Islam · Religion · Video

Video: Christian-Muslim Relations in the Early Years of Islam

In early December 2017, I had the opportunity to give a lecture for the Dialogue Institute Dallas in Dallas, Texas. I talk about the Christian-Muslim relations in the early years of Islam in light of the covenants Prophet Muhammad made with the Christians.

Politics · Religion

The Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence

Imagine…. Imagine if people blamed Christianity for this act of violence. Imagine if people searched frantically through the Bible in the hope of digging up verses which could have justified this action (which is entirely possible). Imagine if people used this attack to pass legislation banning all Christians from entering the country. Imagine if people…… Continue reading The Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence

Politics · Religion

Religious Pluralism and Common Sense on Trump’s Inauguration Day

Harris Zafar, a public speaker, writer and national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, visited Rice University hours before Donald Trump took the presidential oath of office. Speaking in front of thirty-five students in “Sociology of Religion,” a course which I guide, Zafar immediately noted the symbolic timing of his visit. There he stood,…… Continue reading Religious Pluralism and Common Sense on Trump’s Inauguration Day

Islam · Religion

Religious Freedom Was Key To Muhammad’s “Muslim Nation”

Prophet Muhammad believed that freedom of religion and civic rights were important components of a “Muslim nation,” according to an analysis of the prophet’s covenants with Christians. Craig Considine, a lecturer in Rice University’s sociology department, studied “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with Christians” and found that these agreements established freedom of religion and…… Continue reading Religious Freedom Was Key To Muhammad’s “Muslim Nation”

Politics · Religion

“Muslim Sounding Names” and the Orlando Massacre

Written for Mvslim Multiple sources have now confirmed that Omar Mateen, the shooter of the Orlando massacre, was himself gay. He often visited Pulse, the popular gay nightclub that he committed the massacre in. Eyewitness reports suggest that Mateen would get so drunk at the bar that bouncers would have to kick him out. He…… Continue reading “Muslim Sounding Names” and the Orlando Massacre

Politics · Religion · Sociology

Dear America – Check Your Christian Privilege

A few months ago, when I was teaching Sociology of Religion at Rice University, the topic of Ted Cruz and Christian privilege came up in our classroom. In response to questions about his commitment to conservatism, Cruz stated: “I’m a Christian first, American second, conservative third and Republican forth. I’ll tell ya, there are a whole…… Continue reading Dear America – Check Your Christian Privilege

Islamic State · Islamophobia · Religion

What Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants With Christians Say About ISIS

Picture this. A Muslim leader reaches out to a group of Christians and invites them to his country. The Christians happily accept the invitation, while the Muslim leader prepares his people for their arrival. This is the first time the two communities have met in an official delegation. Matters of state, politics and religion are…… Continue reading What Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants With Christians Say About ISIS

Religion

About Those Violent Verses in The Bible

“The Religion of Peace.” I’ve heard that phrase in discussions about the essence of Christianity. Islam, on the other hand, is frequently depicted as “the religion of violence.” Watch FOX News and you will know what I mean. Islam equals violence, jihad, terrorism, barbarism, ISIS, and the rest of it. Christianity is rarely, if ever, portrayed…… Continue reading About Those Violent Verses in The Bible

Politics · Religion

Reclaiming “In The Name Of Islam” – Muslim American Contributions To Charity And Healthcare

“In the name of Islam.” These words were uttered by Edward Archer, a man in Philadelphia who shot a police officer three times. Thankfully, the police officer survived, but a few more things have been lost in the coverage of this unfortunate event. There are over 1 billion Muslims worldwide. The overwhelming majority of these people are peace-loving.…… Continue reading Reclaiming “In The Name Of Islam” – Muslim American Contributions To Charity And Healthcare

Religion · Work

Under the Government of Prophet Muhammad

Published in Islam Today (magazine) – Online version – Magazine print version It is no secret that Christians are being persecuted in the ‘Muslim world’. According to the World Watch List for 2015, nine out of the top ten countries where Christians suffer ‘extreme persecution’ have populations that are at least 50% Muslim. Much of…… Continue reading Under the Government of Prophet Muhammad

