Christians and Muslims tell their stories of waging peace
Documentary by MennoMedia to air on ABC stationsBy Melodie Davis MennoMedia
HARRISONBURG, Va. — Ten-year commemorations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks examined how the world has changed as a result, with many commentators noting profound distrust and animosity among some Christians and Muslims.
A new one-hour documentary, Waging Peace: Muslim and Christian Alternatives, airing this fall on ABC television stations, examines courageous threads of peace quietly being sown. The documentary was produced by Third Way Media, a department of MennoMedia.
In the documentary, Lynne Hybels, an author, speaker and activist from Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago, says, “The rising rhetoric of hatred was just becoming deafening, and I thought whatever your politics, whatever your religion, that just can’t be right.”
Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs for the Islamic Center of Southern California, said most scholars historically have suggested the rule in Islam is peace, but one can defend oneself when attacked.
“In fact, the Quran says very clearly to take one innocent human life is as if you take the life of all of humanity,” Turk said. “And to save one innocent life is as if you save the life of all of humanity.”
Others adding their perspectives include Rashied Omar, research scholar of Islamic studies and peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame; David W. Shenk, author of A Muslim and Christian in Dialogue; Martin Marty, church historian and longtime columnist for Christian Century; Peggy Gish of Christian Peacemaker Teams; and others.
Burton Buller, the documentary’s producer, said it is intended to help communities find creative ways to build peaceful relationships.
“The basic concept is that while Christianity and Islam both have warrior-like histories and those who take up the sword in the name of faith, another reality exists,” he said. “In this time of mistrust and war, some Muslims and Christians are dedicating their lives to the pursuit of peace.”
Stories in the documentary include:
- Muslim-Christian interaction in Ontario. Mennonite Pastor Fred Redekop and Muslim Imam Shafiq Hudda began having breakfast together, which led to getting their faith communities involved in conversation, meals and volunteer projects, including making and knotting comforters for refugees. Muslim students have also begun attending Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, and students and parents share friendship as well as discuss similar interests in faith, world history and politics.
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