Uplifting news of the day

Muslim, Christian youth discuss tolerance challenges

AMMAN, Jordan — Arab Muslim and Christian youth are meeting in Amman for a dialog aimed at enhancing the "exemplary" religious coexistence in the region and protect it against outside interference. Participants at the "Muslim and Christian Youth and Challenges to Coexistence" symposium, which opened yesterday at King Hussein Club in Amman, will discuss an array of issues including Jordan as a study case of peaceful Muslim-Christian coexistence and the principles set by the Amman Message.

Speakers at the opening ceremony focused on the common ground between Islam and Christianity and the need to protect this long history of coexistence between the followers of the two monotheist faiths in an era characterized by sectarian and ethnic struggles.

Source: [The Jordan Times ]

I am a firm believer that Jordan is indeed a perfect model of Muslim-Christian coexistence. In spite of what many might see as a current global clash of religions, Jordan remains intact and its people — regardless of their beliefs — continue to live peacefully and amicably, providing a prime example of tolerance and acceptance.

21 thoughts on “Uplifting news of the day”

  1. That’s wonderful news Natasha! That’s a very good initiative to maintain state of religious tolerance, and I do hope that it continues and advances.

  2. To tolerate one another is not enough. in now way do I want to sound like I am discreditig this, because i think its great that is taking place. more initiatives like this should happen.
    but to truly claim that muslims and christians are living peacefully among each other in Jordan can only happen when no one has a problem with a christian and muslim marrying each other. let that happen first then Jordanians will be able to claim that they live peacefully among each other. And to tell you the truth, that goes for the rest of the ARAB world.

  3. Linda, I believe that the prospect of marriage is unrelated. Although I’m not a religious person and this might not reflect what I believe, inter-religious marriage is a much deeper case than mere religious acceptance. You cannot talk about an inter-religious marriage until the society becomes more secular as whole, and I do not see that happening here, quite the contrary actually.

  4. It’s good to have such dialogues (although i still don’t know what they’re gonna talk about??)
    It’s important that religious people talk because people usually follow what their religious leaders tell them to do. If there’s a clash between religious leaders their people will clash too.
    Linda for inter-religious marriages to succeed, at least one party of the relationship should neglect their religion. That has nothing to do with respect of religion.

  5. you guys, how many of us can consider our selves trully religious? any how, love does not know certain boundries such as religion or race, or at least it is not suppposed to. If a woman who comes from a christian family and a man who comes from a muslim family (and they are both not that religious but this is what their family is) do you really think the majority of Arabs would be accepting of that? Take for example Najwa Karam and Diana Haddad. While many think they are great singers, many christian arabs put down the fact they married muslims. and i am sure if it was the other way around muslims would not be accpeting of it as well. This is the case, unfortunately and it is something that is embedded deep in our culture and this is the main thing that has to change.
    Tolerance is good. acceptance is great. but living our lives with each other would be even better. And this is not just for the middle east but all over the world in general. we are not living our lives with each other with this mind set. with this mindset we are only living ourlives next to each other.
    it bothers me when people say they are accepting of ones race, ethnicity, religion, etc. but if someones kid married a person from another creed, it becomes an issue.
    this may sound like I am going way off topic, but i think it is an important issue to bring up when talking about initiatives such as these.

  6. When you are married to a man, you are not only married to a person; that is just in the movies. Marriage is a package that starts with the couple, and ends with this package, or divorce. This package includes, but not limited to : His family, her family, his friends, her friends, his relatives, her relatives, his culture, beliefs, habits and way of thinking, and hers. If religion doesn’t play a role in both lives, it does through the bigger circle. In a country like Jordan where the religion of the state is Islam, it is even worse in the sense that one religion is dominant over the other .take for example, the Moslem man finds it ok to marry a Christian woman, but it is against the law and culture that a Moslem woman marries a Christian man (without changing his religion.) .It is ok to be married to two, three and even more. Women, in general, follow the man and not the vise versa in marriage. How about the kids? What do they follow? What you find it easy Miss Linda, is not so, except in your mind. Coexistence and interfaith marriage are two different things here. When you coexist, you try to understand, respect then go on with your personal life wherever you like to take it. When you are married to a man, you blend and adopt what he does, think, eats, respects, disrespect. Not to mention what you believe in the life to come and in this life how to follow your beliefs. I have to stop here; my post is getting long.

