“Journeying with the Muslims: Listening, Praying, and Working Together”, a book by Cardinal Louis Michael Fitzgerald was launched at the Indian Social Institute, New Delhi by Prof Akhtarul Wasey, Professor (Retd) of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia on Saturday, September 3rd, 2022.
The event, co-organised by Indialogue Foundation, and Islamic Studies Association along with Indian Social Institute, began with recitation of verses from both the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible.
Stressing on the importance of interfaith dialogue to find common ground, Mr M Behzad Fatmi, Secretary-General, Indialogue Foundation, New Delhi mentioned that “Christians are mostly surprised to learn that we Muslims often name our daughters Maryam, after mother Mary.” Mr Fatmi, whose organisation offers a certificate course in Dialogue Studies aimed at training youth on interfaith and intercultural dialogue, referred to instances where he himself has seen Islamophobic people change their stance when they get acquainted with Muslims as friends, neighbours, colleagues, or travel companions. “The path is to get to know the ‘other’, as we often fear what we don’t understand.”
“Jesus is one of the many prophets mentioned in the Holy Quran and no Muslim is allowed to call himself or herself a Muslim unless they accept all prophets and books sent by Allah to guide them, the Holy Bible being one of them.”, said Prof Akhtarul Wasey while launching the book.
“If Allah wanted, he could have created merely a single religion and ensured that everyone follows it. However, he created different religions so that we may learn to celebrate our differences and treat each other with respect,” proclaimed Father Joseph Victor Edwin SJ, Secretary, Islamic Studies Association with immense conviction and clarity.
The event ended with a respectful chorus of the national anthem by everyone present. Dr John Dayal (human rights and social activist), and Fr Denzil Fernandes SJ (Director, Indian Social Institute) also graced the event.