This week, my Muslim friend Raheel Raza asked me to come to Toronto’s Pakistani Consulate with her to protest her faith’s violent extremism against Christianity. It was an unexpected reach of kindness from Islam to me, a Christian, in response to a horrific attack days earlier at All Saints Anglican in Peshawar, which saw 85 Christians die when obscurantist suicide bombers rushed church doors as worshippers left. Like many, I’m angry that a powerful religion cannot correct its jihadism, and I don’t trust its ethos.
Hamid Ghassemi-Shall is a Muslim-Canadian who this week was finally released from Iranian prison after both Muslims and Christians lobbied five years for his freedom. Interfaith high-fives and hugs occurred between those working behind the scenes for his safe return to Canada – and then wise words were exchanged on the need for discretion over just how deep the co-operation really went.
These are two small illustrations from the salient truth that “A Common Word,” a ground-breaking initiative by Muslim leaders, has been exporting: “The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.”