Beirut skyline captures religious rivalry and harmony

In Al Arabiya (English) In Beirut’s rapidly evolving skyline, a newly built cathedral bell tower has risen next to the soaring minarets of a landmark mosque, symbolizing both religious coexistence and competition in a city split by sectarian war from … Continue reading

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Dutch Mosque Groups Stand Up For Interfaith Relations

In response to incidents of anti-Semitism in Europe connected to the Gaza war, The Council of Mosques and the Union of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands called upon their congregations to champion respect and tolerance. A spokesperson for these Dutch mosque groups explained that they were not trying to ban or forbid criticism of Israel, but that they simply were insisting that even strong opinions  “should not be a license for anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim statements or actions.” The spokesperson also said, “all mosques in Netherlands are in agreement about that our behavior should encourage relationships of brotherhood between Islam and Judaism.” This is hopeful.

Photograph: Getty Images

It is to be expected that the tragic reality of the Gaza war will give rise to passionate opinions.  We pray desperately for peace and healthy life environments for all in the Holy Land.  In the mean time, we laud affirmations made by the Council of Mosques and the Union of Moroccan Mosques Netherlands. May their call be heeded. As these groups follow the clear Islamic principle to honor Christians and Jews, “people of the book,” tied together “by a common belief in the God of Abraham.” We pray that all world religions find ways to emphasize our common hopes for good and make small the effects of our differences. It is possible to live as champions of this ideal even in common activities of our day to day lives.

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Jihadist destruction in Iraq

The IRFWP reports with great sorrow that jihadists who overran Mosul last month destroyed ancient shrines and mosques in and around this northern Iraq city. Upon occupying the city, four Sunni and/or Sufi shrines and six Shiite mosques have been toppled … Continue reading