. Download
Alhard-Mauritz Snethlage
[28/05/2009]

. As a convert to Islam, who has never abandoned the teachings, the values, and the spirit of my Catholic upbringing, I am humbled by the gesture of love and peace that this effort represents. At a time in the world when we are divided by our ethnicity, by our culture, by our religion, by our politics, by national identities, through our ignorance and by our fear, that we can boldly face our differences and see each other as the inheritors of Gods love and the brotherhood of our common human family is as great a testament to the majesty of our wondrous creator as can be found anywhere.

We have been given the will to choose, and by this statement, by this gesture, we make the choice to embrace each other and all mankind with respect, with love, and with understanding.

When there are so many reasons to be ashamed of humanity, it is an effort like this that redeems us. Thank you to all who have joined this effort- may it bring us some peace in our time and the times to come.

Anonymous
[23/12/2008]

. This is the best monotheistic idea ever written in history. The three Abrahamic religion came together in common terms and shared this wonderful messages to the whole of humanity. We should not let the Polytheism and Materialism cloud our soul, mind and hearts from seeing the real teachings of the true Divine revelation given to the Prophets (Peace And Blessing Of Allah/God Be Upon Them All). I pray this common words stays in our hearts so that we can make this World a better and safe place for our kids till the last generations of manking.

Peace Be with those who follows the Guidance. Ameen.

Aslam Alaikum
Abdoulie
[22/12/2008]

. We cannot speak in community between Christianity and islam about the love for God. We can only speak that we have love for "our" God since we do not believe in the same God.

We can only unite in Jesus his name. For Jesus is God's only begotten son.

Please read John chapter 1 and learn what Christianity is about.

You will read that those who preach that Jesus is not God's son are called the "anti-christ". Pray for forgiveness in Jesus name.

We can only unite on the basis of tolerance between the religions.

Johan
[15/12/2008]

. I read the common word, and I don't agree. I might agree if Muslims were able to wrap their brain around the trinity, but they prove again and again they are utterly incapable, so unless we say Jesus isn't God, Muslims will believe we are polytheistic, and thus feel we "violated" this so-called compromise.

I also fully reject Muhommad, as do 99% of Christians because he contradicts our texts, and our texts order us to reject anyone who contradicts our texts. Muhammad said Jesus wasn't really crucified, Muhammad said Mary is member of the "false" trinity, thus Muhammad is not a true prophet. A true prophet wouldn't get the trinity wrong. A true prophet wouldn't contradict. So, he is rejected forever and that's final.

There seems to be a so-called compromise going on that only applies to Christians and not Muslims as well.

What are Muslims sacrificing exactly with this compromise? Nothing, that's what. What are we sacrificing? We're being asked to agree to the implied demand to give up the trinity and to accept Muhammad.

No. No compromise. And there is compulsion is Islam: Surah 9:29 is compulsion, and exercised by Islam today. You quoting verses that say "There's no compulsion" while pretending that means there aren't verses that teach compulsion and are enforced today is insulting to anyone's intelligence.

No compromise. Let's just agree not to harm one another, can you agree to that or not?

Johan
[15/12/2008]

. It is interesting to note the desire for peace in your letter.

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

Obviously peace without knowing the "Prince of Peace" is an impossibility. You give the impression that Allah is the same as the God of the Bible. This is a falsehood. The God of the Bible, the God of Creation, is the only true God. He has revealed Himself to mankind in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Bible refers to this as the godhead.

Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of mankind. He is the last and He is the great Prophet, Priest and King. Your religions states that Mohammed is greater than Jesus Christ. This is also a falsehood.

It would appear that in your minds, the only way of peace is for Christians to bow down to the false teaching of the Koran. This may bring some form of superficial peace on earth, but it will never bring real and lasting peace.

True peace can only come when a person humbles themself, and accepts the God of the Bible as the true God. The person must repent of their sin and accept Jesus Christ as the only Saviour of mankind.

I am not seeking to be mean-spirited. I just do not want to be a part of a lie that will lead people to Hell.

My prayer is that you would accept God's gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ and thus know true peace.

Respectfully submitted,

Pastor Walt Bartel
[12/12/2008]

. how dare you try and take out what All of christianity stands for! I'm furriated that you try to take Jesus out of christianity. christianity is based off of that nobody is righteous and no one is good enough except through Jesus Christ and his grace. Muslim is made up of you can enter heaven through your own works and that Jesus isn't the only way. Jesus is the way the truth and the light. You can't take the first step of what christianity stands for which is Jesus out of the equation and say put it aside for we can try to find some common ground me between us and you just for the world can unify. Well hate to break it to you but nepolian already tried that with the tower of babel guess what now that's why we all speak different languages look it up it's in Genesis in the HOLY BIBLE! this world is so evil that we can't be united because all that does it combined all of our selfishness, evil, and bad thoughts together and will just make everything worst. The truth is we can't find any common ground between us and you because truth is there is none, if your going to take JESUS CHRIST out then you've lost all sight of what's important.

Rachel LeDat
[21/11/2008]

. Asalaam aleykum,

This is a great effort indeed,we would love to see East African Muslim scholars are becoming signatories as well as there's a new wave of hatred among Muslim and Christians especially Tanzania where Christian minority who have been in the power wants to dominate the majority Muslims.You can ask Brother Nahdi for more info, I believe for you to endorse these to East Africa will easy the tension created.

Thanks
Ibrahim Mismar
[05/11/2008]

. I would just like to congratulate you for creating this web site solely dedicated to our Christian-Muslim dialogue through the Common Word. And what an excellent web site this is! All the articles and links are so worth reading.

May this web site facilitate all of us towards a common understanding, and may our Lord God bless this endeavour towards a common understanding and toleration of each other in knowledge, truth, justice, and peace leading to true love towards each other.

With this, for a full dialogue with us Christians, I would like also to invite all Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus here, that if they would want to understand us fully Christians, and thus have a meaningful dialogue, resort to the Holy Bible is a needed delight. As such, I would like to invite all to go to www.e-sword.com, and there download the best Bible software ever, which is marvellously free also, and thus lead us all towards a future of dialogue and understanding for purposes of knowing Christianity and what we believe in in the spirit of human camaraderie and love towards each other.

Again, my thanks to all of you for this excellent web site, and more power to you all.

Felmar Rowell R. Singco
[04/11/2008]

. I welcome the Common Word initiative by the Muslim world to reach out to us Christians, as well as to the Jews, for the sake of our future and the future of this world. I believe this is a first of a thousand steps, frail and simple and one, but nonetheless important, for our journey towards mutual understanding and respect, and ultimately, love genuine for each other.

I am a Roman Catholic Christian here in the Philippines, and we too here have our endemic and historic problems with our Muslim brothers in our southern island of Mindanao. I believe that the Common Word will serve as one stepping stone for a mutual and enduring peace with justice and honour with our Muslim brothers here in the south of the Philippines who have been embroiled with secessionist wars with our Government here.

Although there is an essential and foundational difference between us, which is our acceptance of the divinity, Godhood, and divine Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ with His Father in heaven as well as the Holy Spirit, and your disacceptance of the same, still the Common Word is right and true and correct in saying that there is also one basic and foundational thing where we also agree: our common basic and foundational tenet and doctrine of love of God and love of neighbour.

In that common ground and similarity we Christians and Muslims, and thus Jews also and Hindus and Buddhists, can stand together side by side in mutual respect, understanding, toleration, and love, in order for us to build a better world together for our children. In that way we can remove hatred in our hearts, stoked by centuries of wars, aggressions, injustice, and ignorance, and replace the same education, dialogue, knowledge, toleration, and thus lead us to truth, justice, peace, and love without dissimulation, as Saint Paul says.

Because of this Common Word, I am dreaming of the coming say soon, when we Christians can also build in liberty and toleration Christian churches in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, and Egypt, as our Muslim brothers can also build freely their own mosques here in the Philippines, in Italy, in the US, and in Brazil. Because of this transcendent document of the Common Word, at last my hope and dream of practising and preaching our Christian faith to all the Muslim countries may be realised, free from fear of persecution and reprisals, as our brother Muslims also do now here in the Philippines, in Australia, in France, and in Japan.

I have great hopes, and that is why I support this endeavour, for indeed, we are the "people of the Book", and we Christians and Muslims and Jews are but sons and daughters of one father Abraham, and one Father God.

Felmar Rowell R. Singco
[04/11/2008]

. I am really impressed by the contants of the letter from 138 Muslim Ulema, Scholars, Mufties, Intellecuals and Leaders,to the His Holiness Pope Benedict 16 and other great Chritian Leaders world wide.

I have gone throgh the letter and checked the references of the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible not only in my mother tongue Urdu but also in original Arabi, Hebrew and Greek.

I found it all correct and believed it to be very useful for the purpose of creating peace and harmony among the followers of the two great religions of the world Islam and Christianity as well as some respect for the jewish religions as these all three monotheistic religions trace back their root in the Eminent Abraham the Father of the Nations.

Therfore I have translated it in Urdu and I am now requesting the United Religions Initiative URI Regional Office at Lahore to help to print it and spread in all tha country of Pakistan. As I feel that Pakistan is in utmost need of interfaith harmony.

Under these circumstances I request the ACommon Word Organisation or institue to allow us to open a Sub Office of A Common Word in Pakiatan Islamabad for which our institution Modern Islamic Studies Centre is ready to provide room and equipments for the purpose. This offier is only for the sake of humanity for which A Common Word is a real hope.

Yours Brother in Islam and Humanity

Allama Abulfateh G R Chishti

President Modern Islamic Studies Centre

Jamia Masjid Mai Saleem Akhtar New Sohan Capital Disst. Islamabad
[27/10/2008]

. Recently the open letter "A Common Word between Us and You" was brought to my attention.

The letter states that the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians. The basis for this peace is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbor. I read and welcome this letter as an urgent plea for a better understanding between Muslims and Christians to prevent an apocalyptic struggle between the two main religions. Therefore the letters deserves serious attention. I nevertheless want to make a few comments.

First it surprises me, that the appeal is aimed only to Muslims and Christians and not to Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists or non-believers - they do form a considerable part of the world population. Can religious peace between Muslims and Christians be a solid base for peace in the world? Is peace not better served by a broader appeal to all people of good will, preferably on the base of a clear common commitment? In other words: what is wrong with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

What astonishes me even more (in the second place) is the fact that in the letter the Jews (clearly monotheistic as well) are completely ignored. Indeed the Shema, the main creed of Israel about the oneness of God is mentioned several times, but only once with a reference to the original text in Deuteronomium 6,4. This creed is mainly cited as a quote from Jesus. I wonder why in the letter Christianity is seen separately from its Jewish roots. Has it to do with the fact that in the Muslim world it is common practice to consider the Jews as the worst enemy of Islam? In my opinion it is impossible for Christians to ignore Jewry in any inter religious dialogue.

My third comment concerns the love for the neighbor. The letter suggests that Islam and Christianity have this in common, which is a popular misunderstanding. The definition of the neighbor in Christianity and Islam is, as it happens, different. In Christianity the neighbor is fundamentally every human being. In Islam the neighbor whom you must love is only the fellow Muslim of the same tradition. Jews and Christians must be submitted, non-believers converted or killed, renegades killed and heretics fought.

My last comment: the letter implies that Allah, as defined in Koran, and the God of the Bible are one and the same, at least that the concept of god in both religions is similar. I do not agree with that. For me as a Christian it is impossible to speak about God without taking in consideration the biblical testimony of Israel and the testimony of the New Testament concerning Jesus Christ. And exactly that is rejected in the letter. The letter seems to be a beginning to dialogue, but is in fact a recall to accept the Islamic, Unitarian, concept of god. It is significant that the title of the letter is a quotation from Koran that has always been interpreted as a call to deny the Trinity and the deity of Christ. For me the believe that the Name of which the Bible speaks received a face and a clear profile in the person of Jesus Christ is crucial. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (John 1,18) As a Christian I can find my religious orientation only in this truly Son of Israel, who shows us the way, so that God can happen also here and now. A peace of religions which leaves no space for such ideas seems very frail to me.

Groningen, Netherlands,

Rev. Ynte de Groot (minister of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands)
[26/02/2008]

. Seems to be plenty of people, both Christian and non-Christain, doing their very best in the name of their personal idea of God not to reach any peace. Which is a great shame, to actively invoke abuse whether it be physical or otherwise. What a lesson for all our children, teaching them by example to exclude peace. Is it any wonder non-believers scorn ALL the churches regardless of the name over their doors?

There is always hope for peace but after well over 2000 years hope is indeed a very small light in the world.

Dan Wyatt
[14/01/2008]

. thank you for what you are doing to build bridges of peace and understanding. Surely, the time has come for this message to be heard.

John Licitra
[13/01/2008]

. "I am the Lord, that is My name, I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven images." -Isaiah 42:8

let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health.

"He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

Acts 4:10-12

There can be only one God, and the muslim God and christian God are two very different gods. either one of us is right, or we're both wrong, but we clearly do not worship the same god, but we (more the muslims today) Do not need to kill each other to get our point across. I'm all for people not killing other people, but don't be foolish enough to think we're worshipping the same God. Unity can only be based on truth. It would be foolish for a nation to unite together under a lie. God has demonstrated His love towards us by pouring out His anger and His wrath on His Son, Jesus Christ, who becomes for us the propitiation, by His blood, for our sins. We can be forgiven, not based on our efforts or merit, but on the work of Jesus Christ, who died to appease the judgement of God over our heads, and has redeemed us acording to His glory, and for His purpose. If you want common ground, let us embrace that truth, if you want to return this world to "eden" as you say, then let us all, for the sake of this earth, repent from our sins, and put our faith and trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ.

"The heart is deceitful, above all things, and desperately wicked." -Jer 17:9

until we recognize the depravity of our condition before a just and holy God, there will be no peace. Man is not good, man has never been good. only God is good, and God will redeem you if you call upon His name, not wage war against anyone.

"and it shall be, that any who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21

Jake
[12/01/2008]

. Wonderful, brilliant, and 'about time' are my thoughts about your message and this website. This is like "mother's milk" to a hungry and growing infant. Neither the Koran or the Bible tells us to love only Muslims or only Christians. It commands us to love God and love each other.

I actually started writing a book to address these very ideas. Look for the unity in our religions and in our thinking instead of the differences. What you focus on grows; focus on division and differences and we will get more or that. Focus on unity and commonalities and we will get more of that. Unity is The Way.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

Laraine Abbey-Katzev
[11/01/2008]

. Thank you very much for publishing in the newspaper Izvestia Christmas greetings from Muslim scholars.

Warm regards from Russia.

Timur Remizov.
[10/01/2008]

. My reaction to the response by the signatories is unquestionably puzzling. Talk is fine; dialogue is good; but know to whom you are speaking. Reality, truth and honesty ought not to be presented as an addendum.

Howard Stewart
[09/01/2008]

. As an atheist who rejects the notion of a supreme intelligent deity but as a human resident of the Earth who must also contend with the seemingly ceaseless strife engendered by the conflicts of religious dogma, I welcome, gladly, not only the courageous and thoughtful letter from the Muslim leadership “A Common Word Between Us”, but also the responses from both the Christian leadership to whom it was addressed and the Jewish leaders who also responded.

Regardless of one’s view of how the universe, and Earth within it, operates, the central truth of ‘A Common Word’ and of our lives is this:

"Christianity and Islam are the largest and second largest religions in the world and in history. Christians and Muslims reportedly make up over a third and over a fifth of humanity respectively. Together they make up more than 55% of the world’s population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world. If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants. Thus our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake."

Consequently, the need to establish peaceful relations between Christians, Muslims, and Jews is of paramount importance for every living being on our planet, regardless of their faith or lack thereof.

So, to all of you who embark on this journey, I wish you all the greatest success in mediating the differences between you.

Rael Nidess, M.D.
[08/01/2008]

. I have read both your "Common Word" and the response from those at Yale. I find it interesting that the Yale response it quick to seek / ask forgiveness for the crusades and the excesses of the war on terror, yet, within the common word there is no seeking of forgiveness by Muslims of Christians for the contemporary and ancient abuses by Muslims. What is your response?

Secondly, I do believe that you have found common ground between Muslims and Christians based on their Scriptures. I have always felt that, as a Christian, I should never use violence in conjunction with my faith, and have been pricked by the Holy Spirit when hateful thoughts and feelings fill my heart, for which I repent.

I am wary of this document, for who are you in the Muslim world? We Christians have Catholics, protestants, fundamentalists, liberals, and moderates, and I am sure you do as well. So, who do you represent? Can anyone, Muslim or Christian represent an entire faith?

Kurt Francis
[07/01/2008]

. Thank you for this beautiful letter. I am a Roman Catholic from the United States. I am happy to read this beautiful explanation of Islam. You have my prayers for all you are doing.

Tom McGlaughlin
[07/01/2008]

. It would be great to know the Christian clerics who endorsed the the commom word . We are in the dark in this part of the world. Because i have or had no idea christiany had anything in common with Islam

Yours
Ernest Quick
[06/01/2008]

. Dear Friends

I am writing to you on behalf of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish Trustees of Children of Peace to endorse your wonderful message of peace, tolerance & understanding. Children of Peace is a unique UK charity that works to protect all of the children in Israel & Palestine and to build friendship, trust and reconciliation between all of the children and their communities.

You can find out more about Children of Peace by logging on to our website: www.childrenofpeace.org.uk

We are very interested in linking up with the Common Word and invite you to join us in our work for peace by affiliating to Children of Peace.

We would be honoured if you were to agree and we will happily place your weblink and details on the website of our internationally respected charity.

Warm Greetings
Richard Martin
Chairman & Founder
[04/01/2008]

. I converted to Islam in 1976 and the muslim non-response to 9-11 was devastating to me as a third generation American. Your organization is one if the very few occurances in the past seven years that has made me proud to be muslim. Coming from a Catholic background, I cannot tell you how happy I was to see your Christmas letter in the New York Times with the use of the great Latin words: pax vobiscum. For the past 30+ years, I have sent that particular ayat to my Catholic, Christian and Jewish friends around Christmas time. May Allah Almighty reward you for your work. We must work towards peace and understanding.
God Bless You!

Margaret Donato
[03/01/2008]

. A wonderful message that moved me to tears. Why, I am not entirely sure. A message that gives hope to us all. I find it difficult to find the words but would like to say that I appreciated your message very, very much. I do hope this message reaches those who are lost in their bigotory fog. God bless us all and give us the strength and courage to find the peace that we all so dearly need. Thank you.

Eileen
[04/01/2008]

. I SAW CRISTMAS MESSAGES OF OUR PATRIARCH ALEXEI AND MUSLIM CLERICS PUBLISHED IN IZVESTIA ON 28.12.07. THIS WAS A VERY GENEROUS AND AND WARM GREETINGS FROM YOUR SIDE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Elena Kemaloglu
[03/01/2008]

. Thank you for the message. We too desire "mutual forgiveness within & between communities". It is well said that we should "forgive when you see that forgiveness would be conducive to good".

We all seek forgiveness from the One God as we seek enlightenment.

It is time we listened to wise counsellors rather than rash emotionalists

Thank you.
Yours truly
Patricia lease
[02/01/2008]

. This is a much needed initiative. I am so glad that Muslim scholars have decided to take on this initiative which will help dispell many unwarranted myths about Islam and show how indeed we have so much in common spiritually rather than focusing on our differences. That is really the only way we can co-exist peacefully today. Contrart to prevalent attitudes this collective action is in line with Prophetic traditions. May Allah/God grant this initiative success.

R Siddiquie
[02/01/2008]

. Peace and tolerance in the New Year !

I think your Chrismas message is an extraordinary event - the publication of it in the major newspapers (I saw it in the FT)a brilliant step towards a dialogue of comprehension, understanding, and, most important maybe in these testing times, of compassion and peace. It is also extremely welcome as a visible sign of the Muslim -so far often silent - majority eraching out, to their own brethren, and Christians. I believe that it must comfort many Muslims, as it delights us Christians.

May I suggest yo add a link to the Topkapi Declaration of 2006 to your excellent website !

Let us all pray for understanding and tolerance - peace ought to flow from there -

Hans-Werner Wabnitz
[02/01/2008]

. Of course I desire to live in unity with people of all faith, and, as Christians we support the freedom of religion. However, the Wall Street Journal December 31st article place Muhammad on the same level as Jesus; both servants, both messengers. Yes, they both were servants and messengers to those who follow them. But they are in no way equal. Muhammad taught how man can through works, reach God. Jesus taught how God by becoming a man, God very God in the person of Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive us for our sins. Jesus is not just a servant and messenger. Jesus is God. And God through His Word said, "There is salvation in no one else, there is no other Name under heaven, given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12)."

I do desire a peaceful co-existence with all people on earth, and the freedom of religion for all people. I do not desire we blend our beliefs into a multi-faith existence.

Tom Verace
[02/01/2008]

. As a lifelong, ordinary, everyday Christian I want to thank you from my heart for the absolutely beautiful Muslim Message of Thanks and Greetings published in the press advertisement over Christmas. Its sincerity was humbling. In these days of extremist religion of every kind, and the horrors perpetrated in the name of God or Allah, the beauty, holiness and depths of feeling for good, for the sanctity of human life, and of longing for a new order shone out from your Message. Praise be, indeed, to God, the Lord of the worlds for this statement from that largest part of the Muslim Community true to Him. I join my prayers with yours for repentence, forgiveness, and peace within and between communities. How God's heart must grieve for humankind's foolishness. Please keep up the initiative to build bridges and acceptance and understanding between our faiths. Bless you.

Margaret Barnes
[02/01/2008]

. As an International peace organization that encourages and sponsors the rapprochement and peaceful living together between communities, between religions, between countries ; we from the bottom of our hearts we do welcome this kind of message from the Muslim Community all around the world.

Now; let's put our best thoughts ,our best words and our VERY BEST ACTIONS to build ,to set up in the real world all these beautiful feelings and wishes that had been expressed .

A BETTER WORLD FOR ALL OF US - is possible ; but certainly it is needed the participation and cooperation from ALL OF US, FROM ALL OF US.

Let's start working- There is a lot of work to do.

We ,our small organization with our project Noah's Ark - project designed for improving relationships of friendship and cooperation between countries or communities ; WE DO extend to you our hands and our hearts in humble and honest signal of wishes of friendship and cooperation with all of you ; with any community or society in particular that wishes to create or improve a better relationships of Friendship, harmony and cooperation with others communities .

Our very best regards

Ghers Zonensain
[02/01/2008]

. I am far from being a religious scholar, or even a religious person. Indeed my practise of Christianity is paltry in the extreme, but I do try to follow the basic teachings in conducting my life. I have also been driven by doubts over many years about whether formal religion is of any benefit at all since religious belief seems to be at the heart of a great deal of major conflicts around the world, and in particular the age-old conflict between Christianity and Islam features large in our present-day world. Indeed there is a dangerous degree of polarisation taking place and a good deal of inflammatory and racist language been thrown in for good measure. It is not helped by recent waves of terrorist atrocities committed by people claiming to be true followers of Islam.

I therefore commend "Common Word" to anyone interested in achieving a better understanding of what divides us and what brings us together, and to consider whether it gives grounds for hope that a group of prominent followers of Islam are pointing out the common roots and teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

As one of the contributors to this website's comments pages has pointed out, words need to be followed by actions. He cites the fact that most Christian countries are happy to permit the building of mosques and the following of Islam (this is certainly true in the UK!) and yet in so many Muslim countries it is nigh on impossible for a Christian to follow his religion opnely. This has to be addressed.

But, when all is said and done, even the longest and most difficult journeys must begin with the first steps.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have made my feelings known.

Lionel Beck
[02/01/2008]

. The Muslim message of December 2007 is one heck of an overture by Islamic leaders based on a love of God and a love of neighbor. Now the Christian, Jewish, and other religious leaders need to promulgate this overture from their pulpits--over and over again. A Common Word will beget a common cause against all extremists, whatever their beliefs or non-beliefs.

James Kinnahan
[01/01/2008]

. Where is the New Year greeting for the Jews of the world , are we not the original Abrahamic faith, are we not included within the sanctity of human life ? Would it not be declaration of the ages if the Jews were mentioned inthis mutual forgivness within and between communities.

Richard Yacowitz
[01/01/2008]

. Thank you for your message of greetings to Christians at Christmas. It is encouraging to know that many Moslems are keen to promote peaceful understanding between different religions, especially when so much publicity is given to those with devisive and violent attitudes. Peace be with you!

Simon Brickell
[01/01/2008]

. I red your message today in the Figaro, it's very emotional,I am catholic, and I want to thank you for your words of peace I share.
Holly feast for the Hajj.
God bless you,

Dominique Lorain
[01/01/2008]

. Thank you for your beautiful message, which I am most happy to endorse but not fully. I would have with joy if it had expressly mentioned Israël among the sons of Abraham. They are two in the beginning: Ismaël and Israël.

Peace be with you for ever and ever.

Philippe GALTEAU
[01/01/2008]

. Your message of thanks and of Christmas and New Year greetings was a most welcome surprise. As a committed Catholic Christian, I have often been dismayed by the militant Muslims who despise us and everything we stand for and who spout denunciation and threats of more violence as if they speak for all Muslims all over the world.

I have been heartened by articles published recently by moderate, reasonable Muslims from all walks of life - not just scholars - who make it clear that the militants do not speak for all Muslims and that the atrocities they commit are "not in my name". More importantly, I am relieved that moderate Muslims are as offended as I am when "jihadists" maim and murder other human beings in God's name which is, surely, the worst kind of blasphemy.

I join you in your prayers that the New Year may bring healing and peace to our suffering world and that the sanctity and dignity of human life is upheld by all and I hope and pray that your invitation to come together is the first step along the road to mutual forgiveness.

God bless you,

Lorraine Knopek
[01/01/2008]

. Thanks for your message and wishes in the french newspaper "Le Figaro" today.I send you also my best wishes for your feast of the "Hajj" and for the year 2008 a year of progress in our mutual understanding and in our love for God and all our humane brothers.

Alain de Layre
[31/12/2007]

. A message of thanks for Xmas/New Year 2007/8 to all my muslim brothers.

As you say in the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful, may God bless Muhammed, his kin, Abraham and his kin and Jesus Christ, but maybe you forget some other faiths ?

There is no god, but god, without associate, and we all worship Muhammed, Jesus and others in our own ways. We are only just servants, the messengers.

All our parents, brothers and sisters say, no matter what their faith -

"peace be upon us all".

We pray for peace between all world communities in the new year 2008.

I read your message in the Sunday Times today and was very moved by the thought and emotion it provoked.

Although I am not a very good servant of god, I try to do my best for all nations and faiths because as you rightly say there is only one god.

I have lived outside my country for many years, Africa, M.East, USA, S.America, China, SE Asia, etc. I speak several languages including Arabic and therefore have a good knowledge of many faiths. I have always had a copy of the koran and the bible with me for many years as well as some other holy texts from some Asian religions.

But as you so rightly say, in the name of God, let us praise him, lord of all our worlds whatever our faith.

Peace be upon us all.
With best regards,
Geoffrey R. Gunson
[31/12/2007]

. Thank you for the Christmas message that was posted in the Daily Telegraph. I agree fully with the wishes expressed in the message and hope that all faiths will work together in 2008 for the good of all.

Tim Power
[31/12/2007]

. I am a not very well educated common man, a white Anglo Saxson. My church is the Church of England although I am a very poor attender and am not of a particularly religeous bent. I have a good friend who is Muslim, another who is Hindo and my sons partner is Buddist, they all have partners who are of different races and religions, and that is how it should be. There should be no barriers that should influence an idividuals choice, only love, tolerance, and understanding should prevail, and no harm done to anyone. Therefore I welcome your letter in the Press and the supporters that have put their names to it are to be applauded. I apologise if I have put this message under the wrong heading.

Sincerely,
David Smith
[31/12/2007]

. Dear Sirs,

I read with grate interest in the newspaper Izvestia on 28.12.07 massage of Christmas Greeting from Muslim scholars. This was very nice and wise. And I express my gratitude for this message and wish you happy and prosperious New Year.

Arsenty Kalinin
Moscow
[31/12/2007]

. Until I saw your ad in today's Telegraph I didn't know that there was anyone out there in the world of Islam who cared about understanding and peaceful co-existence. Thank you. The media would have us believe you (and we practising Christians too) are all deluded nutters. We know different.... it's a way of life and, in the end, we are all worshipping the same creative spirit/God/whatever in our own way. Live and let live. A peaceful and prosperous new year to you all.

Mary Henderson
[30/12/2007]

. Thank you very much for your message of greeting in British newspapers today. I wish everyone associated with A Common Word a very happy and healthy New Year.

Margaret Jacobsen MBE
[30/12/2007]

. Earlier this year, I read a section of the Bible that touched me deeply. Two commandments, spoken by Jesus - to love God completely and, of equal importance, to love your neighbor as yourself.

No where in that text did I find the words "unless" or "except." The commandments are absolute.

Imagine my happiness when I came to read "A Common Word!" People much more knowledgeable than I had offered those two commandments as a common link for Christians and Muslims to learn about each other.

Peter Ochs noted in his response that there would be positive and negative reactions. I have noted several positive and negative reactions in comments made before mine. More importantly, I noticed reactions - people expressing their desires, fears, and beliefs. This is wonderful!

I would like to personally thank you for extending this call for peace and understanding. It took remarkable courage and love for such a prestigious group to extend this word of peace.

William Bray
[29/12/2007]

. THANK YOU for this historic step taken by leaders of Islam. We have a lot of history that has created a great chasm between the great religions of Father Abraham. Yet the Oneness of God is irrefutable in all our scriptures. How we as Christians understand the person of Jesus is unique among all the relgions of the world, but even he proclaimed the oneness of God (John 17). For Jesus to be the divider rather than the uniter of people is inconsistent with his nature, his purpose, and his very being.

It is long past the time for Muslims, Jews, and Christians to drop our "warring madness" and find ways to live as sisters and brothers in peace and goodwill. My prayer is that many religious leaders across the world will walk through the door that you have opened and expose the radical segments of our religions for what they are - divisive zealots unfaithful to the central message of God for this world. We dare not stand by and let those voices define us.

Richard C. Little
[28/12/2007]

. To the good people of your campaign,

I commend the various leaders of the Muslim Faith who have written this letter. We are all G-d's children. He has had enough of the violence on Planet Earth.