  7. jareer, that is exactly what i am getting at. it is thismentality that needs to change. once it does, then we can truly claim that that all arabs get along AND RESPECT one another. The respect does not fully exist and if anyone believes other wise they are then kidding themselves.
    Colin Powell said tonight in his interview on 20/20 that in American Racism is still at large. While Jordanians are living in peace, there is still this fundamental hatred for the other, and unless we are willing to truly live with one another, then we will be stuck in this mentality that you explained jareer, and that mentality is what saddens me.
    as long as a christian woman marries a muslim or a muslim woman marries a christian and this is looked down upon, then there is no true respect for the other in Jordan, and the entire Middle East.
    I know I am hoping for something that may never happen, but to not even mention or discuss this very important issue just keeps us indenial.

  8. And what about the third monotheistic religion? Are Jews tolerated in Jordan today, or have they all been driven out?
    The real test of how tolerant and civilised a country is, is does it have a flourishing and respected Jewish community?

  9. “While Jordanians are living in peace, there is still this fundamental hatred for the other.”
    What? Fundemental hatred?!
    Linda 7abeebti, you don’t even know what it’s like in Jordan.
    You’re not aware of the complexities of Jordanian society because you live in a diverse metropolis halfway across the world. Everything you see on TV isn’t real, yes, not even Arab TV. You cite Diana Haddad and Najwa Karam as examples, and that’s like me saying “All Americans have their marriages annulled after 3 hours, just like Britney Spears” Did you forget about the whole play of publicity?
    I assure you that there is absolutely no hatred between Muslims and Christians here, let alone a fundemental one. One of my best friends is Christian, I love her, and I love her family- she celebrates Ramadan and Eid with us and we celebrate Christmas and Easter with her.
    And actually, forget my friends, just look at Jordan Planet, the circle of the real Jordanians you know and are friends with. Do you see any difference between Muslims and Christians? Can a first time reader even tell who’s Christian and who’s Muslim? No, they can’t. Because religion isn’t an issue.
    And I live in Jordan. I can assure you that.
    Now, for marriage, although I do believe that it is so much more complex than mere acceptance, there are a lot of cases of inter-religious marriages. A Muslim family friend of ours got married to her French boyfriend a few weeks back, and my dad’s best friend is married to a Coptic Egyptian, who is still a Christian who goes to church every week although she’s been married to a Muslim for 40 years. My uncle got married to a Christian, and although he remained Muslim, his children are Christian- that’s my very own first cousins.

  10. Don Cox, Amman was empty until 1887, when the Circassians settled here to escape religious prosecution, so there were never any Jews.
    On the other hand, in my hometown of Nablus, there has been a steady population of Jews for the past 4,000 years. They have never been pushed out, and there has never been any problems between them and the Muslims. They actually help each other out.

  11. Well, I’m glad to hear that Jordanians are tolerant. Next door, in the West Bank, things are
    not so good.
    In my opinion, tolerance is like education. It isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come naturally. The most hopeful thing is the way cities all around the world are getting mixed up, with people from (or whose parents are from) Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East sharing the pavements.