Religion

How the Prophet Would Respond to “Draw Muhammad” Defamation and “Anti-Islam” Protests

“Armed anti-Islamist protest outside mosque.” This is the headline that I am reading as I rise out of bed. I also see another headline: “Marine hosts ‘Draw Muhammad’ protest outside mosque.” Aside from these protests and events being offensive and downright degrading towards Muslims, they are also highly ironic. If he were with us today,…… Continue reading How the Prophet Would Respond to “Draw Muhammad” Defamation and “Anti-Islam” Protests

Interfaith · Religion

An Interfaith Response to the Call For an “Islamic Reformation”

By Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri and Dr. Craig Considine Ms. Ruth Dudley Edward’s recent article “We should support the Pope’s crusade against Islamism” concerns us as Muslim and Christian scholars respectively. The premise of her argument is that Islam needs a “reformation” in order to make Muslims more peaceful. Edward’s draws inspiration from Ayaan…… Continue reading An Interfaith Response to the Call For an “Islamic Reformation”

Religion

Why I Admire Muhammad: A Response to Islamophobes

Published on Huffington Post (March 10th 2015) Islamophobes have attacked me because I’ve written positively about Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam. Because I am a Catholic, they consider me to be a heretic and feel that my interfaith activities are sacrilegious. Islam, to these critics, is evil and Muhammad is nothing but a terrorist. I…… Continue reading Why I Admire Muhammad: A Response to Islamophobes

History · Interfaith · Religion

Prophet Muhammad’s Example of Anti-Racism

Published on Huffington Post (February 23rd, 2015) Relations between different ethnic and religious groups in the Middle East, US, and EU are deteriorating at a rapid pace. Across these three areas, Muslims are pitted against non-Muslims and black and brown people are pitted against white. What is needed now more than ever is a role…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Example of Anti-Racism

History · Interfaith · Religion

The 8 Most Important Interfaith Monuments in the World

The following short collection lists eight of the most important monuments in the world in terms of interfaith dialogue and interfaith relations. By the term “monument” I refer to a building or structure created to commemorate a person, event, or social bond which has significance in regards to improving relations between the Abrahamic faiths. The eight monuments documented here…… Continue reading The 8 Most Important Interfaith Monuments in the World

Politics · Religion

What Muhammad Would Think of Saudi Arabia’s “Leadership”

Published on Huffington Post (February 24th, 2015) Leaders worldwide have sent their condolences to Saudi Arabia and its royal family after the passing of King Abdullah. On Twitter, US Secretary of State John Kerry called him a man of “wisdom” and “vision,” while UK Prime Minister David Cameron released a statement praising him for “his commitment…… Continue reading What Muhammad Would Think of Saudi Arabia’s “Leadership”

Friends · Religion

“Jihad of the Pen” Interview with Qasim Rashid, Author of EXTREMIST

No Muslim has promoted the notion of a “jihad of the pen” more poignantly than Qasim Rashid, Ahmadi spokesmen, Muslim activist and author of the new book EXTREMIST: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists Everywhere. A fervent advocate of human rights and a penetrating writer on Islam, Rashid has been actively promoting religious pluralism, freedom of…… Continue reading “Jihad of the Pen” Interview with Qasim Rashid, Author of EXTREMIST

Religion

For the First Time in History, Islamic Prayers and Readings from the Quran Will be Heard at the Vatican

“For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week…… Continue reading For the First Time in History, Islamic Prayers and Readings from the Quran Will be Heard at the Vatican

Religion

A Biblical Poem of Love

Love is patient, Love is kind. * It does not envy, It does not boast, It is not proud. * It does not dishonor others, It is not self-seeking, It is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs. * Love does not delight in evil But rejoices with the truth. * It always…… Continue reading A Biblical Poem of Love

Politics · Religion

Revisiting the Connection Between Prophet Muhammad and George Washington

When I published the article – An Unlikely Connection Between Prophet Muhammad and George Washington – I had little idea of the impact it would have on Muslims and non-Muslims. The responses to my article varied from people being elated about the comparison to others feeling outraged. While some were pleased to see the similarities…… Continue reading Revisiting the Connection Between Prophet Muhammad and George Washington