Violence is not innate within human beings. The universe is stable, ordered, benevolent and expansive. A literal Garden of Eden can be made here on Planet Earth. The process of redemption, i.e. the counter-balancing of evil forces, is just that a process. We are all interconnected. World Peace by, the Gregorian Calender year of, 2050 is indeed possible. All it wil take to succeed is the will of many, many people. The unfolding of the potential of humankind will proceed over time.

It is good to see the spiritual leaders of many people putting their names to a committment of peace and goodwill.

Congratulations.
Shalom !
Adam Neira
Melbourne
Australia
[27/12/2007]

. What a wonderful Christmas card from the culture which brought algebra to the modern world. Look for the lowest common denominator and seek the solution to the problem. A huge step forward, though the answer won't be found until we all understand exactly what constitutes that lowest common denominator. For that, we must look to the fundamental underpinnings of the beliefs of all mankind...once there, it's only a simple question of working the equation to its logical conclusion. The difficulty lies in conceding that such a denominator actually exists, when the numerators don't realize that's what they actually are.

David R. Coffman
[27/12/2007]

. It seems that both faiths catholism and Islam trying to come to terms for common Good. My self as Catholic believe in Holy Trinity and Jesus as our Saviour.John Paul II was trying to reach every religion to bring to PEACE. Very Noble task.

I do Believe in Jesus words: If we all follow the first and second Commandments only then will be Peace in a whole world. I think its a good starting Point, but what am hearing correctly that a gentelmen in Afganistan is being prisoned becouse he has converted to Christianity, on this account He should be released, becouse we all believe in the same God, God of Abraham.

Why kill this man? His name is Abdul Rahman.

Derek
[26/12/2007]

. Thank you very much for the kind wishes at Christmas.

May God bless you. Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men.

Val
[26/12/2007]

. Salam Aleikum brothers

How can you congratulate Christianity when it is the false way of life, the meaning is that you shall call the kuffar to Islam. And not give them the feeling that they are following the right path.

Your brother in Islam Burim
Burim
[26/12/2007]

. Your Christmas message makes several references to the recent declaration about the "Sanctity of Human Life." Christians certainly agree with this principle. As Muslim on Muslim violence and killing abound throughout the world, there is much work to be done.

I noticed that none of the signers of the declaration are from Pakistan, where much of the violence is occurring today. As a news item today in the Telegraph in the UK, Pakistani clerics are calling for a crack-down on Ahmadis, insisting they be put in jail for "impersonating Muslims." Based on the wording on the "Sanctity of Human Life" declaration they are indeed Muslims because they follow the teachings of the Quran and they pray toward Mecca. So I ask you, how much weight does the declaration hold in the Muslim community if some of your clerics just avoid the principle by declaring certain Muslims to be "impersonating Muslims?"

Chris Chrisman
[26/12/2007]

. Thamk you so much for your Christmas greetings.

Please keep up your reconciliations with Christians, Jews, Hindus and all religions - even the small sect on the tinist island on Earth - all free humans must be able to choose their own views of GOD & AHHAH. I hope you impress on all Muslims that all are made in his image - not some prophet of God or Ahhah. Every human is created equal and must be allowed to be free. Peace on Earth greatly depends on you.

Thank You
Frank Kushner
[26/12/2007]

. Dear All:

I would like to wish you a Happy Eid, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Peaceful 2008 AD / 1429 Hijri to ALL of mankind.

The SWORD could have many meanings to us humans. The Prophet Jesus (Peace be Upon Him and All the Prophets) will descend upon us with The SWORD and put proper order in ALL our houses. Let us ALL hope that we will be on his side on that morning.

Peace,
Qassim Ebrahim
[26/12/2007]

. Judaism, Christianity & Islam are the branches of originally same religion, But all of us who belong to these religions haven't done enough to spread the words and deeds of PEACE to the world.

Farhan
[25/12/2007]

. Your Christmas greetings are deeply appreciated.

Pete Whale
[25/12/2007]

. Please make the same initiative for uniting all muslim brothers of different sect

Now the muslim world more suffers at the hands of its own brothers of different section than from outside

Haja Ali
[25/12/2007]

. Whatever the difference is, loves our neighbour, as God loves everyone of us.

Today, "A Common Word" has setup a good example that our children may learn that, how beautiful is God's love, that His people also start to love each another.

May peace be upon everyone on this earth.

Glory to the loving and almighty God.

Vincent Lau
[25/12/2007]

. I am most heartened to see the efforts you are making to bring peace between different religions. I would like to add to this that I do not have a religion, I do not believe in afterlife, God or the many other things which Christians, Muslims, Jews and many other religions hold sacred. However, what I do hold sacred is the right of any human to believe (or not believe) as they see reasonable. No person has the right to persecute any other person on the basis of their race, religion, sexual orientation or the many other things which make every human different ( provided these differences do not themselves imply persecution of others). For this reason I wholheartedly commend what you are attempting to do and want to see the basic idea of tolerance spread to all aspects of human life.

Frank
[25/12/2007]

. I thinks the christmas greetings send by muslims scholars was long overdued. It is time that muslims sheikhs and rulers, extend greetings to the western world just as the western leaders extend greetings to their muslims citiens.

Moreover, the scholars should come out openly and strongly condemned those clerics and radical muslim groups that keeping addressing non muslims as infidents, traitors, pigs etc. The is already infuriating the non muslims and has caused a back slash to the muslim community in the west. For every evil actions committed in the middle east it is your muslim brothers that will have face the consequences in the west. Unless this rhetoric stop we will continue to attack and agrresively attack muslims as Islam is clearly not a religion of peace but a religion that talks about killing and violence. I as a non-muslim am ready for holy war with muslim whateve form it may take.

Christa
[25/12/2007]

. Esteemed Scholars of God,

The following is a slightly revised version of my message of yesterday. If you wish to distribute it, please use this version. It also offers an explanation of why young people nearly everywhere are so angry. I am relieved to note also, incidentally, that there are two typographical errors in your own announcement. In the second para of the introduction there is a redundant r after Prophet; in the fourth para of the summary there is a redundant u after Jesus Christ. As before, I have tried to keep my own comments on a single page. With hopes for a more peaceful future, Colin Hannaford.

The Common Word and Common Work.

I am an Englishman: first a soldier; then a teacher. About thirty-five years ago I had an experience similar to that reported by the Prophet Muhammad, PBUH. In most Western countries today one would be thought in need of psychiatric treatment simply for making such a report. Fortunately, I was already in a military psychiatric hospital. I had been sent there for criticizing my government. Fortunately again, the doctors refused to begin the ordered treatment. Instead they found me sane and I was returned to active duty. But now I had a very different duty. I might now say from my own experience: ‘God is closer to you that your neck-vein!” but I was aware of the suspicion with which this would be received in my highly secular society. I now knew - as you yourselves have courageously proclaimed - that the message of all great prophets has been the Common Word of God. It seemed to me however that my duty must be to attempt to describe the Common Work: to show that God is continually active amongst all the people of the world: even within people themselves. I sought for this for years in vain. The far more obvious effect of men’s knowledge of God, also of the claims of those who say they know no God, appears to be to make many boastful and unjust, deceitful and cruel, reckless and destructive; determined to make all children like themselves. Now I became a teacher of mathematics. I soon discovered that my pupils were not required to understand my instructions: only to obey them. But in order to appear to obey, most children are obliged to suppress their natural impulse to inquire. In order to pretend to understand, most must suppress their natural honesty, to cease to value sincerity, honour, and humility. Many learn contempt for both those who are more and less able than themselves. Often they despise their teachers for their loss of innocence. In their confusion, however, their anger is easily directed at others. Later, as adults who are deeply confused about honesty, sincerity, and honour, they reinforce societies in which honesty is mocked, in which mercy and compassion are seen as weak and greed as good. Socially, morally, and spiritually, this is catastrophic. The natural wish of children honestly to inquire, honestly to think, honestly to understand and to speak; honestly to treat others mercifully and compassionately - all are natural expressions of their innocence. When we take away these natural expressions, we rob them of the greatest gifts of God. Correctly understood, and then correctly taught, mathematics is the encouragement that children need to persevere in learning honest, critical, constructive, receptive discourse. Developed over millennia, by every race, in every culture, this ability is the font of peace; it is the well of justice, humility, compassion. It belongs to no-one. Anyone can learn it. When we use this precious gift instead to damage our children’s innocence as I have described - and as is so very common - we are interfering directly with the most obvious will and purpose of God, who made them innocent. Then we bring endless conflict and wars upon ourselves and them, create misery for generations, waste and destroy the treasures of the world. If this understanding finds an echo in your hearts and minds, I have organised an exclusive international conference at St George’s House in Windsor Castle in England in early December 2008 to explain how mathematics can be taught more usefully. If you should wish to attend, I will be most grateful for your support. A slim book containing a report of my experience, written recently for college and university students, has the ISBN 142510942-X.

With great respect,
Colin Hannaford.
[24/12/2007]

. I pray to ALLAH (the name HE Chose for HIS DIVINE SELF and you did not mention in your historic and splended document)to bless and reward all and every participant in your blessed initiative and guide all believers in thr unity of our God, universe and destiny so that we may finally achieve the pieace, harmony and cooperation that is the most essential requisit for the spiritual, moral and material and moral strength to fulfil ALLAH'S mission for us : Worship HIM and work together to build our world into a prosperous earthly paradize that will make us eligible for the ultimate GARDEN OF EDEN. You started a great intiative and it is up to us Muslims and Christians to bear our responsibilities whatever areour formations or careers. Wassalamu alaykum warahmat ALLAH wa barakatuhu

Saad Mmustafa Mujber
[15/12/2007]

. Noting the Christian response, I was wondering if you would be asking forgiveness of the invasion of Europe in the Middle Ages, including the Battle of Tours, the Conquest of Spain, the attack on Vienna... as a recognition of your own parallel atrocities to the Catholic Crusades?

Keith
[14/12/2007]

. Our greatest desire is to see a peaceful world. But I have to exprees my compliants about many things. Maybe you are not the recipients of these.

Sir, until people in a muslim country will not be able to live and act outside islam's rules, there will be no peace. Tell me why in a muslim country a non muslim people must follow sharia?

Why christians of Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and so on are class b citizens?

If you will not accept something outside your way of life there will be always problems. Everywhere a little community of muslims organizes there are attempts of secession or attempts to live outside that country laws.

You don't like integration, because you think integration means assimilation. That's not true.

We are accepting people from many arabian countries but I see a stubborn attempt to do not mix with europeans. I know that many imams tell peole even not to dress in a western way. Only undersigning human rights declaration by imams all over the world things may change.

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force." (Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11,11-15)

Michele
[14/12/2007]

. In my 40 years in New York City alone I have rarely seen a news like that.

"PEACE TRAIN! MUSLIM RESCUES JEWS FROM SUBWAY THUGS". This is a
Front Page Pictorial Headline from New York Post Wed. 12/12/07.

Hassan Askari 20 an immigrant from Bangladesh an accounting student deserve commendation from all of us. Askari, blessed is your father who fathered you and blessed is your mother who carried you. May GOD bless you always. Amen

Syd zaman
[13/12/2007]

. Yale does not speak for me. There is no reason for Christians to apologize for the Crusades. Especially American Christians. The history as it has been rewritten is not factual. In any event, Jesus Christ is our savior, I believe in a triune God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe in a Father the loves us, is merciful, and has given us his Son who died on the cross for all sins for all people.

Islam is not a religion that I can agree with. That being said, I hold no animosity towards Muslims. I am, because of the history of Islam and Muhammed and the Qu'an suspect about the word of the fervent followers of Islam. I believe that in view of the violence perpetrated by Muslims around the world over things that did nothing to hurt any person. I do not agree with a religion that would put a death sentence on a person who leaves Islam. I don't agree with whippings or death sentences for naming a bear Muhammed which the children wanted to do. I don't agree with a religion that promotes using force to make people join a religion. I don't believe in making people of other faiths or believes to have to pay a special tax. I will say that the vast majority (I believe this to be true) of Americans do not want Sharia law. We want to maintain the Constitution and get back to the moral foundation bequeathed to us by our founding fathers.

Respectfully,
Dennis Laman
[12/12/2007]

. Sir: I appreciate very much the words of "A Common Word." It contains many possibilities and opportunities for fruitful and creative dialog among Jews, Christians, and Moslems. However, it is sheer historical and intellectual nonsense to say that all three know and worship the one and same "God"! To believe such is anti-historical. Such is created from the fantasies of creative theological game-playing. Nothing is said about the centrality of Jesus Christ, the one God come in the flesh to die on the cross for the sins of the world. This Jesus Christ is the core and theme of the Old Testament and the fullness of the God proclaimed in the Christian gospel. The basis of brotherhood, however, is found in "love one another," which can be proclaimed by all three faiths on the basis of our shared fallen and fragile humanity. The paper is an excellent beginning to a more detailed discussion of these themes among Jews, Christians, and Moslems.

Pax, Ronald L. Redder
[06/12/2007]

. It is a good, I might say; a noble idea. However, is it rooted in genuine, sincere and heartfelt commitment? If it shapes itself into lasting dialogue, are going to have freedom of worship and conversion on both side without persecutions? If it does I will be more than happy. Any way thanks for taking such a giant step. Let not doubts and mistrusts of the past hinder this golden opportunity offer to all

Bonghe
[06/12/2007]

. Yes. We are both instructed love our neighbors and to love God. The difference that I can't get past is that as a christian, I am called to love the God that came to earth in the form of a man, namely Jesus Christ. I don't love my neighbor as a duty, I do it out of an overflow of joy in my heart from the fact that Jesus died for my sin and rose from the dead on the third day. I am not called to love the same god as Muslims are. Jesus is my God and I will love him and serve him. It does matter what god we love.

Also, real world peace doesn't depend on Christians and Muslims getting alone. Real peace will not take place until the second coming of Jesus Christ when he establishes his kingdom on earth. Until then, world peace cannot happen.

Archibald Jones
[06/12/2007]

. First I must say that I welcome any and all sincere and genuine initiatives for peace. Your call for “A Common Word between Us and You” is a good gesture. Speaking as one who came out of the Islamic faith, I would say to you my Muslim friends, to have a “Common Word” first of all it needs to start with you. You have made the gesture with words, now is the time to back it with actions. To the best of my knowledge no western nation or “Christian” nation has deprived the Muslim from having a “Common Word” on western territory. At the same time I can not think of a single “Muslim” nation that has allowed the Christians to have a “Common Word” on a Muslim territory. That includes Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the list goes on. If you are sincere about having a “Common Word” then you need to demonstrate that. Let the Christians have a “Common Word” freely with Muslims in Muslim countries just as Muslims are free to have a “Common Word” with Christians in western countries. Let Christians worship freely in Muslim Countries just as Muslims are free to worship in western countries. Let Christians build places of worship freely in Muslim Countries just as Muslim are free to build places of worship in western countries. Having a “Common Word” is a two way street and so far it has been only a one way street. The “Christian” world has been very hospitable to allow the Muslims to have a “Common Word”, but that hospitality has not been reciprocated by the Muslim world. The obstacle to having a “Common Word” is not from the “Christian” world.

