Wednesday, 17 November 2010

There was a Muslim in my church

Yes, you read that right. At Rememberance Day service in my church (St John's, London) the sermon was given by a Muslim, Jehangir Malik OBE, Director, Islamic Relief UK. Recently, there has been a lot of violent attacks against Christians and Catholics in Iraq, India and Pakistan by Muslims. As a Christian, I feel angry that different religions cannot get on around the world and I feel especially worried about fellow Christians who are living in fear for their lives.
That is why I was touched when Mr Malik said, 'I want to say how appreciative and moved I am to have been invited here to this remembrance service, a service for ALL those on ALL sides who suffered and for those who fought for the eternal and God-given principles of Faith, Justice and Peace. All that remains is for us to take their struggle forward - to get past the cliche and hate speech we hear about one another and build coalitions and movements that isolate extremists and extremism on all sides and from whichever community'.
Religion is a concept of peace. I cannot understand why some take their religion to mean that they are better than others or that they are allowed to kill in the name of their God. It is inhumane and evil to do so. Religious  leaders can try and resolve this huge problem through negotiation and actions. People like Mr Malik set a huge example in trying to show communities that religion is about Justice and Peace. Churches like mine can also set examples by inviting Muslims to attend services or special events.
The following is a passage from the Qu'ran:
We decreed to the Children of Israel the eternal moral order for all humanity that whoever kills a human being - unless it is in the course of justice for murder or bloody crimes on the earth - it shall be as if he killed all mankind. And whoever saves one life it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.



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