Islam and Christianity stand for peace, harmony and human development, says Imam

Religion must not be blamed for terrorism

Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council and imam of the mosque at Blanchardstown

Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council and imam of the mosque at Blanchardstown

 

Blaming religion for the actions of terrorists has to be contested, one of Ireland’s leading Muslim voices has said.

Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council and imam of the mosque at Blanchardstown in Dublin, has pointed out that “all religions promote love and discourage violence”.

Islam and Christianity “both stand for peace, harmony and human development”, he said, and he prayed “that the new year may bring healing and peace to our suffering world”.

The dream of global peace “will never come true unless followers of both Islam and Christianity, which together make up well over half of the world’s population, come forward in a spirit of co-operation, respect and goodwill to play their due role to promote peaceful coexistence”.

The “hollow notion of a clash of civilisations’ needs to be replaced with ‘dialogue among civilisations’”, the imam said. Enhanced engagement among different religions especially Islam and Christianity would serve to “build bridges and demolish walls that separate us”, he said

Recalling the gospel account of Jesus Christ and the Samaritan woman at the well, he said it highlighted “that Jesus Christ saw the stranger at the well first and foremost as a person and therefore engaged with her and reached out to her. This reflects the true spirit of reaching out and loving the neighbour espoused by Christianity.”

He said the historic incident of Najran whereby the Prophet Muhammad treated the Christian delegation as his personal guests, hosted them in his mosque and allowed them worship there reflects the true spirit of harmony and brotherhood espoused by Islam.