I find it difficult to ignore the under lying tone of your message. The invitation to have a “Common Word” is on Islam’s terms. Your citing the following verse from the Quran is a good proof:

Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)

It is clear in this verse, that you have cited, to “Come to a common word” is for the “People of the Scripture” to come to the same faith as the Muslim.

In your document the phrase “The words: …remind Muslims” appears seven times. It is time for you to “remind Muslims” that the time has come to have a “Common Word” in Muslim societies and on Muslim territory, that is if you are sincere about having a “Common Word” and achieving peace.

J. Hamoud
[06/12/2007]

. First let me say that I'm a Christian. Jesus (God the second person in the Trinity) came to earth, became Man, died to atone for Man's sin. He ascended into heaven regaining his Godhood and continues to be Man's ONLY way to get to heaven.

Second, in the document A Common Word, there is no attempt for Muslim "leadership" to back off their beliefs (including making Christians second class citizens and forcing them to pay a tax, convert or die), but informs Christians to adjust THEIR beliefs in the interest of living peacefully.

Third: historically, Muslims have shown to be the most viscious and blood thirsty of ALL religions. Currently viscious attack mobs are formed when comments or pictures are noted about what the Muslims call the "prophet Muhammed". Elevating a man to almost god status while ignoring the true Son of God- Jesus Christ. You will note that for the most part, Christians dont form rampaging mobs when Muslims and other faiths regularly denigrate, make fun of and DENY the Godhood of Jesus. Maybe because we KNOW that Jesus (as the Son of God) will protect his name far better than we humans can.

Fourth: I notice that Muslims basically have no overall authority. Instead of having a single overarching general theology, Muslim religion is rift with self-educated IMAMS, many who are merely political opeatives who want to keep their populations under their thumb, making sure their populations only get their brand of political-religious rantings. Much like what that man did back at the beginnning of the muslim religion.

Fifth: Only currently do you find any type of cohesion among muslims...why? Oil and the power it brings to the political side of muslims. Before oil, many Muslims were content to live their lives peacefully, but since the political operatives that use the muslim religion got into power, sides must be taken or you get KILLED (and your family too). Reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

Sixth: Time for Muslims who believe in the tenants of their faith to actually start to curtail their brethern that are stuck in the Middle Ages. The generations of keeping their populations poor and uneducated have proved ideal breeding ground for terrorist operatives to exploit. It worked/works in South America too. Its up to HONEST Muslims to stand up and fight it.

Tracy Boudreaux [06/12/2007]

. This surah states that God has no son and that no son can be God. Without God's son, how then can we have common ground? If the only way to the Father is through the Son, and the inscription on the dome of the rock reads "God has no son", then how is this possible? Without the Son, God cannot even look upon his people. Only through the blood shed from the son is it possible to be with God. So then where is the common ground? I am very confused. There is really no common ground. I don't need common ground to love my Muslim brothers and sisters - and I do love them. Is this wisdom? It sound like foolishness.

Tony Arens
[05/12/2007]

. As a Christian I feel its a start in communications with the Muslim world to have some understanding of the Qu'ran. I do however have questions that I would like to have answered. Its concering the following: Surah 3:19, 4:103, 5:51, 5:114, 9:27 abd 9:12. In 5:51 its states "Belivers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." While 9:12 states "Belivers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." Its not my interpertation nor it is my intention to debate the issue as I am no religeous expert but just a simple believer in God. These passages just seem contrary to the statements of Muslim religeous leaders.

William Mitchell [05/12/2007]

. I pray to God that A COMMON WORD prevails and bring peace to earth. Not to my surprise Jewish Theologians and scholars have not been called as the Christians are.

Respond of Jews and Christians are overwhelming. I have noticed face of my Muslim brother/sisters (including my wife/son) changes if I say to love a jew. What a hatred! We can not eridicate the message of Quran and Hadith about the Jews and Christians. They may not suggest hate but are not soothing to an atmosphere of love. Muslims are said to have Zero tollerance of any other religion.

A tremendous work is in front of us. Let us not this light be kindled away.

Without Jews a seat is Empty here. Pls. fill it in. Invite them, call the biggest Rabbis, call them from New York to Tel Aviv. They will help A Common Word to organize and prosper. Do not under estimate the strength of 18 million people. They are the seed of Abraham.

The common word between Muslim/Christians/Jews is one GOD and let us not get into the arguement of Yehveh, Allah or Jesus. Let us have one arguement and that is PEACE. Love between three communities for 40 years in NYC, of course, in my own surrounding. I am encouraged now with the formation of this org. Celeberating this I feel to double my gift to my Jewish and Christian neighbors at Khannukah and Christmas. May GOD bless this org. and all of us.

SYD K. ZAMAN
[04/12/2007]

. I had been grown in christian area in Russia but I've chosen Islam as my religion cause it is my birthright only. Now as a Muslim was born among christians I sure to say that an understading between christians and muslims at least is necessary thing.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmat Allah muslimin wa muslimat!

Peace upon others

Pavel Radchenko
[03/12/2007]

. As a Christian, the ONLY way I can look at or treat anybody else whether atheist, Muslim, Jew etc. is from the knowledge that we are all created in the image of the living God that I worship. This cannot be achieved through attempting to reinterpret scriptures from our different holy books. I profoundly disagree with a Muslim interpetation of the Holy Bible. The Lordship & deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the outworking of God's Holy Spirit are absolutely central to the Christian faith - there can be no compromise. Christians owe a huge debt to the Jewish people through whom the Lord God chose to bring His Word into the whole earth - I note that 'A Common Word' makes no reference to the very important Jewish contribution to the Christian faith (except for a short reference to the 'Schema The Hear O Israel'). As a simple man, I would much prefer to see leaders of the Muslim world 'walking the talk' if they sincerely believe that their faith is one of peace and reconciliation.

Nigel Freeman
[02/12/2007]

. You may note there exists dialogue between us (some of the signatories) regarding your great efforts and foresight to create A Common Word, going back 2 years. Your attention is respectfully invited to now consider the next step for A Common Word.

Let's transport these interreligous and cultural discussions now over to side chambers of the United Nations on a permanent basis. We need to reorganize the United Nations non-voting membership to better serve us in a changing world.

As I write this missive to this august group of scholars and religious leaders of A Common Word, I tremble at my inadequacy to convey the significance and relevance of reorganizing the UN to accommodate your mission of peace building.

While the British weekly, The Economist, calls for the Vatican to give up its special UN seat with nonvoting powers, a greater nonvoting role for all willing religions may actually serve us better. The world needs a high profile, recognized functioning forum, a neutral zone, for willing religious leaders to find and support shared global ethics through cultural and inter-religious dialogue. The task is proving far too great for any two religions to undertake single-handily.

The UN restructuring would augment, not maliciously interfere. Only their voices of agreement would be allowed to reach the main UN chambers. Side chambers would serve as a deliberative non-voting body among all the world's willing religions, operating from a forum with world class recognized neutrality. Their initial role would be to find shared global ethics common to all faiths.

A forum with world recognized neutrality and a spiritual component is the key to the success of this UN restructuring. No single institution created by man, nor faith or religion practiced by man, other than through the dedicated sectarian nature of the UN, is sufficiently structured to convincingly convey unanimity of recognized global ethical standards.

This forum concept needs to be analyzed thoroughly including membership criteria, space needs and associated costs. It seems to us that such a UN restructuring would better serve long term needs for peace.

I am an endorser of A Common Word. Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

Rich Buckley
[02/12/2007]

. Jesus said "If you do not believe I AM who I said I AM you will die in your sin". (John 8:24) The Bible New Testament.

Jesus claimed to be God and Man, the Eternal God in flesh, come from heaven to die for human sin.

Moslems do not believe Jesus is the Eternal One.

Ahmed Ferrier
[02/12/2007]

. John 14:6 Bible New Testament. Jesus said, "I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me". This poses a problem. It is the core of Christianity. Moslems deny Jesus Deity.

Conrad Osterly
[02/12/2007]

. First I must say that I welcome any and all sincere and genuine initiatives for peace. Your call for “A Common Word between Us and You” is a good gesture. Speaking as one who came out of the Islamic faith, I would say to you my Muslim friends, to have a “Common Word” first of all it needs to start with you. You have made the gesture with words, now is the time to back it with actions. To the best of my knowledge no western nation or “Christian” nation has deprived the Muslim from having a “Common Word” on western territory. At the same time I can not think of a single “Muslim” nation that has allowed the Christians to have a “Common Word” on a Muslim territory. That includes Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the list goes on. If you are sincere about having a “Common Word” then you need to demonstrate that. Let the Christians have a “Common Word” freely with Muslims in Muslim countries just as Muslims are free to have a “Common Word” with Christians in western countries. Let Christians worship freely in Muslim Countries just as Muslims are free to worship in western countries. Let Christians build places of worship freely in Muslim Countries just as Muslim are free to build places of worship in western countries. Having a “Common Word” is a two way street and so far it has been only a one way street. The “Christian” world has been very hospitable to allow the Muslims to have a “Common Word”, but that hospitality has not been reciprocated by the Muslim world. The obstacle to having a “Common Word” is not from the “Christian” world.

I find it difficult to ignore the under lying tone of your message. The invitation to have a “Common Word” is on Islam’s terms. Your citing the following verse from the Quran is a good proof:

Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)

It is clear in this verse, that you have cited, to “Come to a common word” is for the “People of the Scripture” to come to the same faith as the Muslim.

In your document the phrase “The words: …remind Muslims” appears seven times. It is time for you to “remind Muslims” that the time has come to have a “Common Word” in Muslim societies and on Muslim territory, that is if you are sincere about having a “Common Word” and achieving peace.

Jed
[01/12/2007]

. People of the world should leave in peace; this is aim of God. Whoever goes against this aim should not be entertained. Let us continue praying so that these two major religions come closer for the world peace.

There is this 'fact': There was a big misunderstanding between a husband and wife who had leaved together for 12 years; so they went to religious counsellor. He told everyone to write all the bad things the partner had done to hianother for all 12 years.He collected the papers.Thereafter he told them to write all the good things; he collected the papers and exchanged them. The husband and wife read the good things, when they looked into the eyes of one another, they laughed and went home happily.

The good things between these two religions are the things we have in common; love to God and to your neighbour. Let all religious leaders preach these common good things for the world peace.

Bwilengende Phillip
[30/11/2007]

. This is the first time I see Muslims speaking to non Muslims in a language they understand. Muslims usually speak in a way they understand and they concentrate on very narrow circles. This time Muslim scholars are open to others and they speak in a language understood by others and that is why their letter “A Common Word” is received very well by Christians. I think, this is the first step to accept others and to make others accepts you. I am really very happy with this approach which will lead to a better world.

Ibrahim Abed Rabu - Dubai
[29/11/2007]

. This I ask the Muslims, "What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?" Matthew 22:42

"I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Acts 8:37

Do you?

"Whosoever denieth the Son, hath not the Father." I John 2:23

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye seperate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." II Corinthians 6:14-17

Joshua P Michael
[29/11/2007]

. I am amazed have you all forgotten history? The reality is when Muslims put forward an olive branch its just to let it grow stronger and kill off the infidels. Mixing Christianity and Islam is like mixing oil and water.

Henk
[29/11/2007]

. I am certain that you have received comments from both sides of this issue. I will not cite particular texts from Scripture and there are plenty but will use this opportunity to respond as clearly as possible.

I think the goal of peace is noble, but to react to the Muslim point that we have some key doctrinal issues in common and have well-known Bible teachers and scholars sign on thinking they are doing the right thing is precisely the wrong thing to do. To mislead unsaved Muslims and those who call themselves Christians to thinking we worship the same God is not only unbiblical, but dangerous. I would rather see us find common ground somewhere else, but please, don't say we worship the same God because that is clearly untrue.

If you were to examine Islam and it's history you will find that the God of Mohammed is not the God of Christianity. So to imply or state that we worship the same God is heretical and shame on all of those who call themselves Christian for signing on to this travesty. You Christian leaders have opened up Pandora's Box because a real Muslim will have nothing to do with the God of the Bible.

I also urge you to explore and investigate the problems many Christians are facing world wide for their faith. More blood has been shed in the past 100 years by real, Bible-believing Christians for their faith than all of the centuries past. Go to the Voice of the Martyrs website just for starters. You'll see. Their blood is crying out for you all to wake up and get off this politically correct path you are on.

I do believe as a soundly saved Christian that I must love and respect those of any faith or non-faith. I would serve and assist them when the needs arise. But for me to lock arms with them and sit around the campfire singing Kumbaya agreeing that we all worship the same God is not going to happen. I would however, tell them about the Law they supposedly know from the Pentatuch and show them that they and everyone will be judged by that Law and if they have failed in one area of the Law they are guilty of sinning in all areas. And if they are judged by the Law they will be condemned to hell. Once they agree that they are sinners and law breakers I would introduce them to the saving Grace of Jesus Christ on their behalf and tell them that to recieve the penal substitution of Christ they must admit they are sinners, repent, and receive Jesus' amazing grace.

But what I've found with the Muslims I've witnessed to is that they don't believe Jesus is God, but a prophet who DID NOT die on a cross for our sins and that they hope that Allah will be merciful so they must follow the five pillars of their faith and hope that will get them into Heaven. Now I ask you, does that sound like the same God??? Absolutely NOT!

So go on, keep this lie up. I am fully expecting those of us who believe in the fundamentals of Scripture will be among the most reviled and hated people in the not too distant future if not already. I fully anticipate that all of us who take this stand will be at some point persecuted and perhaps martyred. So be it. Many, many Bible-believing Christians who have gone before us have experienced great persecution including the early church and all of the Apostles. Jesus forewarned His followers that that would happen. I can't tell you I'm not afraid, but I have to stand on this principle though those who have signed this thing are caving in to political correctness and it truly grieves me.

I am praying, for God's Truth to be revealed in these days and hope more Christians will follow Jesus' words to love our neighbors, which also includes telling them the Truth.

Connie
[29/11/2007]

. I have waited a long time for something like this to occur. As a Chrisitan Woman with a lot of Muslim friends, I have often found the similarities within our two religions; especially through the original Jewish faith in the Old Testament. I have learned and been exposed to the peaceful part of the Islamic faith and have been told that Islam itself does respect the Christian and Jewish faith because we all three believe in One True God. I think that this is a good thing and maybe it will be a movement that will sway some minds to stop the evil that is being portrayed in the names of both of our religions: Christianity and Islam. We arn't fighting a war between countries but a war between faiths, and that my friends is a war that will never end.

Kristen Debler
[29/11/2007]

. A Common Word is a remarkable document. As a Unitarian I hope that it will become the starting point for a dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jews that will initiate a new era of religious tolerance and thereby advance the cause of peace.

Dr Tim Powell
[29/11/2007]

. I have read this wonderful letter and I realy appriciate that the writer has a vision towards peace keeping. But I still find a gap on this, this letter has been sent to Pope Benedict XVI and I think it is from a common man like me who is for peace. I would like to ask the writer to send the same letter to the Muslim Head of the religion, so that they both have this. I hope from this they can decide to come together and have a common ground of peace settlement. Thanks and Best regards.

OBED MWAKITALIKA
[28/11/2007]

. Thank you. I cried. I pray that God will create a place in heaven where the Donkey lays down with the Lamb.

There is One God. He just placed us in different nations and gave us different rites and rituals by which we are commanded to serve Him.

