When the Bear Creek Islamic Center recently held an open house, more than 100 Christians and residents living near the mosque were able to pose questions about whether Islam considers Jesus a God, fosters terrorism and views women as a lesser gender.
“People live with opinions formed from sound bites,” said Kate Sunday, who is a Methodist and came with her husband. “We have dear Muslim friends who go to the mosque, and we wanted to experience what they experience. We differ when it comes to our prophet. But we are all children of God.”
GainPeace, a Chicago nonprofit established to promote better understanding of the Islamic faith, local mosques and other Islamic groups, has held more than 3,000 open houses during the past four years to combat negative stereotypes of Muslims and the Muslim faith.
Open houses have been held in nearly every major U.S. city, with a quarter of mosques holding at least one open house annually in recent years, said GainPeace executive director Sabeel Ahmed.
“We have felt that there are many barriers between Americans, and these barriers are giving rise to Islamophobia,” said Ahmed, a physician, who spoke at the Bear Creek Islamic Center open house. “This event helps us connect as humans. At the end of the day, we find that we have so many things in common.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE
AMMAN – In a call for peace, love and harmony among religions, known as the Amman Message, Muslims and Christians came together to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation in Jordan.
Organised by the Catholic Centre for Studies and Media (CCSM), under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Prime Ministry Affairs Jamal Sarayreh, the March 25 event was hailed as a symbol of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
“This is the first event that joins Muslims and Christians together in celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation. It aims at reasserting the deep values of the brotherly relations between Muslims and Christians in Jordan, a country of peace and understanding,” said CCSM Director Father Rif’at Bader.
“The event represents a continuation of the Amman Message, the Common Word Initiative and the World Interfaith Harmony Week. It sends a clear message to the world that religion, with its values of love, can really contribute to peacemaking and stability, as well as to the restoration of cohesion and harmony.”
The Amman Message was released by Jordanian King Abdullah II in 2004 focusing on what “Islam is and what it is not” and “what actions represent Islam and what actions do not.” King Abdullah said its goal was to “clarify to the modern world the true nature of Islam and the nature of true Islam.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE ARAB WEEKLY
International event aims to encourage mutual understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.
An international event aiming to break fears and prejudices against Muslims and promote empathy has been launched in King’s Cross station in central London, the capital of Britain.
The event this week will see young Muslims promoting mutual understanding in public places in various countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, France and Austria.
‘Hello, I am a Muslim’
The Islamic Community Milli Gorus (ICMG) group said in a statement on Thursday that thousands of young Muslims living in Europe, Australia and Canada will take to the streets to deliver “their ‘Hello, I am a Muslim’ message to introduce themselves”.
“Contacting people individually is the most natural and the best way of promoting understanding and empathy,” the ICMG said.
“We have prepared the ‘Hello, I am a Muslim’ events to encourage mutual communication and cooperation between Muslims and non-Muslims,” said Kemal Ergun, the group’s president.
More than 500 mosques across Europe will also take part in the initiative, according to the ICMG statement.
FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA
In an average week, I deliver presentations to hundreds of people on various topics related to Islam and Muslims. Oftentimes, such presentations yield real changes in public perception of Muslims, but almost as often, I’m confronted with antiquated, negative stereotypes.
I recently spoke to a group of 80 college-educated, mostly liberal women in Silicon Valley, certainly one of the most progressive regions of the United States. I was astonished to find that, despite revelations of widespread sexual harassment of women in Hollywood, the tech industry and other professions in the United States that have spawned the #MeToo movement, what concerned these women most was “saving” American Muslim women — from Islam.
Given that most American Muslims are immigrants or first-generation Americans, the attitudes displayed bore a disquieting resemblance to the xenophobic and anti-immigrant attitudes that are poisoning our body politic today.
FULL ARTICLE FROM RELIGION NEWS
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave a scathing response Wednesday to United States President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel earlier that day.
Citing the city’s Muslim and Christian strongholds and historical ties, Abbas negated the Jewish state’s ancient claim on the capital, saying, “US President Trump’s decision tonight will not change the reality of the city of Jerusalem, nor will it give any legitimacy to Israel in this regard, because it is an Arab Christian and Muslim city, the capital of the eternal state of Palestine.”