Talks

A Christian Appreciates the Contributions of Muslims to American Society

I want you all to please get comfortable because we are going to use our imaginations for a bit. Okay? I want you to imagine the following story as a book that has yet to be published. Picture it as a draft of sorts. When I am finished in ten minutes, perhaps all of us,…… Continue reading A Christian Appreciates the Contributions of Muslims to American Society

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

Interviews

What Makes an American Catholic Professor a Global Voice Speaking in Admiration of Prophet Muhammad?

Dr. Craig Considine speaks to Sally Mousa of Life Beats on Pulse 95 Radio in the United Arab Emirates about his personal journey and belief in Prophet Muhammad.

Interfaith · Islam · Talks

Video: Lessons From Al Andalus – Leading in a Pluralistic Society

On December 31st, I had the opportunity to speak on “Lessons From Al Andalus – Leading in a Pluralistic Society” for IslamInSpanish at the 2nd National Latino Muslim Convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. I focused on the period of “Islamic Spain” and how Al-Andalus’ pluralistic vision is an important…… Continue reading Video: Lessons From Al Andalus – Leading in a Pluralistic Society

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

Interfaith

Pope Francis Calls on Christians to “Cross Over to the Other Side” to Meet Muslims

How do Christians engage with Muslims? For some Christians, there is no engagement at all. Polls have actually found a correlation between a lack of engagement with Muslims and Islamophobia among Christian Americans. Other Christians in the United States and around the world engage with Islam in an energetic way. Pope Francis is one such…… Continue reading Pope Francis Calls on Christians to “Cross Over to the Other Side” to Meet Muslims

Islamophobia

Islamophobes and Their Safe-Spaces Enhancing Dialogue in an Age of Polarization

Muslim “no-go zones” came up as a topic of conversation in my recent lecture to the Good Shepherd Episcopalian community in Kingwood, Texas, not far from Rice University, where I teach a course called “Muslims in American Society.” Early in my talk, an older white Christian man interrupted me. He claimed that “no-go zones,” or…… Continue reading Islamophobes and Their Safe-Spaces Enhancing Dialogue in an Age of Polarization

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”

Interfaith

Irish Imam Promotes Dialogue and Goodwill Between Christians and Muslims

Non-Muslims worldwide frequently call upon Muslims to condemn “Islamic terrorism” and enter into dialogue with Christians and Jews. The issue is not that Muslim leaders do not denounce extremist violence or speak highly of Judaism and Christianity, it is just that non-Muslims typically do not hear their calls for non-violence and interfaith dialogue because of…… Continue reading Irish Imam Promotes Dialogue and Goodwill Between Christians and Muslims

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

Interfaith

Sign the Petition to Save Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, Egypt

Saint Catherine’s Monastery is one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. It is also famous for being the home of Prophet Muhammad’s covenant with Saint Catherine’s Christian monks in which he guarantees their protection and freedom under his rule. Saint Catherine’s “is a UNESCO-Designated World Heritage Site. It has been a destination for international visitors…… Continue reading Sign the Petition to Save Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, Egypt

Interfaith

Pope Francis and King of Jordan Oppose “Clash of Civilizations,” Call For “Culture of Dialogue”

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday held talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican, focusing on bilateral relations, peace efforts and issues relating to dialogue and Islamic-Christian coexistence, according to a Royal Court statement. During the meeting, the King voiced Jordan’s keenness on enhancing its relations with the Vatican as both sides are partners in…… Continue reading Pope Francis and King of Jordan Oppose “Clash of Civilizations,” Call For “Culture of Dialogue”

Politics

What Does Akbar the Great Teach Us About Tolerance in Islamic History?

Note: Akbar the Great, ruler of most of South Asia in the 16th and early 17th century, rejected bigotry and made unprecedented moves to help non-Muslims feel at peace in his Mughal empire. Below is passage from my article Finding Tolerance in Akbar, the Philosopher King, published in April 2013. You can also watch my short…… Continue reading What Does Akbar the Great Teach Us About Tolerance in Islamic History?

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

Film-work

Documentary: What Studying Prophet Muhammad Taught Me About Islam

A short documentary on what studying Prophet Muhammad has taught me about Islam. I filmed this footage during Mawlid E Nabi in 2013 at Anwar al Madina, a Sufi mosque in Dublin, Ireland. A special thanks goes out to the Irish Sufi Foundation and to my friend Mia Manan Hameed. Please make sure to switch the…… Continue reading Documentary: What Studying Prophet Muhammad Taught Me About Islam

Outreach

A Catholic American Praises Prophet Muhammad at an Islamic Centre in Dublin, Ireland

*Note: This is the text of a speech I gave during the 4th Annual Peace Walk and Peace Conference at the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre Ireland in Blanchardstown, Dublin on 26 January 2014. A special thanks to my friend Dr-Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri for inviting me and organizing this beautiful event. A report from Al-Mustafa can be found at Report…… Continue reading A Catholic American Praises Prophet Muhammad at an Islamic Centre in Dublin, Ireland

