An Imam Preaches Peace From A Pulpit On The Green
by Ariela Martin | Sep 16, 2012 4:49 pm
Posted to: Religion, News From The Pews
A Muslim clergyman spoke out on the violence in the Middle East from a New Haven pulpit—a Christian pulpit—and called for peace and understanding.
Imam Omer Bajwa, the coordinator of Muslim life at Yale, delivered that message at regular Sunday morning worship services at the United Church on the Green. He spoke amid a worldwide backdrop of tensions in the wake of Muslim riots and deadly attacks following the release of an incendiary film about the Prophet Mohammed created and distributed by U.S.-based Coptic Christians.
“I stand before you as a Muslim and as a leader of a Muslim community, to condemn in unequivocal terms the violence supposedly done in the name of Islam and the name of the prophet,” Bajwa told the congregation. “This is the farthest thing from the teachings of the prophet.”
Click on the play arrow to the video to watch highlights of his sermon.
Bajwa (pictured) stated that even more important than the “macro issues” facing Muslims and Christians face are “the micro issues. The most micro issue that I can think of is your own relationship with God. However you conceive of God, however you define your relationship with God, and what is your relationship with the people around you.”
“We’re all people of God in the midst of tragedy and turmoil, and in the midst of chaos confusion and hatred, of naked unabashed aggression,” Bajwa told the congregants. “We are the people of God to counteract that. And it’s difficult. But it’s also a reminder to myself as well as to you.”
United Church Senior Minister Rev. John Gage (pictured) said he wanted to give “Omer and his tradition the honor of giving him our pulpit, so that we, as Christians, might listen for a word from our God from him, as a Muslim.”
Gage delivered a similar message to his congregation during a small “children’s circle.” “We’ve been hearing on the news about people who are angry on all sides, and who are being violent and acting out in anger, and we’re here to say we don’t have to do that,” Gage told the children. We’re all part of God’s family.”
Tags: Imam Omer Bajwa, Rev. John Gage
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How come none of the Black prechers and Minsters are not having programs like this.
Didn’t I once read in the New York Times that God was dead? Seriously, I think we’d all live longer if we mutually agreed to consign religion to the dustbin of history. The true believers in religion will always be capable of committing acts of violence against those whose beliefs differ from theirs. Yahweh and Allah do too much smiting in their respective holy books for me to admire them very much, and Jesus had be pretty delusional to believe that he was the son of God. Away with all of them!