Religious dialogues: Muslims and Christians

by birtanpublished on July 9, 2020

We're going to have a chance for you toask questions and I hope that some ofyou have been emailing them and I'mgoing to turn to Matthew cradle themouth from the dark who will speak forthbut bad questions might be coming fromyou thank you to those thank you to

Those of you who've sent in questionsfor the Muslims on the panel what do youexpect from a Christian who really wantsto show his or her love for Muslimsreally nothing else just okay and Ithink you know first of all this is

Incredible in the word love itself meansyou know love is a very deep deepemotion somebody shows left to me Iexpect myself to reciprocate that numberone number two I mean I really wouldlike that individual or that institution

To spread that love because we reallyneed that I mean to be the example tonot be not be fearful and just keep itwithin what do we let that know in apublic sense because that's what we needwe need to inspire rest of the country

Honestly I just really quicklyi youknow one of the things often times youhear the Golden Rule it's something asan idea that's shared by by the variousfaith communities the particularverbiage that's used as a was the

Teaching of Muhammad the Prophet ofIslam may God's peace be upon him is isthe following he says he said he usesthe he goes into this ayah the notion ofthe golden rule but using the word lovehe says as a definition of a believer he

Says none of you is a true believerunless you love for your fellow humanbeing what you love for yourself andit's not just doing unto others butreally loving for them what you love foryourself so I that the idea of being

Able to get to the point where you canlove for other requires that you do thehard work of misunderstanding and theeducation and with making thefriendships and the principles ofjustice and mercy that Professor

And spoke about so eloquently and drWoodbury as well in his travels to andthrough the Muslim world it's to get tothe point where someone can say I wantto love you know express my love to orto a Muslim that's the end of a journey

And if the person starts out therethey've already clearly gone throughsome tremendous growth in their ownheart and that's an example for all ofhumanity to follow I mean as a Muslimwoman who wears a hijab she I always

Have to kind of look at people's gaze atyou right I mean you do see people whoare genuinely afraid of you and it's notfunny and so if you're in an elevatorfor example and you know people willactually exit the elevator it's like I

Don't want to ride the elevator with youI don't want to take that riskso you notice some of these some ofthese instances and you notice some ofthese looks of suspicious and of fearand I really love when I see and it's

Specifically people of faithspecifically Christians for examplepeople who believe in God and theybelieve in that love and who randomlyalso tell you and you know how much theyactually feel for you or how much

There's a lot more incidents like thatthere's a lot more people coming up tous complete strangers in standing in aline for example saying you know what Iwant to apologize for all the stuff thatyou have to go through and and and you

Know I mean my response is always islike you don't need to apologize forsomebody else's but I mean it's alwaysshedding that love and I always feellike it's it's it comes out of people'sbelief and believe in God and and then

Their belief and their faith thatthey're actually able to distinguishthat able to see that you know you're afellow human being and you haven't doneanything wrong you know particularly soI would say honestly for every for every

Incidence of fear or or even ofterrified looks or of comments of youknow there is always a lot more a lotmore sharing of love of support ofpeople willing like what Faisal wassaying to stand up actually and share

That publicly and say you know what Iwill speak up if I see anybody doingsomethinglong or some somebody beingdiscriminatory or anything like that sothat's really amazing give a quick

Example that there's a the young younggal she's a chaplain in in Midwest IslamMuslim chaplain and she was and this islast year she was flying why they fly wehave a lot of flying flight stories wellyou know you put you put a whole bunch

Of different kind of people in theairplane or universities of veryinteresting dynamics that develop so soshe was flying and then there was someguy behind her who just could be costlyabuser she was a job and made racist

Comments throughout her trip and shecame out literally crying then sheposted that on Facebook went viral andwhat what she said harder most is thatnobody in that around her nobody stoodup or spoke for her or defended her so I

Mean true love is really your gonna putto put your ones gonna have to putthemselves in harm's way I mean isn'tcome it's not an easy exercise if youwill I don't know the source of thequote but someone once said that love

Expressed in public is justice and inmercy yeah thank you very much let'shave another question yeah we haveanother question what are some practicalways that Muslim and Christiancommunities can work together to empower

