Mixing It With The Scholarz

Teenagers are to meet at Aston Parish Church Centre in Birmingham for a Christian-Muslim debate with a difference.

Young Christians from Kenilworth and Muslims from Aston will produce a musical response to the Common Word’ statement sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope and other world Christian leaders.

The Christian Muslim Forum’s Andrew Smith is bringing this group together, who have been meeting for the last two years, with a professional musician Olly Armstrong for the first time.

They first met in winter 2006 when neither the Christians nor the Muslims were familiar with each other or their religions.

This is what the teenagers themselves say about their meetings: “I have a huge amount of respect for them and their faith.

“I also feel that I have a much better understanding of the situations of both Christian and Muslim teenagers in Britain.”

another said, “We swapped recipes, but apart from the light hearted discussions we also discussed some very important issues and when an issue had been discussed there would be a new issue to talk about.”

Now that the group has gelled they will look at and respond in song to the Common Word’ statement signed by 138 Muslim scholars from around the world. One of the Common Word signatories, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Dr Mustafa Ceric, is currently in the UK meeting with Christian leaders to talk about their responses to the Common Word.

He said ‘Christians and Muslims need to show that they can get on.’ As well as music and song the teenagers will produce pictures and a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is a joint event with Birmingham-based Scripture Union.