First a few things - not rules because there aren't any but more an outline of the spirit of the thread. Basically the idea is to post and discuss around the following:
- Things that are surprising or not widely known about the faith
- Things that are happening that help foster unity and progression
- General positive stuff!!
That doesn't mean that this is a promotion of Islam or the other threads I hope people will start will be promotions of a given religion either but more that it is for discussion in a positive way.
I know I've been very negative in the past about Christianity in particular and also atheism but I don't want to do that any more which is one of the reasons I agreed to make this thread -and why I hope I'll be able to be positive in the sister-threads if there are any.
So hopefully we can all find something good and have a positive environment here - Let's all try and respect that, if anyone really wants an argument or to post the negative aspects we all know are out in the world then let's 'take it outside' and do it in a specific thread for that!! I probably won't join in though.
So..enough preamble - I was thinking of posting some elements of common ground between Islam (or more specifically the Middle East) and the West where there are many influences on each other which we don't always realize but I think that can wait till later because while compiling that list I noticed quite a few interesting articles about the growing inter-faith initiatives and moderate Islamic voices coming to the fore.
I really think that now there is a growing renaissance in this 'inter-faith' area - I don't like the term but there is not another one as yes. The Cordoba Initiative in NYC would be an example but there are many, many such things happening.
I noticed this article and video about Pakistanis in NYC voicing the real Pakistan.
These guys in the video are actually Sufis which are the third major sect of Islam along with Sunnis and Shi'i but they are inclusive and tolerant so they could be either Sunni or Shi'i or neither. Sometimes they are even Christians and their doctrinal position is more like Christianity than traditional Islam, they revere Jesus a lot more also.
I don't really want to talk too much about Sufism but those interested can find out I think. This is just to introduce the thread and get it rolling.
I hope people will participate with either questions, ideas they have, discussion of others' contributions or contributions of their own of positive developments in the world or in Islam.
I also hope and encourage other people with interest and knowledge to post their own 'official religion X' threads - we should have as many as poss; Buddhism, Judaism, Atheism - whatever...hopefully we can develop a more positive spirit than the traditional one we kind of got stuck in when discussing each other's beliefs!!