You are here: home
HR defenders from Sri Lanka, Mr. Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen Mahesan, OMI, are currently in a situation of “house-arrest” by the court order since March 20, 2014.
Maulana Dr. Waris Mazhari is a graduate of the Dar ul-Uloom Deoband, and a Ph.D in Islamic Studies from the Jamia Millia Islamia. He presently teaches Islamic Studies at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad. He has written extensively on madrasas and madrasa reforms. In this interview with Victor Edwin, he reflects on some aspects of madrasa education in contemporary India.
Here is the final UPR Stakeholders and Process reports in PDF versions. Information is also available on the KMCP website. We are now at the stage of doing advocacy and lobbying to ensure that the OHCHR office adopts most of our recommendations. KMCP is in the process of developing a plan of action to guide us on this, it will be communicated to all stakeholders as soon as it is ready.
Irfan A. Omar, Associate Professor of Islam and World Religions, Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA, iInterviewed by Victor Edwin SJ
Q: What does Islam say about dialogue? Can you please elaborate with the help of references to the Quran and Hadith?
A: Islam arose in a milieu where Christianity and Judaism were also present. Naturally, people who became Muslims at that time were aware of many of the figures, saints and prophets that were part of Jewish and Christian heritage, such as Abraham. Islam’s view of itself is that it is a continuation of these earlier religions. It recognized them, sought to engage with their adherents and even referred to them as part of the family of religions (ahl-i-kitab). This is the context in which one must locate Islam’s position on dialogue. Islam has been dialogical from its very inception. There have been and are differences between people and the Quranic formula is to see the differences and diversity of peoples as a strength, rather than as a problem.
About 60 participants from 10 European countries have taken part in this year’s annual meeting. Among them there were fortunately sometimes more, sometimes fewer mostly young Slovenian colleagues who wanted to listen to the interesting lectures on single days. Following the overall topic “Art, Spirituality, Education” we wanted to reflect together how the arts subjects can contribute to promoting education and to opening up for spirituality.
Indian Muslims Condemn the Brutal Atrocities by ISIS against Minorities in Iraq and Syria; denounce religious intolerance, persecution and violence in the name of Islam
Indian Muslims are shocked and pained by the brutality and atrocities being perpetrated by the ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) against Christians, Shias, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the regions now under their control. We strongly condemn such barbarism which is against the teachings of Islam. We express our heart-felt sympathies and solidarity with the survivors of those whose near and dear ones have been mercilessly butchered, and the tens of thousands of Iraq’s minorities who have been dispossessed, forced to flee their homes and are now living in extremely difficult circumstances.
A Prayer of a Jesuit in Christian Muslim Relations
Give me your grace to gain a profound knowledge of Islam
Show me the way to deepen my love for Muslims
Empower me to present the Christ of the Gospel to Muslims
To gain a deep Knowledge of Islam and a special Love for Muslims that facilitate a Christian to remain a connected person with Muslims
Christians and Muslims get to know, understand, respect, appreciate and love one another as members of one human family, while remaining rooted in one’s faith traditions
"Human Being to become more Human." That was one of my important points which I got from the AYA/ATF program. At first I was kind of wondering, what is that mean? We are human, why we should be more human? But then in my reflection, I have found that nowadays we live in such a consumerism and materialistic era, we are searching to gain more and more, then fighting each other over thing, then we forget about humanism, and the others creations of God like the Earth even the empty spaces too. Our mainl focus on 2014 AYA/ATF program is about the relationship between human, Earth, ecology and how to sustain it based on farmers lives in ASEAN countries.
“From Lament to Action”
We, the senior religious leaders and interest constituencies of, respectively, women, youth, children, people with disabilities and people living with HIV/AIDS from all over Africa, have met at the Commonwealth Resort Hotel in Munyonyo, Kampala, from 30th June to 2nd July 2014 to deliberate on the ongoing process of the post 2015 Development Agenda.
We have reflected on the development challenges of our time, in particular poverty, security, coexistence, disease burden, resource harnessing and exploitation; governance, environmental degradation, global warming and attending negative change in climate, maternal and child mortality, socio-economic and political exclusion, all of which, acting individually and in concert, retard creation and deny a life of dignity to God’s people.
Sound of the flute is so unique and tuneful, but it can never achieve the glory of an orchestra. It never can be equated with the diverse beauty of an orchestra. Asian Youth Academy and Asian Theology Forum 2014 was such a colourful event endowed with the knowledge and the beauty of participants from 12 countries. Programme was held at State of Kerala in India, under the theme of "Holistic Human Development and Ecological Sustainability with Focus of Farmers in Asia". With the brain storming lectures from the veterans of farming, politics, theology and other religions and also the practical knowledge from farmers' families with the heart touching Indian hospitality are unforgettable experiences to all the participants for sure as it is to me.
Our world earnestly seeks peace. But war and violence continue to destroy any fragile hope for a peaceful future. Prejudice and disunity constantly threaten our harmonious coexistence. Though everyone wants to live in harmony yet a large number of people, (including ourselves) either become an active cause for disunity or more often remain passive and decide not to contribute to initiate peace-building measures and thus support the other side. Christians and Muslims cultivate deep prejudices against one another or even clash with one another in the name of their religions. Both these attitudes destroy peaceful and harmonious coexistence between them.
