The role of madrasas in inter-faith dialogue

Interfaith

Interfaith

Inter-faith dialogue has become an urgent necessity today. In this regard, what role can or should madrasas play? Can they indeed play any role at all in this? Before discussing this issue, it is important to understand why inter-faith dialogue has become so necessary today.

Undoubtedly, in today’s world inter-community harmony is a major need, and the lack of it has emerged as a major challenge. Inter-faith and inter-community harmony must be built on the foundations and concerns that different faith communities share in common. It must also seek to build bridges of understanding between these communities, and to remove mutual misunderstandings that are a major source of inter-community conflict.

In the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, Muslim religious groups in the West, for instance, have increasingly realised the pressing need for inter-faith dialogue. They have invited people of other faiths to visit mosques and the offices of Muslim organisations so that they can observe what happens therein and can have their questions and concerns about Islam and Muslims answered. This has had a positive fall-out in terms of improving inter-community relations, which is itself something that Muslims themselves require.

Several Muslim countries are also developing plans for promoting inter-faith dialogue. In June 2008 the Rabita al-Alami al-Islami (‘World Muslim Council’) organised an international conference on inter-faith dialogue. This was a very major initiative. At the conference it was decided that an international institution would be established to further promote this sort of dialogue. It was also decided to institute an award for inter-faith dialogue work. Through these and similar initiatives, one hopes that Muslims will now play a major role in promoting inter-faith understanding and peaceful dialogue.

full article: www.insight-info.com

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