Books

Pre-Order “The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View”

PRE-ORDER HERE The publication of The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View has been postponed due to the coronavirus. Originally scheduled to be published on May 1st, 2020, the book is now likely available in August 2020. God willing. Here is the book’s description: “What makes an American Catholic of Irish and Italian descent one…… Continue reading Pre-Order “The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View”

Talks

Special Dialogue on Christian-Muslim Relations at Moravian Academy

On Monday, November 18th, the Moravian community received a special visit from Craig Considine, Ph.D., a Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Rice University in Houston, TX. Flanked by nine students representing the classes of 2020-2023, Dr. Considine engaged in a vivid dialogue revolving around issues of Muslim-Christian relations in front of the fully gathered…… Continue reading Special Dialogue on Christian-Muslim Relations at Moravian Academy

Commentary

Jews, Christians, and Muslims See Eye to Eye

Freedom of religion in Islamic history is not merely a theory or a figment of our imagination. It is a historical reality. Consider the following examples: When the Christians of Najran visited Muhammad’s mosque in Medina When the Abyssinian King welcomed Muslim refugees during the first hijra When the Jews and Muslims came together and…… Continue reading Jews, Christians, and Muslims See Eye to Eye

Talks

Prophet Muhammad’s Love of Humanity – “Lessons For Our Time”

Prophet Muhammad is one of the most vilified and misunderstood people in the history of the world. In this talk, “Prophet Muhammad’s Love of Humanity: Lessons for Our Time,” I will dispel misinformation about Muhammad in an accessible, appealing, and scholarly way. I will present historical sources and stories about Muhammad’s relations with Jews, Christians,…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Love of Humanity – “Lessons For Our Time”

Talks

Video: Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Loving Thy Neighbor

Dr. Craig Considine had the privilege of speaking at Hub Talks in Pleasanton, California on July 13, 2018. His talk focused on the fear and ignorance fueling Islamophobia and offered solutions by means of Christian teachings. Dr. Considine shared his own personal and academic approaches on the matter of loving his Muslim friends, neighbors, and co-nationals.…… Continue reading Video: Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Loving Thy Neighbor

Talks

The Prophet’s Relations with Christians – Connecting in the Classroom

Israel

Jerusalem Christians Shut Doors of Holy Sepulchre in Protest Against Israeli Policies

The various Christian factions at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre have united in the face of an “unprecedented level” of Israeli state abuse against Churches and Christians. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the place many Christians believe Jesus was buried. As such, it is also considered to be the holiest site in…… Continue reading Jerusalem Christians Shut Doors of Holy Sepulchre in Protest Against Israeli Policies

Work

Islam and the People of The Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet

I am  excited to share the new book of John Andrew Morrow (editor), Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet. My own chapter in the book focuses on how the Covenants of Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his time embodied the spirit of religious pluralism. Islam…… Continue reading Islam and the People of The Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet

Politics

The Muslim Nation as a Civic Nation

Scholars have dedicated much time and effort to unpack the various kinds of nation-building projects, but the distinction between “civic nation” versus “ethnic nation” is perhaps the most widely-employed conceptual building block in the study of nationhood and national identity. While these types of nations share common elements like historical territory and common culture, they…… Continue reading The Muslim Nation as a Civic Nation

Talks

Dialogue Matters: Christian Muslim Relations in the Early Years of Islam

On December 1st, 2017 I will be speaking at the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest in Dallas, Texas. The event starts at 7:00PM. The title of the talk is “Christian Muslim Relations in the Early Years of Islam.” I will be engaging mainly with the concept of religious pluralism and how it relates to the…… Continue reading Dialogue Matters: Christian Muslim Relations in the Early Years of Islam

Politics

Catholic Bishop in CAR Gives Refuge to 2,000 Muslims Fleeing Christian Militias

Juan José Aguirre Munoz, a Spanish-born Catholic bishop in the Central African Republic (CAR), has given refuge to 2,000 Muslims who are living in fear of attacks from a mainly Christian militia. Munoz’s church compound is based in the south-eastern city of Bangassou. CAR has been experiencing sectarian violence since 2013, when the largely Muslim…… Continue reading Catholic Bishop in CAR Gives Refuge to 2,000 Muslims Fleeing Christian Militias

Islam

A Christian Perspective on Jihad

Note: Linda Sarsour, the American Muslim activist, is under attack because she made a reference to the term jihad in a speech at ISNA. Here is an article which explains the concept of jihad to a Christian audience. The article was first published at The Huffington Post. Politicians and anti-Muslim activists frequently take to audiences…… Continue reading A Christian Perspective on Jihad

