While political mud-slinging is de riguer in primary races, 2012 has brought several not-so-thinly-veiled anti-Muslim soundbytes from its frontrunning candidates. Last week, Newt Gingrich said that he would not support a Muslim president unless they would “commit in public to giv[ing] up Sharia.” Rick Santorum also expressed his thoughts on Islam, saying that the concept of equality “doesn’t come from Islam” or “Eastern Religions.” Instead, he said, “it comes from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
The Global Muslim Jewish Friendship Forum (GMJFF)
is excited to announce its first public program:
“All-American Muslim” is not an Oxymoron:
What does it mean to be American and Muslim in the 21st century?
“Christian-Muslim Engagement in Positive Terms” is a two-part series led by Dr. Lucinda Mosher, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Studies at Hartford Seminary with Dr. Hussein Rashid, Professor of Religious Studies, Hofstra University. In the first session on 1/22, Dr. Mosher will introduce attendees to her work as an activist and educator who promotes warm-hearted understanding between Muslims and Christians, and will address questions which commonly arise such as the meaning of “shari ‘ah” and the difference between Sunni and Shi‘ah Islam. In the second session on 1/29, Dr Mosher and Dr Hussein Rashid, a Muslim academic and activist who has taught at Virginia Theological Seminary and Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, will address some of the issues arising in Christian-Muslim relations.
Water: Ritual Blessings
Wednesday, February 1, 7 pm
Throughout the ages, most of the great religions of the world have used water as a purifying element. The Mikveh is the ritual purifying site for Orthodox Jewish women after the menstrual period. Water is also used as part of the Jewish conversion ceremony. Christians have made baptism into one of the central sacramental rites of the Church. Muslims perform their ablutions before entering into prayer. What are the origins of water purifying rituals?
Answering these questions and yours will be:
Rev. Patrick Ryan, S.J.
Lawrence J. McGintley Professor of Religion and Society, Fordham University, NY
Dr. Hussein Rashid
Islam Professor, Hofstra University, NY
Dr. Claudia Setzer
Professor of Religion, Manhattan College, NY
Introduction to Islam
Dr. Hussein Rashid
Three Thursdays: January 26, February 9, 16 7:00-9:00 p.m.
More than one million Muslims live in the greater New York area. How much do we know of their beliefs and practices? Dr. Rashid will guide us through a basic understanding of Islam as it is practiced in America and abroad. We will look at the Qur’an, Islam’s holy scriptures, and explore its relationship to the Bible of Jews and Christians. He will also help us to understand the many varieties of Islam, including Sunni, Shi’ia and Sufism. There will be ample opportunity for questions and answers, and for discussion.
Join us on Sunday, January 15, 2012 for a wonderful day full of justice works and joy celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jacqui Lewis will preach a sermon called “Where Do We Go From Here?” and both our choirs will offer special music. Rabbi Jonathan Stein and Hussein Rashid will help to lead this interfaith worship celebrating our ongoing call to justice. Stay for our soul food brunch, and Adriene Thorne’s class, “Gandhi, King, and Our Faith.” The Middle Project will also sponsor a King Day workshop for btw_youth in conjunction with Chicago’s Edutainment project and the Lower East Side Girl’s Club.
My original piece at Religion Dispatches: Muslim Boycott of Bloomberg’s Interfaith Breakfast | Religion Dispatches