Interfaith · Politics · Religion

John Andrew Morrow’s Spiritual Journey into Islam and the Life of Prophet Muhammad

This interview with Dr. John Andrew Morrow, Islamic scholar and author of the new book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World (Angelico Press, 2013), is a follow-up to my review “New Book Sheds Light on Prophet Muhammad’s Interfaith Views.” In his response, Dr. Morrow brings us on his journey…… Continue reading John Andrew Morrow’s Spiritual Journey into Islam and the Life of Prophet Muhammad

Religion

Pope Francis Building Bridges With Muslims Makes Top Ten Good News Muslim Stories of 2013

Source: altmuslim.com Pope Francis is not the first pope to win the respect of Muslims – John Paul II was so loved around the Muslim world that even the Taliban mourned his passing – but his outreach to Muslims during the early days of his tenure has struck a deep chord in Muslim communities around…… Continue reading Pope Francis Building Bridges With Muslims Makes Top Ten Good News Muslim Stories of 2013

Religion

Islamic and American Constitutions Give Hope For Religious Freedom

A recent report from the Pew Research Center, a reputable American think tank, revealed some damning findings on the state of religious freedom around the world. According to the report, religious hostilities increased in 2012 in every major region of the world, with Muslims and Christians being oppressed in the largest number of countries. Pakistan,…… Continue reading Islamic and American Constitutions Give Hope For Religious Freedom

Religion

Pope Francis: Christians Must Build Bridges of Dialogue

During Mass today in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on an Old Testament reading from Samuel (1:24). In the passage, David had the chance to kill King Saul, but he chooses, as the Holy Father noted, “a different path: the path of dialogue, to make peace.” Francis’ message encourages Christians to build bridges of dialogue,…… Continue reading Pope Francis: Christians Must Build Bridges of Dialogue

Politics · Religion

Pope Francis: End the Culture of Indifference Towards Muslims

Vatican Radio reported today on Pope Francis’s appeal for migrants and refugees and an end to “the culture of indifference.” Although he did not explicitly mention them in his address at Saint Peter’s Square, one can be certain that the Holy Father was speaking to Muslims. The Pope stated that migrants and refugees around the world,…… Continue reading Pope Francis: End the Culture of Indifference Towards Muslims

Interfaith · Religion

New Book Sheds Light on Prophet Muhammad’s Interfaith Views

No other leader in world history has been more scrutinized and ridiculed than Prophet Muhammad. Since the founding of Islam in 632 AD, Christians and Jews have described the Prophet of Allah as a blasphemer, bigot, terrorist, and pedophile, among other slurs. However, according to a new book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the…… Continue reading New Book Sheds Light on Prophet Muhammad’s Interfaith Views

Religion

Pope Francis challenges students to “live, not just exist”

Here are a few messages which Pope Francis relayed to students from Rome’s universities: “You must live, not just exist… Please don’t look at life from the sidelines, accept challenges… You must not be spectators but protagonists… Don’t be mediocre, bored or like everyone else… You can’t live without facing challenges… Don’t stand on the…… Continue reading Pope Francis challenges students to “live, not just exist”

Film-work · Religion

Video: What Islam Can Teach Far-Right Europeans About Human Rights and Tolerance

Follow Craig Considine on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ToBeCraig

Religion

What Europe’s Far-Right Parties Can Learn From Islam

By Craig Considine Today’s far-right parties in Europe, such as the National Front in France and the Party for Freedom in Holland, are surging in popularity and calling for legal bans on veils, mosques, minarets, sha’ria, and even the outright expulsion of Muslims from the continent. In short, the far-right perceives Muslims as “inassimilable” and…… Continue reading What Europe’s Far-Right Parties Can Learn From Islam

Religion

US Catholics Question America’s Assent to Militarism

Long overdue in the American church is a reasoned and deep discussion of U.S. militarism, the proper use of force, the state’s responsibility to protect and defend, and the role of people of faith in all of this. To this point, Catholic teaching has had little effect in distinguishing us from any other segment of…… Continue reading US Catholics Question America’s Assent to Militarism