Sharafuddin, the Pilgrim
Sharafuddin was born about the year 1290 to a pious couple in a village called Sharafuddin near the modern town of Patna. He began his education when he was four years, four months and four days' old. Later, he went to Sonargaon in Bengal for his further Studies in the Sacred Scripture of Muslims: the Quran. Sharafuddin returned to his hometown in 1323. He did not stay home for long. The yearning of his heart was too great for him to settle down quietly in Maner. He felt the need for guidance along the Path to God. He set out for Delhi with his elder brother, Khaliluddin. There, he met Nizamuddin Auliya, the famous Sufi of his times. Sharafuddin was impressed by the holiness of Nizamuddin. However, he did not feel called to become his disciple. Then, he called upon Bu Ali Qalandar of Panipat and found this Sufi (Muslim saint) was lost in ecstasy most of the times. Sharafuddin was not keen on taking him as his guide. He was disappointed and almost decided to return home. His brother, however, encouraged him and took him to Sheikh Najibuddin Firdausi. Out of consideration for his brother, he agreed to visit him as a last attempt to find a spiritual guide for himself in Delhi. He was quite unexpectedly overcome emotionally at this meeting and was deeply affected by it. Without the slightest hesitation, he asked to become his disciple. Sharafuddin stayed in Delhi about eight years. He remained with Sheikh Najibuddin Firdausi till the latter’s death.
The Youth of Don Bosco Youth Services, Matunga and the Youth of Sacred Heart Parish, Sahiwal had a skype meet on 10th August 2014. There were 12 youth and 1 priest from Pakistan and 6 youth and 2 priests from India. The meeting began with a prayer said by Fr. Raphael followed by briefing the youth in India about the history of the parish in Sahiwal. Fr. Glenford then introduced the works done at Don Bosco. After this basic introduction, each youth from both the sides came forward and introduced themselves. The introduction was like an ice breaker, where the youth were getting to know each other and expressing their joy with a big smile and laughing over things mutually. It was indeed a new experience for youth on both sides. The importance of the Indo-Pak dialogue was shared by Marina and Ashiknaz. The youth on both sides then shared the activities that they do in their respective youth groups. The challenges in terms of education and employment were discussed. There was also an exchange of culture in relation to festivals and freedom of expression. The youth answered each other’s questions one by one. The youth were touched to find a common platform in faith and expressed their ideas on being committee to their faith. The youth on both sides showed solidarity with each other and exchanged message on peace. The meeting ended with a prayer said by Fr. Cleophus and both the groups decided to continue to build their solidarity with each other. This skype meet encouraged youth to network with other youth movements and share the spirit of humanity and stand up for human rights.
These are contributions to the next Report of Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, John Knox on ‘good practices” about relationship between Human Rights and the Environmental Protection. Deadline: end of August
The Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, John Knox was appointed by the HRC resolution 19/10, since August 2012 to:
• Study the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, in consultation with relevant stakeholders;
• Identify, promote and exchange views on best practices relating to the use of human rights obligations and commitments to inform, support and strengthen environmental policy making, especially in the area of environmental protection;
A. Amrita Anandi, Dept. of Biotechnology, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata
“I am a Christian, You are a Muslim.” This was my attitude before attending the eye-opening lecture of Fr. Victor Edwin SJ on July 26 evening at Fr. Depelchin auditorium, St. Xavier’s College. Fr. Victor made me realize that we are all children of one God whom Christians recognize in Christ as compassionate Father.
We wish to emphasize the testimony of Antoinette from MCW of Central African Republic. How not to get excited with the value of this woman, affected by war and her daughter's death, who took refuge in a convent and, in appalling conditions, mobilized all her forces to help others, to provide them support and comfort.
The WMCM emphasises the concept of "fraternity", in particular in the preparation of the 20152016 regional seminars. It is not always easy to live as brothers and sisters of the same family, the great human family. We have to overcome many obstacles, disagreements and fears. But when we look around us, we see that there are men and women around the world whose daily actions, without much noise, allow to restore that fraternity we all yearn.
It is indeed an amazing feeling meeting people from the indigenous community, they are the ones who till date preserve the real essence of nature and humanity. Blessed to have lived with few indigenous souls and have learnt a lot about life. Anthropos Rock !! HAPPY INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WORLD'S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
Indialogue Foundation (IF) and Islamic Studies Association (ISA) jointly organized an iftar for the friends of ISA at IF’s office at Greater Kailash on 22 July 2014. Fr Leonard Fernando SJ, the Principal, Vidyajyoti along with a few staff members and students of Vidyajyoti attended the iftar.
Director of Indialogue Foundation, Mr.Bilal Acikgoz, the welcomed the guests. Victor Edwin SJ briefly introduced the Vision and Mission of Hizmet Movement that runs the Indialogue Foundation. The members of Hizmet Movement draw inspiration and guidance from Mr. Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish religious thinker and visionary.
Reflections on an Iftar Party (1)
Bro Bibin Mattathil
Eye openers in life happen very rarely and this rarity demands that one has to go after those eye openers reflectively. Our visit to the Civil Lines Mosque for an Iftar party with our Muslim brothers was one such an occasion for all the 15 of us from Vidyajyoti College of Theology. We were guided by Victor Edwin SJ who keeps up brotherly relationship with the Imam of this particular mosque. A way to shed away the prejudices about a religion is to know it correctly by way of interaction, dialogue, friendly gathering. Iftar gathering that we had, on 24th of July 31, 2014, was such an occasion for all, as we all would agree.