During Ramadan this year Sureka and I were delighted to be invited by Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, the Grand Mufti of Australia, to an Iftar dinner (the traditional breaking of the fast at sunset during Ramadan).

This invitation came as part of the “Building Bridges Together” initiative, to increase mutual understanding between Australian Moslems and Christians. I’m delighted that as another step in that process, on Sunday September 4th, Dr. Ibrahim will be coming to St. John’s. After morning tea he (and hopefully another guest) will speak briefly, and then taken any questions that anyone wants to ask.

So whether your attitude to Islam in Australia is of curiosity, concern, suspicion or confusion, come along to hear and to be heard!

Although this event is free, numbers are limited, so please book online now!

Update – I’m delighted to announce that Dr. Ibrahim will be joined by Naval Captain Mona Shindy. Capt. Shindy is the Chief of Navy’s Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs, Telstra Business Woman of the year 2015, and was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the Australia Day honours list 2015.

2 Thoughts to “Building Bridges Together”

  1. Jim

    I could not attend this event as I believe we should not be encouraging the propogation of the Muslim religion in Australia. We are told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace”, but, having read the Quran from cover to cover and observed the actions of Islamic extremists over the last several years, I cannot support this view nor dialogue with senior Islamic leaders.
    There are about 500 verses in the Quran that speak of Allah’s hatred for non-Muslims and the punishment that he has prepared for their unbelief. There is also a tiny handful that could be construed to say otherwise, but these are mostly earlier verses that many scholars consider to be abrogated by the later, more violent ones.
    As for Sura 109, any true Quran scholar will point out that the purpose of the verse was to distinguish Islam from the gods of the Quraysh (one of which was named “Allah”) rather than to advocate religious tolerance for non-Muslims.
    At the time that he narrated this very early verse, Muhammad did not have any power, and thus no choice but to be “tolerant” of others. By contrast, there was no true tolerance shown when he returned to Mecca with power many years later and demanded the eviction or death of anyone who would not convert to Islam. In fact, he physically destroyed the cherished idols of the very people he addressed in Sura 109.
    If tolerance simply means discouraging the mass slaughter of those of a different faith, then today’s practice of Islam generally meets this standard more often than not. But, if tolerance means allowing people of other faiths the same religious liberties that Muslims enjoy, then Islam is fundamentally the most intolerant religion under the sun.

  2. Anonymous

    Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. (1 Samuel 2:3)

    As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. (Romans 14:1)

    But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

    My read of these verse is that we should welcome all faiths, and that our actions speak louder than words….
    “Worse than an unbeliever!” Who would have thought that “our” bible would say such a thing!

    I would prefer Robbie Burns…
    A prince can mak a belted knight,
    A marquise, duke, an’ a’ that;
    But an honest man’s aboon his might,
    Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Their dignities an’ a’ that,
    The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
    Are higher rank than a’ that.

    Then let us pray that come it may,
    (As come it will for a’ that,)
    That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
    Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    It’s comin yet for a’ that
    That man to man, the world o’er,
    Shall brithers be for a’ that.

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