Islam · Sociology

Prophet Muhammad’s Model of Integration for the U.S. and the Ummah

I had the pleasure last Saturday of breaking the fast with the Clear Lake Islamic Center, the Muslim American Society, and other members of their communities at an annual Ramadan gathering in Seabrook, Texas. I was invited by my friend Dr. Mohamed Shalaby, who asked me to speak on Prophet Muhammad’s model of integration and how…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Model of Integration for the U.S. and the Ummah

Interfaith · Islam

The Growing Movement to Inform the World of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants With Christians

Forbes just published an article by Melik Kaylan which caught my attention and the attention of some of my colleagues. Kaylan refers to The Covenants Initiative, a body of scholars in the West which is spearheading a movement to promote Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christians of his time. These Covenants have been well documented…… Continue reading The Growing Movement to Inform the World of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants With Christians

Interfaith · Islamic State

Faith in Humanity Restored: Muslims Rebuild Church Destroyed by ISIS in Mosul, Iraq

Here is a heartwarming story published by Charles White for metro.co.uk. Muslims have rebuilt a church that ISIS destroyed in Mosul, Iraq. The Chaldean church was left in ruins after Kurdish and allied forces pushed ISIS out of al-Arabi in Mosul. The church, which was attacked on many occasions by ISIS, is in full communion…… Continue reading Faith in Humanity Restored: Muslims Rebuild Church Destroyed by ISIS in Mosul, Iraq

Interfaith · Islam

The Spirit of Ramadan – When the Prophet of Islam Opened the Door of His Mosque For Christians

Ramadan is almost here. In preparation for my talk on Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians at The Islamic Institute/Blue Mosque in Houston on Friday, I prepared this short post on how people can understand the true spirit of Ramadan. Last year, a young Protestant man in college sent me an e-mail with some questions about Christian-Muslim…… Continue reading The Spirit of Ramadan – When the Prophet of Islam Opened the Door of His Mosque For Christians

History · Interfaith · Islam

When a Priest Recognized the Prophethood of Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians is a topic that I have dedicated a lot of time to researching. I have focused on two primary issues: 1) the Covenants of the Prophet with the Christians of his time, showing how these Covenants stand for religious pluralism and civic national principles, and 2) the visit of the Christians of Najran…… Continue reading When a Priest Recognized the Prophethood of Muhammad

Islamic State

ISIS’s Attacks on Christians in Egypt Makes One Question – What Religion Does ISIS Really Follow?

In late April, Pope Francis intends to visit Egypt despite rising tensions in the region that have caused violence and bloodshed between Christians and Muslims. Francis’ visit is an endeavor to show support and solidarity for the beleaguered Egyptian Christian minority community which continues to be targeted by fanatics and increasingly made to feel vulnerable…… Continue reading ISIS’s Attacks on Christians in Egypt Makes One Question – What Religion Does ISIS Really Follow?

Interfaith

This Is Islam, Too: New Movie on Muslims Protecting Christians in Kenya Bus Ambush

Picture this. Muslim gunmen spray a bus with bullets, killing two passengers in northern Kenya. The gunmen are part of al-Shabab, a militant group based in East Africa. After opening fire, the militants asked the 62 Muslims on board the bus to identify the Christian passengers. The Muslims refused to reveal their identities, telling the…… Continue reading This Is Islam, Too: New Movie on Muslims Protecting Christians in Kenya Bus Ambush

Quoted

Tolerance Is a Vital Part of the Islamic Faith

An important article in The News International was published today. It touches on whether Muslims should greet Christians with Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The author of the piece, Aijaz Zaka Syed, was taken aback by the convoluted logic that Muslims are “aping the West” by sending warm greetings to Christians. Syed claims that the…… Continue reading Tolerance Is a Vital Part of the Islamic Faith

Islam · Islamic State

Persecution of Christians Totally Inconsistent With Islamic Teachings

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon, as I wrote on Monday, has key lessons for our time. In the Sermon the Prophet of Islam provides an anti-racist stance that echoes Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Muhammad, like King, left humanity with a message of peace and goodwill. While history bears witness that Islamic…… Continue reading Persecution of Christians Totally Inconsistent With Islamic Teachings

Interfaith

When People of Faith Meet Around Their Scriptures

You know I’m a proponent of interfaith studies. I’ve studied Islam as a Catholic for over 12 years now. One thing I’ve realized is the importance of studying together – like actually sitting down with someone outside of your specific tradition. Go over the texts together. Interpret together. Dissect controversial passages together. Break bread together.…… Continue reading When People of Faith Meet Around Their Scriptures