And encourage women okay so questionscentered specifically on women I assumethis is for anyone though maybe we leanthis way for starters I I just wanted tostart with a general comment maybe umit's actually um and that's for more

What I've read about people talkingabout gender in the Muslim world and Iwould say don't assume you know and talkto Muslim women don't assume you knowbecause actually you may think I there'san anthropologist his name is Leila Abu

Lahab and she wrote a book and try tothe do Muslim women need saving to besavedin sense of a lot of people who go fastto rescue and buy what does it mean andthat is that you know so I think we had

For me my recommendation for mycommunity is is we should first listenand listen to variety of voices butlisten to what are the real needs ofMuslim women that's what I would saywould be a good exercise but you are

More qualified for that saving by Jesusor saving from every ministry but yeah Isaved a yeah because she saved from anyand all things and you know that's thetitle of the book I would just say thatyou know because on project I've

Attended that I mean that's an exampleof really empowering each other and Iyou know that you should perhaps mentionyour experience in that yeah one of thethings that in the step process that wehave it's ultimately where we want to

Get going is to have people figure outwhat what is God put you on earth forand so for example I'm working a lotwith college students and right nowthere's a Muslim college students that Iwork with and she is I helped her just

Was part of her discovery process offinding out that she wanted to be amidwife and she loves delivery andmaternal health and all that kind ofstuff and then I work with a Christiancollege student who is studying to be a

Nurse and wants to specialize in thatarea and so I connected the two and oneof them is moving em to Kosovo and Iconnected them there with some Muslimsand Christians that are working onimproving maternal health for people

There and so now they're potentiallythinking of hey let's get some Muslimand Christian medical students to goover and help some of these clinicsthere that are really struggling or sometraining you know things like that

Because we do a lot of these thingsseparately so Muslims go over all overthe world helping in relief anddevelopment and Christians have theirown organizations doing that it makes somuch more sense for us to combine

Efforts and so I think that women'sissues is one of that but all many otherissues as well yeah did you want toshare any remember nothing I also wonone I think there's a two aspects that Ithink important to to consider on the

Issue of empowerment of womenone is the general education of women inthe role of women and the perceptionhere in the in the West q did a studyand it and it showed that in that studyMuslim women were the most educated

Class of you know demographicallyspeaking within the United Statessecond only to Jewish women so Jewishwomen were the most educated secondwhere Muslim women in the United Statesas a proportion of the demographic of

Muslims in the United States the so soit's true that in certain Muslim culturecertain Muslim context women aremistreated by Muslim men it's not a slamthat is mistreating them it has to dowith the cultural context so within

General the general society in the Westwomen are have opportunities here infree Western societies and in someMuslim societies within the religiouscontext however sometimes women are notgiven equal opportunity to have a space

Spiritual space and there have been anumber of blogs that have started upsuch as site entrance blog in which youknow there are incidents incidentsrecorded of mosques that have inadequatespaces for women to pray or to

Participate in community etc and so oneof the things that we're trying to do atthe at the Islamic seminary at by an isto give opportunity to empower womenthrough education and throughcredentialing McColl's partner son DOS

Before joining by an as a student inIslamic chaplaincy she actually was oneof the first women that I know of in thecountry to serve as president of themosque of the board of the mosque soit's happening but it's less frequent

Not nearly as frequent it needs to beand when she was considering graduateschool to what kind of degree she wouldneed in order to be most successfulwe had a long conversation about whichdegree she should pursue should it be

Interfaced Chaplaincy or Islamicchaplaincy and I persuaded her to pursueIslamic chaplaincy because part of whatthat degree will help you gain iscredibility within the Muslim communitybeing able to speak more authoritative

Ly to Muslims about Islam but also inrepresenting Islam too than our Muslimcommunity and the Christian community soI think education within religiouscontext for the empowerment of women isimportant here in the West even an even

Though women generally have a very highlevel of education and access yeah thankyou I think we just have time for onemore questionand it's posed this way as a devoutChrist follower I believe in the power

