Ramadan and one Muslim’s answer to religious hate crimes
COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
This summer’s religion-based violence in the United States and abroad is especially troubling to one of our Springbank coffee companions.
In fact, the Muslim author and anesthesiologist just published an important essay taking folks of all faiths to task for failing to realize that God loves everyone else, too.
Dr. David Liepert is a prominent spokesperson for interfaith understanding and civility. I referred to his book, Muslim, Christian and Jew, in my Sept. 22, 2010 column on playing nice together in life’s sandbox.
David and I serve as co-chairpersons of Abraham’s Tent, a monthly dialogue among Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Baha’i leaders in the Calgary area who trace their faith traditions back to the ancient Middle East patriarch.
Before I get to David’s most recent essay, however, I want to quote from two responses to last week’s column on how a nearly starving Iraqi refugee, Dijla Al-Rekabi, found God’s comfort in a “kiss from the full moon” during Ramadan. Both respondents also are participants in Abraham’s Tent, by the way.
The first response is from Adam Idris, a highly respected leader of youth and interfaith initiatives on behalf of the Muslim Council of Calgary. He said Dijla’s story “melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes.”
About his own deep love for this holy month of outward-looking self-denial that began this year on July 21, he said:
Sultan Mahmood is media coordinator for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Calgary. About what the 30-day sunrise-to-sunset fast means to him personally, he wrote:
Well, Adam and Sultan, it’s clear that you and David are on the same page. Returning to his recent essay, titled “When Believers Go Bad: One Muslim’s Answer to Religious Hate Crimes,” David asks:
“If God's so good, then what makes some believers so very bad?
“True faith frees the believer from oppression, because it makes us all equals under the One God who made us all. And for that reason, one of the signs of true faith within yourself is that it makes you not just God's servant, but everyone's servant, so that it frees everyone else.
“What's missing from all our faiths and religions is the simple realization that God loves everyone else, too.”
Thanks, David, for these concluding words.
David’s entire essay can be read by clicking here.
© 2012 Warren Harbeck