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Baptist-Muslim DialogueIn January 2008, leaders from the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) joined leaders from the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), and the Alliance of Baptists in Hartford, Connecticut to begin discussions on ways Baptist and Muslims can speak, share and learn from each other. Muslims were inspired by the Qur’anic verse: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another (49:13).” Baptists sought to fulfill Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” The effort served as a response to “A Common Word,” a letter signed by 138 Muslim scholars and addressed to Christian leaders around the world in October 2007, to encourage communication and good relations between faith groups.
First National Baptist-Muslim DialogueTogether they developed the framework for the first-ever National Muslim-Baptist Dialogue, held in January 2009 in Boston, MA at the Andover Newton Theological School. The conference featured approximately 100 Baptist and Muslim leaders from across the United States. ISNA National Director Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, ABCUSA Secretary General Dr. Roy A. Medley, and Andover Newton President Dr. Nick Carter led task forces for the development of the conference. The national dialogue focused on the second part of “A Common Word” — “Love of Neighbor” — and featured presentations on one another’s beliefs and traditions by religious leaders from both communities, observations of worship services, and small-group discussions to share experiences. The leaders also drafted a “Statement of our Common Will,” pledging to:
- Work to eradicate stereotypes and develop friendships with one another through dialogue that reflects a willingness to listen and a desire to learn;
- Affirm the full integrity of one another’s faith, honoring our differences and building upon our common values;
- Realize that as we learn about our neighbors’ faith, we enrich our own;
- Cooperate together on projects that contribute to justice, peace, and the common good;
- Educate our own faith communities about the importance of living together as neighbors;
- Commit to pray for one another as we seek other opportunities to strengthen our friendship.
Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and MuslimsIn 2010, EthicsDaily released a documentary called “Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims,”which featured the relationship between ISNA and ABCUSA.
- Click here to view the trailer.
- Click here to view a clip from the documentary of Dr. Syeed speaking to the Baptist community.
- Click here to find out how to order the documentary and download a free discussion guide.