It’s amazing how good news so often goes unnoticed! I was browsing through “Catholic” websites and news sources when I read about the Vatican’s reaction to the recent letter from Muslim leaders. A reaction to what? What letter? After a little bit of digging I discovered that on October 13th, 38 world Muslim scholars had written an “open letter” to Pope Benedict XVI (aka B16) and other leaders of the Christian Church.
The letter is entitled “A Common Word between Us and You” and reflects on the fact that Jews, Christians and Muslims share a common source in the Word of God. That Word compells all people of faith to love God and to love their neighbour. The Muslim leaders invite all Christians to come together on the basis of these two commandments of love.
In the letter they state:
Finding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a matter for polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders. Christianity and Islam are the largest and second largest religions in the world and in history. Christians and Muslims reportedly make up over a third and over a fifth of humanity respectively. Together they make up more than 55% of the world’s population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world. If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants. Thus our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake.
This is truly a bold move on the part of Muslim leaders that should be welcomed and celebrated. It reminds us of the need to come to know one another, including our differences, but also our common values. God willing their prayer for peace will be heard.
Consult www.acommonword.com for more on the letter and the efforts of these faith-filled Muslims working to build a future for all of us together.