Blog - Equal Access International
What do Muslims believe? Why do they dress/act/talk the way they do? Is it true that they (fill in the blank)? In my last post about 'loving past our fears' I wrote about how the greatest barriers to relationship with people of other cultures/religions is within our own hearts. But what's next after "Hello"? What about all the crazy things we've heard about these people? What about the tragedies we see everyday in the news? I recently ran a weekly gathering of people at my house that wanted to learn about Islam. Amidst a rising culture of Islamaphobia around them, this group wanted to be better equipped in reaching out in friendship across faith traditions. It was a genuine assortment of people who were ready to change themselves for the sake of others. In the first meeting I asked them what they knew about Islam. There were few who said…
Zack will be a regular contributor to the Equal Access blogs, bringing a very practical application that is relevant to all. We encourage you to circulate this via electronic media. Is peace between Christians and Muslims possible? Can we be wholehearted friends? Are the walls too many and too high? Where do we even begin? The news and social media tell a story that peace is impossible between Christians and Muslims—that our differences in culture, politics and theology are too great to make our way beyond. But I’ve discovered that the only real barriers to relationship were within my own heart. Recently a friend of mine saw an Instagram post in the morning that said "Love past your fears". It stirred him. Later in the day he took his children out to a playground and noticed a Muslim family arrive, sitting down across the park from him. The quote popped…
The last couple of weeks the position of the Qur’an has been used in relation to the mass murder in Orlando, Florida. What does the Qur’an say (and NOT say) about homosexuality, and in particular, any punishment? Below is a study concerning this, however… there needs to be a reminder of the CONTEXT, which is one of the emphasis’ of this site. The moral instructions (such as those verses relating to homosexuality) within the Qur’an are what the Arab armies recited as they brought tribal Arabia under a single creed and leadership. Beyond that, there was instruction to ensure that the laws of conquered peoples, including Christian and Jewish cities were NOT to be affected, with those people considered a part of the “community of faith.” Wael B. Hallaq, one of the most respected writers on the history of Islamic Law, writes in his book “The Origins and Evolution of…
Dear Friends. The author of the following article, Mun’im Sirry, is a Muslim scholar from Indonesia who I met recently during a visit there. He has worked closely with a number of researchers re-looking at the origins of Islam, lecturing at the University of Chicago and Notre Dam University during the past few years. In 2015 Mun’im Sirry published his latest book in Indonesian “The Controversy of Islamic Origins: Between traditionalists and Revisionists.” This article, contributed in an Indonesian online paper, presents one of the key topics related to the origins of Islam. (Further comments are from myself below the article) Why does the Qur’an show favouritism towards Christians? I have thought about this question for a long time. Before I answer this question, what is the basis to even claim this. I realise it is not easy for Muslims to acknowledge this favouritism. During the classical era of Islam,…
Dear Friends, Over the past few months, I have mentioned about Muslim traditions that evolved over centuries that would seem to contradict the Qur’an and its context. A segment within Islam, often refer to themselves as being “Qur’an centric” (or Qur'anist) in contrast do not believe these later Muslim traditions. One of the better Qur’an centric websites contains systematic short studies of over 100 Muslim beliefs that are not in the Qur’an. I have uploaded 10 of these studies; Click Here to view some of these under the section “Qur’an Studies”. Some of these misconceptions include: Tradition Blindly Following Islam, a name of a religion Arabic is superior Allah is the only God Child Brides Women to earn less Qur’an’s Teaching Q.S 5:104 - Use your intellect Q.S 28:53 - Islam is submission, not religion QS 14:04 – The Qur’an is in Arabic so local people could understand. QS 17:110…
It has been some time since the previous blog for this site, when I promised a short video of the work of one of our partners. This will be coming soon. While we are waiting… Much of this site is about what is happening in the academic world today in re-writing the History of Islam, known as Historical Revisionism. In regards to Islam, it is happening because the traditional source of Muslim history was written about 300 years after Muhammad, and very influenced by the traditions of the Arab dynasty at the time. Instead, those revising the History of Islam attempt to recreate its history in its original context. The end result… Islam and Christianity are very more interconnected, both with common origins, and much of the basis for extremism is removed. With a new inter-connected history, the path ahead is rebuilding relationships. A group of Christians in NSW, Australia,…
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