  12. Roba,
    Let’s continue this discussion. You provided examples of your family. To hear this is great news and I abolutely love it.
    But answer this, do you really think it is like that as a whole in JOrdan and the rest of the Middle East? And answer honestly.
    Look at our own Queen Noor. Why did she have to change her religion? I am sure I will hear the comments that she did because she wanted to, but lets say she didnt want to and she wanted to stay a christian. Do you really think the rest Jordan would be accepting of that, a Christian queen? come on, yeah right. And if it was the other way around, a christian royal family with a muslim queen, it would not be accepted.
    If it cannot be accepted at that level, (and there are ecceptions, examples like yours prove that) then i do not believe it can be accepted as a whole in the rest of the Midle East.
    Yeah, I know you guys like using the point that I hae never been to Jordan, but I am still Jordanian and I feel that I can still give my opinion about this. And I am not saying this just about Jordan, but it is the rest of the Middle East and the world for that matter.
    We are so indenial if we are going to say that just because we can tolerate each other then we are living in peace. infact, its the exact opposite. Just look around you guys. look what is happening in Lebanon. Everytime there is a suicide bombing its in a christian community.
    Look at Natasha’s news service and read the story about the muslim girl and christian guy that fell in love. or toward the end of the story where a christian girl fell in love with a muslim guy and her father tortured her.
    Marriage is the one thing that almost every culture has in common, in respect to the idea that every person wants to share their life with the person they love. But to tell you the truth, we are not marrying people WE love, we are marying people that the society we live in dictates to us who we should love.
    Lets not be indenial. if we stay like that then there is no solving this violent world we live in.

  13. Don Cox, unfortunately many politicans use religion as a tool to gain more support from their people. There are no “Jordanian Jews”.
    There has been Arab Jews living in different Arab countries but most of them immigrated after 1948, still some remain in Morocco and Yemen, and maybe very few in Iraq, Egypt and Algeria. Israel/Plaestine is a totally different story!!
    Linda… Jordanians would have probably accepted a Chrisitan queen even if she wouldn’t change her religion, mainly because the queen has no political role in the country, and because it’s not uncommon that a Muslim man would marry a non-arab chrisitan woman. It’s somewhat accepted in the society although not preferred.
    Again for such marriages to succeed one prt of the marriage has to almost totally forget about his/her religion. What if the man decided to become religious in the future, and wanted to fast ramadan and let his kids do it? What if he asked his daughters to wear hijab and took his children to hajj, it’s his right as a muslim to do so, and it’s the right of the wife as a chrisitan to refuse that. And what if the wife wanted the children to be baptized and she wanted her kids to receive chrisitan education?
    It’s her right as a chrisitan woman but it’s also the right of her husband as a muslim man to refuse that.
    I see many such marriages fail because of that.

  14. Interfaith marriages are not co-existence, they are conversions. Co-existence means both exist independently, but with respect and understanding each other. Linda, you live in an imaginary world, get real.

  15. Jareer, I will get real and infact, forget everything I said because suposidly Im not really Jordanian so I do not have a right to talk about this stuff.
    you take care now.

  16. Wait, wait
    Your loyalty and commitment keep changing according to the situation. This is not dual citizinship; this is called “identity crisis”.
    I think we all suffer from this phenomenon and have the same syndrome. I would like to suggest to the site manager to once open this kind of discussion since we all seem to suffer from this kind of confusion

  17. Here is the funny thing, and this is totally coming from an Americanized and Westernized perspective since I am not Jordanian and I am relying on Aristotle’s use of logic (logos). In the previous post, Natasha talks about this new poll that came out in Jordan, and the poll shows that 66 percent of Jordanians support al Qaeda. Well here is a little logic:
    Al Qaeda hates infidels, i.e. Americans, Jews, Christians.
    66 percent of Jordanians support Al Qaeda.
    Therefore, 66 percent of Jordanians hate infidels, i.e. Americans, Jews, Christians.
    But just disregard what I have to say because I am living in fantasy world and my opinions do not matter.

  18. Or, a better math assumption; %22 hate jews, %22 hate Americans, and % 22 hate Christians. That is much softer.
    My problem today is I decided not to do anything but relax; have plenty of time to write in this blog

  19. From the Jordanian Blogosphere

    On International Affairs:
    On the Jordanian blogging front, talk related to Katarina can still be heard. Jameed mentions an opinion that suggests that the focus on looting by violent gangs was a means to divert attention from the t…

  20. Probably most of that 66% have no idea what Al Qaeda is like. They think it is a bunch of brave Arabs fighting the Big Bully Evil America.

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