Archive for Islam

Government of Pakistan provides active support for sexual minorities

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 30 April 2011 by Michael Hampson

The government of Pakistan is providing active support to the transgender Hindu Hijra community by recognising their gender and by actively promoting their welfare through government employment.

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Christianity and Islam: the official position

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 24 January 2011 by Michael Hampson

Surprisingly, there is one – or at least, one that stands out from the crowd.

Whilst thousands of other denominations get by with inherited historic assumptions and occasional votes and reports, the Roman Catholic church (representing more than half the world’s two billion Christians), in response to the Second Vatican Council, compiled its first ever comprehensive catechism, running to approximately 800 pages and containing 2,865 items. It provides a clear, authoritative statement of a highly significant Christian position on virtually any topic – including other faiths. There is nothing to compare in terms of either comprehensiveness or global significance.

So what does it say on other religions?

Catechism items 836 to 847 describe, very positively, the church’s relationship with (in this order and using these terms) “the catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind”, being more specifically: “those who are fully incorporated into the body of the church”; “the baptised who are honoured by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter” (ie the pope); and finally “non-Christians” defined as “the Jewish people”, “the Muslims”, “non-Christian religions”, and “those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church”.

Specifically on Islam (item 841): “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

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Good religion, bad religion: Warsi, Jesus, Dawkins, and the responsibility of people of faith

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 21 January 2011 by Michael Hampson

Baroness Warsi, Britain’s first female Muslim cabinet member, made a major speech yesterday complaining about anti-Muslim prejudice, and arguing that people are wrong to separate Muslims into moderates and extremists (with moderates being good and extremists being bad).

She has taken a wrong turning here, having previously joined other Muslim politicians in confidently condemning both the acts and the culture of Muslim extremism.

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Egypt: Muslims and Christians unite against al-Qaeda

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 19 January 2011 by Michael Hampson

Cross and crescent came together last week as Egypt’s beleaguered Coptic community celebrated a tense Christmas with the support of thousands of Muslims who attended church services and candle-lit vigils in a show of solidarity…

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Islam: God is not a person

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 18 January 2011 by Michael Hampson

My two Muslim students tell me that in Islam it is explicitly forbidden to think of God as a person.

For some, God may still be a warrier king, bent on vengeance against the unbelievers.

But at least some mosques are teaching even ten-year-olds that whilst God may be called ‘he’ for convenience, and given person-like attributes such as justice or mercy, it is entirely wrong to think of ‘God’ as a person: the concept is far more subtle than that.

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