Nine Humans have gathered under the request of Professor Kelly James Clark to try to push the interfaith dialogue and to build bridges over divides. Kelly proposed that we read Strangers, Neighbors and friends which is a book that shows Muslim-Christian and Jewish reflections on compassion and peace.
Kelly Clark is a global philosophy professor that is extra handsome for a professor, his views as an American professor can be surprising for a muslim audience, he shows a great understanding of traditional muslim views, he talks positively on Turkey and Iran and sometimes these views come across as surprising.
Noura is a young graduate from Aqapa in Jordan, she started her own coffee shop with her brothers, she is keen to learn more about philosophy. She shows some skepticism on some of the traditional muslim practices, although she would not strongly oppose some of these views, she likes to share verses from the Quran from time to time. Basit a PhD student in theological studies from Pakistan who is studying in Turkey, Basit has a great understanding of the world and philosophy, he believes there is only one Truth and this truth has to be followed, he uses philosophy, Islamic traditional text, he shows great skepticism of some of the western thoughts, although he shows some level of understanding from time to time. He likes to talk strongly on some of the global economical issues that has caused great level of inequality.
Barret Horne is an ex-American who decided to become Canadian, he served in his early days in the American Army, although he served as a consciousness objector, refusing to carry weapons and do any harm. He said those consciousness objectors works as medics. Although he believes in god Kingdom and that kingdom might need to be protected. Barret lives near a small city in Canada called White Horse.
Goke is a Turkish girl that likes to talk about her identity development where she moved from a Qur’anic girl, an expression she uses to describe that she was studying Quran and behaving in what can be described a very traditional muslim way, she used to wear a head scarf for a period of her life, however she is not wearing a headscarf any more, she feels that many muslims might reflect a great sense of judgment on others and they should be caring on what is important. Goke likes to share some of the texts that was showing western negative views on Muslims. Goke stood strongly against some of Nancy writings which appeared to have illustrated that Israel came as a result of a great sacrifice.
Tasneem, a shy muslim girl, who studied physics and philosophy, she had done an internship in CERN, while you would be expecting to hear more about some of the clashes between science and religion, Tasneem likes to read from the book text, she has an interesting choice of passages. In many cases the passages she chooses the passages.
Emil Salim a Chinese Christian who lived in Indonesia and immigrated to Champaign illinois, Emil reflects a great understanding of Christianity and the bible, Emil likes to talk about how some Christians groups do not have practices and rituals similar to others, he also likes to talk about how hard is it to build a church in Indonesia and how the Ahmadiya Muslims has been killed violently. Emil seems to have witnessed violent scenes and Christian restrictive measures during his life in Indonesia.
Sid Jansma an oil explorer and a business man, he proudly says that he is an American and a republican, he also like to say that I am a human first, Christian second. He would like to work with a good atheist rather than a bad Christian. He does not like Donald Trump and he thinks, he is a bad Christian. He believes Muslim American relationships have changed tremendously after 9/11.
Feras Naser a young entrepreneur from Jordan, he likes to read in a theatrical way, he believes that Muslims and Christians have failed to generate the global compassionate human being in the 21st century, he talks about clashes between science and religion and between modem practices in economy, military, politics and religion. Sometimes, he sound hesitant to show strong views, but always tries to make a fun and enjoyable conversation.
This group will be gathering for the coming 16 weeks to discuss the book “Strangers, Neighbors and Friends”, so let us see how the group will bond together and what topics they will discuss.
Key Observations and Guidelines for a Global Compassionate Identity
- People from different interfaith groups are coming together to discuss faith and current global issues.
- One key value of the compassionate global identity – people are willing to hear ideas and thoughts from people from different background.