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

Interfaith

Why This Christian Studies Islam

People often ask me, Why do you study Islam if you are a Christian? Here is my answer: I am hungry for meaning, wherever it might be found. I do not care if it is in a desert of Arabia or a small village in France. I want to bridge the perceived worlds, through meaning-making.…… Continue reading Why This Christian Studies 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

Interfaith

The Christians of Najran and the Spirit of Ramadan

A young Protestant man in college recently sent me an e-mail with some questions about Christian-Muslim relations. He told me that he was interested in witnessing Muslims in worship, and more specifically he wanted to take part in an iftar, or the breaking of the fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The young…… Continue reading The Christians of Najran and the Spirit of Ramadan

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”

Interfaith

Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad Followed “The Golden Rule”

Published on Huffington Post (4/24/2015) Christianity and Islam are often painted as mortal enemies that will be forever fighting in a war for religious supremacy. Christians and Muslims would be wise to remember that Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad are kindred spirits. By turning to their teachings, we can see that these two prophets are…… Continue reading Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad Followed “The Golden Rule”

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

Outreach

“The Enemy of One Religion is the Enemy of All Religions” – An Interview With Muslim Scholar John Andrew Morrow

I recently conducted an interview with Dr. John Andrew Morrow, scholar of Islam and author of the book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. This interview was a follow-up to my review of his book, which you can read at “New Book Sheds Light on Prophet Muhammad’s Interfaith Views.” The…… Continue reading “The Enemy of One Religion is the Enemy of All Religions” – An Interview With Muslim Scholar John Andrew Morrow

Film-work

Pictures/Video of a Mawlid Peace Walk & Conference in Dublin, Ireland

On the 26th of January, 2014, I participated in the 4th Annual Mawlid Peace Walk and Conference at the Al Mustafa Islamic Centre in Blanchardstown, Dublin (Ireland). Prior to the start of the conference, in which I was a guest speaker, the Muslim community and other non-Muslims came together to walk peacefully in honor of…… Continue reading Pictures/Video of a Mawlid Peace Walk & Conference in Dublin, Ireland

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

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

Quoted

10 Inspiring Quotes to Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a little boy attending elementary school in Needham, Massachusetts, I always borrowed two books from the Mitchell School library. One of those books gave a history of the Boston Celtics, my favorite basketball team, and the other book was a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, the Civil Rights leaders of the 1950s…… Continue reading 10 Inspiring Quotes to Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

Poems

Poem: Top of Killiney Hill

Politics

How Would America’s Founding Fathers React to Syria?

In all likelihood, President Barack Obama will soon bomb Syria in the hope of dealing a blow to Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime. This dangerous act of war is a betrayal of the foreign policy vision of America’s founding fathers and will only serve to further weaken the US’s floundering moral credibility around the…… Continue reading How Would America’s Founding Fathers React to Syria?

Film-work

Video: War is stupid

I have read the news over the last few days with frustration and a bit of angst. The situation in Syria is spiraling out of control and threatens to become a wider war, perhaps even a world war. Over the course of these events, I have contemplated writing an article about my thoughts, but I…… Continue reading Video: War is stupid

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…”

Film-work · Religion

Finding Pluralism in Akbar the Great (A Short Documentary)

Akbar the Great is an extraordinary figure in history. Who is he? What did he stand for and what can we learn from his legacy? These are some of the questions which are touched upon in this short documentary. *Feel free to watch/write a review in the comments section. Thank you.* Reviews: “I have tears of…… Continue reading Finding Pluralism in Akbar the Great (A Short Documentary)

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”

Uncategorized

An Islamic History Lesson for the Leader of the English Defence League

Follow Craig Considine on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ToBeCraig Tommy Robinson, leader of the anti-Muslim group English Defence League, used some racy language in his response to the recent killing of a British soldier by a young British Muslim man in Woolwich, London. Referring to the actions and religion of the murderer, Robinson stated that “This is Islam… They’ve…… Continue reading An Islamic History Lesson for the Leader of the English Defence League

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

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

Religion

My Favorite Hebrew Phrase

One of the best phrases in the human language: “Tikkun olam (Hebrew: תיקון עולם or תקון עולם[1]‎), meaning “to heal a fractured world.”

Religion

This video will renew your faith in humanity

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

Pictures

Pictures: Zap of light

When I play around with the blinds over my window, I can create some pretty magical displays of light.

Pictures · Poems

Poem: What’s out there

After Emerson When the act of reflection takes place in the mind, when we look at ourselves in the light of thought, we discover that our life is embosomed in beauty. Behind us, as we go, all things assume pleasing forms, as clouds do far off. Not only things familiar and stale, but even the…… Continue reading Poem: What’s out there

Poems

Poems: Multiplicity

We live in extreme times. Do they call for extreme measures? Who was it that said you cannot defeat something by using their weapons? There is guidance in The Trumpet of Conscience, if only we heed as he did: ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only…… Continue reading Poems: Multiplicity

Personal · Pictures

Picture: Peace in Books

I was reading too much with Nag Champa incents in Na Saoirsí, December 2011. The small room is fish-bowled and there is just enough light in. The wallpapers are bright orange with fluffy brush painting.

Religion

Vital passage: Misunderstanding and understanding Islam

… [T]here is so much misunderstanding of Islam.  The debate on Islam that is in full cry in the West since September 11 is too often little more than a parading of deep-rooted prejudices.  For example, the critics of Islam ask: ‘If there is such an emphasis on compassion and tolerance in Islam, why is…… Continue reading Vital passage: Misunderstanding and understanding Islam

Poems

Do you make flowers or thorns?

Someone who doesn’t make flowers makes thorns. If you’re not building rooms where wisdom can be openly spoken, you’re building a prison. SHAMS OF TABRIZ I found this on page XI of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation by Eboo Patel.

Religion

Sufism and the Virgin Mary

The author of Blessed Virgin Mary is a Sufi master of Turkish descent named Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak, who passed away in 1985.  He is considered by Sufis as a Waliullah, or intimate friend of Allah (God). The book is designed in a nonlinear fashion, ‘transcending the usual laws of logic and habitual experience which the Virgin…… Continue reading Sufism and the Virgin Mary

Music

I’ll Take You There

My jam for the day.

Conferences

Attending event with Ahmadiyya community in Dublin

Last week  I was invited by Imran Ahmed, member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Ireland and Dublin City Interfaith Forum, to the 6th Interfaith Peace Conference on April 28th in Lucan, County Dublin. The conference, titled ‘Purpose of Religion, will be attended by people and speakers from major religions to strive towards peace in Ireland.…… Continue reading Attending event with Ahmadiyya community in Dublin

Poems

Courtesy of my dad

Just put together this short piece after a brief e-mail discussion with my dad.  It’s called… ‘Inwards and out’ Be deep. Be introspective. Be happy when looking for yourself. – Carve yourself the right path. Work towards the peace. Commit yourself to understanding all the things around you. – Fine tune yourself. Embrace the personal…… Continue reading Courtesy of my dad