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ISNA Welcomes Statement from The National Association Of Evangelicals Against Qur'an Burning

Posted by on Jul 30th, 2010 and filed under Community, Recent Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

ISLAMIC Society of North America (ISNA) applauds statements released by the US National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) that denounces the planned burning of Qur'ans on September 11th by a Floridian group. ISNA President, Dr. Ingrid Mattson states, "We live in a time when all people of faiths must be committed to mutual understanding and reconciliation, for there is no doubt that some people from each of our traditions are using the power of religion to foster hatred and discord.  I applaud the ethical leadership of the NAE in issuing this statement. We should never blame all Christians, evangelical or otherwise, for the actions of an individual pastor and his congregation."

According to the press release, the National Association of Evangelicals states that it encourages increased understanding and reconciliation between those of different faiths and backgrounds, and it laments efforts that work against a just and peaceful society. "The plans recently announced by a Florida group to burn copies of the Qu'ran on September 11 show disrespect for our Muslim neighbors and would exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims throughout the world. The NAE urges the cancellation of the burning."

NAE President Leith Anderson said, "The most powerful statement by the organizers of the planned September 11th bonfire would be to call it off in the name and love of Jesus Christ."

In 1996 the NAE addressed religious persecution saying that "If people are to fulfill the obligations of conscience, history teaches the urgent need to foster respect and protection for the right of all persons to practice their faith." [1] In the same resolution, the NAE pledged to "address religious persecution carried out by our Christian brothers and sisters whenever this occurs around the world."

The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbors of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect. The proposed burning of Qu'rans, it said, would be profoundly offensive to Muslims worldwide, just as Christians would be insulted by the burning of Bibles. Such an act would escalate tensions between members of the two faiths in the United States and around the world.

"We have to recognize that fighting fire with fire only builds a bigger fire," said Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Orlando, Fla., and member of the NAE Board of Directors. "Love is the water that will eventually quench the destruction."

[1] National Association of Evangelicals, Worldwide Religious Persecution 1996.  See http://www.nae.net/government-affairs/policy-resolutions/413-worldwide-religious-persecution-1996

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