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 · 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

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

Work

So What if a Christian Writes About Muhammad

Some critics find it odd that I am a Christian who writes about Muhammad. Haters see my articles as odd and even worse – sacrilegious – because I give praise to the founder of Islam, a religion often portrayed as “evil” around the world. However, as you will see in these articles, there is nothing…… Continue reading So What if a Christian Writes About Muhammad

Poems

A Ramadan meditation in verse

By Akbar Ahmed Source: Washington Post – On Faith Allah has many names Allah is Rahman He is Rahim He is also Ghafoor And known as Noor Some have called Him Zeus Others address Him as Deus Some name Him Brahma Others see Him in Atma If you want to know Him, whatever His appellation…… Continue reading A Ramadan meditation in verse

Interfaith

A thought on “the ink of the scholar…”

“The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” If you “like” this term, you are showing your appreciation for a core tenet found within Islam. The power of knowledge and the search for it must trump all violence and warfare. Jesus and all the prophets would agree with this…… Continue reading A thought on “the ink of the scholar…”

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

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

Interfaith

“The Golden Rule” is Central to the Teachings of Many Religions

If I missed a “golden rule” from another major religion, please leave it in the comment section so I can add it to the list. The picture above is Norman Rockwell’s “The Golden Rule,” which I also discussed in a post on a Pakistani Muslim friend of mine in Boston. Christianity: “All things whatsoever ye…… Continue reading “The Golden Rule” is Central to the Teachings of Many Religions

Commentary

Being Accused of Writing Like a “Devout Muslim” is an Honor

Pictures · Quoted

Rumi’s Advice on Tolerance, Compassion and Love

This picture was taken at the annual Muslim Day Parade in New York City in the fall of 2008. I did not take this picture in black and white. It has been doctored using some software.

Religion

U.S. State Department report means the battle for tolerance and understanding goes on

A new report carried out by the U.S. State Department found that discrimination against Jews and Muslims is on the rise around the world. This is discouraging news for those who are involved in efforts to improve relations among members of the Abrahamic tradition. The report, which is called the International Religious Freedom Report, concludes that…… Continue reading U.S. State Department report means the battle for tolerance and understanding goes on

Religion

An Anecdote to Negative Stereotypes of Islam

Go on a journey into the heart of Islam’s mystical side – Sufism. Explore the roots of Sufi music, art, poetry, etc. Sufi music is particularly thrilling and attracted me to study more about Islam. I highly recommend this short piece from Channel 4. The presenter takes the audience to Sufi shrines of the Virgin…… Continue reading An Anecdote to Negative Stereotypes of Islam

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

Short video of reading “God or Allah”

Poems

Allah or God, it Doesn’t Matter to Me

I’m a Catholic but I think Islam is beautiful Some think I’m interested in converting No, I’m not it just makes me think of the one above Whether it’s called Allah or God it doesn’t matter I think of him I think of heaven A place of no worries A place of peace A place…… Continue reading Allah or God, it Doesn’t Matter to Me

Work

New article in Huffington Post on Islam and American identity

Here is my latest article on what America’s Founding Fathers would say about Islam.  The article is driven by my new interfaith initiative One Film 9/11. You can read more about the initiative here and join us on Facebook.  Hope you enjoy the article and blog.

Personal

Personal: My challenge as a Catholic American

It has been challenging for me – a young Catholic working in interfaith dialogue – to watch the escalation of conflict between Muslim communities the world over and the United States. Observing this escalation as an American citizen has been equally difficult because religious tolerance is at the heart of my definition of American identity.…… Continue reading Personal: My challenge as a Catholic American

Work

Work: Huffington Post piece, ‘The “other” Islam’ and reflecting on religion and 9/11

A short piece I wrote about how 9/11 changed the way I looked at religion, specifically Islam, was published today (September 11th) in the Huffington Post’s article (slide 12) How 9/11 Changed Religion in America. I’m honoured to be featured alongside a Hindu Monk, a Sikh activist, an Ahmadi writer, a Jewish scholar, a Dean at USC,…… Continue reading Work: Huffington Post piece, ‘The “other” Islam’ and reflecting on religion and 9/11

Personal · Religion

Benjamin Franklin’s Case for Pluralism

We can gain a sense of young Benjamin Franklin’s thoughts on religion in A Witch Trial at Mount Holly, which raised the concern of his Puritan parents that he held ‘erroneous’ religious opinions.  Franklin was not himself an emphatically religious man; while he believed in God, he did not subscribe to one particular creed.  What we do…… Continue reading Benjamin Franklin’s Case for Pluralism

Poems

A Poem of Ibn Arabi’s

Ibn ʿArabī (Arabic: ابن عربي‎) (Murcia July 28, 1165 – Damascus November 10, 1240) was an Arab Andalusian Sufi mystic and philosopher.  He is sometimes referred to as “the Son of Plato” (Ibn Aflatun) for his devotion to Plato. My heart has grown capable of taking on all forms It is a pasture for gazelles A table for the Torah A convent for Christians…… Continue reading A Poem of Ibn Arabi’s