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Recent Events in our continuing Moslem-Christian Dialogue

Fr Jock writes: At the end of October, PACT (Portobello and Area Christians Together) had its second evening of Conversation with Imam Hassan Rabbani at Portobello and Joppa Parish Church – with Imam Hassan this time talking with Dr Sophia Marriage, and accompanied by his cousin Imam Mansoor Mahmood from Kirkcaldy.

In the aftermath of another fascinating evening, I received an invitation from Imam Hassan to visit him on Saturday 9 November at his father’s Zia-ul-Quran Mosque in Pollockshields in Glasgow; and then to accompany him to Carmichael Hall in Giffnock and to speak at an evening cultural and religious Celebration, ´First Spring´.

First Spring – Illuminating Hearts´ – Saturday 9 November, Carmichael Hall, Giffnock, Glasgow

´First Spring – Illuminating Hearts´ was organised to mark the month of the prophet Muhammad´s birth and was described by its organisers as ´an opportunity for people of all faiths and none to come together and learn about the life of Prophet Muhammad Peace and Blessings be Upon Him and appreciate the Beauty of His Message.´

Imam Hassan was the compere for the evening and introduced each ´act´ – such as some ´nascheeds´ – devotional songs – sung by a group of Kirkcaldy schoolgirls, and a Moslem Scottish convert from Argyll playing on the penny whistle, while the audience (almost entirely Moslem) tapped their feet appreciatively.

My own ´slot´ was halfway through the evening. Introduced by a ´we now have a non-Muslim speaker´, I spoke of my own visits to Moslem countries and their historic and cultural fascination, and also how I had been so moved by the Moslem-Christian dialogue here in Portobello, initiated by the friendship with Imam Hassan. Finally, I referred to the meetings of Pope Francis with one of the great figures of the Moslem world, the Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb of Al-Azhar University in Cairo (where Imam Hassan had studied), and how when they had met in February 2019 in the United Arab Emirates – the first time a Pope had visited the Arabian Peninsula, site Of Islam´s holiest shrines – they had (another first) co-signed a document ´On Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together´.

I concluded by describing what Pope Francis called the golden thread of his vision, namely encounter and dialogue, which in his native Spanish, he called ´caminar juntos´ – walking together; and how such dialogue was only possible if three basic elements were present and interlinked, namely ´the duty to respect one´s own identity and that of others´ ´the courage to accept differences´ and ´sincerity of intentions.´ At the end of the evening, there was a chance to mingle – everybody was very welcoming and gracious – before we departed, each guest armed with a container of delicious biryani (a custom at such events).

Excerpts from the concert (Including, half way through, Fr Jock´s (short!) talk in Part I and Part II)

 
     
   
 

Some schoolgirls from Kirkcaldy sing devotional songs

 
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A Scottish convert to Islam from Argyll on the penny whistle

 
   
 

Part 1 of Father Jock´s Talk

 
   
 

Part 2 of Father Jock´s Talk

 
   
 

Imam Hassan as Comperé

 
   
 

Shaykh Rahman Buxton

 
   
 

The conclusion of the evening - A homily by Scottish convert Shaykh Rahman Buxton

 
   
 

Informal Podcast - Father Jock

 

Parish Priest
Father Jock Dalrymple
0131 669 5447
stjohnsandstmarymagdalenes@gmail.com

   
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