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    Recently a Muslim friend asked me about the statutes in the Church whether Christians worship statues. In other words: Are Christians idol worshipers? We had a very helpful religious conversation around the topic. I would like to share with you...

Peace and greetings.

Welcome to July 2015 issue of Salaam.

Editorial (VE)


     On 3 July 2015 the Education Minister of the Maharashtra government dropped a bomb shell. He announced that Madrasas which do not teach primary subjects such as English, Maths and Science would be considered as "non-schools" and children studying in them as "out of school" kids. This decision was conveyed in a letter written by the state’s minority affairs department to the school education department. This directional order drew fierce criticism from several quarters including the opposition parties, and from many Muslims and Muslim institutions (See: Reacting sharply to the government decision, the president of the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen(AIMIM), Asaduddin Owaisi, questioned the rationale behind the government’s decision, since “there are many madrasas that are teaching Maths, English and science. Many madrasa students have gone ahead and cracked civil services exams,”he said (See:

      Father Thomas V Kunnunkal SJ, President of Islamic Studies Association (Delhi), along with Father T. K. John Professor Emeritus, Fr P.R. John SJ and Victor Edwin SJ of Vidyajyoti College of Theology visited Maulana Wahiduddin Khan 22 June 2015 at his residence in West Nizamuddin, Delhi and delivered the message that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Commission for Interreligious Dialogue sent to Muslims to wish them a peaceful and joyful celebration of the month of Ramzan and Eid al-Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan”.


In this paper I would like to reflect on his dialogical method in the light of his course on Islam for the students of Regional theology Centre at Danapur and later in Khaspur. Jackson conducted this particular course for 26 years from 1983.

 I propose to illustrate that totally present to the other is at the heart of the dialogical legacy of Paul Jackson. Jackson discovered this in his pilgrimage into the writings of Sufi Saint Sharafuddin Maneri, and into the lives of many theologically thinking and spiritually vibrant Muslim friends. He endeavoured to create an ambiance for his students to learn something similar to what he has learnt from the context of Muslims of Bihar.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Islam, Peace, Justice and Dialogue

Yoginder Sikand and Victor Edwin 

   In a conversation with a group of Christians who are members of Islamic Studies Association (ISA), Delhi Maulana Wahiduddin Khan's tells about his understanding of Islam, Peace, Justice and Dialogue. ISA aims to work for communal harmony and national integration in India. The Constitution of ISA notes; “In the name of God and His ever greater service, to promote national integration of all Indian cultural, social and religious groups and support Government programs for this purpose”, and to “work towards harmonious relations among Muslims, Christians, Hindu and other religious and social communities in India”. This broad desire is focused on the first specific step:  “to promote study, research and teaching regarding the history, religion, culture, socio-economic conditions and other aspects of Islam”.

 Common elements draw Christians and Muslims to fellowship

When Muslims greet others, they say: 'As sallamu aleikum'. Their greeting is a beautiful prayer. They wish in their greeting 'May you come ever more fully and completely into the state of Islam by submitting your will to God (Qur'an 33:44). A Christian offers to all whom he meets Peace of Christ, because Christ is our peace (Eph. 2:14). These greetings indicate something common: God and God's will for humanity, albeit they both recognize God and His will in different ways. What they recognize in common draw them to fellowship (NA 1).

Pope Francis:  he was kind, full of Joy, and full of warmth: Prof. Akhtarul Wasey (Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Government of India, New Delhi)

Victor Edwin: You were a special invitee from India to participate and speak in the Conference organised by Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome on their Golden Jubilee. What were your impressions of this Catholic Institute and its efforts in Christian Muslim Dialogue?

Prof. Akhtarul Wasey: I feel privileged to be invited from India in fact from South Asia to participate in this conference.