January 27, 2016 – News of Abrahamic Interest

Pope Francis Visits Rome’s Great Synagogue







Important news in Abrahamic family matters in this edition is lead by two reports on Pope Francis’ recent visit to the Great Synagogue in Rome. He is determined to advance the unfinished work in healing the Christian-Jewish relationship.

Next from England is an account of Muslim-Jewish cooperation in Bradford which has a large Muslim population. It’s a real-world antidote to fears of growing Islamophobia on the Continent.

The next two items focus on Morocco and its long-standing tradition of protection of its old–pre-Islamic–Jewish minority. King Mohammad V’s refusal to surrender the country’s Jews to the Vichy French is a model of genuine Islamic teaching that’s been forgotten amid the passions generated by the conflicts in the contemporary Middle East and South Asia.

But relief may be on the way. The current summit underway in Marrakesh has enormous potential significance in the intra-Muslim struggle between extreme conservative teachings contemptuous of religious minorities and the basic guidance of the Qur’an. The outside world will be watching for it’s declaration.

This is a late entry too good to hold for another two weeks. It’s 14 minutes of extraordinary wisdom.

We end with a message from our (my) northern Virginia neighbor the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) that is a primer on Qur’anic teachings on the respect accorded Jesus and Mary. It is a useful reference to keep.
Joseph V. Montville
Chairman of the Board
TRACK TWO: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy


As Chair of the Board of ADAMS, I would like to wish our Christian Brothers and Sisters a Merry Christmas on this Day of December 25th. Also on December 24, the Muslim community reflected on their Love for Prophet Muhammad(Peace be upon Him) during the time of his Birthdate(Milad).. Also, I hope that our Jewish brothers and sisters had a Happy Hanukkah on Dec 6-14, filled with happiness and divine blessings. I hope for peace on Earth and goodwill toward humanity. I hope and pray for peace, respect, love, and harmony in this holiday season, and wish all of humanity a Happy New Year on Jan 1.

Due to this historic once in approximately 300 years event coinciding of Muhammad’s Birthdate(Dec 24) and Jesus Birthdate(Dec 25), ADAMS Interfaith committee leaders are participating in an Interfaith event called the Season of Peace at Lincoln Memorial on Dec 26th where Muslims will exemplify their love of Prophets Muhammad and Jesus from The  Islamic Perspective and Christians will reflect on the Season of Christmas and Jesus and what this means to them from Christian perspective. We have also invited Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and other Faith leaders to speak on the Season of Peace. It is a multi-faith event to celebrate religious freedom and pluralism.

Muslims love and revere Jesus (Nabi Issa) as one of God’s greatest messengers to mankind, God tells us in the Muslim Holy Book, The Qur’an, “Behold! The angels said: ‘O Mary! Indeed, God gives you glad tidings of a son brought into being by a word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, eminent in this world and in the hereafter, and of those brought near to God.'” (3:45) Other verses state that Jesus was strengthened with the “Holy Spirit” (2:87) and is a “sign for the whole world.” (21:91) His virgin birth is confirmed when Mary is quoted as asking: “How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” (3:47) Jesus spoke from the cradle and, with God’s permission, cured lepers and the blind. (5:110) God also states, “We gave Jesus the Gospel and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers.” (57:27)

Muslims love and revere Muhammad(Nabi) as the Final Messenger of God and also as a Mercy to Humanity. Prophet Muhammad sent a message to the monks of Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai: “This is a message written by Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, far and near, we are behind them. Verily, I defend them by myself, the servants, the helpers, and my followers, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be changed from their jobs, nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they (Christians) are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to defend for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, this is not to take place without her own wish. She is not to be prevented from going to her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation is to disobey this covenant till the Day of Judgment and the end of the world.”

May the lessons and teachings of spirituality and peace sent down through Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all) remain with us throughout the year.


Rizwan Jaka
Chair, Board of Trustees
Interfaith/Government/Media Committee Co-Chair
All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)

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