Islam · Islamic State

Islamic Teaching Does Not Justify ISIS Persecution of Christians, Study Says

Islamic teaching does not justify the Islamic State’s (ISIS) persecution of Christians, based on a study on Prophet Mohammed’s previously untranslated writing. Rice University professor Dr. Craig Considine, who authored a study on Prophet Mohammed’s writings from 622 to 632 AD, says the writings indicate that Christians who lived in Arabic communities were protected. Considine says…… Continue reading Islamic Teaching Does Not Justify ISIS Persecution of Christians, Study Says

Islam · Islamophobia

The Sum of Our Fears – Islamophobia, Faith and Non-Violence

By John Smelcer and Craig Considine Sometime between 622 and 632 A.D., during what is called “The Medina Years,” the Prophet Muhammad decreed a series of covenants specifically addressing Christians in the region… For the most part, these covenants have been neglected or forgotten in the Western world, although religious scholars have been aware of their…… Continue reading The Sum of Our Fears – Islamophobia, Faith and Non-Violence

Publications · Quoted

From Islamic History, Lessons on Religious Freedom

Rice Magazine (Summer, 2016: p. 19) wrote a short piece on my research paper on Prophet Muhammad’s covenants with Christians. Author Amy McCaig wrote: “Prophet Muhammad believed that freedom of religion and civic rights were important components of a ‘Muslim nation,’ according to a new analysis of the prophet’s covenants with Christians. Research by Rice…… Continue reading From Islamic History, Lessons on Religious Freedom

Islam · Islamic State

Prophet Muhammad Stood for Humanity in Medina, While ISIS Tries to Destroy It

Here is one of my favourite stories about Prophet Muhammad. It is noted in a hadith that he and several of his companions were sitting down along a street in Medina. Suddenly, a companion spotted a funeral procession approaching the group. In respect of the dead human body, Muhammad stood up as the procession crossed…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad Stood for Humanity in Medina, While ISIS Tries to Destroy It

Video

Video: Talk to Muslim American Society in Seabrook, TX

Here’s a video of my talk the other night in Seabrook, TX. I addressed members of the Muslim American Society on the issue of DEUCE – dialogue, education, understanding, commitment and engagement. I refer to Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians and touch upon “the grey zone” that Donald Trump and ISIS want to destroy. That…… Continue reading Video: Talk to Muslim American Society in Seabrook, TX

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

Quoted

Cited in “Terrorists Have Abandoned Islam”

A new Dallas Morning News piece by Huma Munir cites my article “Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a “Muslim Nation”: An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians.” Munir wrote the following: The Quran says that Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to mankind. During his prophethood, Christians and Jews were granted full protection…… Continue reading Cited in “Terrorists Have Abandoned Islam”

Quoted

Quoted: Rice University Professor Sends Peaceful Message to Islamic Nations

A bishop shall not be removed from his bishopric, nor a monk from his monastery, nor a hermit from his tower, nor shall a pilgrim be hindered from his pilgrimage. That’s one of Rice University professor of sociology Craig Considine’s favorite verses from ‘The Covenant with the Christian Monks of Mount Sinai’. Dr. Considine recently published…… Continue reading Quoted: Rice University Professor Sends Peaceful Message to Islamic Nations

Islam

The Other Al-Andalus – When Muslims and Christians Flourished Side By Side in Sicily

I sometimes think about the glories of “Islamic Spain,” or Al-Andalus. Starting around 711 and ending in 1492, Muslim rulers maintained a spirit of convivencia, a Spanish term meaning “living in togetherness” or “coexistence”, which allowed for an unprecedented level of interfaith engagement on the European continent. While Al-Andalus may represent the pinnacle of cooperation among Muslims, Christians…… Continue reading The Other Al-Andalus – When Muslims and Christians Flourished Side By Side in Sicily

Quoted

Quoted in “Can a Killer Be a True Muslim?”

A new Huffington Post UK article by Meliha Hayat highlights my recent peer-reviewed article titled “Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a ‘Muslim Nation’: An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians.” Hayat wrote the following: When the Prophet Muhammad first established Islam in Medinah he drafted a charter entitled the Constitution of Medinah. It…… Continue reading Quoted in “Can a Killer Be a True Muslim?”

