A panel discussion on “A Common Word: Love in Christianity and Islam” will be presented Thursday, April 15, by St. Thomas’ Muslim Christian Dialogue Center, College of Arts and Sciences. The event, free and open to the public, will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Room 126 (auditorium), John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.

A Common Word is a Muslim declaration, signed by hundreds of Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals worldwide, that emphasizes the commonality of love in Islam and Christianity. This declaration has received positive responses from many Christian organizations.

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Jamal Badawi, professor emeritus at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where he served as professor of both management and religious studies. He is the author of several works on Islam, including books, book chapters and articles. Some of his works also are available on the Internet, including “Gender Equity in Islam” (scroll down). In addition to his participation in lectures, seminars and interfaith dialogues in North America, Badawi frequently has been a guest speaker on Islam in nearly 40 countries. He is a member of the Islamic Juridical (Fiqh) Council of North America, The European Council of Fatwa and Research, and the International Union of Muslim Scholars. He has served as a volunteer Imam of the local Muslim community in Halifax since 1970.
  • Zafar Siddiqui, co-founder and president of the Islamic Resource Group and chairman of the board of Al-Amal school in Fridley. He is a member of the advisory board of the Muslim Christian Dialogue Center. He blogs on interfaith topics in the Minneapolis Star Tribune “Your Voices” section. He has a master’s degree in computer science and is a software engineer.
  • Dr. Terence Nichols, professor in the St. Thomas Theology Department and co-director of the Muslim Christian Dialogue Center. His book Death and Afterlife: A Theological Introduction was recently published by Brazos Press.
  • Gail Anderson, director of unity and relationships for the Minnesota Council of Churches. With the Muslim American Society, she organizes Taking Heart, a program designed to bring Muslim and Christian neighbors together. She also organizes Taking Root, a program that builds interfaith sponsorship teams to help resettle refugees who are moving to Minnesota. She hosts the Twin Cities Interfaith Network and heads the Minnesota Interreligious Initiative, which is designed to strengthen the state’s interfaith infrastructure.

This event is co-sponsored by the Islamic Resource Group of Minnesota and the Minnesota Council of Churches.