Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Open Letter

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I read a great article a couple of weeks ago in the Los Angeles Times about the recent Open Letter sent to Christian leaders around the world by a group of Muslim leaders. This letter discussed the similarities between the two religions, and called for peace between the two cultures. There were interviews on both Muslim intellectuals and some of the Christian leaders who recieved the letter. Both sides spoke highly of the letter, saying that it was the first time that Muslims have gathered to discuss the relationship between Christianity and Islam. Both agreed that a better relationship was needed to end the ignorance and hostility on both sides.

I brought this letter up in my class and discussed it. Many of the students, and my professor, along with myself, were surprised by some by some of the issues brought up in the article. One of the Muslim intellectuals quoted agreed that the letter would help Americans to understand that Islam is a peace loving religion, and that the radicals and terrorists only make up a small minority. He also defended, in a way, the ideas of these radicals, saying that many Muslims do not know of the free America that we all know, but only remember hostilities by white people like the crusades. I found it interesting, as did my professor, that this subject even needed to be brought up. As much as I agree that most Muslim people are peaceful and need to be seperated from the radicals, these atrocities were done hundreds of years ago, and we have since redeemed ourselves, in my opinion. I would have been less surprised, just because it is the L.A. Times, if the article had more in it about the unfairness in Guantanamo. Anyway, it wasn't brought up, so it doesn't need to be here.

I think that the letter is long since do, and it is great to see a group of Muslims gathering to end the hatred that is tearing nations apart, causing war and destruction. I haven't read the full letter yet, but I plan to. The official site that has the letter available, in full, to read, is: