Father Jacques Hamel’s gruesome murder in northern France July 26 – by men claiming allegiance to the Islamic State – prompted sorrow and outrage from Muslim leaders around the world.
Carol Zimmerman of Catholic News Service called me shortly after the murder to gain insight on how a Catholic like myself views Hamel’s murder. Here is what Carrol wrote:
“Finding common ground with people of other faiths is referred to as a ‘grey zone’ by ISIS leaders who oppose the very idea of this, said Craig Considine, a sociology professor at Rice University in Houston, who has recently published a study on previously untranslated writings by the prophet Muhammad.
He said these writings — long hidden in secluded monasteries — prove that the persecution of Christians by ISIS was never justified by Mohammed and they also show that Christians living within Muslim communities at the time of Muhammad were protected and defended.
Considine, who has studied how Islam intersects with American life, has been to more than 120 mosques ‘from Hawaii to Vermont’ and points out that as a Catholic he has been only experienced hospitality and welcome there.
And he too is further convinced he should keep writing and giving speeches at mosques in the wake of ongoing terrorist activity.
Father Hamel’s murder ‘gave voice to the extreme,’ he said, harming Islam as well as Christianity. So for his part he is determined to stick with ‘little things’ that might make some inroads to change.
‘It starts with dialogue,’ he said. ‘People have to want to talk with each other.’
You can read the entire article here.