FOREWORD – Sheikh Umar al-Qadri

FOREWORD

The world has become a global village where happenings in one part of the world have their bearing on the rest of the world. Therefore the need to foster positive understanding and interaction among all religions has increased manifold, especially in view of the peculiar nature of threats posed to global order and peace.

n the past the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great tried to bring Muslims and Hindus together by contriving his own divine religion (Din-e-Ilahi). This philosophy of amalgamating “Raheem” (Muslim God) and “Ram” (Hindu God) could not succeed. The reason forth is failure was its unrealistic approach in which the identities of both religions were eliminated by the imposition of a uniform religious structure.

This resource explains that there is no need to eliminate differences in order to construct a good society. It also emphasises the need to respect and understand the beliefs of others. These form the basis on which believers of different religions can live together. The followers of different religions and faiths need to join in opening the doors of dialogue and interaction in order to live peacefully and to eliminate terrorism and extremism.

Islam and Christianity are the two largest religions and Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world.

This publication is an effective resource aimed at Muslims and Christians living in Ireland that not only in detail explains the importance of interfaith dialogue but also the most effective and practical approach to it. What makes this publication unique is that it is the result of a two-year project in whicsheikh umarh many meetings between Muslims and Christians took place around Ireland.

I congratulate Gerard Forde for compiling this resource and am confident that it will not only result in better understanding and interaction between Muslims and Christians in Ireland, but also around the World.

Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri
PRESIDENT AND IMAM, AL-MUSTAPHA ISLAMIC AND CULTURAL CENTRE, IRELAND

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