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May 15, 2006

"Da Vinci Code" Unites Indian Muslims And Christians

Topics: Faith

Now comes an interesting twist to the affect of "The Da Vinci Code" on religious communities - bringing people of diverse faiths together, in this case, Muslims and Christians:

A powerful organisation of Indian Islamic clerics promised on Monday to help Christian groups launch protests if the authorities did not ban the screening of the controversial film, "The Da Vinci Code".

Protest in India against the film have so far been low key, but several Catholic groups have threatened to stage street demonstrations and even to shut down cinema halls screening it.

Now, powerful Islamic clerics have joined issue with Christians, saying "The Da Vinci Code" is blasphemous as it spreads lies about Jesus Christ.

"The Holy Koran recognises Jesus as a prophet. What the book says is an insult to both Christians and Muslims," Maulana Mansoor Ali Khan, general secretary of the All-India Sunni Jamiyat-ul-Ulema, an umbrella organisation of clerics, told Reuters.

"Muslims in India will help their Christian brothers protest this attack on our common religious belief."

This calls to mind what was recently said by Dr. Ahmed Abaddi, professor of comparative religion, Morocco's Director of Islamic Affairs, and senior advisor to King Mohammed VI - that the world needs more people who dream "God-sized dreams," dreams of peace and reconciliation, not just bigger houses and another Lexus. Topping his agenda is under-the-radar peace talks with Israel, religious classes to teach Imams the history and virtues of the West, and dramatic new initiatives to build ties to Rabbis and evangelical Christians.

The truth is, people of faith have much in common and regardless of their particular belief, have much more to gain from working together than from focusing on their differences.

This story may not have much immediate reach outside India so far as Christians and Muslims finding common ground, but the door is begining to open as more religious leaders reach out to each other and more moderate Muslims begin to speak out in demanding reforms within their faith.

Posted by Richard at May 15, 2006 6:57 AM

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