Signed A nobody who loves you and believes that modern day events are a call of God's people (whatever their affiliaton) for deliverance. If people understood, truly understood, we would not be afraid of "terrorism" (Read Revelation 9:11 and what follows), we would be afraid of our own sin, our own injustice, our own lack of mercy, our own arrogance, our own lack of charity.

Nobody special
[28/11/2007]

. Plaudits for the historic Muslim initiative to reach out to Christianity (and Judaism)to establish common values for these monotheistic religions that embrace over half of Mankind. But what about the other half? Shouldn't any initiative of this nature be addressed to the whole of the world's population? We cannot afford any longer to disregard the mission that Mankind is shouldering, and have to try to create a body of values common to all humans on planet Earth. For an attempt see www.humanduties.com

Hans Maier
[28/11/2007]

. From an intellectual place, how can you say that the "god" of Islam and the "God" of Christianity are the same. It is not an intectually defensible position. One says a trinity, one sees it as abhorent. One sees Jesus as being God as truth, ones sees it as abhorent. They say opposite and contradictory things. This is just a few of hundreds of incredibly important differences.How can they have common ground when the philosohical foundations are so contradictory.

Tolerance has a way of making us park our brains in the name of "false love". Tolerance strips any idea or thought of its meaning when we say all things are equally correct. 2+2=4. That is a truth claim. As with any truth claim, all other claims that are contradictory are by definition false, if in fact the truth claim is true.

Sincerely, DE
[28/11/2007]

. Thank you and God/Allah bless your efforts.

Brian O'Neal
[27/11/2007]

. I believe those are the words used by Cardinal Francis Arinze back in 1997 when he sent out his Ramadan greeting. Yes, there is something common between Islam and the Roman Catholic Church. Both find there faith in man. They place their trust in man.

Kenneth M. Daugherty
[27/11/2007]

. Common Word will go far to address many of the concerns of our world.

I am however concerned with the lack of conversation regarding health as it pertains to this topic.

I am happy to raise a question about the health of all parties concerned and if that issue could be brought up in the future.

Allah (SWT) has shown us the way to live in a healthy environment.

To date, I still do not see any correlation made with anger, attitude, health, and Islam and Christians.

I have a new website and I hope to address that issue.

http://journeyintobetterhealth.com

Good Health to You and Yours

NieeMA Thasing
[27/11/2007]

. Dearest brothers and sisters in Islam,

I wish to commend your letter to the Pope. It was written eloquently, with wisdom, and inshaAllah may you all be rewarded for dispelling the falsehood about Islam and The Chosen One (Muhammad s.a.w) uttered by . I fully support your respectful method of address and dialogue, in the tradition of Muhammad s.a.w

However, please allow me to offer some words of advice which I feel it is my obligation to do, as I have now read the letter, and in the same way as you all will be, I will too on the day of resurrection face my lord and your lord and be accounted for all that which I have done.

Allah swt commands us in the Quran:

"Invite all to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious" (16:125)

This is the one aspect of the letter I contend with and therefore for this reason would not click to endorse a common word. You have indeed addressed the pope with wisdom and argued with him in a graceful way. However, If I am not mistaken, you have not called on him to accept Islam. It is our obligation to invite all to accept Islam. I did not see that this was done in the letter to the pope, and I therefore feel that this obligation has been neglected. The day we are brought before our Lord we will be questioned as to why we did not invite the pope to accept Islam, and in fear of that is why I write this humble letter of advice. I endeavour to fulfil my own obligation, and release that burden from me, and I call you all and the respected scholars of Islam who signed the letter to amend it or write a further letter inviting the pope to submit to Islam.

If I have overseen the invitation to Islam, please write to me to tell me and please forgive my hasty words. If I speak the truth please write to me with either something better or an acceptance of my invitation. Jazaak-Allah-khairan.

I pray to Allah swt to guide us all, accept our works, and forgive us our sins. Ameen

Your brother in Islam, Dr. Umar Tahir (UK)
[27/11/2007]

. "God created man, like how man created religions." There's only one God and he says the same Common Words, only written in different books. religions divide man and now, thanks God and thank you for taking this initiative to clear the division. i believe God will be pleased to see man, he created, living peacefully and happily together. God bless All. =) *Peace*

Madeline
[26/11/2007]

. Why so few,2000+, endorsements in over a month for this most important document?

W. Betz
[25/11/2007]

. I am so encouraged by this message. Peace is possible!

Patrick Agnew
[25/11/2007]

. Message from the Muslim representatives to Christians is very timely. With the present atmosphere which is prevalent all across the world and the deep rift which is beginging to show in Muslim - Christian relations - this message to the christians to talk and discuss the common beliefs is very commendable. Hope the christians take it up and answer in the affirmative.

Ashfaq Mehdi
[25/11/2007]

. It is fine and very encouraging. I hope that the result of the Common Word will be a very large movement of opinion and action for peace and justice all around the world.

Jacques Ville
[22/11/2007]

. Bless you all ... and may the whole world be blessed by love.

John Lorz
[22/11/2007]

. I am deeply moved, yet in no way surprised, by the generosity, courage, and effort of this most important initiative.

A Common Word is an extended hand to a weary world. It is the spirit itself of Love Thy Neighbor.

May each of us reach for that hand and see more clearly our own path toward brotherly love.

With gratitude,
Martha Sachs Beeckler
[21/11/2007]

. Why do so many informed people find it so difficult to accept our common ground? I pray that a newfound courage, perhaps born out of conflict, will allow us all to see and believe.

Warren C. Sawyer
[19/11/2007]

. I just wanted to thank you guys who have made this program possible becuase I think this is exactly what muslims need. Mashallah, I'm impressed at the organization and the scholars that work with this program. Shukran to all of you and keep up the good work! jasak allah khair

Sarah Olibah
[19/11/2007]

. I thank you for the care you have taken to write your article to the Christian Church. We have the two loves in common, Love God and Love your neighbour.

I seek to work together with the faiths in my area and share a journey with them. When we have a common aim - World Peace, care of our communities, fighting the evil of drugs then we can work together with zeal and perseverance. It only needed a handful of people to stop slavery, only a handful of people working together that will stop child labour, and may God help us to show the enemies of faith in God that God unites his chidlren around his nature of 'LOVE'.

Yours faithfully

Reverend Hilary eVans
St Peter's Church
[18/11/2007]

. Regarding Islam's open letter to the Christian Clergy, citing the paragraph that 'the future of human civilisation lies between Islam and Christianity, adheres to imply that theological warfare that could arise between the two may be catastrophic. Wherin one can visualise a final battle between good and evil at the end of time Islam Vs Christianity cannot fit such a discription as the two share a spiritually common bond. All the while communism is lurking, with an agenda to destroy both. Perhaps Islam, your next open letter might be adressed to America in the context that they might 'unveil' themselves to see the smoke of destruction that they themselves have ignited?

Shalom

S.Niraghallaigh
[15/11/2007]

. I find the work of A Common Word a nobel cause but we have far to go in walking this path together. As Thomas Friedman commented in the Nov 11 New York times, King Abdullah's visit with Pope Benedict XVI barely was noticed on the international stage. While the Monarch visited the Vatican, will the Pope ever visit Mecca?

see: [click to open link]

May the Almighty bless us all. May we remember that all belong to one another.

Rev. Dirk van der Vorst, MDiv, BCC
[14/11/2007]

. Jazakom Allah Khair,

I have read your EXCCELLENT letter & I was so happy to see my thoughts, feelings & beliefs finally expressed through your letter to our Christian & Jewish peaceful brothers & sisters throughout the world.

And as I continued to read people’s responses, I felt their heart filling emotions of joy, peace & hopefulness, which made me even happier.

For those who ask about the condemnation of violence “such as the atrocious catastrophe of 9/11”:

1. In the letter you’ll find:

“Whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, it shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether (al-Ma’idah 5:32)”.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”

2. As a Muslim from Saudi Arabia I can assure you that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and many other Muftis & Imams and even the King of Saudi Arabia, they all have publicly & officially condemned those violent acts.

May The Most Merciful guide us all to the right path,

Faisal Algahtani

Saudi Arabia
[13/11/2007]

. "In the beginning there was the word..."

How truly positive and important your efforts of dialogue and understanding and Peace! Let us all keep the positive road open with the free will that Our God Almighty has given us all!

Peter I Powell
[11/11/2007]

. May God make succesful all the efforts of all the people. This was the way the Prophet Pbuh sent the message of Islam.

Words and communication are and will always be the way forword.

War and violence is and always has been the way backwards.

Salam / Peace
Shakeel Aziz
[11/11/2007]

. Dear neighbors, anyone reaching out for peace is to be honored and if Muslims and Christians could come together in dialogue toward that end it should be pursued. However I believe the Basis of this honorable pursuit for peace is half faulty. "The basis for this peace (is)...love of the One God, and love of the neighbour."

We all should love our neighbors no matter what our faiths and fortunately both Islam and Christianity teach this, although the history in each religion has not been - at times - a good representation of those teachings. So to love our neighbors would be fulfilling both faiths.

However, the Basis for peace is also a belief in "the" One God who Christians believe is the God of the Bible. It is not my purpose to show the differences between the One God of Islam/Qur'an and the One of Christianity/Bible but to state that they are not the same God.

Therefore, It would seem more realistic and honest with each other if the Basis for peace were not that we have the same "One God" but that we should live as neighbors who's faiths teach us to.

Aaron
[11/11/2007]
may God have mercy on us all!

. Hello, I pray that this finds you well.

On behalf of myseIf (a Christian) and my partner Hesham Tillawi (a muslim) we wanted to thank and congratulate you on your recent open letter to all the Christian leaders of the world. Dr. Tillawi and I together founded the Crescent and Cross Solidarity Movement, (www.crescentandcross.com) dedicated to doing exactly what you are advocating in your open letter.

Please consider including our voices in anything else you wish to proclaim, as we completely stand with you on this issue of Christian/Muslim cooperation.

Mark Glenn
[09/11/2007]

. If Christians and Muslims are to come to an understanding, they are going to have to stop circulating foolish and condescending propaganda about each other.

The kinds of propaganda are various and many, but for example, Christians are frequently attacking the character of Muhammad (PBUH) by requiring standards of conduct of him that many of their own holy men and leaders could not live up to, including Abraham, Kings David and Solomon, many popes, Martin Luther, and many others. Likewise, Muslims frequently attack the integrity of the Bible by accepting the pronouncements of atheists and other people hostile to the Bible rather than the extensive legitimate scholarship of the Bible by true monotheists. Again, Christians are often too quick to accept interpretations of the Qur'an given by terrorists and heretics, rather than listening to how respectable Muslim scholars interpret the Qur'an, or reading the Qur'an for themselves with an open mind. No document, be it the Bible, the Qur'an, or anything else, can stand up to such prejudiced "analysis." Such propaganda makes hypocrites of us all!

Along with the propaganda that they spread, Muslims and Christians are too quick to use human traditions, that go beyond or even contradict the teaching of their scriptures, as an excuse to argue endlessly with their fellow monotheists. This is inconsistent with the examples of the Qur'an and the Bible, as A Common Word has pointed out! Yes, the theological differences are important, but until both sides are willing to truly consider that they may be wrong about some things out of an honest desire to better understand God's truth, no true dialog can take place.

The underlying source of these things is an attitude of paranoia, ethnocentrism, and arrogance. But our attitude should be one of selflessness, love, and humility!

Abraham Lewis
[09/11/2007]

. After more than 30 years of involvement in the dialogue with Jews and Muslims in Germany, Europe, Middle East and Central Asia I am so comforted to read this brotherly letter "A Common Word"! Now I can believe again in a fruitful dialogue and living together today and in the future!

Peter Dippl
[09/11/2007]

. I was most delighted by your timely message.

I commend you wholeheartedly for your excellent work.

Let us all work together for a better world for all of God's creatures and become messengers of peace, tolerance and empathy in a world that is torn asunder by hatred, bygotry and intolerance.

May the Infinitely Merciful One guide our steps-aameen.

Ahmad Kutty
[09/11/2007]

. We have one God in common

Your writings on A Common Word Between Us and You speaks to me. I am glad to read it.

The Lord our God is one. Now we start to acknowledge God in us. He made us different so that we can need each other. He gave us different cultures, religions and communities so that we can come together. The evidence of God in us is Gods spirituality of peace and the formation of community. There is a longing, interests and desire in difference. That is why God created all the differences in the world. God could have made one kind of everything if he does not love differences. We are so glad you are discovering Gods aim in differences. God was and is our common ground. We thank you scholars for your discovery and courageous move. We hope you keep this move in educating all and sundry. May the peace of God guide God.

Godian Ejiogu
[09/11/2007]

Theologian and pastoral worker in the Parish of the Holy Trinity in Amsterdam and President African Transformers Voice.

. I would like to express my gratitude to the 138 Islamic scholars for this wonderful gesture of respect, tolerance and peace. In October, I led a group of Christians from my church on a pilgrimage to Turkey. One of the places we visited was Konya, where we prayed alongside our Muslim brothers and sisters at the shrine of Mevlana Celaladin Rumi. We recognised that his teaching, like that of today's scholars, is of peace and mutual respect.

In whatever way I can, I will work to promote understanding and peace between Jew, Muslim and Christian

The Revd Dr Mark Powell
[08/11/2007]

. As a Jewish Christian (Anglican Communion), I am deeply impressed by your statement of the deep commonality of the Abrahamic faiths. All that keeps me from signing my name to it is that it appears to present my ancestral Jewish religion as afterthought, not as an equal companion in our quest for understanding and peace. It was the Jewish law, always valid for Jews, that Jesus Christ summed up in his two commandments, confirming them -for Christians- in his divine person. All of us, Jewish, Christian, Moslem have in our long shared history failed to live up to the commandments. If we are to move toward a new beginning, as you so eloquently propose, your summons must go out to all three faiths.

Stanley A. Leavy
[07/11/2007]

. You have planted a seed, a great seed, out of which may spring the tree of peace. May all of us water and tend that seed, and draw others to us to help as well.

Thank you for your great act of faith and courage.

Sue Brown
[07/11/2007]

. Thank you for your courage in extending a hand of peace. For it is fear that keeps us from hospitality, peacemaking, and generosity. I believe many Christians (of whom I am one) and Christian leaders in their hearts want to work together with you. It just takes time for our minds and hearts to become integrated. Please be patient with us as we take this time to respond to you. Peace is usually won over time and at a great cost. Many U.S. Christian leader signatories are counting that cost. Thank you for also counting that cost and for stepping out.

Sincerely,
Fran Love - a mother, wife, daughter, sister who wants her family to live in a world of understanding and respect
[03/11/2007]

. To the Spiritual Leaders of Islam,

Writing alone, as a Christian Pilgrim, I respond to your outreach with a warm and grateful heart. The recent initiative taken by the Spiritual leaders of Islam is certain to go down in history. Yes, there is A Common Word between us and you. Thank you for bringing the fact to attention of the world. There have been too many understandings between us in the past. If Jesus and Mohammed had been contemporaries, they would have been friends and allies. Both revelations are true. Both are authentic. And when the two revelations are rightly understood, they are altogether compatible. It is the followers of Jesus and the followers of the Prophet who have at times failed to comprehend their teachings. It is unfortunate that Christians have not learned certain basic facts about Islam. For example: Islam has always revered Jesus, Moses and the Prophets of the Old Testament. Christians and Jews have never been as generous. Perhaps something can be done about that.

