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A Jewish philanthropist couple from New York is backing a Christian medical mission to Africa that is supported by people from a wide variety of faiths. Last week, a group of priests, rabbis, imams, and ministers joined together to support this effort. Responding to this project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf remarked that such an initiative proves that there is more good than bad in the world, saying, “If the news depicted and reported on the amount of good things going on in the world… it would vastly outnumber the news that is discordant.”
Imam Feisal took part in an interfaith panel discussion on “Living Your Faith in Heightened Political Times” on CNN’s “New Day.” Imam Feisal was joined by Father Edward Beck and Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl. Click below to watch the conversation.
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Following the attack on a Sufi mosque in Egypt, which left over 300 dead, many are asking what Sufism is and why Sufi Muslims were targeted for attack. In this piece in Vox, Imam Feisal explains that Sufism is “the core and the very spirit of Islam itself… The essence of Sufism is teaching people how to see God.” Sufis are targeted by extremists because many extremists wrongly believe that Sufis are not “true Muslims.”
The world is reeling from a terror attack on a mosque in Egypt, which killed over 300 people. The mosque was targeted by extremists because it was a Sufi mosque. In this piece in the Washington Post, Imam Feisal explains what Sufism is and why that made the mosque a target of terror.
In the wake of the deadly terror attack on a Sufi mosque in Egypt, which killed over 300 people, the world is asking why this mosque was targeted by extremists. In this article in the New York Times, Imam Feisal explains that Sufism is “…nothing more than the spiritual dimension… It is Islam, but we focus on meditation, on chanting sessions, which enable the Muslim to have his or her heart open. The myths people have about Sufis are analogous to the myths people have about Muslims.” Imam Feisal adds that the attack in Egypt was “a major sin.” Read the full article at the link below.
In this op-ed in the New York Daily News, Imam Feisal responds to the horrific terror attack in New York City, asserting that the United States is founded on principles of faith, which unite us as Americans and help keep us focused on higher ideals. And, when we focus on the values we share, our differences become far less important.
“…Americans need reminding that a natural religious law grounds our Republic. That fact should stop terrorists in their tracks. ‘One Nation Under God’ is not an empty phrase.
Taken to heart, it elevates us to that place of God above us. We look down upon our violent aggressions with regret. The distance from our neighbor shrinks. We’ve opened to a love we didn’t know we could feel…”
Imam Feisal was included in New York Magazine‘s list of 50 New York interfaith leaders, celebrating the city’s religious diversity! Check out the full portrait series at the link below.
In this op-ed in the New York Daily News, Imam Feisal argues that the fear of Sharia law in the United States is baseless, both because the First Amendment protects against the establishment of religious laws and because, like Christians, Jews, and other faiths groups, Muslims already are able to engage with religious laws in limited aways, for instance through marriage ceremonies that are both religious and civil. Imam Feisal points to Israel as an example of a nation whose civil laws integrate with Sharia without conflict. Additionally, Imam Feisal states that there is no inherent conflict between American law and values and Sharia, as they are based on the same principles.
“…Muslim jurists have long reflected on the objectives, or purposes, of Islamic law. These include what Thomas Jefferson called life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Islamic law parses the pursuit of happiness into freedom of mind, religion, property, family and dignity.
Jefferson would not object. Originally, it was the right to property, not the pursuit of happiness, that he wanted to guarantee all Americans.
Contrary to the right-wing caricature, sharia does not presume to replace American law. It agrees with its underlying values and promotes them…”
Imam Feisal spoke with Kate Bolduan on CNN’s This Hour about President Donald Trump’s visit to the Middle East and his speech to the Muslim world. Watch the video by clicking on the image below.
In this op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Imam Feisal encourages us to expand our faithfulness in God beyond the “local”—to see the connections that exist between ourselves and other people of different communities, beliefs, and cultures and let our common love of God unite us.
We are caught now on a divide between self-affirmation and affirmation of those different from us. Is my ultimate address Philadelphia or the mind of God? Are my neighbors only other Muslims or all created in the image of God? — that would be all humanity, as both the Prophet Muhammad and the Bible teach. Our charge as religious leaders is to remind us all that no ethnicity, nationality, or religion is our ultimate address. God is.
Imam Feisal spoke with Ilgin Beygo Yorulmaz in an interview for Auburn Seminary about the current social and political climate, as well as his vision for building an American Muslim identity.
We need to translate our faith and culture to American language, culture, law, and create an “American Muslim identity” in terms of our laws, the way we dress, and other things.
Read more (Auburn Seminary)
In this op-ed in the Huffington Post, Imam Feisal reflects on the meaning of the motto of the United States—“E Pluribus Unum”—in light of our current social and political climate, and calls for Americans to come together.
At issue are the ingredients of nationhood. What makes us “one nation, indivisible?” Are we one in our sameness or in our differences from each other? Is it our similarities or our complementarities that unite us? Are we a mono-cultural or multicultural society?
In this op-ed in the Observer, Imam Feisal speaks about three recent terror attacks in Germany, Turkey, and Switzerland and the need for religious and political moderates to come together to work towards peace.
“We grieve once again for horrific murders committed in the name of Islam, now in Ankara and Berlin. And we feel sorrow, again, for attacks on Muslims, this time at a mosque in Zurich, perpetrated by a gunman with unknown motives. All the attacks occurred on Monday, December 19, within hours of each other…”