Author cites need for understanding: Local interfaith dialogues urged [Excerpts]
The world’s religions are at a crossroads, forced to choose between paths of suspicion and violence or mutual cooperation and peace, an expert on comparative religion told those attending a prayer breakfast in Fort Myers on Thursday.
The sectarian violence that has divided much of the Middle East is an example of religious belief turned to evil purpose, said Charles Kimball, a professor at Wake Forest University with a background in Middle Eastern affairs.
Local interfaith dialogues can increase understanding and have a global reach, he said.
Kimball cited a chapter of the Koran, Islam’s holy scripture, that speaks of religious diversity as part of God’s plan.
“We must accept that some of our traditional ways of thinking are no longer adequate,” Kimball told the gathering of 1,200 people at the Harborside Event Center. “Narrow views are becoming increasingly dangerous in a world where terrorists have access to weapons of mass destruction.
“Christians, Muslims and Jews are all talking about the same God, but they don’t perceive him in the same way.”
[TBC: As we have documented in the past, there is a vast difference between the God of the Bible and Allah. Furthermore, many Muslims are also quite forthright in pointing out the differences.]