You have given the 21st Century a history-making document. An International Conference will convene at Annapolis, Maryland in the very near future. The Annapolis Conference will address the Palestinian-Israeli crisis which Colin Powell recognized as "the central problem facing the world today." Your outreach has come at a most opportune time. There is no way to separate politics from religion in the Holy Land. We couldn't do that if we tried. We couldn't do it if we wanted to. Therefore... ways must be found to make the three religions part of the solution to the conflict instead of part of the problem. Our Common Word requires a Common Ground. Therefore... let us join together and focus our peacemaking efforts on the future status of Jerusalem. For Jerusalem is at the core of the political quarrels and the religious quarrels, as well. Jerusalem must be shared. Politically, Jerusalem must become an international city ... the capital of two states ... Israel and Palestine ... and shared in accordance with International Law. Spiritually, the quarrels are uncivilized, ugly, greedy and about control. May the ONE God of the THREE Abrahamic faiths teach and guide us all.

As we Christians make our rightful claim to Jerusalem, we acknowledge that Muslims and Jews also have rightful claims to Jerusalem from your/their perspectives. It is useless to argue about sovereignty in the Holy City. Sovereignty in Jerusalem belongs to God alone, and God is ONE.

Peace,
The Rev. Roy Hayes
Priest-at-Large In Cyberspace (Episcopal)
[03/11/2007]

. I am sincerely moved by this effort at dialog from the Muslim world, and pray that it opens up a new era of dialogue and peace-building in a world that deeply needs both. As I sit here tonight, I feel a sense of hope, and a little closer to brothers and sisters of another faith half a world away.

Sincerely,
Kieran Conroy
Harvard Divinity School
[02/11/2007]

. Peace and God’s grace to you,

I recently read your letter to the Pope, and while I am not a Christian leader of any sort, I was touched by your timely reminder and felt the need to respond and return the greetings. The purpose of my letter is simple: to confirm your suspicion that God makes use of all our hearts and voices and that, though our voices may still be quiet, there are those among us Christians who joyously accept the differences among all faiths and embrace the unity of God and God’s message to us all.

My command of the Qu’ran is not as great as your command of our Gospel; I have read only a few of the surah to date and with great effort and reliance on footnotes and translations. Thus, the scriptural support I provide for my beliefs must come from what I have culled from the Gospel and Old Testament. And even with these texts, I must admit a degree of innocence as I am not a religious scholar. Furthermore, I am sure that the church leaders will have more detailed and poignant responses than I, and I am not in a position to speak for other Christians, simply myself. Still, I would like to offer you some encouragement and support our joint, continued mission.

Please know that many of us who call ourselves Christians are horrified by the way God’s name has been used to justify unjust actions. When we hear of what other Christians do and we see the pain that they perpetuate, it is difficult and deeply troubling to know that they claim we share the same message and edict. I am sure this is a sentiment that some of you may have experienced yourselves.

Those who deny or confuse the commandment to love God and one’s neighbor—in all its simplicity and its complexity—are not truly Christian or at least do not fully understand what the term Christian means. As Christians, we should strive to be ever humble and compassionate, for we were shown God’s greatest compassion. We are told to look first at our own shortcoming and inequities (Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 6 41-42). We are taught to be continually forgiving, as God has first forgiven us. We are instructed that if someone steals our coat, we should give him our shirt, and if someone strikes our face, we should turn our cheek so that he may strike that one as well (Luke 6:27-31 and Matthew 5:38-42). Yet, sadly, we sometimes fall short.

All of our histories have incidents of great tragedy and war in the name of God, but God is not present in the humiliation and subjugation of others. Proclaiming God’s message does not entail, or need, human suffering. A message of love does not come at the end of a gun or with unwarranted sanctions or by the construction of walls. Although the instructions are basic and the outline clear, we all struggle to perform the simplest of actions: to love.

I do not wish this letter to be an apology or an excuse. My intent, first and foremost, is to encourage continued efforts on all our parts. As you wrote, Jesus told us that the peacemakers are blessed and are truly the Children of God, but like children faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, we may see the way to peace as too daunting and wish to hide or give up. However, we Christians are told in multiple verses that whenever two come together and proclaim God’s message, God is with them. In Matthew (18:19), Jesus states, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on Earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” Peace may seem impossible when left to us alone, “but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). It is in God that we must place our trust, our future, and our treasure; while at the same time, it is with our own actions and hands that we must realize our prayers.

As Christians, we are told, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). We have the imperative to continue to work and to do so with all our hearts, our souls, and our strength in order to realize God’s love. If we have become lax and have neglected our mandate, we have succumbed to an all-too-human weakness of despair, but for all of us—Jew, Christian, Muslim—who have received God’s message and have taken it to heart, the ways of God will manifest and will guide us back to our true design.

In the Old Testament, God promised, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33). God has claimed us all and woven His law into our very beings. Thus, our nature is to be with God and in keeping with God’s law. Though we may wander or become forgetful, God will draw us back, and God’s plan will manifest. In Luke, Jesus reminds us that "No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lamp stand, so those who enter may see the light” (11:33). God does not bring light and love into the world only to hide it from us or to allow us to extinguish it. God’s grace will prevail. All we can affect—if we indeed have any effect—is how quickly God’s victory arrives.

Being a peacemaker, a true Child of God, does not require individual greatness nor great scholarship nor high, Earthly position. It is solely a matter of our sincerity and our faith, and even the smallest amount of faith is enough, when it is firmly placed in God. In Luke (17:6), Jesus states with even “faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Although some of the details and directions may be hidden from us, God is moving among us, harvesting our prayers and planting peace in our hearts. Now is not the time to doubt or withdraw. We must not lose faith. We must not stop moving forward, reaching out, reminding, reflecting, and praying.

My solemn prayer is that we ask our God for guidance and reconciliation, that we may learn to see the differences between us as different fingerprints on the same hand, working as one to reach out to those in need and extend God’s grace and comfort.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

Thank you again for the reminder.

Sincerely,
Meredith Larson
Chicago, IL USA
[02/11/2007]

. My staff and I, located in the eastern edge of Silicon Valley in California, applaud your vision.

Peace And Conflict Resolution.Org
[31/10/2007]

. Dear Sir,

You are to be commended for your efforts in this project at promoting mutual respect and understanding among Muslims and Christians.

I only have one observation, and that is in your choice of the title of this project. I am assuming that this title comes from two words in verse 64 of Surat Aal 'Umran: "kalimatin sawa'". The word "word" is a literal translation of the text, but does not really communicate the intention of the verse. Also, the word "common", in addition to meaning "shared", can also refer to something "simple", or "of widespread use."

In short, to the Westerner, the title does not immediately communicate what you intend to communicate. I think a better choice for a title would have been "A Mutual Understanding." This title would communicate clearly the intention of the verse.

Sincerely,
Bob Robertson
Amman, Jordan
[31/10/2007]

. The initiative of the Common Word is sorely needed by the entire world. All too often, religion is asssociated with violence and intolerance, and the compassionate ethos, which lis at the heart of every major faith, gets pushed to the sidelines. The assertion of the principle of love, which is so central to both the Muslim and the Christian traditions, should be paradigmatic of the religious response to the fearful realities of our time. We must reclaim our traditions from the extremists. Unless the major faiths emphasize those teachings which insist upon the absolute holiness of the "other", they will fail the test of the 21st century. The coming together of Muslims and Christians, who have such an unhappy history of hostility, is a beacon of hope and an example to the whole of humanity.

Karen Armstrong
[29/10/2007]

. A Common Word: a great source of hope!

Gerardo Orsi
[28/10/2007]

. A unique but yet untapped potential for real peace and understanding between Muslims, Christians and Jews,with the clear precedence of the "Burning Bush", lies in the great and powerful mystery of God revealed in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is neither an accident nor a concidence that both events are part of the "common word" in the Torah, the Gospel and the Quran. There is a bond of real unity between the three parties that awaits to be explored! God help us.

Ephrem Hagos
[26/10/2007]

. I would like to thank you for creating this website and for disseminating the "hidden" truth about Muslims that they too seek peace and harmony like others.

The powerful statements made by the courageous Muslim scholars will go a long way in promoting understanding and dialogue between Muslims and others.

Irfan A. Omar
[25/10/2007]

. May the peace of Allah be upon you.

I also fight for the cause of Islam, and I have greater power in my website:

I see truths that others are missing because Allah has shown me how specific He is about His word.

The website will help you understand the greater power for your cause.

Marie Devine
[24/10/2007]

. Greetings of Peace!

It is refreshing, indeed, to get the Muslim Leaders' "Letter to Christians". The basis of the letter is, precisely, our common belief in the same God and the command to love our neighbours.

The very positive responses from Christian leaders, Centers and Institutions are equally, refreshing.

I do hope and pray that this encounter will mark a new beginning of conscious retrieval of a tradition of friendship and hospitality present in both our faith communities. In the growing rhetoric and discussion, often, "hijacked" by the extremists, the "Letter" and the Christian Responses offer a new window of exchanges and partnership for common projects in the service of humanity.

But the "Letter" and the Christian Responses need to be mainstreamed in our programs and institutions. No doubt, this new refreshing encounter can spark a new relationship of partnership and common witness to that same God we worship...

Prof. Eliseo Mercado, OMI
Intereligious Dialogue
Notre Dame University
Cotabato City 9600
Philippines
[24/10/2007]

. I have begun to read the message.

Sceptics scoff at this attempt at uniting in love but I, out of total love of the God we worship and serve - whom I have come to know through the life and teachings of my Saviour Jesus Christ - and of my neighbour - rejoice at its spirit. I believe you are right.

I have called , unsuccessfuly, on the chief leaders of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches - the ones I am connected with - to call for a YEAR OF PRAYER FOR PEACE worldwide embracing all religions.

Without this common call in our common danger from violence and bigotry, we will not succeed in creating the kind of world our God - yours and mine - desires with all his heart to see in existence.

If we do not call together, our witness to his power and nature and concern will not be sufficient.

I hope there are leaders among you - for you seem to have men of faith among you - who will be able to see the validity of my so far unheard call. Only with such a UNITED WITNESS to our dependence on God to solve our catastrophic problemswill we be able to overcome them.

Such a united worldwide witness - what a glorious FAITH-FULL way to begin this new millennium.

Your brother John
[23/10/2007]

. Dear signatories,

It is a real astonishing project you have launched. I am not sure how representative you are for the Moslem world, but publicizing it shows your wish not to be identified with the groups that has defined Islam for the last many years.

The letter uses quotations from the Bible and the Quran to show the similarities. There is stated in both scriptures that God created the world and all what is therein. God made a covenant with man whether he liked it or not and God keeps his promise by sending teachers of men invested with infinite wisdom from time to time. Without those messengers man would not know his right from his left.

The only requirement God lays on man is that he should love Him and welcome the messengers when He sends them. The appearance of a Messenger from God is the judgment day for the religion within which the messenger is raised. Jesus was the judge for the Jews. Some followed him, the rest he defined as dead. This is the meaning of believing in the Judgment day or the Last Day.

The Jewish divines failed when Jesus appeared; just as the Christian clergy failed when Muhammads star rose over the Orient. Their respective messages are the bridge (Pul-I-Sirat) for the people of the old religion. It is their opportunity to find and accept the new messenger from God. It is the responsibility of the divines in the time of a Messenger, to lead their people to the new manifestation. If they fail this task they will loose all what they have achieved and throw their people out into suffering and hardships. As a consequence they will be unable to find guidance from God. The Jewish priesthood was instrumental in the death of Jesus and the Christian priesthood hindered their believers to find the light of the Mohammedan religion.

Have the divines of Islam today failed to hear Gods call? In the Qur’an we read:

“And listen for the Day when the Caller will call out from a place quite near, -- The day when they will hear a (mighty) Blast in (very)
truth): that will be the day of Resurrection”.          (The Qur'an Surah 50:41-42)

“To every People is a term appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor (an hour) can they advance (it in anticipation).” (The Qur'an, Surah 10:49)

Is Islam being punished the same way as the Jews and the Christians before? Have their divines rejected a Messenger sent to them? Is the Moslem world being punished. because their divines were deaf and blind at their Last Day? Or did they understand, but were too fond of
their power and therefore rejected the signs of God?

“They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah,  (The Qur'an Surah   9:31)

“But there comes not to them a newly-revealed message from (Allah) Most Gracious, but they turn away therefrom.”           (The Qur'an Surah
26:5)

“Nor was thy Lord the one to destroy a population until He had sent to its Center a Messenger, rehearsing to them Our Signs: nor are We going to destroy a population except when its members practice iniquity.       (The Qur'an Surah 28:59)

Is the condition of Islam and the world to day a consequence of an inability for Islam to hear Gods call to the world. To believe in their leaders, the lights on the Mohammedan heaven, even after they have lost their light and fallen to the earth. Have they put their trust in their leaders, and trust them as they would Muhammad: “They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah,”   (The Qur'an Surah   9:31)

The religions lived on because Gods message has power to influence pure souls and guide them aright. Thus holy souls has always been living in the midst of all religions, and been examples for the world. All the religions are Gods preparations for the coming of age of humanity, within the religious context man is able to find his true self.

All religions point to The Day of God when mankind will be united and with the help of God have raised a civilization, which radiates heavenly characteristics. This will not be possible, until man realizes that all religions come from the same source and fundamentally have the same spiritual message and are willing to accept all Gods messengers.

Islam is both the name of a religion and as such in conflict with itself and with the world, and it also denotes a relation to God, where the believer surrenders his will to His. To surrender ones will is really the essence of all the religions of God. So when Muhammad mentions that Abrahams religion was the same as His, this is the explanation.

All people who love God, and live up to their respective faith, and thereby surrender their will to God, can therefore in line with the latter meaning of the word be said to follow Islam.

If there is a real spirit behind the letter to find dialogue with the world, and the part related to human relations is true and you bear allegiance to the quotation on page 11 which says:

“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but  righteous is he who believeth in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Scriptures and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love for Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due; And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the pious”      (Al-Baqarah 2:177)

Dear signatories if there is a real spirit behind the letter to find dialogue with the world, and your words related to human relations are put in sincerity then you should start to look at peoples conditions in the Islamic world. Living within Moslem borders there are several groups, which are totally denied of any human rights. The letter will get a lot more weight and credibility the day all groups of people in the Moslem world are given the same opportunities. The right to work, the right to education, the right to get identification papers – without which you cannot get a work, hold a bank-account and you cannot even see a doctor when sick, the right to live without the threat of constantly being apprehended and put in prison and sometimes killed only because their religion is not Islam. Your initiative is wonderful and I hope you will be successful, even though there were all too few women among the signatories.

Best wishes

Jacob Montgomery
[23/10/2007]

. Judging from the mostly warm reception given to the letter of 13-10-2007 there can be no doubt about the deep-seated yearning for notions that are common to people. It is of the utmost significance that the youngest of the monotheistic religions has taken the initiative to address the others on two notions that they share: the love of God and the love of each other. The monotheistic religions encompass roughly half of humankind . It could well be that in the other half the notion of love of each other is similarly strongly rooted, and thus a notion common to all people on Earth. Wouldn't it be a wonderful idea to go on working to find ever more notions that are common to the entire Eamily of Man? That work would surely be a blessed outcome of the historic Muslim initiative of 13-10-2007.

