It was late on a Sunday afternoon last August. Somehow the three of us — Ammar, Menachem, and I – met for the first time on top of a high balcony in Al-Quds (Jerusalem). All of us were trying to gain a higher vantage point from which to get a better view of the amazing and famously picturesque Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Western Wall. But I know it was more than just “coincidence” that brought us together in the midst of the Old City! As adherents of the three monotheistic religions, I believe it was a “God-incidence” that caused our paths to cross on that late summer afternoon. What a great time we had talking about our faiths – what we have in common and. . .what we don’t. All in the context of mutual respect. No hint of fear, or anger, or even anxiety. We were truly listening to each other. We were “building bridges.”
So. . .why another blog? Everyone has one, right? Honestly, a desire to start this blog was birthed in my heart a year ago – a desire to see Muslims and Christians come together (maybe our Jewish friends too). It is a desire to see many others around the globe do just what Ammar, Mehachem, and I began to do in that place sacred to all of us (Jerusalem): “to build bridges of friendship, trust, and understanding.”
In this blog, my sincere hope is that you will read and respond – both to me and to each other. Let me begin by saying that I am not an expert in anything. Rather, I hope to speak from my heart about topics that I think will create interest, thought, and real change in how we view one another and how we interact with one another. My desire is that Muslims and Christians will use this forum to have heart-to-heart conversations with one other and with me.
Will you join me in this great and needed purpose in our world today – to build bridges of friendship, trust, and understanding between Muslims and Christians?
Whether you name is Muhammad or Matthew, I would love to hear short accounts of your bridge-building experiences with members of the other faith. Whether your name is Fatima or Faith, I would treasure the opportunity to hear a few of your thoughts as well. Whether you live in the Middle East or the Midwest, whether you live in Indonesia or Indiana, please feel welcome here and please share what is in your heart!
Let’s enjoy this bridge-building journey together. And let’s do it with respect, sincerity, and honesty.
So I end this second ever post on ilovemuslims.net with questions for you.
To my Muslim friends: What are you doing to “build bridges of friendship, trust, and understanding” with Christians?
To my Christian friends: What are you doing to “build bridges of friendship, trust, and understanding” with Muslims?
Please share your thoughts and experiences!
for us as Muslims, we believe that Judaism and Christianity were a former messages from God (The only one God who created everything). This messages has been sent by people that God choose, their nations knows them very well, and respect them. those who we call them “Massengers” of God.. Moses and Jesus christ and the all previous messangers that God sent, till the last prophet that we believe in “Muhammad”.
for me as a religious Muslim who specialized in the Islamic Law, building the good relationship with the people (all of them, without looking for a race or color or even religion) is the purpose of our life. for us its more important than calling them to our religion. building the good relationship, and teaching the people the real Islam will let them distinguish that real Islam from the fake TV Islam that has been created for them from people who dont care about any kind of peace in the earth.
Its very important for us (Jewish, Christians, Muslims) to distinguish what some people do in the name of our religions, and what our religions really taught us to do.
for me, as a relgious Muslim who believe in the real Judaism and Christianity (before it was changed by the time..) The only person for me who represent this religions is Moses & Jesus.
talking in religion with other people help breaking the fake ice that remains in our heads from the TV. the good relationship between me and the non-muslims is the acts of our prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and talking about the religion is sth secondary, the good relationship force you to listen to your good Muslim friend, while if you dont know him you will not even thing to look at him (for some people i mean).
thanks for Allah, we are proud of our religion, and we are very honest when we talk about it, and when we call the people to accept it, because of that more than 80.000 non-muslim is accepting Islam as the last message of God to the humanity.
i love all my friends, regardless of their race and religion, that what my religion taught me, and that’s my proud attitude toward them.
(Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of your religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you SHOW them Kindness and deal with them Justly; Surely, Allah loves the doers of Justice (9) God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of your faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid others in driving you forth, and as for those from amony you who turn towards them in friendship; it is they, they who are truly wrongdoers”
Holy Quran, Surat 60, verse 8 + 9..
so those who dont kill us we have been taught to show them the real kindness, Justice and love.
Ammar, I knew I could count on you to respond! When I can, I will respond more to what you have written. Thanks and God bless you, habibi!
I am very excited about this blog as I am sure it will challenge me greatly. As a Jesus follower, my desire is to love God with my whole heart, soul, and mind AND love others as myself. I will look forward to seeing more of Mark’s thoughts on how to build bridges with Muslims so that I may learn how to tangibly love them more!
Andrew, your reply is exactly why I wanted to do this blog! You sound like you have a great heart to obey the 2 great commands of God. May He use you to build bridges that are strong enough to bear the weight of significant and meaningful conversations with Muslim people.
Hi, it was very inspiring to meet you last night. I have read your blog and will follow your journey. And as a non-believer I would have to answer your questions by saying that I try to respect and be friends with everybody, to refuse to have enemies and make my friends become each others friends :) Good luck and safe travels! Love from Norway/Bethlehem.
Marte, it was a pleasure for Ben and me to meet you and Elias last evening as well. I would be honored for you to to follow our journey and will attempt to learn more about the group you are with. Refusing to be an enemy is so much like the Jesus I know, follow, and worship. God bless you and thanks for your kind response!
I am Sanaz. Do you remember me? I was with you and Mary Jane in the Ice Sculpture event. I love your blog. I experience happiness only when I love others and others love me. Love make the difficulties easier in the life.
Of course we remember you! We have never forgotten you!
Thank you so much for reading the blog.
You are so right: love is the answer. Jesus said in the Injeel (Mark 12:30-31):
“‘. . .the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
The greatest thing is that God loves us! His love for us is unquenchable. Unconditional. Undeserved. Unbelievable. Endless. And absolutely. . .free.
Jesus came and personally embodied this love. He loves you – and so do we!
Peace is not also give you give the world ….. steps in the peace process is love and forgiveness .
Elias, we all must learn to love and forgive — whether in interpersonal relationships or between larger groups of people. Thanks for your input!
love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend …
آمين, ʾāmīn ; so be it; truly