Muslims’ Relationship with People of the Book in the US: The Avant-garde of Dialogue of Action as an Instrument for Reinforcing Community Spirit

By Marinus Iwuchukwu.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The recent development in the US between Muslims and those who oppose the construction of the Islamic Center near Ground Zero as well as between opponents and supporters of freedom of religion requires deep soul searching by all involved. More importantly, the phenomenon of hate and resentment against Muslims and Islam, which is blamed on the terrorist attack of September 11, need to be critically and constructively addressed. The resentment against Muslims and Islam is often most strongly felt and heard from Christian and Jewish Americans. This paper will examine the principle and focus of the dialogue of action, which recommends that people of different faith traditions collaborate toward projects of common interests and goals for healthy community development and the common good. Working together to accomplish the same social, political, and economic goals will serve to both unite Muslims and people of the book and promote more healthy understanding of each other. This form of dialogue is indispensable for better relationship in today’s pluralistic societies; between peoples of different faith traditions but especially to make American Muslims feel less estranged and discriminated against. Muslims in America have an enormous challenge of carving a niche of identity for themselves, which does not compromise either the core values of their faith or core principles of being Americans. Aspiring to become vanguards of the dialogue of action will be beneficial to American Muslims in surmounting the challenge of blending their religious identity with their patriotism to the country.

Keywords: Dialogue of Action, American Muslims, Religious Pluralism, Faith Traditions

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.25-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 829.699KB).

Dr. Marinus Iwuchukwu

Assistant Professor, Theology Department, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Marinus Iwuchukwu is an Assistant Professor in the Theology Department at Duquesne University. He specializes in Interreligious Dialogue, Religious Pluralism, and Media and Religion. Marinus has a Masters degree in journalism and a Ph.D in Theology both from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Among his recently published works are: a book, Media Ecology and Religious Pluralism: Engaging Walter Ong and Jacques Dupuis Toward Effective Interreligious Dialogue and journal articles, “Engaging The Media As Effective Tools For Interreligions Dialogue in Multireligions Societies: A Catholic Evaluation” “The Prophetic Imperatives of Dialogue: the Challenges of Missions in Northern Nigeria,” and “Democracy in a Multi-Religious and Cultural Setting: The Nigerian Context.” He is presently the chair of a university committee for Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the International Outreach Editor of the Journal of Interreligious Dialogue. In the last one year, he has presented several academic papers at major international conferences in the United States and Europe.