Interfaith · Quoted · Religion

The audacity of Pope

Source: Huffington Post/Foreign Policy in Focus By John Feffer Pope Benedict caused a stir in 2006 when he quoted a Byzantine emperor’s unflattering description of Mohammed’s legacy as “evil and inhuman.” He subsequently apologized, but his views of Islam remained rather medieval. Pope Francis, by contrast, has immediately sought to repair ties with the world…… Continue reading The audacity of Pope

Religion

Young Palestinians restore Basilica of Gethsemane in Jerusalem

The Basilica of Gethsemane, also known as the Church of All Nations, has been restored back to its original splendor by a group of young Palestinians, five of which are Muslim. The Custody of the Holy Land, the Franciscan group responsible for the restoration, could have given the project to foreign experts but they chose Palestinians…… Continue reading Young Palestinians restore Basilica of Gethsemane in Jerusalem

Interfaith · Religion

Guiding Jewish/Muslim Relations Through the Life of Maimonides, the 12th Century Jewish Scholar

Maimonides did not think it was healthy for the soul to have “unbounded desires” which “is never stated with pursuing passions.” Referencing Jewish Holy Scripture (Koheles 5:9) he argued in The Guide that a person who has a covetous soul “will not be sated with all the wealth of the world.” Maimonides’ thought mirrors Rumi,…… Continue reading Guiding Jewish/Muslim Relations Through the Life of Maimonides, the 12th Century Jewish Scholar

Interfaith · Religion

Debating “Islam is a threat to the West”

As a proud Catholic American from Boston, Massachusetts, I recently participated in a debate hosted by the University College Dublin Law Society, one of the largest and most prestigious student societies in Europe. The proposition of the debate was “This House Believes That Islam is a Threat to the West.” Arguing against this proposition, I…… Continue reading Debating “Islam is a threat to the West”

Religion

Overcoming Historical Amnesia: Muslim Contributions to Civilization

Published on Huffington Post (October 22nd, 2013) In his recent article, Sam Harris, a popular critic of Islam, referred to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist, as “the best thing to come out of the Muslim world in 1,000 years.” Hidden in this comment is the idea that Malala’s fellow Muslims are backward and that her…… Continue reading Overcoming Historical Amnesia: Muslim Contributions to Civilization

Religion

Greed and Attachment to Money Cause Evil, Pope Francis Says

Source: Catholic News Service By Carol Glatz Money by itself isn’t a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said. “Money is needed to bring about many good things,” he said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 21, “but when your heart is attached (to…… Continue reading Greed and Attachment to Money Cause Evil, Pope Francis Says

Religion

Top sociologist Zygmunt Bauman believes Pope Francis gives “entire humanity a chance”

Source: Vatican Insider “I am in awe at everything Francis is doing: I believe his pontificate gives not just the Catholic Church but the entire humanity a chance.” This is according to Polish-born sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, who coined the phrase “liquid modernity”. In an interview with Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Bauman said “Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s…… Continue reading Top sociologist Zygmunt Bauman believes Pope Francis gives “entire humanity a chance”

Interfaith · Outreach · Religion

Salam and Salutation to Pope Francis

But Pope Francis was not taking a path outside his faith tradition. On the contrary he was reverting to its foundational principles. He is inspired by two figures above all – Jesus and Saint Francis; indeed taking the name of the latter after being elected pope. He has learned from them that Christianity in its…… Continue reading Salam and Salutation to Pope Francis

Religion

New Scholarship Sheds Light on Islam and the American Founding Fathers

I am very happy to see an interesting new book written by Denise Spellberg, associate professor of history and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Spellberg’s book, titled Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders and touched upon in this Daily Beast article, seeks to understand the role of Islam in the early…… Continue reading New Scholarship Sheds Light on Islam and the American Founding Fathers

Religion

A Note to the Muslims Who Attacked Christians in Peshawar, Pakistan

It is with disgust that I am writing this note on the Muslims who recently attacked two churches in Peshawar, where over 70 Christians were murdered. I want to bring to attention several fundamental points in Islam that completely and utterly denounce hatred or acts of violence on Christians. I have written about this very…… Continue reading A Note to the Muslims Who Attacked Christians in Peshawar, Pakistan