Interfaith · Politics

The Pope: Christian and Muslim Refugees Must Share Their Belief in God

Just days after I wrote about Pope Francis’ speech on ending the “culture of indifference” towards Muslim refugees, the Holy Father emerged today with an equally powerful comment on how Christians and Muslims should lean on each other and share their belief in the “One God.” Vatican Insider reports that during a gathering at the…… Continue reading The Pope: Christian and Muslim Refugees Must Share Their Belief in God

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

What Studying Muhammad Taught Me About Islam

Published on Huffington Post Religion Muslims worldwide have recently joined together to celebrate Mawlid al-Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. This day is an opportunity for Muslims and non-Muslims, such as myself – a Catholic – to reflect upon the life and legacy of the prophet of Islam. In this short essay, I want…… Continue reading What Studying Muhammad Taught Me About Islam

Interfaith

The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad

The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World by Dr. John Andrew Morrow claims that although there are theological differences between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, Muslims are nonetheless advised by Muhammad to respect and embrace Christians and Jews. The covenants of the Prophet of Allah, as Morrow notes, paint a clear picture…… Continue reading The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad

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

Interfaith

On Christmas, Christians and Muslims can unite under religious similarities

Source: USA Today By Ibrahim Hooper “Behold! The angels said: ‘O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'” Before searching for this quote…… Continue reading On Christmas, Christians and Muslims can unite under religious similarities

Politics · Travels

Turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque, a church, or both?

News of the beautiful and awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, or “Holy Wisdom,” turning into an active mosque is a tricky situation for political and cultural reasons, as Religion News Services reports (via Huffington Post). Christians and other minorities may see the Hagia Sophia’s conversion into a mosque as a challenge to Turkey’s secular-republican origin, whereas Muslims…… Continue reading Turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque, a church, or both?

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

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

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

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

Outreach

Honoring David McCourt, a hero of 9/11

In the winter of 2009, I was in Palm Beach, Florida conducting research for Akbar Ahmed’s Journey into America, an anthropological study on American identity through the lens of Muslims. Out of the thousands of interviews we conducted in our year-long travels throughout the U.S., David McCourt, a retired businessman who lost his family on…… Continue reading Honoring David McCourt, a hero of 9/11

Interfaith

Powerful Passage on Interfaith Dialogue From Participant in PhD Thesis

My PhD thesis, which explores the experiences of younger Pakistani men in Dublin, Ireland and Boston, USA, has several overarching themes which travel across both countries. One question I ask late in my interviews is “What do you think of interfaith dialogue?” In both cities, I have found that young Pakistani men are overwhelmingly proponents…… Continue reading Powerful Passage on Interfaith Dialogue From Participant in PhD Thesis

Interfaith · Religion

Christians Cannot Be Anti-Jewish or Anti-Muslim, Pope Francis Says

Pope Francis continues to impress on the interfaith scene. His latest remarks on anti-Semitism among Christians should only strengthen the bonds between Christians and Jews. In a speech today in front of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, Pope Francis said that due to the common roots shared with Jews, “a Christian cannot be…… Continue reading Christians Cannot Be Anti-Jewish or Anti-Muslim, Pope Francis Says

Interfaith

Top Catholic American official calls Muslims “people of good-will”

There’s a heart-warming story coming out of Rome about the head of a papal agency that gives help to Christians in the Middle East. According to Monsignor John E. Kozar, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “[t]he broad majority of Muslims are people of good-will.” Kozar claims that the…… Continue reading Top Catholic American official calls Muslims “people of good-will”

Politics

Rouhani Brings Hope to Iran-Western Relations

Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani says his “victory is a victory for wisdom, maturity and moderation.” Not only is he known for his conciliatory approach, but he has also pledged to promote a policy of “constructive interaction with the world” and to enact a domestic “civil rights charter”. In essence, Rouhani brings hope for the improvement…… Continue reading Rouhani Brings Hope to Iran-Western Relations

Personal

My mentor mentioned for “peace intelligence”

For those who know me and the kind of work that I do, you will know by now of my mentor and intellectual guide Professor Akbar Ahmed. Here is a nice biography of Professor Ahmed, who the renowned American historian Professor Stanley Wolpert called “the greatest scholar of Islam in America and the world… nobody…… Continue reading My mentor mentioned for “peace intelligence”

Interfaith

Finding Tolerance in Akbar, the Philosopher-King

By Craig Considine for Huffington Post Akbar the Great, ruler of most of South Asia in the 16th and early 17th century, rejected bigotry and made unprecedented moves to help non-Muslims feel at peace in his Mughal empire. In reflecting more closely upon his character and conduct, we can see how Akbar’s actions are antithetical…… Continue reading Finding Tolerance in Akbar, the Philosopher-King

Outreach

Pluralist working towards making interfaith cooperation a norm in U.S.