Hans Maier
[21/10/2007]

. This is FANTASTIC!  Why has it not shown up in the news anyplace!!!

Thank You for this.  I will take it to our interfaith meeting tomorrow.  The focus is a look at "our Neighbor the Muslim.

Again thank you

Margaretmary Staller

[21/10/2007]

. At last a light at the end of the tunnel. I am a non practicing christian and fear for all our future. My children go to a catholic school with many friends who are followers of islam. Do you know how much I fear the day my kids condemn their friends simply because they are muslim and vice versa. It is so wrong for our faiths to prevent our children growing up together. I have read the koran and know islam is not a religion of evil. So please tell me why our faiths/societies have had such conflict (please do not comment on GWB and its illegal war). Some one once said the crusades caused a wound in our religions and its still bleeding now. Could this still be the truth. Anyway I still say how proud I am to have been present when this letter was written, it is a historic moment that I hope is not wasted.

Gary Booth [21/10/2007]

. My Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Muslim world,

I congratulate you on your marvellous statement which I have just received.

I thank you for your service of God in preparing this historic document.

I ask God to bless you abundantly for your enterprise in the service of the one Kingdom of God.

I personally am a active member of the roman Catholic Church.

I shall take my copy of "A common word between us and you" to our Catholic Mass tomorrow Sunday, 21st October in Melbourne, Australia. I shall ask the congregation to pray for great fruits and divine blessings upon this effort to find truth, unity, love and peace.

I will not write too much now.

I ask you to be put me on any email list you have to receive further information coming from you.

Blessings!

God be praised!

Yours sincerely

Eugene Ahern
[20/10/2007]

. As a Muslim, I have been witness to the statements given by various heads of state of Muslim countries condemning the acts of violence in our religion's name. Indeed, it is Islam and Muslims who suffer the most from these, who pay with their reputation, their security, their property, and even their children & their lives.

It is, in fact, incomprehensible to me how the international media has failed to highlight how much the common Muslim has been a direct victim of terrorism by their so-called fellows. The number of Muslims who have perished in fighting and suicide bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other Muslim countries, has perhaps long outnumbered the unfortunate victims of the New York, London and Madrid attacks combined.

In this context, I find it surprising whenever I hear a complain that the Muslim world is not condemning acts of violence done in the name of its religion. On a personal level, this stance has once again opened my eyes to the power of what is underlined, or not underlined, in the media. But now, with the release of the 'Common Word', it appears God-willing, that our voice has finally been heard, and we have finally been successful in reaching out to those whom we commonly respect and know as "People of the Book".

This document is especially important in recognizing the present situation as a political conflict, rather than a religious conflict.

I would like to thank the scholars who put this document together; for a blessed moment, for the first time in so many days, I was filled with a sense of hope and peace, that perhaps, more men may live to enjoy their families; more of us may be bonded in what is common among us; more of us may be conscious of what is just, discuss and debate but not quarrel and abuse. And that we may seek what we were sent on this Earth for: to realize our human potential, to seek God's signs and blessings, to find inner peace in His remembrance and to serve Him through serving others.

There is only One God, whether we call Him God, or Allah, and even when there is nothing else in common between two people, being His creation is the common link.

I would like to end with the following words (an amateur translation) from the works of the great Muslim Sufi poet Bulleh Shah of the village of Kasur, located in present-day Pakistan, in which he emphasises the oneness of humanity before the Oneness of God, and that God is found through sincerity to His creation:

"Remove duality and do away with all disputes!

Deem everyone virtuous, there are no thieves,

For within everybody, He Himself resides"

Mehr Tanvir
[17/10/2007]

. As a minister of a Christian denomination, I have often been upset when someone representing a small and often disaffected minority affected to speak for all Christians. At times people, especially the media, responded as though that person did speak for all Christians. Christianity has important beliefs that are held in common by many different varieties of Christian, and the agreement of many leaders from different faith traditions is an important indicator of orthodoxy, or correct beliefs.

Many Christians have falsely assumed that the same is not true of Islam.  They have not had evidence to indicate that a particular voice of authority in the Muslim community may speak with less authority than other voices, and may not reflect generally accepted beliefs in that community.

For that reason, I deeply appreciate the work done by so many key leaders of Islam to speak a common word. This gives Christians who are working for harmony between the inheritors of the faith of Abraham important evidence that there can be peace between Christians, Muslims, and Jews based on widely accepted common understandings of all three faiths.

I cannot speak as an official representative of my own branch of the Christian faith, the Presbyterian Church (USA). However, one of our most respected leaders and the president of our largest seminary, the Rev. Ian Torrance of Princeton Seminary, has already responded and speaks for many, perhaps the great majority, of our denomination.

George Blank
[17/10/2007]

. A Common Word was full of beauty.

Thank you for taking the first step towards understanding and appreaciation of each other.

We human beings need this work of love and positive outlook rather than hate and negative dispensation.

Thank you from the depth of my heart for this work.
Farooq Hussaini
[17/10/2007]

. May the peace of the Beloved God be upon the writers, signatories and recipients of this wonderful message.  My heart warms at the news of so many esteemed Muslim scholars, leaders and thinkers coming together and putting forward a hand of peace to our Christian brethren, emphasising what we share as our most common theological bond: love of God and love of each other.

May God bless this endeavour and ensure its success. with kind regards wasalam

Rachel Woodlock
Centre for Muslim Minorities & Islam Policy Studies
Monash University
[17/10/2007]

. Bismillâhi r-rahmâni r-rahîm

As-salamu alaikum
Facing your  letter to the pope and some leaders of the churches, I have a question concerning the procedure: Who really has made the draft of it? And then: Has the draft really been sent to all of the 138 signatories and has it been accepted by all of them? Did you really get an explicite confirmation by each of them?- According to a latin saying, "non multa sed multum", people could think that such an accervatio of famous names does not really give any value to such a letter, because a decision only can be made by a real single person and also responsibility can be carried. An amount of people is not a real subject, but only a metaphore. Should it not be a better procedure for future times if only that person who really has formulated the letter signed it, and also a number of these signaturies only expressed their acceptance. So far, I think, a procedure like this would be more clear and gave the letter more value, taste and honour. - What do you think?

With best wishes.
wa s-salam,
Salim E. Spohr
[17/10/2007]

. Becomming as one under the one god, is the highest achievement ,we as children of the one living loving god of grace love and light can
give back to him who gives all of us our life. Knowing god lives ever in this realised [living] moment called now ,that he is greater than man can concieve , greater than any word can contain,beyond naming yet sustaining all to live , he is beyond and above all ,yet serves even the least to live [to live to love] he has sent to man many messengers ,for he is all loving and fair ,he loves our repentant heart, and who has not sinned , god is all grace, that we do to the least we do to him ,he gives us life , that we may find his grace ,knowing all god came from him, and all sin judgment and vile came from our frewill there are those who decieve us to lead us from god by fears of judgenments and offers of intersession , but god is one realisable as the personalised god ,whos very throne is our own living beating heart ,[when we fear no evil] ,

[when we chose to serve that loving and good we serve him] who serves us all [the least equal the most]to live who is not a child of god who is not born of his loving grace who is man to judge that god gives for proof that god alone gives grace [in his time not mans] his eternal love ,not mens eternal war
johan/jonah
[17/10/2007]

.

In the 2nd comment Ernesto A. Pretto asks :

I humbly ask, where in Islam is there a universal declaration of condemnation of this violence?

I think that such a declaration is made abundantly clear in the document "A Common Word" where it quotes the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) :

None of you has faith until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.

The document shows authoritatively that this Islamic teaching is the exact same teaching as what Christ taught and what Moses taught :-

You shall love your neighbour as you love yourself

From this great command the rejection of all violence follows, because noone loves violence done against himself.

QED
Chris Sullivan
[17/10/2007]

. I truly welcome A Common Word Between Us and You.

I do not perceive this as an attempt to be definitive. I believe it is deliberately written so as to direct us to common ground at the deepest level. It is a common word, a word which is familiar to Jews, Christians and Moslems. I believe it is a beginning. I believe it is a testimony to a generosity of spirit which Christians should acknowledge and receive with humility and much gratitude.

With the help of God, we can together build bridges, allay fears and permit an area for calm discussion and hope founded upon our love of
God and for our neighbor.

Iain Torrance
President of Princeton Theological Seminary and Professor of Patristics;
former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
(2003-4); Co-Chair of the International Dialogue between the World
Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Orthodox Church.
[16/10/2007]

. Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing as a Christian to express my criticism of the letter addressed to the Pope and other high-ranking clerics in Christianity.  While the letter seems sincere in its desire for peaceful coexistence with Christians, nowhere does it explicitly denounce the al-Qaeda terrorist organization or renounce Jihad.  I believe that there must be a reformantion in the Islamic world that once and for all renounces certain statements contained in the Quran such as Sura 9:5-"So when the sacred months have passed, seize and slay the infidels and fight them in every stratagem of war". Until this happens I believe we will continue to see terrorists inspired by Islam reeking ever more havoc and violence upon our world.  Thank
you.

Sincerely,
James Bennett
[15/10/2007]

. I can read this in two distinct ways. Either the translation, if there was one, is lacking or there was an intent to offer its readers of both faiths what they might want to hear and in no way removes any barriers to Muslim domination of other faiths.

To say there is unity in the love of "The one god" can mean both faiths believe there is only one god or the phrase litterally means there will be unity only when there is the one god.

In the "love for your neighbor for what you love for yourself" script, it can mean that you must love your neighbor to be like you.

Point, taken litterally there are stark differences in interpretations however similar the words appear. Taking a religious text to mean exactly what it says has led to various versions of practice indeed. I am barely into the body of the text and these issues of interpretations already raise enormous problems in asessing the meaning of the entirety.

And what of the verses of Qur'an 5:17, which says that those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers, or 4:171, which says that Jesus was not crucified, or 9:30, which says that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are accursed, or 9:29, which mandates warfare against and the subjugation of Jews and Christians.

To come together in open honesty will require an absolute openness not one cloaked in pastel colors simply to cast a pall upon the other.

The majority of people wish to live simple peaceful lives indeed. Forcing them to take up arms for religious beliefs, none at all or ones that are not even a party to the percieved Christian/ Muslim conflict is certainly selfish.

The days of conquering lands for any purpose has long past. The world still must deal with zealots of all sorts however they should not invoke something so broad as religion or male or female or color or national origin as reasons to gain favor.

 If all gods be the same then all are the same under god. In Christianity, god is the sole arbiter of salvation. He is the only judge of who shall enter heaven. If Islam has the same principal then there is common ground.

In any case, lets be sure we understand eachother unmistakingly.
Eric
[14/10/2007]

. I will reserve formal endorsement of 'A Common Word'  until I've read the text carefully.

BUT

My initial reaction is that this bold initiative may mark the beginning of an exciting new phase in the development of Man's relationship with God.

In a world where so many people are wrapped up in - not to say fettered by - the conventionalities of their respective religious organisations, it is exciting, refreshing and just plain wonderful to find a powerful emphasis on core values in such esteemed company.

Where might an alliance between us all take the world?  What might we learn from each other?  I pray God will move in all our hearts to take away our fear of the unknown, of the strange and the stranger.

Together let us re-align ourselves on God and expect a brighter tomorrow!

How exciting to live in these times, how thrilling to witness the beginning of the end of conflict between Mohammedans and Christians.

And what a long way we have yet to travel together!

Andy Beck
(Local) Methodist Church Officer
[13/10/2007]

. In Matthew chap 18:The disciples of Jesus ask who he thinks is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?Jesus calls to him a little child in their midst and says:Amen i say to you,unless you be converted ,and become as little children,you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.Thus ,he refers us to humble ourselves to God/Allah if we are to enter the Kingdom.As this tenent is referenced in Islam ,as far as i know in the act of submision to God/Allah in that one must be humble in an act of submision.As this is applied to individuals in their quest to salvation so should it be applied to the major religions as one or the other implies as being greater or more perfect,more rightious, more pleasing,more truthful,than the other.Which Prophet was most humble.The theme of the last shall be first and the first last is repeated in the scriptures.Certainly agreement can be made on other common fundementals of Faith in a God created world.The dangers in the world today call upon Religious leaders to come together before were forced to live in a Godless world where salvation will no longer be possible for any of the Monothesit religions. Any dialog should be approached as a step towards God,but with humility and humble as the child.  thank you for the Common  Word. I will reflect on it further.
Joseph Fugger
[13/10/2007]

. I am a Christian and I want to say thank you for your open letter: "A common word between us and you". It is warmly welcomed. I have just finished reading it and I am so glad and excited that you have focussed on love for God and love for our fellow man as common ground between us.

In the Bible in 1 John chapter 3 it says "verse 11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. verse 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. verse 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. verse 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. verse 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? verse 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

In the same spirit as God demonstrated His love for us in the death of Jesus Christ on our behalf, I hope we will have many opportunites to demonstrate to the world in real action and in truth that same love between Christians and Muslims.

Be blessed.
Peter Paine
[13/10/2007]

. Jesus taught us in Matthew 5:9 You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover
who you really are, and your place in God's family.

I welcome this letter as part of Eid Al Firt celebration and I reply with my wishes for a blessed new year.

I hope and pray that this desperately needed dialogue would be carried out with a spirit of humility, acknowledging that we are all guilt of similar sins.

Understanding that it is only by the mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father that we can have fellowship with Him and with one another.

May we all walk in mutual respect,

Wolfgang Fernandez
[13/10/2007]

. Thank you for work.  Your message helped me to take time from my day to day life to praise and thank God.

I pray that you continue the dialogue

Frank O'Shaughnessy
Atlanta, GA USAName
[13/10/2007]

. I am heartily encouraged by "A Common Word".  As a Catholic I can find no fault in your statement of commonality between us.

I am also encouraged by your endorsement of religious freedom for Christians and Jews.  This has been cause for serious concern among Christians and Pope Benedict XVI has made a consistent effort to seek reciprocity for Christians in Muslim countries whose freedoms have been severely restricted or non-existent in the recent past and even as we speak.

I would hope also that the recognition of personal freedom of conscience that you have indicated would apply to Muslims who in conscience become Christians.

These issues of personal freedom of conscience and reciprocity are critical, for Christians, to moving forward in mutual respect and peace.

I look forward to further responses from the Holy Father.

Practically speaking, I believe you, the signatories to "A Common Word", have the same difficulty as the leaders to which you addressed this letter.  There is lack of unity of purpose and doctrine on both sides of this divide between Christians and Muslims.

We cannot expect your voices to carry an more authority with the leaders of Muslim states and organizations than our Christian leaders can compel the heads of state of western "Christian" countries.

Thus, the path to peace must lie in the building of strength in numbers of faithful, both Muslim and Christian, who by their moral weight can apply pressure against those on both sides who are eager to wage war, to the point that hostilities can cease between us.

I think all Christians can agree that we would reciprocate your statement thus;

"As Christians, we say to Muslims that we are not against them and that Christianity is not against them--so long as they do not wage war against Christians on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes.."

