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 Our dear friend Ghulam Rasool, a Delhi based writer is a graduate from a Sufi Islamic seminary. He works at Madrasa Hazarat Nizamudin Auliya as Arabic teacher. He invited sometime ago some of us from Vidyajyoti to visit him and his students for a session of conversation on faith: faith of Muslims and Christians. He was keen to help the post graduate level students of his institute to relate with and to share and learn from Christians. We four of us from Vidyajyoti reached a place where we were to meet Ghulam bhai. Ghulam bhai appeared with a student of his madrasa and walked us to the madrasa.

 To our surprise and joy, we found there were around 50 students waiting for us in the Hall. It is important to say who these students are.

 A group of first year theology students from Vidyajyoti college of Theology visited Ms. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi to listen to her views on Islam, Muslims and Women in Islam. Ms Fehmi is one of the Islamic Feminist Writers & Journalist. She has edited political monthly Headline Plus and Mission and has been the managing editor of a daily newspaper and a magazine. She has also written in major dailies and magazines. She writes regularly on gender-just understandings of Islam. 

The Christian Youth Development Movement and International Christian Concern on Sunday 21st of September commemorated the International Day of Peace 2014 with a multi-faith gathering in Bangkok to express solidarity with Christians suffering for their faith in Iraq and other conflict zones.

Attendees of the commemoration, which included Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, discussed the persecution of Christians and other religious groups across the Middle East and efforts being taken to ease their suffering and restore peace to the region.

The commemoration included a minute of silence for the Christians in Iraq, who live in fear of attacks by the Islamic State, and those in other parts of the region who are trapped in War zones.

Maria Khan, PhD candidate, Department of Islamic Studies Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi

Members from the Centre for Peace and Spirituality (CPS) were invited to address students of theology at Vidyajyoti College of Theology, New Delhi on September 5, 2014. Of the four-member team, Rajat Malhotra spoke on the Al-Risala and CPS Movement, Sadia Khan spoke on Jihad in Islam, Maria Khan spoke on Understanding Religion from the Islamic Perspective, and Sufia Khan spoke on Islam and Peace. The talks were followed by a question and answer session. Victor Edwin SJ, the course director of the module “Popular Islam” invited CPS and made all arrangements.

  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.

 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.

Vision

To gain a deep Knowledge of Islam and a special Love for Muslims that facilitate a Christian to remain a connected person with Muslims

Mission

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

Statement

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.