Of prayer to build bridges of lovebetween Christians and Muslims how canChristians in the room personally prayfor you and Muslims in general orspecifically so this is a directed at aMuslim audience member alright so

Because a professor Woodberry wouldwould be able to give the theologicallyappropriate response to that from withinan evangelical context or professorEvelyn but I would just say what wouldwe like you to pray for us for you know

I think it would be most helpful for usas a community if you prayed for for ourcommunity to to be better understood forour community to be to feel lessmarginalized less vulnerable lessinsecure for us who are older it's not a

Problem and you know growing up with aname like jihad you know you learn tohave thick skin but you know but for butfor younger kids it's a much moredifficult time and you see in theclassrooms that you visit it's it's very

Challenging for young people in theirformation of their identity and theirreligious identity in particular asMuslims for that to be done in a waythat allows them as Muslims to grow aloving heart

Because when you feel whether it'sisolated or marginalized it's it's hardto to not have a young kid respond withequal and opposite reaction Airyanimosity and so I would I don't know ifthat's a if that's a good enough answer

But to pray for our community to be tofeel embraced and to feel the love ofthe faith communities that surround usand by society in general here in theWest and then at the global in a worldpeace so I would just say that you know

Whenever some white Christian colleaguesor other colleagues when they say thatmay God be with you it really it feelsgood and and it really touches me and Ithink you know prayers are welcome youknow I'm a physician I

I believe that prayers of healing powerI you know we have scientific clinicalproof of some of that my prayers of kidswell-being safety of people around us Imean they're welcome men should beshould be you know really exchanged more

Frequently than they really they reallyare I just have you know more recently Iwas involved in this campaign to raisefunds for San Bernardino shootingvictims my nonprofit has projects inthat area we have a program that became

That went viral was very successfulraised over $200,000 and in the in whenthat campaign was on and I was reallybusy I mean I was on call at thehospital I had a lot of stroke emergencyemergencies coming in I was just running

Between hospital rooms to hospital roomstrying to manage and coordinate thecampaign on my device and is reallystressed out and one of the things Iwasn't really having a hard timefiguring out is what the county is going

To do I didn't I was having verydifficult time getting hold of Countyofficials so I called this gentleman whoI've gotten to know he's an evangelicalpastor in the community and he said youknow I said I need your help

Turned out that he was a pastor to abunch of public officials in the area sobecame really easy he got he got meconnected to them but he just the lastthing he said to me he said you know I'mhe said I'm here to do God's work I

Believe in you I believe in what you'redoing and I'm gonna do everything tohelp youand my prayers are with you and and andtill this day I email him when I ask himcan you please please keep in your

Prayers which is some something we sayamongst Muslims I never really used thatexpression with with the other in anecumenical sense but now I make a pointto do that cuz I feel like asking him todo that and and that makes me feel very

Comfortablethank you Jesus is very highly thoughtof in Islam and is mentioned frequentlythroughout the Quran and so he is a rolemodel for Muslims and for Christians Icertainly if I'm understanding the

Question correctly I think we all shouldbe praying that we will become morechrist-like and if we do become morechrist-like we will be attractivethroughout both communities because ofthe very high position Christ heads in

In the Quran and in Islam thank you anyconcluding comments here it was abeautiful way of ending young you've allgiven us a wonderful gift and I both byjust your own spirits and your words andyour wisdom I'm struck by a couple

Things just as we close one is howimportant it is that we grow in thesefriendships and how easy it is to letthem pass because the challenges the barmay seem too high the disorientationthat's there and yet clearly in the

Future of the world in the future ofthis very important conversation andrelationship between Muslims andChristians it's just extremely importantthat we do give ourselves to this I wasI was stunned and then not surprised I

Suppose by the study that came out abouta year a little more than a year agothat that talked on racial terms thatvery few Americans have close friends ofpeople of another race if that's true ohanother race it's also true I would

Venture to say of deep friendshipsacross religious divisions as wellI think that I and we as at fuller andwe all of us together here tonight havereally been given a wonderful gift andthe gift will be the challenge of how we

Go out from this place and actuallycultivate meaningful friendships andremember to pray for one another acrossour similarities and our differencesplease join me in thanking our panelistsOh

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