A great interview with Interfaith Youth Core founder Eboo Patel is up on Real Clear Religion. Patel, who wrote a nice review of Akbar Ahmed’s documentary Journey into America, which I directed, is one of the most important leaders in the U.S. today for his impressive work in promoting pluralism and interfaith dialogue. RealClearReligion: What is…… Continue reading Pluralist working towards making interfaith cooperation a norm in U.S.

Quoted

10 Great Non-Muslim Quotes on Islam

“I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity,…… Continue reading 10 Great Non-Muslim Quotes on Islam

Outreach

Pope John Paul II Always Kept the Door Open for Muslims

Writing in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1994), Pope John Paul II calls Islam one of the great monotheistic religions and requests that Christians respect the beliefs of Muslims based on the following passage in the Declaration of Nostra Aetate: “The Church also has a high regard for the Muslims, who worship one…… Continue reading Pope John Paul II Always Kept the Door Open for Muslims

Friends

Norman Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” Painting

On Monday I visited the Dover Rug Company in Natick, Massachusetts for an interview with CEO Mahmud Jafri, who happens to be a very down-to-earth and insightful man. Mahmud is a successful businessman who happens to also be a proud Bostonian, American, Muslim and Pakistani. When I was entering the Dover Rug building, I noticed a…… Continue reading Norman Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” Painting

Film-work

“Journey into America” documentary fosters understanding between the Islamic world and the west

Source: University of Cambridge (Research) Frankie Martin, MPhil student in the Department of Social Anthropology will speak tonight (7 May  2013) at the showing of a documentary Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam. He reflects on his own experiences of interacting with Muslim communities around the world. Continue reading

Outreach · Religion

My challenge to the media: Burn the Quran Day or One Film 9/11?

I pose a challenge to media outlets around the world: Will they continue to focus on sensational stories which only exacerbate tension and hatred between groups, or will they instead provide coverage to events and initiatives which work to build bridges across the divide? I use Pastor Terry Jones’ “Burn the Quran Day” and my…… Continue reading My challenge to the media: Burn the Quran Day or One Film 9/11?

Family

Why Saint Constantine is Important to Me

Many of you might notice how the pronunciation of Considine, my last name, sounds like the surname Constantine. In fact, the surname Considine is the Anglicanized version of the Gaelic surname Mac Consaidin, which in the Gaelic language literally means “Son of Constantine.” The origins of the Irish surname Considine dates back to at least…… Continue reading Why Saint Constantine is Important to Me

Religion

How Islam Saved Judaism

Had Islam not come along, Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance and Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult, writes David J. Wasserstein for the Jewish Chronicle. Continue reading

Religion

The Muslim Jesus

Note: Here’s an article by Alayna Ahmad, which was recently published on the Huffington Post Religion page. Below the article, I’ve also posted an ITV documentary on “The Muslim Jesus.” Islam is a deeply monotheistic religion and thus forbids any partners or associations with God. Although all prophets including Jesus were mortal and gifted in…… Continue reading The Muslim Jesus

Religion

Akbar the Great a Pioneer in Interfaith Dialogue

Akbar the Great, ruler of the Mughal Empire during the late 16th and early 17th century, was a true pioneer of interfaith dialogue. Akbar’s desire to build interfaith bridges is clear in a letter he wrote in 1582 to King Philip II of Spain” “As most men are fettered by bonds of tradition, and by imitating…… Continue reading Akbar the Great a Pioneer in Interfaith Dialogue

Religion

Pope Francis I, Akbar the Great, and the Jesuits

The Jesuits, members of a religious order of Christianity founded in the 16th century, have entered the public spotlight after the election of Pope Francis I, himself a Jesuit. In reading more about the their philosophy, I stumbled across an interesting story about one of their missions to the court of Akbar the Great of…… Continue reading Pope Francis I, Akbar the Great, and the Jesuits

Religion

Next Pope’s chance to improve relations with al-Azhar University

An opportunity for interfaith bridge building arises in light of a recent statement from Al-Azhar University, one of the most important centers for Islamic learning in the world. Al-Azhar hopes that Pope Benedict XVI’s successor will work towards repairing relations between Muslims and Catholics “based on mutual respect and understanding.” Relations between al-Azhar and the Vatican have…… Continue reading Next Pope’s chance to improve relations with al-Azhar University

Religion

Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester Rejects Bigotry, Stands by Muslim Friends

I am happy to hear that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, rescinded an invitation to Robert Spencer, a writer whose views on Muslims and Islam are eerily similar to those of Nazis towards Jews and Judaism. After a further review of Spencer’s background, a spokesman for the diocese, Raymond Delisle, said in a…… Continue reading Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester Rejects Bigotry, Stands by Muslim Friends

Religion

This video will renew your faith in humanity

Outreach

Building Bridges at the U.S. Embassy in London

If there is one person in the world today that could ease the conflict between America and the Muslim world, it is Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the former high commissioner of Pakistan to the U.K. and current Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic studies at American University.  On November 28th, 2012, he was invited to screen his…… Continue reading Building Bridges at the U.S. Embassy in London