Do Christians, Jews and Muslims worship the same God?
That question became the center of a Facebook-fueled controversy after Elgin-area U46 School Board member Jeanette Ward commented on social media when her daughter’s 6th-grade language arts class was assigned to read, “Despite differences, Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God.”
Ward called the article, written by Philip Almond, emeritus professor in the History of Religious Thought at the University of Queensland in Australia, “utterly incorrect and false on many levels.”
Local faith leaders have a variety of views on the matter, as well as concern with how discourse on the topic was conducted.
Agreeing with Daubert’s point were Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein of Congregation Kneseth Israel, Haroon Qureshi of the Islamic Center of Kane County and Pastor Katie Shaw Thompson of the Highland Church of the Brethren, who recently met with the Courier-News to talk about the question and the aftermath of the assignment.
Allah, the name used by Muslims for God, and El, one of the names for God in the Jewish faith, are similar in sound, have the same root and refer to the same entity, Klein and Qureshi said.
As but one commonality, Qureshi said that his faith’s word for God is Allah, while Klein noted El is one of the names used for God in the Jewish faith.