Florence: Jews, Christians and Muslims Rooted in Solidarity

On Wednesday, October 2 at 6PM in the Hall of Luca Giordano di Palazzo Medici Riccardi there will be a symposium with Sara Cividalli , Mohamed Bamoshmoosh, Piero Giunti, Tonio Dell’Olio and Mercedes Frias.


On Wednesday, October 2 in Florence , at 6PM, in the Hall of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi (Via Cavour 1 ) there will be held a dialogue between Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives; representatives will discuss the theme “Roots of solidarity between local participation and global citizenship.” Also participating is the President of the Provincial Council Piero Giunti, and at 6:30 pm the program will begin with discussion between Mohamed Bamoshmoosh (Islamic Community), Sara Cividalli  (President of the Jewish Community); and Tonio Dell’Olio.

“This meeting” said the coordinator Marco Bontempi “is the third in a series that discusses Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives, seminars all focus on religious and secular roots of solidarity.”


The first meeting was held on 29 May, hosted by the Jewish Community, and the speakers were Professor Ugo De Siervo (former President of the Constitutional Court), who spoke on the theme “The constitutional roots of solidarity,” and Rav Joseph Levi (chief Rabbi of Florence) on “the Jewish roots of solidarity.”


The second meeting was held on the 17 June where Prof. Sergio Givone (University of Florence) spoke on “The cultural roots of solidarity” and Dr. Mohamed Bamoshmoosh (Islamic Community of Florence) also spoke on the same topic.

Doesn’t religion cause most of the conflict in the world?

In this extract from the book For God’s Sake, one question is asked to four Australian writers with very different beliefs.

Religion is powerfully motivating and belligerent humans fight over it. Yet it’s true, religion has been a major feature in some historical conflicts and the most recent wave of modern terrorism. Religion has taken on extra significance today because globalisation is challenging and changing everything. Religious identity not only survives but can take on heightened significance when national and political alliances break apart. That religion can be so markedly different in the hands of the power-hungry, as opposed to the altruistic and virtuous, really says more about human psychology than it does about religion. That’s why so many human conflicts unfortunately involve religion.

None of this is to excuse the undeniable barbarity unleashed by religionists over the centuries. The misogyny, beheadings, terrorism, killings, beatings and cruelty are real. They continue. Today we see a growing battle in the Middle East between Shi’ite and Sunni; a Jewish state unleashing militancy against Christian and Muslim Palestinians; and an anti-gay crusade led by some Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders that threatens the sanctity of life itself.

Claiming religion is the source of the world’s evils is a careless comment. It’s far too easy to blame the Muslim faith for honour killings. I’m under no illusion about the fact that religion is routinely used to justify the more heinous crimes. But the 20th century is filled with examples, namely Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China, that didn’t need God as an excuse to commit genocide against a state’s own people.

Muslims, Jews and Christian groups vow to protect the environment

July 9 2012


UK Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups have come together to launch a handbook entitled Sharing Eden that uses the teachings of the Abrahamic faiths to encourage a greener lifestyle for all.


The handbook combines each faith’s relevant religious teachings and worship to address some of the most pressing environmental issues affecting the World today with the aim to pave the way further collaborative efforts and stimulate public awareness and debate on the issue.

Christian and Muslim Leaders Criticize Ban on Religious Artefacts in Old Folks Home

07./ 08.07.2011

In an attempt to promote diversity, residents at a sheltered housing complex in Preston, Lancashire, have been banned from displaying religious objects in communal areas. Both local Christian and Muslim leaders criticised the ruling and pointed to the importance of their faith to the elderly people. However, “Places for People”, the organisation that runs the place, are determined to uphold the ban of religious symbols in communal areas to promote diversity. The ban does not mean, however, that residents cannot display religious objects in their own home within the complex. 

Southern Germany segregates Christian and Muslim asylum seekers

The government of Lower Bavaria in southern Germany has segregated Christian and Muslim asylum seekers into different residential homes. The Bavarian Refugees Council called the measure an “inhuman act of reallocation”.

The government confirmed that they had moved 40 asylum seekers of Christian background due to rising numbers of incoming Muslim asylum seekers from Somalia. The office’s spokesman said that asylum seekers of different faiths usually got along well, but there were often a few troublemakers, which is why the measure was necessary.

The Refugees Council criticised that the displaced refugees were no longer able to attend their courses, therapies or advisory services, while the government claims not to be responsible for these issues.

