Monday, January 4, 2010

Baptists and Muslims: different books, common word

Baptist and Muslim

This decade can be labeled as the decade of Pluralism, where emphasis will be placed on co-existence, aka Pluralism. I believe the moderate people of faith will step in and pave the way for peaceful co-existence. Mike Ghouse

Baptists and Muslims: different books, common word

Baptists and Muslims:It began in January 2009 with a three-day meeting in Boston between 40 Baptist leaders and 40 Muslim leaders. Papers were presented. Prayers were said. Meals were shared. Business cards were exchanged. Promises for follow-up steps were made.

Baptist-Muslim engagement may be the most unanticipated and underreported religion story of 2009 with the far-reaching potential to advance the common good. Time will soon determine whether it is a fool's errand or a fullness-of-time movement.

Also in January, the Baptist World Alliance, the largest global Baptist body, released its official response to the Islamic letter known as "A Common Word Between Us and You."

Two months later, the BWA dedicated a baptismal center on the Jordan River where John the Baptist is thought to have baptized Jesus. The land was a gift from the Jordanian government, facilitated by Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad, who is the chief architect of the "Common Word" initiative.

On the July 4th weekend in Washington, D.C., well-known Baptist preacher Rick Warren spoke at the annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America.

Off the public radar was another development. The Baptist Center for Ethics, better known for its Web site,, was invited to produce an hour-long documentary that will begin airing on ABC-TV stations in January 2010. The documentary is titled "Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims."
At the heart of the documentary is the recognition that Baptists and Muslims have different sacred books but a common word--love the neighbor. The documentary tells five stories about Muslims and Baptists who pursue neighbor love through interfaith dialogue and interfaith action, stories that will surprise viewers.
These stories run counter to the dominant attitude among Baptist clergy toward Muslims. Too many Baptist preachers in America demonize the Prophet Muhammad and smear Muslims as terrorists, fearing Islam as a dangerous religion. Other fearful clerics avoid hate talk. Instead, they talk about the need to win Muslims to Jesus as the only way to relate to them.

We take another approach. We believe the Bible calls us to love our neighbors, not as a means of conversion, but because it's the right thing to do. And the right thing for goodwill Baptists to do is to speak up for Muslims in our culture of anger and to reach out with a hand of partnership.

Our documentary is about replacing the negative narratives with positive ones. We hope it will bring Baptists and Muslims together on the local level for conversations and community-building. If Muslims and Baptists are peacemakers together in the United States, then they will show the rest of the world a better way forward.

By Robert Parham December 26, 2009; 6:20 PM ET

No comments:

Post a Comment


Email to:

Voice of Moderate Muslims

Voice of Moderate Muslims
Voice of Moderate Muslims

Moderate Islam Speaker

Moderate Islam Speaker
Moderate Islam Speaker

quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.