Holy inter-faith solidarity Batman!
Mullah Liam ad-Deen is responding to the massive number of Christians around the world who are being persecuted by renegade Islamist radicals by calling Muslims to show solidarity with Christians by fasting during the 40 days of the Christian season of Lent. It’s also an invitation for Muslims to show gratitude for how many Christians have been extending olive branches to them – and defending them.
The organization Muslims for Progressive Values has been promoting his call and a Facebook page has been created by some Muslims who are seeking to show compassion to, and connection with, Western Christians. #Muslims4Lent‘s About page states:
“Join us for our first annual #Muslims4Lent We believe in the power of interfaith dialogue and solidarity. Instead of dwelling on the negative dialogue against Islam, we are choosing to focus on the many people of other faiths that have extended their hands towards the Muslim community to build a friendship and understanding. This has come in many forms, from churches writing us Eid Muburak messages to Jews, Hindus and many other religions participating in a Ramadan’s Fast-a-Thon. Let us come together and show them our respect for their beliefs as well. Join the initiative and take a picture with a sign of what you’ll be giving up for the 40 days of Lent! Share it on your page and hashtag #Muslims4Lent! We will be collecting all the photos and sharing it on our new website eidpraylove.com and Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Lent starts February 18th inshalla!”———————About Lent: http://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Lent“Lent is traditionally described as fasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days which, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent, before beginning his public ministry, fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by the Devil.”
+++++A growing number of Muslims have been posting on this public page. Some examples:
My name is Ayesha and this is my roommate Kamilah and we’re standing in solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters for the next 40 days of lent. We’re in grad school and with our busy schedules, we’ve found it so convenient to pick up fast food on our way to or from class. We know how unhealthy it is for us, but we always make excuses and say we’ll be better next time. But no more excuses, we’ve decided to cut out fast food from our lives for at least the next 40 days. Hopefully this experience will not only make us healthier and more conscious of what we eat, but also bring us closer to God by teaching us to control our cravings and take care of ourselves. #Muslims4lent
Over the past few years, numerous progressive Christian pastors and lay leaders have posted various memes on our Facebook pages, Twitter, etc. to help convey our love and support for our Muslim brothers and sisters – especially on the occasion of some of their highest holy days. Example:
A United Methodist pastor in Dallas famously chose to participate in the full season of Ramadan, complete with daily fasting.
On Sept. 11, 2012, I wrote up my own little sign & posted it on the fan-page for my book “Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity.”
Humans are social creatures and we’re at our best when we shed our insular tribalisms and realize – that we’re all part of one big tribe of humanity; that we’re all in this together; and taking a walk in each other’s moccasins – is the kind of thing that helps us live in peace and harmony.
On related notes, check out these beautiful, and promising, inter-faith collaborations – that seek to help the religions of the world be at their best:
The Abrahamic Initiative facebook
The Charter for Compassion facebook
May God/Allah/Om bless our efforts.
Peace, Shalom, Salaam, Namaste, Blessed Be. Amen and Amin.
Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who directs the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity