Muslims, Christians, Jews and people of other faiths have been advised to bring passion in interfaith dialogues that aim at ensuring peaceful coexistence in their communities. In an interfaith meeting held at a Nairobi hotel, Prof Abdullah Antepli from University of North Carolina in the United States, told a gathering of people from different faiths that the notion of being moderates had hampered the success of spreading the message of peace. “Most of the problems we have come from the lazy and inactive moderates,” he said. “They are not as determined as the radical or the extremist Muslims and Christians are. He advised people of faiths to be radical peace makers by getting themselves involved actively in the spreading of the message of peace between religions. “You cannot believe in God and lack the passion to bring the message of peace to the world.” Catholic priest Father Thomas Michel, who was co-chairing the evening meeting with Prof Antepli, said that the Vatican recognized the existence of conflicts between Muslims and Christians and that it had made efforts to inculcate tolerance among its church leaders and Muslims. “We urge all to move beyond the past, to join and work together for the common good,” said Fr. Michel quoting the statement resolved by the second Vatican Council.
The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) chairman Prof Abdulghafur Albusaidy said that ignorance had become a major problem and a barrier towards understanding of each other. “It’s important for all of us to know each other because ignorance is the barrier of our accommodativeness,” Prof Albusaidy said. Dr Maina Kahumbi, senior lecturer at Kenyatta University, appreciated the fact that globalization had affected Muslims-Christian relations in Kenya with regards to global war on terrorism but asked the people of these faiths to unite in pursuit of solutions. The conference was sponsored and organised by Respect Foundation that majors on interfaith and intercultural dialogue. The chairman of the Foundation Fatih Akdogan said there was need for such dialogues in Kenya as the country moves into the general elections. “Such forums are highly called for to reach out to the public in order to avert any possible eruptions of violence,” he said. This was the second meeting to be organised in Kenya by the organisation. Nakuru Kadhi urges couples to register their marriages