Quoted · Religion

Comments by Pope Francis Emphasize Bridge Building with Muslims

Here is a collection of quotes from Pope Francis directed towards Muslims. This post will be updated as Pope Francis continues to speak about dialogue, common ground, and mutual respect between Christians and Muslims worldwide. On dialogue “Turning to mutual respect in interreligious relations, especially between Christians and Muslims, we are called to respect the…… Continue reading Comments by Pope Francis Emphasize Bridge Building with Muslims

Religion

Opening up Islamic spaces

Excerpt from Mustafa Akyol’s article The Vatican, Christianity and Islam in Hurriyet Daily News (14/9/2013) In today’s super-dynamic and super-creative world, behind which we are already lagging, there is a risk for us, Muslims, if we go toward the other direction: The strict boundaries that supposedly protect our faith could turn into an obstacle to…… Continue reading Opening up Islamic spaces

Politics · Religion

Persecution of Christians Shames Muhammad’s Legacy on Religious Freedom

Things are spiraling out of control in Egypt, especially for its Coptic community, which has recently been attacked for allegedly helping oust the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood from power. The Copts are Egypt’s largest Christian group who make up roughly 10% of the Egyptian population. Over the last several weeks they have witnessed a horrendous string…… Continue reading Persecution of Christians Shames Muhammad’s Legacy on Religious Freedom

Commentary · Religion

Rumi and Emerson: A Bridge Between the West and the Muslim World

The writings of Jalalud’din Rumi, the 13th century Sufi Muslim philosopher from modern-day Afghanistan, and the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th century Christian transcendentalist from Boston, Massachusetts, are filled with lessons that enrich every human soul. Rumi’s and Emerson’s similar thoughts on religious tolerance, love, and care for the soul can help bridge…… Continue reading Rumi and Emerson: A Bridge Between the West and the Muslim World

Film-work · Religion

Mysteries of the “Lost Gospels”

Before I fall asleep each night I watch a documentary from You Tube or elsewhere. Generally I put on something related to history, but I do not limit myself to any particular area, theme, or time period. Last night I watched “Secret Lives of Jesus Christ: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” The documentary…… Continue reading Mysteries of the “Lost Gospels”

Religion

Jesus Jihad

My recent Huffington Post article “A New Perspective of “Jihad” in Christianity and Islam” sparked a good amount of controversy in the interfaith and anti-Muslim blogosphere. In a follow up post, I focus solely on what I call the “Jesus Jihad,” or the Christian struggles which are noted in the New Testament. The following excerpts…… Continue reading Jesus Jihad

Religion

A New Perspective of “Jihad” in Christianity and Islam

Published on Huffington Post Religion (August 5th, 2013) Politicians and anti-Muslim activists frequently take to audiences and websites to criticize the term “jihad” as a form of Islamic supremacism, oppression, and violence. Muslim extremists, on the other hand, argue that “jihad” refers to a “holy war” against non-Muslims. Viewing the term “jihad” though these frameworks…… Continue reading A New Perspective of “Jihad” in Christianity and Islam

Religion

Are We Alone in the Universe?

“The universe?” From where did it come? How? When? By what energies did what we see only in tiny glimpses come into being?—the universe containing infinities of organized, living worlds, earths, suns, galaxies—cells, organic life, atmosphere— purpose, directions, and lawful order, fundamental forces at work everywhere and in everything—all of which emerged out of what?…… Continue reading Are We Alone in the Universe?

Religion

In Greece, a case study on Islam in Europe

By Akbar Ahmed Published on Washington Post (7/9/13) I have always been honored when asked to speak at the Friday sermon in a mosque. It is both spiritually elevating to interact with worshippers and socially it provides insights to the community. There are always many inspiring and impressive people in these gatherings, some of them…… Continue reading In Greece, a case study on Islam in Europe

Film-work · Religion

Film on American Muslims can help Europe understand Islam

By Frankie MartinPublished on Huffington Post (9/16/09)Last week I attended the European premiere of the film Journey into America at the Culture and Cultures International Film Festival near Toulouse in Southern France.The film, which premiered in Washington DC on July 4th, is the result of a nine month cross-country trip I took to study Islam…… Continue reading Film on American Muslims can help Europe understand Islam