Swiss Christians and Jews join Muslim opposition to minaret ban

The Swiss Council of Religions, which groups Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders, has issued a statement rejecting a call for the country to ban the construction of minarets at mosques. “For the members of a religious community, religious buildings are not only places to gather but also a symbol of their faith and an expression of their reverence for God. For many Muslims, therefore, mosques need to have minarets,” the Council stated in a five-page declaration published on 2 September 2009. Stephen Brown reports.

Episcopal minister defrocked after becoming a Muslim

Former Episcopal minister Ann Holmes Redding has been ordained in the Episcopal Church for nearly 30 years, but her ordainment came to an end when she was defrocked this week.

According to a report, Redding has been both a practicing Christian and Muslim for the past three years. “Had anyone told me in February 2006 that I would be a Muslim before April rolled around, I would have shaken my head in concern for the person’s mental health,” Redding recently told a crowd at a signing for a book she co-authored on religion.

Redding said that her conversion to Islam was sparked by an interfaith gathering she attended three years ago, citing an overwhelming conviction to surrender to God. Redding said that she did not feel that her new Muslim faith posed a contradiction to her staying a Christian and minister: “Both religions say there’s only one God,” Redding said, “and that God is the same God. It’s very clear we are talking about the same God! So I haven’t shifted my allegiance.”

The Episcopal church rejected Redding’s religious church, saying it is tantamount to abandonment of the church. The Diocese of Rhode Island, where Redding was ordained, told her to leave either her new Muslim faith or the ministry. A diocese statement said Bishop Geralyn Wolf found Redding to be “a woman of utmost integrity. However, the Bishop believes that a priest of the Church cannot be both a Christian and a Muslim.

Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) makes News in So-called Radicalism

According to the National Post, controversy has emerged on its editorial blog as the CAF (Canadian Arab Federation) recently sponsored an essay contest on The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine where it urged high school students to write about Israel’s wrongdoings. The group has recently announced a second controversial event, a July 14 Toronto speaking event entitled The 9/11 Deception Continues. The evening features Bob Bowman, who believes that the U.S. government participated in the 9/11 attacks, and Michael Keefer, a University of Guelph English teacher sympathetic to the same view. The CAF purports to represent both Christian and Muslim Arabs.

Controversial creationist book hits Scots universities: Academics fear the book could also end up in schools.

A controversial book by an evangelical Muslim – claiming to prove that God created the earth, and calling evolution a “deceit” that was responsible for the Holocaust, communism and the 9/11 attacks – is being sent unsolicited to Scottish universities. Seven copies of the lavishly-produced Atlas Of Creation by Harun Yahya have arrived at the University of Edinburgh, while the University of Glasgow has received two, leading to concerns that they may appear in schools as well. Last year, the book caused uproar in France when it turned up in classrooms, prompting human rights watchdog the Council of Europe to report on Yahya, his writings, and his method of distribution. I find it quite staggering,” said Aubrey Manning, emeritus professor of natural history at the University of Edinburgh. He houses his seven copies in a cupboard in the zoology department’s staff room. “Every academic I know says they’ve got one of those. And it’s peddling an absolute, downright lie.” He said the appearance of the books and the rise of creationist voices in the UK, within both Christian and Muslim groups, didn’t affect his teaching but that he was “much more worried about primary and secondary school classrooms”. Edd McCracken reports.

Christian and Muslim minorities in Transition in Europe and the Middle East

Through the process of globalisation, in which increased migration and advanced possibilities of communication are major factors, the socio-cultural and religious landscape has undergone major modifications worldwide. Religion and religious movements in general have come to the fore, but also religious minorities have gained importance in influencing cultural, social, juridical, political and economic issues of the societies in which they are imbedded. Through the processes related to globalization, people are informed of and connected with events happening all over the world and feel affected and influenced by them. Religious minorities – be they recent or century old communities – are no longer encapsulated within their local communities, but connected through global mechanisms that form the contemporary religious landscape. From a religious historical perspective, the relation between Europe and the Middle East has been for more than a thousand years important, yet tumultuous. In both regions, Europe and the Middle East, religious minorities found their place and often stayed connected through historical and/or religious ties to the other region. Several large Christian communities remained in the Middle East after the islamization of the region. Recent migration flows from Mediterranean countries brought Islam back into Europe.

Muslim communities with diverging regional and ideological backgrounds are becoming more and more part of the European landscape. The influence of globalisation gives way to a shift in position of minorities in their relationship to the majority culture, in which religion is played out as a key element. We also witness a reinterpretation of the minority issue in itself and a repositioning of minority communities within the dominant strand of society. The interaction between global and local contexts incite new dynamics in the minority issue and demands for a renewed academic analysis.