transformational figure, appears in Wahhabi rag, Arab News: