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Christian-Muslim scholars to speak on Friendship

23 June 2005

Christian-Muslim scholars to speak on Friendship Between Christians & Muslims

(23/06/05) Two eminent scholars on religion will be hosted in Auckland tomorrow (Friday) evening for public discussion on the topic of friendship between adherents of different faiths, specifically Islam and Christianity. The discussion is vital given climate of religious hostility around the world in current times, and its possible effect on relations, even at local levels, between Christian and Muslim faith groups.

It is anticipated the discussion will shed light on the two leading religions' positions on friendship with one another, and critically, whether there is strong theological bases for Christians and Muslims to forge genuine friendships in direct accordance with their respective religious beliefs. Two scholars, each with expertise in both religions, will cover all aspects of the theme, which is aptly titled:

"From Competition & Conversion to Co-operation & Conversation: Dynamics of Christian-Muslim Friendship".

7.30pm Friday June 24 2005 - St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont Street Ponsonby. Koha /donation appreciated

The speakers include Dr. Douglas Pratt of the Waikato University, who currently serves on the editorial panel of Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological, on the international editorial board of The Australian Religion Studies Review and on the advisory board of the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations.

He is also on the New Zealand Ecumenical Board of Theological Studies as Examiner/Assessor in World Religions. He has lectured and chaired at and received scholarships and awards from, numerous Universities.

His articles have thus appeared in many international journals. He has also authored several pertinent books, the most recent being The Challenge of Islam: Encounters in Interfaith Dialogue (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005) and Rethinking Religion: Exploratory Investigations (Adelaide: ATF Press, 2003).

The other speaker, attending from Australia, is Mr. Afroz Ali of Sydney, also well versed in inter-religious matters, holding degrees in Islamic Studies and Shari'ah from Islamic University, Madina, Saudi Arabia, thereafter continuing through traditional Islamic learning styles under scholars such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf of the United States, Shaykh Salik bin Siddina and Shaykh Murabtal Hajj of Mauritania.

He is a regular public speaker in Australia on numerous religious and practical topics relating to Islam and is also an exponent of numerous western-based motivational and personal development strategies.

He is a fellow of the Steven Covey Training System. Like Dr. Pratt, he also holds a wealth of experience in interfaith works to his credit and in conjunction they hope to provide practical answers to this issue that faces multi-religious societies such as ours.

The discussion will be facilitated by Bruce Keeley of the Council of Christians & Muslims, and will be open to the public. A diverse audience is expected and some time will be allocated for questions and answers. The event is hosted by the Council of Christians & Muslims and Rasheed Memorial Dawah Trust Inc.


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