Les Richardson
[13/10/2007]

. Your message is the foundation upon which we can stand together to defeat the evil in our world.I share the pain of Muslims who witness and hear of the destruction of their lands and the violations of their fellows.I understand the certainties of Muslims, their commitment to their faith and its teachings and their wariness of advice from non-Muslims.I have attempted to approach Muslims to suggest, with humility and sincerity, a different approach to their conflicts.Sadly, I have been unsuccessful. I sincerely hope that this letter can open an avenue to all Muslims to see a different approach.

Not to compromise your faith. Nor to undermine its tenets, practises or principals. But rather to discover that the mighty forces of evil that hurt you can be suppressed by means other than conflict.

Angus G Donnachaidh
[13/10/2007]

. This is very exciting. We in the US do not often hear from our Muslim brethren or we are taught to fear Islam by images on TV and in the media. Your letter reminds us of our common heritage, our shared beliefs and renews the possibility of a peaceful world.

My grandfather often said "Do not let the perfect stand in the way of the good." What he meant by this was to avoid expectations of perfection in this world and from people.

You have started an excellent dialog; some have commented that this is not enough, that it is not the perfect solution.

I say, "Let us begin here."

I thank you for your kind words.

Tony Rabun
Greensboro, NC, USA
[13/10/2007]

. Praise God for your letter.  My daughter and I pray contanstly for greater understanding, toleration and understanding between all peoples of the Book, Christian, Jewish and Muslim. May this letter be one small step in a path of peace. We are all children of Abraham.
Sandee Jemmett and Sofie Mirza
[13/10/2007]

. Great work!  I applaud your honesty, love of God and neighbor.  Each of you are people of faith.  I will certainly do what I can to bring this letter to the attention of people that I know.  Little by little, we can work to bring peace and unity to the world we share.

Peace, joy and blessings be yours,
Most sincerely,
Dennis Justison
[13/10/2007]

. I'm a pastor in the USA (a United Methodist Church in Texas). From what I read, I think you're going the right direction. Thank you.
Richard H
[13/10/2007]

. Thank you, brethren, for this beautiful gesture.

Alex Serbanescu
[13/10/2007]

. Dear respected Sirs

I applaud the steps being taken to bridge the divide and agree with Mr Pretto below wholeheartedly on putting a message out to the muslim world for unity, even on such a great day as today Eid ul Fitr, the great muslim umma can't even agree to celebrate it on the same day in the same village;

Gentlemen time to put the basics in place

Humbly yours
Will Adams
Preston
[13/10/2007]

. Its about time some sanity is starting to show itself. It makes me hope that we can set aside differences and focus on similarities. I applaud your efforts and hope that the seeds sown will grow and bear lots of fruit.

Robert Layten
[13/10/2007]

. The purpose of all faiths is to teach peace and tolerance and this dialogue could be the starting point in the right direction. If if we do not work together for the good of whole, we have failed in the quest of all religions. oele
Shazad Fazal
[12/10/2007]

. peace to the peaceful:

I read the letter and agree to it. But I noticed that out of the 138 signatories, only ONE is a leader of a country:

"His Royal Eminence Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Ababakar"

How can Islam EXIST if the leaders of Muslim masses are NOT Muslims
(governments)?

Had they (leaders of governments) been Muslims, they would have applied Islam and elected ONE leader (the Caliph) to rule all Muslims (1.5 billion). And that leader would have signed this letter ALONE. As long as there is NO just Caliph ruling by islam (and thus no justice), there will be extremists by nature(which I am NOT with by the way) and muslims AND non-muslims will get hurt by those extremists and RUIN your efforts to bring peace to the world. Before asking non-mulsims to come to peace, you need to take care of your internal affairs and appoint those who rule justly and peacefully (islamically) in
countries were there are muslim masses/majority.

Leaders of governments need to step down their arrogance and serve God and elect a Caliph.

The same thing applies to those CLAIMING to be Christian Leaders. You need to apply Christianity in your countries (Europe, USA, etc.) (i.e. NOT allow Christians to have sex before marriage, Not get drunk, cover up your nakedness, stop paying taxes to making bombs that kill people, etc...) before saying that you represent Christians. Read your bible espacially John 20:17. Jesus is not God. Jesus HAS a God to be worshipped by all men and women. This is the God that Muslims Worship (Allah). One indivisible God.

peace to the peaceful.

John
[12/10/2007]

. The letter is great.   But it may be hard for some Christian's to fully endorse - because the first 12 pages are basically Islamic theology.  As I am not a follower of Islam and I am a bit ignorant regarding the Holy Qur'an, it's hard for me to endorse the theology.

Your pop-up window asking readers to "fully endorse" the letter is thus problemmatic.  How about asking us to fully endorse the final and non-Quranic text of the letter - statements such as

"Finding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a matter for polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders. Christianity and Islam are the largest and second largest religions in the world and in history. Christians and Muslims reportedly make up over a third and over a fifth of humanity respectively. Together they make up more than 55% of the world’s population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world. If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants. Thus our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake."

and

"our very eternal souls are all also at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony."

and

"So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. Let us respect each
other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill."

Chance Briggs
[12/10/2007]

. May you lead us all down this path of peace.

God Bless Your Message and may it be heard around the world.
John
[12/10/2007]

. Its a good initiative and also about time that this dialogue took place.

My only suprise was that Shaykh UL Islam Dr Tahir UL Qadri was not mentioned as the signatories.  Dr Qadri's on going efforts on reconciliation with the Christain faith, could lead the way.  

Muslim Reader Australia
[12/10/2007]

. Why do you come to the Christians to make peace as if you are offering an olive branch to someone who is against you? Are the Christians causing terror in the world today? Do not mention the Crusades of 1000 years ago. Talk about today. Islam is causing the trouble today. Your conditional message says that you want peace with Christians on your own terms. "As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them - so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes." Well, Muslims are waging war on Christians, oppressing Christians, and driving Christians out of their homes in Somalia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Syria, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Morocco, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Yeman, Turkey, Jordan, and Palestine. Therefore, if you really want peace with Christians, start by reforming your own people. Show us Christians that you won't persecute us anymore. Don't come to us as if you are so good and we are so bad.

Grace Hill
[12/10/2007]

. I admire and respect all the signatories of "A Common Word" as they are truly men of Peace. Sadly though the problems of the world are caused by people who are not men of peace and I fear they may scorn this message. Through out time wars have been raging in the world that are tagged as religious, but in reality are more about race, creed, vengance and pure greed. In the modern world there have been more deaths as a result of in-fighting, than of pure religous war I mean Sunni v Shi'ite, Catholic v Protestant. Even in Israel it is not a war between Jew and Muslim, it is simply a historical conflict between races that has it's origins long before Christianity & Islam were even heard of. God has told all of the people through his Prophets & Messiah's that it is wrong to take the life of another person, yet for a minority of the citizens of this planet we all share, it falls on death ears.

Most of us who share this world are peace loving people and history shows us Good triumphs over evil eventualy

May the blessings of your God be upon you. Robert Hutchins
[12/10/2007]

. Thank you for offering the hand of peace. I hope we in the Catholic (Christian) World can reciprociate. From my reading of history, even during the crusades, there was a commonality and peace between our religions. Now it is more important than ever it was before.

I feel the obsticle is between the leaders of our respective faiths. God talks to the common man, not the political religious. There are many worthy religious on both sides who can make a peaceful communion between us. But I believe it is necessary to win the hearts of the common man, on both sides, to win the peace for the future. To this end, a common statement, including One God, Love for your neighbour, and respect for all humanity and nature, should be read publically in every Mosque and Church on the same day.

As an aside, if the radical Mosques can be tempered (I am not aware of any radical Christian churches that are willing to kill, although there are some very strange ones), that would send a very strong signal the intention is honest.

Regardless of the above, I hope and wish you will continue to tread the path of peace with  Christianity (and Judaism), and I hope the Christian churches will respond accordingly, as is their duty, if they understand their faith correctly.

Never loose faith in God, although he has every reason to loose faith in us......
Paul Davies
[12/10/2007]

. I would like to offer my greatest thanks to the scholars for putting this together.  May God aid you, reward you for your sincere
intentions, and may He establish peace between us all.  Amin.

Ahmed Talib Wavrin
[12/10/2007]

12. It has always pained me that the world is so focused on the differences between faiths that have so much in common.

So often I find the things I learn about Islam are so similar to the things I strive to put across in the Christian 'Sunday school' I teach. I deeply respect the reverence shown by many of the Muslims I meet - and pray that in my worship I can more closely resemble them.

It is such a joy to read of our common ground in love of God and neighbour so beautifully expressed.

Martin Speed,

Oxfordshire, England
[11/10/2007]

. How wonderful it is that the Muslim community has written this document. In a time where the hope of peace seems futile, your words made me put my hand on my chest and smile just a little. I hope so much that one day the differences, arguments and fighting will end. It's a tiny step in the right direction, and one to be respected.

Nicola Beveridge
[11/10/2007]

. Most Respected Teachers;

I was directed to your site from the news article on the BBC News website ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7038992.stm ), and was compelled to learn more.  I followed the link to this site, and have been looking it over.

To begin with, I must commend you all for your brave and noble stance - a stance which, ironically, has put me at odds with my own family. I have stated on numerous occasions that the so-called "conflicts" between Christianity and Islam are insignificant when compared to what is in common.  That what may be viewed as "a war for people's souls" is nothing more than Mankind's differing interpretations of the message of a Higher Power, regardless of the name one chooses to give it.  "Buddha", or "Chi", or "Jehovah", or "Allah" - are they not all names for The Sacred?

Often when discusions of spiritual beliefs arise, I am reminded of a group of children on a playground - instead of saying "My Dad can beat up your Dad," they're saying "My God is bigger than your God". Heated words are exchanged, fists are thrown...  And none of them understand that one cannot be bigger than the other, because they're the same!

I am afraid that "at this moment", I can neither endorse, nor repudiate your letter.  I have downloaded it, and plan to print it off and study it.  I humbly request that I be allowed to ask questions, should any arise - and if by doing so I should be intruding upon your time, perhaps you could direct me to someone here in Tucson, Arizona, US who could answer those questions on your behalf.

In any case, I must say that I believe in your message "in spirit", and I salute you.

Respectfully, I bid you Peace,
Willard Roberts
[11/10/2007]

. About time. I hope more people hear about this. It's a good message, and an extreme need for the world.

Levi West
[11/10/2007]

. Thank you so much for this initiative, Muslim brothers. We have been so eagerly waiting for words like these to come from your side. It is the most encouraging event in this poor world since September 11, 2001. May God bless all you peace builders, and give people of all confessions the wisdom and strength to seize wholeheartedly and unreservedly this extraordinary opportunity. May your message be heard by the entire humanity, and may all Christians recognise the courage that you have demonstrated in writing this document, which should shut the door once and for all to any hate-inducing interpretation of Islam.

Vincenzo
[11/10/2007]

. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). The world has be crying out for so long for leaders from within all religons, with the vision and fortitude to start the process you have started with A Common Word. For all our sakes please do not stop.

Gary Rossell
[11/10/2007]

. This is an excellent letter and statement That offers the hope fora profound understanding between Islam and Christianity that will dispell the ignorance that so clouds the present perceptions of the relationship between the faiths .I wish you well in this endeavour.

Tinechen Egan
[11/10/2007]

. Venerable Imams, Muslim Brethren,

I have read your open letter: it made my heart ascend and my being was momentarily filled with light and life and peace. May universal peace be upon you, my muslim brethren, for now and evermore. May we all come together and create meaningful bonds of love and trust - not as "others" or those from opposing cultures, but as brothers and sisters, close with love and respect and understanding, for the sake of our children and the planet.

Nevertheless, we must all be wary of the current political forces that consistantly pervert any such hegemony. I work for the Hollywood film industry and I am made constantly aware of how there is a dynamic at work, one that is content to portray muslims and Islam as an ineffable evil. This is not paranoia: I see it in the work of the scripts that I have to work with on a daily basis. Without the power structures in the United States embracing the spirit of loving kindness, the world is in twilight.

Hopefully, we may all overcome all obstacles with what Mahondas Ghandi called "Ahimsa" - non harming.

Islam is a uniquely refined and beautiful religion and it looms large in my christian heart.

Salaam aleikum.
Neil Westlake
A Quaker Attender - Vancouver, Canada
[11/10/2007]

. I serve a Christian church in the United States and I want to offer to you my gratitude and respect for this courageous and beautiful gesture. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

May God bless and keep us all.

Erik Graefe
[11/10/2007]

. Dear Friends,

I just read your letter and it filled my heart with joy. I have always known that Muslims and Christians have a common ground they can build on. Your letter has reached out to us Christians to do so. In this age, where members of both Religions are entangled in conflicts that none of us should want, this is an important sign. It is a seed that will hopefully grow amongst the grassroots of Christianity and Islam and lead to a lasting peace between the members of both religions.

Thank you for this wonderful invitation letter. May the One God bless you and your efforts.

Kind regards
André F. Wyss
MTheol (Honours)
[11/10/2007]

. Mssrs:

No one people, culture or religion is innocent when it comes to violence, murder and social injustice. Collectively, we are all guilty and have blood on our hands. In fact, two of the most heinous crimes in the history of humanity namely, the Crusades and the Holocaust, were perpetrated by people who identified with the
Christian faith. And in the case of the Crusades, people acted with the explicit support and encouragement of the Pope.

In the twentieth century the Catholic Church, the Protestant Churches, and the Orthodox Christian churches were silent 'accomplices' of the Holocaust, perpetrated in the middle of Christian Europe. These are shameful episodes in the History of the Church, and we cannot get away from these failures.

The United States, a nation comprised  predominantly of Christian believers felt compelled during WWII to use the Atomic Bomb against innocent Japanese men, women and children, not once but twice. Its arguable whether there could have been an alternative to the use of nuclear weapons at this time.

In any case, it is clear that collectively we do not practice what we preach. We have all fallen short of God's expectations. The God of peace, of love, who is compassionate and merciful. Since we are all guilty it is morally wrong to target one religion now faced with this reality. However, when we identify such violent tendencies within our ranks, especially when it is done "in the name of God" or "in the name of the religion", it behooves the leadership of that organization, culture, religion, etc., to organize strong counter protests, to be highly visible in the media, and to convene councils of respected leaders within the faith for the purpose of emitting declarations and  edicts condemning such acts.

Pope Paul VI apologized to the Jews for hundreds of years of antisemitism, persecution, expulsions. But did not go far enough in asking for forgiveness on behalf of the Church for not acting more decisively during the Holocaust.

Gentlemen, leaders of the Muslim faith now faced with an epidemic of violence within your ranks, I humbly ask, where in Islam is there a universal declaration of condemnation of this violence? Where in this document do you speak out forcefully to condemn in no uncertain terms the violence being done in the name of Islam and Allah? Where in your declaration do you state categorically, that those who perpetrate these crimes will NOT see paradise, instead it will be the flames of hellfire that await them?

Your excellent document titled "A Common Word" is a step in the right direction, but in my humble assessment it appears to me the group that generated this document must do more to clean your house first.

Respectfully submitted,
Ernesto A. Pretto, Jr., MD, MPH
Coral Gables, Florida
[11/10/2007]

. I honour and respect your desire to promote understanding and peace between three faiths that have for too long fought against each other. May the One G-d lead and aid your efforts.

J.Brian Waddington
[11/10/2007]