Ramadan Mubarak 2009

The Muslim holy month of fasting – Ramadan – began on 22 August. The Christian Muslim Forum joins with many other Muslim, Christian and inter faith organisations in wishing our Muslim sisters and brothers a blessed Ramadan – Ramadan Mubarak – and God’s peace.

During Ramadan Muslims set aside time for increased devotion and drawing near to God as well as strengthening relationships with their neighbours. So for Christians Ramadan can be an opportunity to visit a mosque, spend more time with Muslim friends and colleagues and attend iftars (daily breaking of the fast). This kind of sharing creates opportunities later to invite Muslims to learn more about Christian devotions at key times of the year. Sharing and meeting together during Ramadan may also be a good start for thinking about what we may be able to do together during Inter Faith Week

Blasphemy law in Pakistan: open petition

Christians and Muslims around the world, as well as people of other faiths and those who do not adhere to any religion, will have been hearing with real concern, the news of the attacks on the Christian villages of Gojra and Qorian in Pakistan resulting in the deaths of at least seven innocent men, women and children. This was the latest in such attacks over many years and has attracted international condemnation from religious and political leadership in Pakistan and internationally.

One of the causes of such attacks is the ability of extremists and others with private motivations, to incite attacks on Christians and on occasion also on Muslims; and the inability of the police and local judiciary to protect innocent people. The blasphemy laws currently in force in Pakistan provide such people with the means to incite violence and seem to have played a part in the recent incidents which led to the death of a number of Christians.

Following widespread discussions with Christian partners and correspondents in Pakistan, Christian and Muslim organisations in the United Kingdom and with the Pakistan authorities, there is a desire amongst many people to express their concerns to the Government of Pakistan and to press for change in the blasphemy legislation and for the protection of Christians and others who are suffering from its abuse. To this end a petition is now available to be signed electronically and can be reached by clicking here and following the instructions.

The petition is signed by the Rt Revd Michael Jackson, who chairs the Anglican Communion Network for Inter Faith Concerns and by Dr Musharraf Hussain the Chair of the Christian Muslim Forum. This follows Dr Musharraf’s initial and those made by others. The Rt Revd David James, Bishop of Bradford, is the first petition signatory, it has also been signed by Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham, Vice-Chair of the Christian Muslim Forum.

The petition will be delivered to the Pakistan Government and is intended to assist in their efforts to prevent further attacks. The more people who sign, the more effective the petition will be.

It is by actions such as these that people of faith and of goodwill can show their active concern for the good of the world and in this case their support of the Christian community of Pakistan and of Muslims who are concerned to take action and are supporting their Christian neighbours

Julian Bond

Christian Muslim Forum

Posted August 3rd, 2009 in Archived, Christian. Tagged: , , , .

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