Last week, a group composed of Muslims and Christians came together at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio for a discussion of the role of Jesus in the Qur’an. We’ll start discussing the book, Islam’s Jesus by Zeki Saritoprak, at our next gathering, so for openers we looked at the stories about Jesus’ birth in the Gospels and in the Qur’an.
Fatih F. Ates of Pacifica Institute showed a YouTube video of a dramatization of the verses of the Qur’an dealing with the annunciation to Mary and the birth of Jesus. I handed out the texts from Matthew, Luke and John concerning the origins of Jesus. And a lively discussion ensued. The Christians were surprised to learn the high esteem in which both Mary and Jesus are given in Islam (there are more verses about Mary in the Qur’an than in the Gospels). The Muslims were curious about the development of the New Testament, how the stories originated and were transmitted.Curiosity abounds on both sides and the conversation was thoughtful and respectful. Most of all, we enjoyed each other’s company! And we’re looking forward to getting to know even more about one another. My hope is that even more people will join the group – so many that we have to create more small discussion groups, at least for part of the meeting time.
What a different way of addressing the diversity of our world from organizing protests at places of worship. Needless to say, there were no flags or guns at our meeting, either. I’m not writing this to brag (well, maybe a little), but to encourage people of faith and goodwill to get involved in something like this – something that contributes to peace in our communities. It’s too easy to just criticize the crazies, dismiss them and go about our business as usual. More is required.
How are you already involved in peacemaking? How might you find new ways to “be the change you want to see”?
Thanks to Rev. Susan Strouse; read more at https://progressivechurch.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/jesus-mary-the-quran/
This is the archive for the Bay Area Interfaith Connect, the former newsletter for the Interfaith Center at the Presidio .