Hospitality in an Age of Terror – The Institute of Middle East Studies

Source: Hospitality in an Age of Terror – The Institute of Middle East Studies

Sousie Lahoud of hospitality as a Christian virtue in the age of terror

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A New Kind of Consensus: Reforming Islam in the Internet Generation | The Institute of Middle East Studies

A New Kind of Consensus: Reforming Islam in the Internet Generation | The Institute of Middle East Studies.

This is a text worth reading. here is the conclusion:

‘I argue that through this Internet Generation of Muslim thought, devoid of this particular identity crisis, there is hope for a new chapter of reformation in Islam. Additionally, there is hope for an inter-faith role in this reformation. These rising Muslim voices are not cloistered in their own communities. These Euro-American voices that have gained such traction are living amongst Christians, Jews, Atheists, Buddhists, and Hindus, which may explain why many fight not only against Islamophobia, but anti-Semitism and the persecution of Sikhs. During this period of reformation, the Western Christian community should be encouraged to strengthen their relationships with those in their local Muslim community. Christian communities should not view their Muslim neighbors or colleagues as suspicious threats or harbingers of violence and “creeping Shari‘a” but rather cohorts in building a respectful, safer, more loving world.’

Thanks, Rose Khouri.

How Should the Church Respond to the Arab Uprisings – An East European Perspective

Here, as I have promised, a summary of the presentation I made at the annual conference of IMES in Beirut, on the topic How Should the Church Respond to the Arab Uprisings: Challenges & Opportunities within the Emerging Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Region

I have started by saying that I agree with the three points made by Dr Martin Accad in the introduction to the topic. He highlighted the problems of the church in the MENA region under three headings:

1. Church siding with power
2. Minority complex
3. Scare of the future
In my presentation of the Arab Spring viewed from an Eastern European perspective, I have covered the following points:
1. I have started with a story. A number of years ago I was in Beirul for a conference of Evangelicals for Middle east Understanding, where a number of Iraqi church leaders spoke enthusiastically about how good and humane is then President Saddam Hussein to the church in Iraq, which reminded me of the way church leaders in communist Romania were praising Ceausescu, the dictatorial leader of the country, for the great religious freedom we/they had . One of the four, the head of the Protestant Church in Iraq at the time, was also a general in Saddam’s army. I have heard that after the war he published in the US a book on Iraq. I am sure his message there was radically different from what I have heard. This illustrates the first problem of the church in MENA as presented by Martin. Continue reading “How Should the Church Respond to the Arab Uprisings – An East European Perspective”

17-21 June 2013, Beirut – Your Rights My Responsibilities

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During the week of 17-21 June 2013, The Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) in Beirut, Lebanon organised its annual inter-faith conference (this was the 10th edition), under the leadership of my friend Dr. Martin Accad, the Director of IMES.

Martin invited me to be one of the contributors in this important meeting, together with Dr. Oaul Fiddes, Regent’s Park College, Oxford; Ehab el-Kharrat, senator in the Egyptian Parliament; Ziya Meral, a Turkish Christian activist living in the UK ; and Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia. At the conference were also invited as contributors a number of Muslin leaders, development workers and some civic activists. Continue reading “17-21 June 2013, Beirut – Your Rights My Responsibilities”