Radio · Work

Voice of Islam Radio Interview on Prophet Muhammad’s Relations With Christians

Interfaith

10 Great Prophet Muhammad Quotes on Christians

“If a monk or pilgrim seeks protection, in mountain or valley, in a cave or in tilled fields, in the plain, in the desert, or in a church, I am behind them, defending them from every enemy; I, my helpers, all the members of my religion and all my followers, for they [the monks and…… Continue reading 10 Great Prophet Muhammad Quotes on Christians

Radio

Prophet Muhammad’s Relations with Christians – A Radio Interview with The Voice of the Cape (South Africa)

Last week, I was interviewed by Shafiq Morton of The Voice of the Cape, an interest-defined community broadcaster licensed to serve the cultural interest of the Muslim community in Cape Town, South Africa. The station’s mandate is “to inform and educate the community about Islam, with an inherent focus on religious teachings.” The topic of the interview…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Relations with Christians – A Radio Interview with The Voice of the Cape (South Africa)

News

Video: Research Paper Mentioned By His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad

The following video shows an interfaith peace symposium sharing messages of peace with various communities including an address by His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth Khalifa (Caliph) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I am honored that His Holiness mentioned my research paper Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a “Muslim Nation”: An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad’s…… Continue reading Video: Research Paper Mentioned By His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad

News

Is ISIS a Truly Islamic State? According to Mohammed’s Covenants with Christians, No.

  By Florence Taylor ISIS is violating the teaching of Mohammed in persecuting Christians, according to a new study on previously untranslated writings of the Prophet. Contrary to the brutal treatment Christians face under ISIS, the Muslim Prophet Mohammed described his ideal Islamic State as a community with religious pluralism and civil rights, where Christians and the…… Continue reading Is ISIS a Truly Islamic State? According to Mohammed’s Covenants with Christians, No.

News

Freedom of Religion, Civic Rights Were Important Components of a ‘Muslim Nation’

By Amy McCaig Published first on Rice University News and Media Prophet Muhammad believed that freedom of religion and civic rights were important components of a “Muslim nation,” according to a Rice University analysis of the prophet’s covenants with Christians. The researcher argues that the covenants can be used to develop a stronger democratic partnership…… Continue reading Freedom of Religion, Civic Rights Were Important Components of a ‘Muslim Nation’

Work

Why a Christian Can View Muhammad as a Prophet

As an advocate of interfaith dialogue, particularly between Christians and Muslims, I’m often faced with the issue of conversion. People ask me, “If you admire Prophet Muhammad so much, why don’t you convert to Islam? Why don’t you accept him as “the seal”? I see these questions popping up on my Twitter and Facebook feeds…… Continue reading Why a Christian Can View Muhammad as a Prophet

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

Islamic State · Politics

The Deafening Silence on the Genocide of Christians in the Middle East

                    A few weeks ago, I posted about the Genocide Initiative, a new interfaith movement calling on world leaders to classify ISIS’s actions in the Middle East as “genocide.” The Genocide Initiative has launched a petition on change.org that calls on political powers to unite and proclaim the…… Continue reading The Deafening Silence on the Genocide of Christians in the Middle East

Interfaith

A True Blueprint for an Islamic State

Interfaith

Islamic Veneration of the Virgin Mary

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”

Interfaith

More Details Emerge In Case To Destroy Saint Catherine’s Monastery

Last week I blogged about the possible closure of Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt, which Ahmed Ragai Attiya, a retired Egyptian army general has pushed for. Saint Catherine’s is considered to be the only monastery in the world to serve as both a church and a mosque. It is also famous for being the home…… Continue reading More Details Emerge In Case To Destroy Saint Catherine’s Monastery

Outreach

How Muslims of the Ottoman Empire Helped Ireland During the Great Famine

By Mehedi Islam Source: http://archiveislam.com 160 years ago, during the Great Famine in Ireland, the Ottoman Empire sent £1,000 sterling (about $1,052,000 today) and 3 shiploads of food to Drogheda, Ireland. Ireland was ridden with famine and disease between 1845 and 1849. Also known as the Great Hunger, this famine had lasting effects: at least one…… Continue reading How Muslims of the Ottoman Empire Helped Ireland During the Great Famine

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

Commentary · Interfaith

A Refutation of Robert Spencer’s Post on Professor Akbar Ahmed

Published on Loon Watch Robert Spencer, the administrator of the blog JihadWatch, is known for painting all Muslims as extremists. In a recent post titled “Akbar Ahmed, advocate of ‘dialogue,’ claims ‘Islamophobes’ are ‘linking Islam to violence, terrorism and intolerance,” Spencer argues that Professor Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University…… Continue reading A Refutation of Robert Spencer’s Post on Professor Akbar Ahmed

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