Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Christians, Muslims Discuss Their Commonality

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Christians, Muslims Discuss Their Commonality

Article excerpt

CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS DISCUSS THEIR COMMONALITY

GLIMPSES INTO MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN world views were offered Oct. 7 by speakers at the third annual conference of Christians and Muslims for Peace on the Crystal Cathedral campus in Garden Grove, CA.

Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini, founder of the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, discussed the dialogue of peace historically shared by Christians and Muslims.

"The traditions of the Prophet Muhammad state that if a Muslim believes in all the prophets except Jesus Christ, then he cannot be a true Muslim," Imam Qazwini stated. "Muslims believe in the immaculate conception, the virgin birth and the miracles of Jesus which do not even appear in the Gospels."

The Iraqi-born cleric cited Chapter 19, verses 27 to 33 of the Qur'an in which Mary was accused of adultery as men pointed at her infant son born only hours earlier. The newborn then began speaking to his mother's attackers and vindicated her by stating he was the messenger of God.

"The Qur'an mentions Jesus in 13 of its 114 chapters,' Imam Qazwini continued." Jesus is mentioned 59 times in 33 verses; whereas the Prophet Muhammed is mentioned only four times. Mary is mentioned 12 times and Chapter 19 is named for her (Mariam).

"We differ with Christians in that we don't believe Jesus was the biological son of God, but we revere him as a noble messenger," the imam stated. "At least 80 percent of our beliefs are the same, and when we come together we will discover how much we share."

This idea was stressed by Rev. Dr. Lawrence Wilkes, who said he grew up believing that Muslims worshipped the devil. Since learning the precepts of Islam, the minister has striven to unite the two faiths on their shared moral values and to address U.S. policymakers about the importance of avoiding a collision by forming coalitions.

Muslim physician Sophia Momand discussed "Growing up a Muslim in Christian America," and Faysal Burhan, author of A Solution to the Muslim Crisis, outlined his proposed steps to implement the essential message of the Qur'an. Representatives of CAMP from Mindanao discussed their work establishing refugee camps for victims of Muslim-Christian warfare taking place in the Philippines.

An inspiring close to the conference was offered by San Diego investment banker Azim Khamisa, who has created a foundation in the name of his slain son, Tariq. …

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